Does Staging A Home Really Work?

Listing clients often ask if staging a home has any measurable benefits.  While I still haven’t found any hard “scientific” evidence, the latest report “2017 Profile of Home Staging” from the National Association of Realtors reveals that some but not all Realtors think the answer is “Yes”.

Bear in mind that this profile is a result of a survey of Realtors who may or may not accurately reflect a broad market opinion.  Information about the survey respondents and methodology are on pages 13 and 14 of the report.   Click here to read the full report.

Like any other cost or effort associated with selling a home, sellers should evaluate if staging a home will improve their bottom line, and by how much.  Since real estate is highly local, your listing agent should be able to advise whether staging would be beneficial and, if so, by how much.  39% of those polled state staging a home “greatly reduces” time on the market.  Since there are typically carrying costs paid by the seller while their home is on the market (utility bills, insurance, lawn care, mortgage payments, etc), a minimum DOM is critical.  If the seller has already relocated and is having to maintain an empty property in addition to another, these costs can be substantial, so moving the property as quickly as possible for the highest amount resonates more loudly than normal.

Another key result of the poll shows that 58% of respondents say staging a home increased the selling price between 1 and 20%.  41% said staging a home actually decreased the selling price, or weren’t sure if staging a home actually increased the selling price compared to other similar homes in their markets that were not staged.

Staging a home – does it pay off?

Below is NAR’s synopsis of this survey.  Click here to read the full report.

From the Buyers’ Agent Perspective:

Forty-nine percent of buyers’ agents cited that staging a home had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.

Staging the living room for buyers was found to be most important (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51 percent), and staging the kitchen (41 percent).

About one-third of buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.

From the Sellers’ Agent Perspective:

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents said they stage all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. Fourteen percent noted that they only stage homes that are difficult to sell.

The most common rooms that are staged include the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent), master bedroom (69 percent), and the dining room (66 percent).

The costs of staging a home were typically paid by the seller before the home is listed (25 percent).

When staging a home, 29 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of one percent to five percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, in comparison to similar homes.

Twenty-one percent of respondents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home between six and 10 percent.

Thirty-nine percent of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market.

The most common home improvement items agents recommended to sellers were decluttering the home (93 percent), entire home cleaning (89 percent), carpet cleaning (81 percent), and removing pets during showings (80 percent).

In summary, I tend to take results of surveys and polls with one or two grains of salt.  Only 1,894 “usable responses” out of 53,760 respondents were used to tally the results of this survey, and the format in which the data is presented suggests the authors may have had a slight bias in favor of staging versus not staging.  But all in all, it’s an interesting report worth reviewing if the seller is on the fence about staging a home.

Contact me to learn more about staging a home and whether it might benefit your bottom line.

Jim Bobo, Jr., BIC
Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
10605 Hwy 78 East
Summerville, SC 29483
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Licensed in South Carolina