To Stage or Not to Stage? How TV Shows Have Set the Bar
Is your listing camera ready?
TV shows about home design and remodeling are having an influence on buyers’ perceptions of what homes for sale should look like, according to an NAR survey.
Sixty-eight percent of REALTORS®, according to the2021 Profile of Home Staging,said their buyers were disappointed by how homes appeared compared with those seen on TV shows.
But as some TV design shows lead house hunters to have unrealistic expectations when they go to view homes for sale, as a REALTOR®, you have the option of making your listing camera ready–by staging the property.
“The magic of television can make a home transformation look like it happened in a quick 60-minute time frame, which is an unrealistic standard,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. That said, these shows can also help educate some home buyers and sellers about the sales process.
Staged homes can sell faster and for more money, but just over half of listing agents said that they don’t stage homes.
NAR’s biennial survey found that 23% of buyer’s agents said that home staging raised the dollar value offered between 1% and 5%, compared with similar homes on the market that hadn’t been staged.
Similarly, 23% of seller’s agents also reported a 1% to 5% increase on offers for their staged homes. Eighteen percent of seller’s agents reported even more—offers that were 6% to 10% more for staged homes.
Home staging greatly decreased the amount of time a home spent on the market. Some agents, about 21%, said they only stage listings that are difficult to sell or listings in a high price bracket.
While 53% said they don’t stage homes at all, most of those do suggest that the seller declutter and/or fix property faults.
Benefit to Buyers
On the other side of the transaction, 2% of buyer agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. Just under half of buyer agents believe that staging a home increased the dollar value offered.
As more buyers peruse listings online, they are placing more weight on photos, virtual tours, and videos. Staged homes may get even more attention.
Just over a quarter said TV shows result in more educated homebuyers and sellers.
“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”
Most Important Rooms to Stage
The most important rooms in the house to stage, according to more than half of real estate pros surveyed: living rooms, kitchens, primary bedrooms, and dining rooms. Also, 39% of real estate professionals said staging a home office or office space has become more important since the pandemic.
“At the start of the pandemic … buyers had to rely on photos and virtual tours in search of their dream home,” Lautz said. “These features become even more important as housing inventory is limited and buyers need to plan their in-person tours strategically.”
Of those listing agents who stage, half used a staging service while 26% personally offered to stage the home. When using a staging service the median cost was $1,500 compared to a median $300 when the listing agent personally staged the home.
Said President Oppler: “I would advise buyers and sellers alike that before house hunting or before listing, they connect with a trusted REALTOR® to get a reasonable sense of what’s out there and an idea of what to expect.”