ORLANDO, Fla. – If “all the world’s a stage,” as Shakespeare said, then a home is fertile ground for staging, too – and it can help sell that home, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
The survey, NAR’s 2019 Profile of Home Staging, found that 83 percent of buyers’ agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home. What is staging, exactly? It’s the practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in a way that enhances its attractiveness to potential buyers. Fans of many homebuying and selling TV shows on HGTV or DIY networks are familiar with staging, how it works and ups the home’s appeal to potential buyers.
More than half of sellers’ real estate agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, with 25 percent saying that it greatly decreases the time and 28 percent saying it slightly decreases the time, the report said.
TV’s impact on homebuyers
The report contains a new section called “Buyer Expectations,” which focuses on how home buying television shows impact Realtors’ businesses and how they’ve changed homebuyers’ views about the home buying process.
While 38 percent of respondents say that television shows on the home buying process have had an impact on their business, 32 percent witnessed no impact and 31 percent do not know if they have an impact.
The report found that 20 percent of buyers were disappointed by how “real” homes look compared to homes they saw on television shows; 39 percent of respondents found the home buying process more difficult than they expected; and 10 percent of respondents say that buyers felt homes should look the way they do when staged on TV shows.
Only 6 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging had no impact on buyers, while 40 percent said staging has an effect and 52 percent said staging affects some buyers.
Staging’s impact on the home sale
Buyers’ agents say that the living room is the most important room to stage (47 percent). The next most important are the master bedroom (42 percent) and then the kitchen (35 percent). Sellers agents agree but in reverse order. The guest bedroom is considered least important.
Forty-four percent of buyers’ agents report that staging increased the financial offer on a home; 25 percent say it increases its dollar value by 1 to 5 percent, and 12 percent said it increases the dollar value 6 to 10 percent. But 29 percent of buyers’ agents say it has no impact on dollar value. Only 1 percent of buyers’ agents felt it has a negative impact.
Sellers’ agents report even more value added from staging: 22 percent reported an increase of 1 to 5 percent in dollar value; 17 percent reported an increase of 6 to 10 percent; 5 percent reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent; and 2 percent reported an increase of 16 to 20 percent.
No sellers’ agents reported a negative impact from home staging.
When deciding which homes to stage, 28 percent of sellers’ agents say they stage all of their clients’ homes before listing them, while 45 do not stage homes before listing them, though they do recommend that sellers declutter their homes and fix any faults within the property. Another 13 percent said they stage only difficult-to-sell homes, and 7 percent stage only homes in higher price brackets.
Who pays for the home staging? The seller pays before listing the home 18 percent of the time, while sellers’ agents personally provide funds in 26 percent of cases; 17 percent of the time, agents will offer home staging services.
In addition to staging, 95 percent of agents recommend decluttering the home, 89 percent recommend an entire home cleaning and 83 percent recommend removing pets from the home during showings. Other pre-sale projects include carpet cleaning, depersonalizing the home and making minor repairs.