I’m planning to put my condo on the market next month after my tenant moves out. The apartment will be empty and I’m wondering if I should have it “staged?”
Staging is a wonderful marketing tool as it helps put a vacant apartment (which can signal “desperation” to potential buyers) in a better light and oftentimes bolsters the bottom line.
Research shows that a staged home can sell for as much as 17% more than a comparable un-staged property and generally 2-2.5 times faster. I find a vast majority of buyers have difficulty visualizing a property any differently than how it is presented. Surprisingly, a furnished apartment actually appears larger than its vacant counterpart.
“Furniture adds scale,” notes New York City home stager Donna Dazzo of Design To Appeal. Apartments that are staged can also hide flaws (i.e. dated radiator covers, original base board molding, etc.) and draw the eye to more visually appealing surroundings.
To answer your original question, I’m all in favor of staging, provided the expense and time commitment involved (generally a few thousand dollars a month with a three-month minimum) will yield a better return than putting the apartment on the market at a lower price. That said, there is yet another option – virtual staging – which is offered as a complimentary service for all Brown Harris Stevens exclusives. Using state-of-the-art technology, an empty room is transformed into one that’s luxuriously furnished and accessorized. Like traditional staging, virtual staging maximizes the appeal of the property online, where 90% of buyers today begin their search, and in all supporting marketing materials. When the showings begin, virtual staging doesn’t have the full impact of a fully staged apartment however it’s a great solution that minimizes time and expense.
Andrew Kramer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Brown Harris Stevens. Direct your real estate questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about Andrew at www.kramernyc.com or by contacting him at 212-317-3634