To Stage or Not to Stage

I have been consistently asked about staging and its benefits. I can’t even explain in words how much of difference it makes. Lately, I have walked through some “stone cold houses”. What I mean is that either a builder or flipper tried their best to build a nice family home but failed to sell. In this market seeing an expired listing is rare, especially a well priced listing.

One example is that I have seen a brand new build on Rathburn Rd, and it was perfect in every sense. While all the other houses in the area sold, some even at a better price and less perceived value that that particular house. I tried to figure out what was the case behind this, why it wasn’t moving.

Trying to figure this out was a bit of a boondoggle, but I really blame the expired listing on staging. The house felt a little undefined. It was an open concept build, the kitchen was merged into the living and there was no definition. The master bedroom was not clearly defined and in some cases the little things matter, the house was not turned into home. This is where, I have to recite the benefits of staging.

Staging a home is beneficial in most scenarios. In most cases it can be done with the existing layout and furniture. Even a couple linens and drapery can make the biggest difference. Showcasing the home to the fullest potential will build on its strengths and minimize its weakness. Showing the best use of space is another benefit that potential buyers can realize by easily seeing how they can fit in that space.

Here are a few studies that show the difference between the two.

Coldwell Banker Survey (2722 homes in 8 cities); Staged homes sold twice as fast as un-staged homes

National Association of Realtors Survey; Homes that sold after 4 weeks on the market sold for 6% less than those sold in the first 4 weeks

Maritz Survey –> 63% of buyers will pay more for a move-in-ready house

2008 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers –> 87% of all home buyers and 94% aged 25 – 44 use the internet to search for a property

National Association of Realtors –> 98% of buyers said photos were among the most useful features of real estate websites

Its pretty obvious the difference simple staging can make, but it should be a viable option in our books as Realtors. In that at case with the house on Rathburn, I can guarantee that the seller gained a few gray hairs because of this.


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