Nashville homeowners who want to take advantage of today’s buyer’s market and trade up to a new house are discovering the secret to getting the best possible price when they sell their existing property.
Growing numbers of homeowners are hiring “home stagers” to add a professional touch to a home’s interior design to help it stand out from the competition.
“We want it to have the feel of a model home,” said real estate agent Todd Lewis at Legacy Development Group, who works with home stagers. “There is a lot more competition out there.”
Homeowners already know that attractive landscaping creates “curb appeal” that makes a good impression with potential buyers. Home staging is a way to bring that curb appeal through the front door into the living room and the rest of the house, he said.
The goal is to think ahead and remove what Lewis calls “the $10,000 wallpaper. The wallpaper is outdated and makes a bad impression. The home sits on the market longer and the owner ends up lowering the price.”
Prix de Solde, which has been staging homes in Nashville since 1995, can even completely decorate and furnish a home or condominium, said senior partner Kelly Coty. Shoppers may look at 15 homes in a week. Staging helps yours stand out in the crowd, said Coty.
“Especially in the condominium market, you’ve got to blow people’s minds to get their attention,” she said. “Staging has become a no-brainer, it’s such a good investment.”
Home staging pays for itself when the owner gets a better price for the property, said Gary Baugher, owner of An Eye 4 Change staging company.
“Staging usually costs less than what your first price reduction would have been,” he said. “You are getting a better price because you are showing your home in mint condition.”
Owners can always try to decorate the home themselves, but for the price of a few pieces of furniture, they can stage a room or an entire house. Prix de Solde’s work usually ranges from $1,500 to $15,000, said Coty.
“If you get a sofa for $1,000, you’ve got a sofa. We can do a whole room for that amount,” she said.
In today’s tricky real estate market, many homeowners have to sell the home they live in before they can buy their next house, said Lewis. With a home stager’s advice, owners can avoid making a bad impression.
He recalls showing an unstaged home in Franklin that was filled with the owner’s collection of life-like ceramic dolls. The potential buyer left as quickly as possible.
“It was a creepy feeling,” he said.