Good question. The answer is no, you don't have to do anything to put your home on the market... it is always your option how you prepare your home for sale. But expect to pay for not staging your home in sale price and market time... likely both. Buyers are much more savvy than they were 10-15 years ago before the crash, when they would buy almost anything just to get into the market... if they didn't like it they could sell it again in a couple years and make some money for their next house. Now they are very intentional about what they buy, thinking consciously about how much time and money they will have to invest and expecting to live there at least 5-10 years.
The home in the photo above was on the market a total of 248 days, 194 of them before I took over the listing and Shar Sitter of Rooms with Style came in to work her magic with staging using their own furnishings. Don't get me wrong... the house looked nice before... but the way you live in your home and the way you market your home are two very different things. The objective of staging your home to sell is maximizing space and features to make your home inviting to as many buyers as possible so they can picture themselves living in your home. It is making an emotional connection so they say "I want to live here!"
Most buyers today are looking for homes that are move-in ready. If it's a fixer-upper, they expect a bargain price. The best way to sell your home for the best price in the least amount of time is to meticulously prepare and stage it. If your home is vacant, staging becomes even more important. When it is empty, people have a hard time envisioning how they will actually live in the space... and focus on its flaws because that is what they can clearly see.
Because I see staging as such a vital part of selling your home, my services include a 2-hour home staging consultation with award-winning designer and stager, Shar Sitter of Rooms with Style. It really does make a difference!!!
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Listing Agent