In general, people are visual beings. That being said, we are going to take a look into home staging, and why you need to make a first impression on potential buyers. First, let’s understand what exactly home staging is, and why it even exits. Home staging is a process of putting a property in the best possible light in order to evoke positive emotions. Before staging became a practice, real estate agents depended on intangibles that were completely out of their control. They would hope that an interested buyer could envision what the home would look like with their furnishings or with prospective design elements. That’s not always a bad thing, but leaving the sale to chance is hardly a recipe for a quick sale at the right price. Showing a home with shabby furniture, bad art, clutter, or mismatched furniture and accessories is a potential minefield, and usually leads to offers way below the listing price, or worse, no offers at all.
A house staged by an astute and artistic interior designeris an immediate game changer. According to the NAR 2019 Profile of Home Staging, 83% of buyer’s agents reported that staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, and increased offers by 1 to 5% compared to similar homes that were unstaged. Buyers were more willing to walk through a home they saw online (38%), and buyers’ agents identified that staging would positively impact the home value if the home was decorated to a buyer’s taste (37%). 28% of sellers’ agents said they staged all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. The most common rooms that were staged included the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), master bedroom (78%), and the dining room (72%). 28% of sellers’ agents stated that there were slight decreases in the time on market when the home was staged. 25% reported that staging a home greatly decreased the amount of time the home was on the market, while 12% stated that staging a home did not affect the time on market.
In any walk of life, people who are willing to investin themselves are almost always more successful than those who don’t. And so it goes for realtors. Real estate agents and their sellers who take the step to stage their homes have a huge leg up on those who think they don’t have to stage. On average, a quicker sale for a higher selling price is the norm for staged homes. And as the size and value of homes increase, the necessity to stage becomes more important. Buyers’ expectations for larger and more expensive homes are naturally higher than those of smaller less expensive homes. As the stakes get higher, the need for certainty increases exponentially. A buyer walking into an empty home, or into a home that is poorly designed, is less inclined to fall in love with that home. Conversely, a buyer walking into an exquisitely appointed home is much more likely to be positively motivated.
In a 2018 survey conducted by Home Staging Resource, the largest such survey ever undertaken on home staging, the results are clear. The difference between professionally staged homes compared to neighbors unstaged homes greatly favors staging. There was a DIRECT correlation between the stagers who charged a bit more and the homes that got the best results in price! In other words, you get what you pay for when it comes to “staging investment”. [Homeowners and realtors who think they are saving money by not investing in the costs associated with staging their properties, are in actuality, losing money.
The evidence is clear. Home staging is an effective, practical strategy for getting the best possible results when selling a home. Home values differ greatly, but one thing is certain; the more invested you are in selling a home, the more likely you are to maximize your home’s selling price. For high value homes, where buyers tend to be more discerning, it is essential to get it right the first time. Buyers are always suspicious of homes that have lingered on the market too long. A quick sale is almost always better than a long drawn out sale. Of course there are exceptions, but a property that stays on the market for a long time carries a lot of baggage, even if it is in perfect condition. Home staging is the path to an easier, stress free sale.
Nar 2019 profile of Home Staging, March 2019