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Staged Homes Sell Faster

By HOM Editor
October 2017

Staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market.

Selling your home is not an easy process. In fact, it’s harder than most people think. But there are ways to making it easier, and one of those ways is staging your home.

It’s a tactic that more and more homeowners are starting to take either on their own accord or through the recommendation of a REALTOR® – and it’s proving to be effective.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homes that are staged are selling faster and at higher prices than those that are not staged.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

According to the report, nearly two-thirds of sellers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market. Sixteen percent of sellers’ agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home’s time on the market.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 40 percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online.

Where things get interesting is that 38 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging positively affects a home’s value if the home is decorated to the buyer’s taste, meaning that a home’s staging should be designed to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

That’s interesting because potential buyers may not have the same tastes as the current homeowner, and as such the current style inside the home may not mesh with that of a majority of buyers.

Which is what makes home staging its own cottage industry.

“Although 25% of sellers pay for the staging themselves before listing their home, 21% of REALTORS® offer to stage the home,” said Jessica Lautz, managing director of surveys, research and communications in NAR’s Research Division. “Additionally, 14% of REALTORS® offer a home-staging service and 8% hire a professional home staging service.”

And those numbers are creeping up higher and higher each year.

“You want the house to feel comfortable and welcoming when people walk through the door,” Lautz said. “Our members suggest decluttering the home and a full cleaning – including carpet cleaning if you have carpets. Also removing pets, and that minor repairs are taken care of. If you have that drippy faucet, a potential homebuyer will notice it.”

More home buyers are doing all their research online before going to see a home.Click To Tweet

More buyers are doing all their research online before going to see a home, so how it looks online will dictate whether they are interested in a particular home or not.

The living room is the most important room, according to the study, to stage, followed by the kitchen and the master bedroom.

Some agents are even staging areas of homes if they are unique to the property – like an enclosed deck or a pool area.

And even a new kind of staging is starting to exist – virtual staging.

That’s right, using simple Photoshop tools, a Realtor is able to decorate an empty home digitally and present those photos online for potential buyers. It’s become such an savvy tool, that the REALTOR® personalize a home for multiple buyers and make it look different for each based on preferences – even though the home is, in reality, empty.

“It’s easier to visualize yourself as that future homeowner and you are willing to walk through that home you saw online,” Lautz said. “And you don’t even have to physically bring in furniture and what not to take pictures.”

It kind of equates to the old adage about book covers – if it’s appealing while the consumer is browsing, they are more likely to pick up the book to learn more about it, and once a book is in a consumer’s hand, they are more likely to buy it.

And when it’s staged, buy it, they are.

The highest share of buyers’ agents, 31 percent, reported that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1 to 5 percent. Thirteen percent said that staging increases the dollar value 6 to 10 percent.

Sellers’ agents report even more value is added from staging: 29 percent reported an increase of one to five percent in dollar value offered by buyers, 21 percent reporting an increase of 8 to 10 percent, and 5 percent reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent.

“We’ve been getting so many questions from members about the value of home-staging, which is why we did this study a second time,” Lautz said. “What I think is going on is that a lot of homebuyers not only look at homes online, but they are also watching shows on TV and have different expectations when they go into a home than what is mostly out there on the market.

“So, home staging has become much more popular with T.V. shows that are about home ownership and purchasing a home.”

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