Does home staging help? Most Realtors say ‘yes’
Thursday, January 29th 2015 12:50 pm

Does home staging help? Most Realtors say yes

WASHINGTON Jan. 28, 2015 Most homeowners know it's important to keep a home clean and free from clutter while it's on the market, but does staging the home increase the final selling price or offer other benefits, such as more interest buyers willing to tour the property?

According to most Realtors surveyed for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2015 Profile of Home Staging, it does.

"At a minimum, homeowners (listing their property) should conduct a thorough cleaning, haul out clutter, make sure the home is well-lit and fix any major aesthetic issues," says NAR President Chris Polychron. But "another option is staging a home, which Realtors often suggest to help prospective buyers better visualize themselves in the home." Polychron says it could also modestly increase the home's value.

NAR's first-ever staging report found that 49 percent of surveyed Realtors who work with buyers believe staging "usually" has an effect on the buyer's view of the home; 47 percent believe it "sometimes" has an impact; and only 4 percent said it has "no impact."

Realtors on the buyer side believe that staging makes an impact in several ways:

  • 81 percent said staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home
  • 46 percent said it makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online
  • 45 percent said a home decorated to a buyer's tastes positively impacts its value
  • 10 percent, however, said a home decorated against a buyer's tastes could negatively impact the home's value

On the seller side, a majority of Realtors use staging as a tool at least sometime:

  • 34 percent say they stage all homes
  • 13 percent tend to stage only homes that are difficult to sell
  • 4 percent only stage higher-priced homes.

The median cost spent on staging a home is $675. Sixty-two percent of Realtors representing sellers say they offer home staging as a service to sellers, while 39 percent say the seller pays before listing the home.

Realtors representing both buyers and sellers agreed on two major points covered 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 No. 1 room to stage, followed by a kitchen. Rounding out the top five rooms were the master bedroom, dining room and the bathroom.

Realtors believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home (37 percent from Realtors representing sellers and 32 percent from Realtors representing buyers). Additionally, 22 percent of Realtors representing sellers and 16 percent of Realtors representing buyers said the increase is closer to 6 to 10 percent.

"Working with a Realtor gives buyers, sellers and investors the advantage they need to succeed in today's market, as they know what buyers want and how to best market and stage a home for sale," Polychron said. "While many factors play into what a home is worth and what buyers are willing to pay for it, staging is an excellent tool that can be used to give a home a little extra push for sellers," says Polychron. "Staging isn't used by every Realtor in every situation, but the impact it may have is clear to both home buyers and sellers."

NAR's 2015 Profile of Home Staging is available online at NAR's website.