These days, every home improvement show on HGTV ends with a perfectly staged home that seems to fly off the market, but is it really worth it?
According to a recent study, there are definitely benefits beyond giving buyers a chance to visualize your homes potential. The Upnest study revealed that buyers stay in a vacant home for an average of 5 minutes but tour a staged one for 40. Additionally, Zillow study revealed that a home incurs a 1% price reduction for every month that it is on the market and according to RESA, homes staged before listing sell 87% faster. Another study by IAHSP found that 95% of staged homes sell within 11 days, compared to 90 days for unstaged ones.
Looking at the data, it seems like staging would be a no-brainer, but not so fast. These studies were done by companies who are invested in promoting the staging industry, and there are certain biases. Comparing staged to unstaged homes doesn’t take into account price differences, repairs, or the market.
Our expert Realtor, Nathan Dart of Dart Homes, cautions that the cost of staging can really add up, so it really only makes sense for homes above a certain price point that are already empty. “It’s hard for buyers to visualize size and functionality, especially since rooms shrink when they are empty. If the home is empty and in a competitive area, it probably makes sense to spend $2000=$5000 on staging to give it that edge”.
For most houses though, Dart says that staging just cuts into profits. “The most important thing a buyer can do to stage their home can be bought for the price of a storage unit – the magic word is DECLUTTERING.” Take practically everything out and you will see a huge return on investment. Take everything off of every surface in your house then think of the rule of three’s. Remove all of the big items and non-essential furniture (I’m looking at your kids table and extra couch shoved in your living room).
Remember that space sells and f your home is filled with your own personal story, there isn’t room for anyone else’s. Thats why the biggest thing you can do to improve the marketability of your home is declutter, clean, and organize- all which have the added benefit of being basically free. Even with the expense of renting a storage unit or pod, it is a small price to pay for a timely sale.