Ask a Realtor: Is staging a home really worth the money and hassle? (column) | VailDaily.com

Ask a Realtor: Is staging a home really worth the money and hassle? (column)

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan: We have interviewed several Realtors and have now picked the one we believe will do the best job getting our home sold (not the most cut-rate one, you will be pleased to know).

My question is, now our new Realtor is pushing to have a professional stage our home and I am not sure why we would need that in a "seller's market" like we have right now. Also, my wife and I keep a very neat home and I think it always looks to be in top condition. I think staging is just a boondoggle anyway. What are your thoughts?

— Confused

Dear Confused: It sounds like you went through a good process to choose your Realtor, and it also sounds like your Realtor is very much in tune with today's market. Staging has statistically brought in more and better buyers, which translates into more money for your home, in any market, which is usually the goal of most sellers.

If anything, then I think staging, to some degree, is even more important in today's digital world. What is selling your home most often starts with generating interest with the professional pictures that are placed in the Multiple Listing Service and online on the hundreds of websites that your Realtor will use. The staging needs to be done prior to when the professional pictures are taken.

As Alicia Herring, of Stage My Listings out of Glenwood Springs, says, "Photos are your home's currency online, and the more appealing they are, the more views your listing will receive." And Justin Riordan, owner of a large staging firm in the Northwest, called Spade and Archer, says, "Staging is visual merchandising for your house so that you can sell it for more money."

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I realize that you think your home looks very good already, which is true of most sellers, but the goal of staging is to have everything (windows, front porch, garage, yard, etc.) very clean, de-clutter all counter tops and floor space and have it appeal to the broadest range of buyers possible.

We all "stylize" our homes to fit our own tastes. Most of us think our tastes are the same as most everyone else, but that is not true, and it is much better to have a professional look at your home without the emotion involved that you can not avoid having.

Staging comes at various levels, and if your home is in good shape, then a good stager can usually simply go room to room giving you a written list of what to do, what furniture to move or remove and where to add color, de-clutter, etc. Work with your Realtor and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. All the best to you.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at joan@teamblackbear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.skiandteehomes.com.