To Stage or Not to Stage?

By Wendy Cole, Senior Editor, REALTOR Magazine®

Home staging seems to be a more important selling tool than ever. Barb Schwartz, author of the new book Staging to Sell: The Secret to Selling Homes in a Down Market, notes that that even in today’s slower housing market, 95% of staged homes sell (on average) in 35 days or less. On the other hand, homes that are not staged take 172 days or more to sell, if they sell at all.

Just wondering if these figures correspond with what you all are finding out there? How critical is staging a property in your market?

Wendy Cole

Wendy Cole is the Editor of REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Those are some pretty amazing numbers! Personally, I have not seen too many customers stage their homes, but I know that a lot of builders do it with great success. I will have to share those statistics with customers from now on though! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Those who “get it” stage and use professional photigraphy.

    Those who don’t… won’t.

  3. ‘Staging’ per say is not the only mix. In our marketing we say it is the 4C’s:
    1) Clean – The house HAS to be clean
    2) Clutter free – Extra stuff must go. If you are not moving it to your next home, give it away
    3) Color – Wild colors, wallpaper, etc., turn buyers off. They see…WORK! Paint your home fresh, “Pottery Barn” neutral colors
    4) Closets – Make them look as big as possible.

    The staging is just the icing on the cake.

    Now, if you are talking vacant homes(new construction OR resale), then that is a whole different story…Staging is valuable and important.

  4. In our market alot of the homes were built in the 90’s and are in need of remodeling. I had a seller spend $50,000 remodeling their kitchen, bathrooms, removing all wallpaper,changing light fixtures and interior door hardware to get rid of the brass. It sold the first week it was on the market. It sold for $657,000 and the 2 homes across the street that had no updating done sold for $100,000 less and took 6 months to sell.
    We find staging to be crucial. I have a listing that continued to get feedback about the great room being too small- we had stagers come in and take out a chair and re-arrange furniture and the size of the room has not been mentioned again. In our market
    staging is very important. Buyers just can’t see beyond a poorly arranged room or someones elses clutter- first impressions are everything!

  5. There’s no question about the fact that staging can improve the probability of selling a property vis-a-vis non-staged homes. However, in the greater Cleveland market about half of all current sales are distressed properties and most of these sales are to first-time buyers looking for the biggest bargain they can get. Under these circumstances, there is a very different cost-benefit ratio at work for the conventional seller.

    Bottom line is if you are working in this area you can’t rely on the fabulous results that our colleagues always seem to be achieving on the coasts.

  6. As a Realtor and owner of a home staging company, I can truthfully say that staging sells homes. The seller has control over fwo factors – the listing price and how the home looks. When the home is priced correctly AND staged by an Accredited Staging Professional, it will sell. I can say that in the Charlotte, NC region, Barb Schwarz’ selling statistics are in line with what’s happening here. Staging is critical to selling your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time.

  7. I believe staging can help get a house sold. But, staging is not the first ingredient needed to make the sale. I am suspect on the statistics that are used to bolster the effectivness of staged vs non-staged houses.

    Getting the house exposed to the target market and pricing are the top two issues in my book. I know all of these elements can work in concert to get the job done. So staging to me is the icing on the cake. Some cakes are OK without icing, if priced to meet the market and with ample exposure.

  8. I am an Accredited Home Staging Professional. I am also a member of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP). I personally work with investors who are buying foreclosures and REO properties. With these properties, staging is crucial due to competing with the high inventory of new homes in our area. When in comes to investment properties, time is money and the reduction of holding cost is important. The staging investment yields a high return and is an important part of reducing the days on market. Why wait? Stage It Now!