Homeowners often experience an uncomfortable limbo when moving from their existing home to a new one: paying two mortgages until the former home sells. To spur a faster sale, real estate agents may recommend staging – a mostly aesthetic overhaul that may help buyers visualize themselves living in your home.
Here are a few things you need to know about staging.
When you hire a stager, look for a member of the Real Estate Staging Association. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $750 for an initial consultation, and monthly fees for furniture rental that vary depending on the size of a home, the number of rooms staged and the market in which you live (in Indiana, staging may start at $975 per month for a vacant home).
If all of your furnishings are still in the home that’s for sale, don’t be offended if the stager tells you to put pretty much everything you own in storage. Stagers attempt to create a neutral, showroom feel, so they’ll at least recommend removal of family pictures and may suggest repainting walls and replacing art. Cosmetic fixes – such as new light fixtures or a new front door – may also be part of the staging process.
Moving belongings – twice
Some homeowners put their property on the market before they’ve found their new home, and if staging the property, they may need to move their furniture once into a storage unit, and a second time, when they find their new home. That’s an unwelcome inconvenience, but well worth the trouble, if your home spends fewer days on the market.
Living in a showroom
If you haven’t found a new home, you may be living in your staged home for an indeterminate amount of time. You may miss looking at your favorite artwork every day and grow tired of constantly tidying before real estate showings, but hang in there – your household limbo shouldn’t last too long.