Real Estate Staging - It's Not Chocolate Chip Cookies and Candy Anymore
Contributed by Shell Brodnax, CEO Real Estate Staging Association (RESA)
of real estate agents asking homeowners to tidy up when they sell their home is
not new. The days of agents asking
sellers to clean up, bake some cookies and set out some candles are a thing of
the past. What started out as common sense practices when selling a home has
turned into what we now call real estate staging.
staging first started, it consisted of simple de-cluttering, removing personal
items and photos and moving around your furniture in occupied homes. A vacant
property was staged by using just enough furniture to give the appearance the
rooms were large and spacious. The concept of appealing to the masses rather
than figuring out the buyer’s demographics were paired with vanilla walls and
estate staging has evolved over the last ten years into a legitimate profession
and is the number one marketing tool used to sell property.
the emergence of TV shows on HGTV, featuring staging, flipping and selling
homes; agents have realized they can’t do it all anymore. Sellers are better
educated and buyers are savvier and know they can hold out to find exactly what
are realizing it’s in their best interest and their client’s best interest to
work with a professional stager rather than simply giving some “tips” to get
the property prepared for market. Professional stagers have an unbiased eye and
are able to prepare a plan to properly “market” the property. Professional
stagers focus on the demographic of the buyers and they create a marketing plan
specific for the property and the buyers in mind.
has evolved from the vanilla basics to well crafted beautiful spaces that leave
the buyer wanting to move in. Staging is more than just de-cluttering and
removing personal items. Furniture and color are now used to show off space and
architectural features. Stagers understand the importance of upgrading appliances,
fixtures, floors, paint etc. While staging is not decorating, this doesn’t mean
that a property shouldn’t have the look and feel of a beautifully designed
room. Staging design aspects have
been taken to a new level. The old “less is more” theory doesn’t cut it with
today’s buyers. Buyers want their dream home and it’s a stager’s job to design
the home with that in mind. Staging
has gone from carrying a few accessories in the back of an SUV, to arriving
with a moving truck full of furniture and art that transforms a plain property
into a beautifully showcased move-in ready home.
the evolution of staging, agents have realized there is no way they can bring
the same value or resources to the table as a professional stager. Agents do
not have time to develop relationships with furniture rental companies and they
are not going to buy a warehouse full of furniture and buy a box truck to
transport the furniture to stage their client’s homes. Stagers do this as a
profession and are fully equipped to stage the property.
more agents are focusing on developing relationships with a stager. Finding
that one stager that an agent can rely on and work with on a regular basis is
priceless. They are relying on their stagers to hell them sell more properties.
Agents sometimes bring their stagers to listing presentations so they can show
their clients everything they bring to the table. Stagers work with agents to develop the marketing plan for
the property and agents can focus more on getting the property sold and get the
best price and contract for their clients.
just because agents are getting staging, it doesn’t mean that homeowners are
always willing to make the initial investment in staging their property. While
HGTV has done an amazing job at peaking homeowner’s interest in staging,
statistics and cold hard facts seal the deal and get homeowners on board.
Real Estate Staging Association® conducted a study of 410 staged properties
across North America and the results are proof positive that staging works.
The study includes the following:
87 vacant homes (not
staged) previously on the market an average of 277 days unsold. Those
homeowners had their properties staged. Those same homes sold in 63 days on
average after staging. This is 78% less time on the market.
39 occupied homes (not
staged) previously on the market an average of 233 days unsold. Those
homeowners had their properties staged. Those same homes sold in 53 days on
average after staging. This is 78% less time on the market.
126 vacant and occupied
homes (not staged) previously on the market an average of 263 days unsold.
Those same homes were staged and sold in 60 days on average after staging. This
is 78% less time on the market.
284 vacant and occupied homes that were staged before they
went on the market and sold in 40.5 days on average after staging.
167 occupied homes
that were staged before they went on the market. These homes sold in 39 days
on average after staging.
117 vacant homes
that were staged before they went on the market. These homes sold in 42 days
on average after staging
With this data agents can
explain the benefits of staging to their clients with cold hard facts. Agents
and stagers can now give a formula to homeowners so they can figure out how
much money they will save or lose by staging or not staging.
The RESA study shows 126
homeowners had their property on the market on average of 263 days before they
decided to take it off the market and stage. 263 days = 9 months!!!
The RESA ® study also shows
284 homes that were staged before they went on the market and they sold on
average in 40.5 days. This is
approximately 223 days less time on the market. 223 days = 7 months
As an example, using this formula you can determine approximately how
much money you will continue to spend while your home is on the market
If your mortgage is: $1800.00
If your direct
expenses are: $300.00
Total carrying cost
per month: $2,100.00
Our study shows home owners
had their property on the market for an average of 9 months. $2,100.00 X 9
months = $18,900.00 in expenses.
Had those homeowners
staged first, their time on market would have been cut by 223 days on average
(7 months). $2,100.00 x 7 months= $14,700.00
Staging their homes
first would have saved them $ 14,700.00.
These numbers are all
relative to individual mortgage and expenses. Use this simple formula to
determine how much you will save by staging your home or listing before putting
it on the market:
Mortgage + expenses
(utilities etc.) = Monthly expenses
Monthly expenses X 9
months (avg. time un-staged) = Cost to list house un-staged
Savings: Expenses x 7
months (average time on market reduced) – staging fee = Savings if you stage
your house first!
If you have a price
reduction you can also add that into the loss you are taking by listing a
Homeowners can now invest in staging and protect
the equity in their property in addition to reducing the time on the market. Staging
your property before you go on the market is a great business decision and
ultimately saves you dollars and gets you from listed to SOLD faster.