Staged home for sale

Staging Your Home for Sale

Get house-staging tips from a real estate professional.

January 2017

Las Vegas real estate broker Kamran Zand, founder of Luxury Estates International, knows a little something about staging a home for quick sale. He recently set a record for the highest price paid per square foot for a high-rise condo on the Las Vegas Strip: $1,633 per square foot for a 3,980-square-foot penthouse, once owned by famed developer Kirk Kerkorian, in the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. The condo was under contract with a local buyer before it was even listed.

Zand is steadily selling luxury in a postcrash economy where prices are on the rise, and he actively coaches his sellers on how to get their properties sold as quickly as possible. Staging is a key part of that equation: Zand even launched a virtual house-staging service to help clients succeed. In a recent Real Estate Staging Association study of 1,081 homes, unstaged homes spent an average of 184 days on the market; after staging, they sold on average in 41 days. Homes that were staged prior to going on the market sold on average in only 23 days.

We asked Zand for some of his top tips for getting your home ready to sell—fast.

If you want to sell your house but haven’t moved out, what are the most important things you can do to prepare?
Having your home impeccably clean is crucial! You’ll want to declutter and rearrange the furniture to open the spaces of your home. You want potential buyers to focus on your home, not on the items in your home.

Should you “neutralize” your home by, for example, painting over saturated wall colors? And can décor choices affect sale price?
Absolutely, on both counts. Neutralizing a home will open possibilities to more buyers, since this allows them to visualize the property’s potential. Saturated paint colors and very personal décor may inhibit a buyer, since they might not have the ability to see through your personal choices and envision themselves in the space. And make sure that you address the home’s curb appeal by having the landscape refreshed and any cosmetic repairs made to the home’s exterior.

Should sellers expect their broker to advise them on what to clear out and what to keep?
As an expert in my field, I make sure the properties I list are up to showing standards. It’s to everyone’s benefit to make sure properties don’t sit on the market for long periods of time. Agents should know what buyers are looking for.

Should you stage your empty home? If so, should you rely on a staging company or simply leave some furniture behind to illustrate the purpose of each room?
Lightly staging a home is crucial, since it gives the potential buyer some visual clues to what the home will look like. A staging company can fully stage a home or work around furniture you already have to help show the property in its best light. The best idea when working with a staging company is to let them do their job! Sometimes sellers are so personally invested in their home, they have a difficult time letting go. Professional stagers know how to do just enough—but not too much—to make your home look inviting, neutral and ready for your buyers.