You Gotta Stage It to Sell It
There’s a lot that goes into selling a condo. Deciding whether you’ll actually sell it or rent it out, budgeting for the costs of selling a condo, and of course, preparing it to be listed. While you should always enlist the services of a licensed real estate agent to help you sell your condo, there’s a bit of work you can do upfront to help it attract buyers: www.
Staging can be done entirely on your own, or you can hire a staging company. If you haven’t moved out of the property yet, it may be worth it to invest in staging yourself. But, if you’ve already moved or need to move soon, a professional staging company can step in to take this off your plate (which is likely already full — and if it isn’t, it will be soon).
Staging a Condo on Your Own
The goal of staging is to present your home in the best light possible to help your condo sell faster and, if possible, for an above-asking price. Research has shown that staged homes sell up to 73 percent faster. Most people shopping for a home do so online well before visiting the property in person. So, it’s important that your home shines for all to see — before they actually see it.
- Make it look like a home. People want to see how furniture, wall decorations, curtains, appliances, and more all fit into a space. Make sure your home is properly furnished. If you’ll be buying furniture for your next home, consider buying it now to help flesh out a living room or bedroom. You can even rent furniture short-term if you need to. Keep pictures, artwork, and decorations in place for photography before packing everything up.
- Make it sparkle. People will notice a smudge here and there in online listings, along with anything else that looks dirty, worn, or stained. Do your best to clean surfaces, carpet, and woodwork. Get stains professionally removed. Use polish for wood surfaces and glass cleaner for (you guessed it) glass. Create nice lines with a vacuum cleaner. Clean up cobwebs and dust. Polish tile, stone, and ceramic surfaces. And make sure any stainless steel appliances are free from smudges and fingerprints.
- Make it real. As we live in our homes over time, we can get comfortable with things being out of place or used differently than what might be considered normal. Consider the way your furniture, decorations, rugs, and so on are positioned in your home. Is that how someone moving in would position them? If something stands out or could be better positioned to make use of space, adjust it. Design rooms to make the best possible use of space.
Staging a Condo with a Professional
If you don’t have the time to stage your own condo, consider enlisting a professional staging company. Your agent will be able to provide some great recommendations. Professional home stagers are experts in what it takes to prepare your home for sale.
When researching them, or vetting those recommended to you, make sure they’re an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP). These individuals will have proven experience successfully staging homes for their clients.
But what do professional stagers do? Well, the goal is to help potential buyers view the home as if they were living in it. Part of this is depersonalizing, which removes elements that could be tied to you as the owner (e.g., family photos, named or other personalized wall decorations, and highly specific or otherwise non-neutral designs). Stagers also may repaint walls to more neutral colors, and may even come with a supply of furniture and decor to help fill a room to make it look lived in.
The cost for stagers can vary depending on the number of rooms requiring staging, if any work is required such as painting or landscaping, and so on. Expect anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand based on these criteria. Thankfully, staging a condo in Chicago shouldn’t cost you too much since condos don’t feature the square space, utility rooms, and exterior features of a single-family home.
Want to learn more about staging and selling a condo? Get started here.