Realtors: Staging a Home Can Help Sell It Faster and for More Money

Realtors: Staging a Home Can Help Sell It Faster and for More Money
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January 30, 2015

Most homeowners know that it is important to keep a home clean, bright and free from clutter while it is on the market for sale. But sometimes, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), taking the extra step to stage a home can make a huge difference in how a buyer values it and the price a seller might get for it.

According to NAR's 2015 Profile of Home Staging report, 49 percent of surveyed Realtors believe that staging usually has an effect on the buyer's view of the home. Another 47 percent believe that staging only sometimes has an impact, and only 4 percent said that staging has no impact on buyer perceptions.

"Realtors know how important it is to have a home in the best shape possible when showing it to prospective buyers," said NAR President Chris Polychron. "At a minimum, homeowners should conduct a thorough cleaning, haul out clutter, make sure the home is well-lit and fix any major aesthetic issues. Another option is staging a home, which Realtors often suggest to sellers to help prospective buyers better visualize themselves in the home and could modestly increase the home's value for both the buyer and seller."

According to the survey, Realtors that work with buyers believe that staging makes an impact in several ways. Eighty-one percent of Realtors surveyed said that staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home, while 46 percent said it makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online. Forty-five percent said that a home decorated to a buyer's tastes positively impacts its value; however, 10 percent of Realtors said that a home decorated against a buyer's tastes could negatively impact the home's value.

From the seller side, a majority of Realtors utilize staging as a tool in at least some instances. Just over a third of surveyed Realtors (34 percent) said that they utilize staging on all homes, while 13 percent tend to stage only those homes that are more difficult to sell. Another 4 percent said they will do so only for higher priced homes.

Realtors representing both the buyer and seller agreed on two major points in the report—which rooms should be staged and the change in dollar value a buyer is willing to offer for a staged home compared to a similar not-staged home. Realtors ranked the living room as the number one room to stage, followed by a kitchen. Rounding out the top five rooms that should be staged were the master bedroom, dining room and the bathroom.

According to the report, the median cost spent on staging a home today is $675. Realtors believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home, though nearly a quarter of those surveyed said that increase could be as high as 10 percent.