Home staging is the process of preparing a home to perform its best as a commodity in the marketplace. 


It may involve decluttering, cleaning, painting, repairing, upgrading finishes, and adding or removing furniture and accessories. Staging is like photo styling for your home, and it’s key to having the best-looking photos and driving online and then in-person traffic to a property. Staging allows a buyer to see your home in its best light and tends to help them easily see themselves living in it. That emotional connection also helps buyers overlook some of any of the home’s shortcomings.  


According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, staged homes sell for 17% more than unstaged homes in 88% less time. Statistics aside, we see this play out in real-time every day. The best-prepared homes always outperform properties that are not ready for primetime and those sellers are leaving thousands of dollars on the table.


Home staging has always mattered in our local market here in Maplewood, S. Orange, West Orange, Millburn/Short Hills and Montclair, NJ and surrounding towns. Yet, with the housing market beginning to normalize and a bit more inventory on the market, having a competitive advantage is critical for sellers seeking top dollar, a smoother sales process and the best offer terms.


Staging is about creating as much impact as possible within the confines of a seller’s budget. We focus on rooms that the buyer will see early, and consider a primary living space. While not every room in a home has to be staged, it’s critical that focal points be made in places that draw the eye and invoke conversation. 


Lessening items is usually where the staging process begins so that the architecture of your  home speaks more loudly than your stuff. Know too, that if we ask you to remove an item you’re passionate about, it’s not personal. Recognize that taste differs widely, and a new owner is going to want to recreate your space into something that’s theirs. 


A staged home looks much more market-ready when it’s time for photography, too. Buyers are endlessly thumbing through their apps for new and updated listings, meaning if what’s online doesn’t catch an eye, then it’s going to become scroll bait, a distant block of code that lost its chance to impress.


A less competitive market means buyers have more time to decide on a home, meaning they’ll request repeat visits, ask about including or removing fixtures and be in a better overall position to negotiate. They’ll also have more homes to choose from. Everything a buyer will want to do to a home is something they’ll consider when making their offer. A staged home can reduce that risk by cutting back on the items a buyer thinks detract from the home. Yes, staging is quite psychological in nature. Great interior designers are paid for more than their ability to locate an attractive sofa. 


Our team has a roster of professionals at the ready that we can recommend for staging and pre-market home prep. And we can help coordinate all the work and hold your hand throughout the process. Even better, we can help you pay for all of this upfront work. Compass Concierge is our exclusive service for sellers wanting their home to look its best before hitting the market. From decor decisions to new paint colors, we’re able to cover the cost of this work upfront with no hidden fees or interest. It’s our way of investing in your home so that it sells faster and for more money. 


We can talk you through the benefits, as well consult with you about how to best position your home for this healthy, but changing real estate market.

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials here.