Homes in Coastal RI March 25, 2021

To Stage or Not to Stage

Narragansett, RI MLS # 1277151.  Offered by Judith Chace & Erin Marsh, Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty

If selling a home is a like a courtship, then staging is a candlelit dinner, flowers and a box of chocolates.

Your home is vying for eyes, visits and offers.  Staging allows you to show off the best use of your space and helps prospective buyers appreciate the home’s full potential.  If buyers in your market are used to seeing homes professionally staged, this is the bar that you have to meet.   And the more visually appealing your home is, the more you can ask for it.  Many buyers lack the vision or confidence to create a warm and inviting space on their own, so a beautifully furnished home enables them to easily imagine themselves there.

If your listing agent is recommending staging, consider the following:

Let Go of Your Ego.  Once you decide to sell, keep your eye on the prize of maximizing value. Sellers are naturally fond of their aesthetic and attached to their own stuff, so it’s often hard to acknowledge that your home may need staging.  Remaining objective and seeing your property through the eyes of prospective buyers helps.  Keep in mind that this is a business transaction.  No one is judging you or your taste.  (Well, maybe some are, but let go of that, too.)

Weighing the Cost.  Like repairs and renovations made in preparation for listing a home, think of staging as an investment that should yield a healthy return in an offer/sale price.  Depending on your market and the extent of your staging, you should expect to at least double the return.  For example, if you spend $10,000 on staging, you might be able to bump up your asking price by $20,000, assuming you have staged wisely.

All or nothing?  Your listing agent can provide you with sound advice on how much staging your home might need to photograph and show well in your market.  Like listing price, marketing expenses are driven by comparable sales in your neighborhood.  In some cases, you can work with a pared down version of your existing furnishings.  In other cases, it may be easier and more effective to completely move out and hand the empty property over to a professional stager.

You may even be pleasantly surprised by buyers’ offers to buy all or some of the furnishings along with the house, especially in second home markets.

Michael Mosca is a real estate agent with Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Michael specializes in properties in coastal RI and he is a member of Our Trusted Network of Sotheby’s International Realty agents around the U.S. and across the globe