Does House Staging help in SELLING YOUR HOUSE?
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Is house staging worth the $? What better option do you have in selling your unit?
House staging involves leasing new & designer furniture to impress prospective clients. Agents that do house staging usually asks for higher commission. House staging is not recommended for HDB units and has never been done by Aaron.
Read on.. for Aaron's tip on what works better than house staging!
Eager property sellers often ask questions like
"Does house staging help my unit sell?"
"Should I do house staging to get a higher offer?"
"My agent wants to do virtual staging. Is staging worth it?"
Today, we explain what house staging is, what it means for the agent & seller involved, the pros and cons, plus Aaron's personal advice from a decade of experience in the industry.
What is house staging?
House staging means leasing beautiful furniture from a leasing company in order to beautify the house for photographs and viewings in the hopes that leaving a nicer impression would help in selling the house at a good price.
In practice, the furniture rental cost would either be borne directly by the seller or absorbed by the agent. At the same time, agents that promote and implement house staging would ask for a higher commission rate of 3-4% to justify the extra effort. The details of specific packages differ from agent to agent and the furniture leasing companies used.
Virtual staging is another option that involves advertising with virtual photos which actually look different from the reality of the house being sold. There is some grey area in terms of the legal implications since what is being sold is different from what is advertised.
Does house staging work?
House staging might be effective, provided certain conditions are met.
There are two scenarios to be discussed:
Condo or Landed Property Unit
Recently, there was a HDB unit sold by Aaron. The unit is over 30 years old, on the 2nd storey and facing the highway. It took around 8-12 months for the unit to be sold and as time went on after the first few months, the owner reached out to other agents who brought up the topic of house staging. The owner then asked Aaron on his recommendations.
Firstly, the unit has factors which are significant to prospective buyers. These include wear and tear effects after 30 years and the noise from the highway being apparent from the 2nd storey. With these factors at play, the investment into house staging would hardly make any impact. Prospective buyers might be impressed by the furniture, but they will not be able to ignore the noise from the highway or fail to notice the aged renovations of the unit.
More importantly, would house staging manage to add $30k or $40k to the selling price? Even an increase of $10k would be unlikely since the valuation is largely set by HDB anyway (how this works is explained by Aaron in a separate article & video).
When aesthetics is not the major underlying reason for why a unit is not selling, house staging with beautiful is not going to convince buyers. It is more important to evaluate the real underlying reasons and devise a strategy based on them, just like prescribing the right medicine based on an accurate diagnosis.
House staging a HDB flat is just not going to make a difference.
Condo or Landed Property Unit
For a condo or nice landed property unit, if house staging is able to fetch an increase of $10-$40k in the selling price, then it would be worth it.
So what works even better than house staging?
A fresh coat of white paint!
If the walls of the unit doesn’t look clean and fresh, it does not matter how nice the furniture is. Giving the unit a fresh paint job freshens up the unit to look clean and new, warranting higher interest and potentially higher prices.
Why do agents suggest house staging rather than painting walls?
Painting the house is more expensive than leasing furniture. Next, it's more troublesome since house staging just involves a one day effort of moving things around, whereas painting all the walls in a unit would involve several days' work moving furniture, painting, waiting for paint to dry and so on.
The final verdict
Till date, Aaron has not done house staging for his clients and recommends getting a fresh coat of white paint done instead!
With a good strategy, selling your unit is just a matter of time!
Check out the video below to hear it all in Aaron's own words!