As Austin Realtors, we’re often asked if staging is effective in getting sellers more money for their homes in Austin. Working with home buyers in Austin everyday, I can unequivocally say staging has an affect on how much a buyer likes a particular home. To confirm and quantify my experience (with a much bigger sample set), NAR recently released the 2015 Profile of Home Staging. The report gives some interesting insights for sellers considering spending time and/or money on staging.
What Staging is Not
Some sellers are hesitant about staging because they watch HGTV and see a stager who comes in and pretty much re-designs and decorates a house for thousands of dollars. Though that can work in certain situations and price ranges, that’s not what we mean when we talk about staging.
What is Staging?
Staging is, in essence, de-personalizing your home so the potential buyer can visualize themselves living in it. Many people can do this with their existing furniture. Most people only need to buy a few things to add to their collection.
The Secret Sauce of Staging
The majority of the staging magic comes by de-cluttering, removing highly personal items like family photos. You don’t want to give the buyer the impression they are walking into your home. You want them to feel like it could be their new home. Generic decor in a minimal setting is the best way to accomplish the results you’re looking for.
Why Stage a Home?
If you were going to sell your car, you’d probably get it detailed. You know when your car looks it’s best, you’ll get the most money for it. The reason for staging your home is the same – to get more money for it. Here are some stats to back that up.
96% of Buyer’s Agents said Buyers were at least Somewhat Affected by Staging
I can confirm this figure. Nearly every single buyer I’ve worked with has had a more positive opinion about a staged house than either a vacant house or a house where the seller has spent absolutely zero time preparing the house to sell.
81% of Buyers said the Property was Easier to Visualize as a Future Home
Many buyers have a hard time visualizing how to arrange furniture in an empty house. I’ve had several clients who have ruled out a vacant house that I know would work for them, simply because they didn’t think their furniture would fit. Vacant houses look so much smaller than homes with furniture and once a buyer gets in their head it is too small, there is no coming back from that.
The same is true for very personalized homes. When you walk through a shrine of the family that lives there, most buyers feel like they are snooping in someone else’s home. Though it is still your home, you want to remember how much it could mean to your bottom line if you treat it like it is someone else’s.
46% of Buyers were more Willing to Walk Through a Home they Viewed Online
The first showing happens online. If a buyer sees brilliant photos of a well staged, well lit home, they are 46% more likely to call their agent and say they have to get into it ASAP.
45% of Buyers said Staging will Positively Impact the Value of Home if it is Decorated to their Taste
If you stage very heavily to one taste or another, you run the risk of turning some people off. Things like animal heads from hunting trips are very cool, but there are quite a few people who simply cannot overlook them. Staging in a neutral way can help appeal to the most number of buyers.
28% of Buyers were Willing to Overlook other Property Faults in Staged Homes
This is especially true when a buyer is particularly excited about buying your home. They’re more willing to overlook the busy street or the train track behind the house. If your home is faced with one of these incurable defects, staging is especially important to draw a buyer’s attention in the house, not out of it.
How Much Did Buyer’s Agents think Staging Affected their Clients Offers?
- 32% of buyer’s agents believe staged homes increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by 1-5%
- 19% of buyer’s agents say there is no impact on the dollar value
- 16% of buyer’s agents believe staging increases the dollar value by 6-10%
Though 19% feel there was no impact on the dollar value of their clients offer, that still means 81% of buyer’s agents felt staging had a positive influence on their client’s offer.
How Much Did Seller’s Agents think Staging Affected a Seller’s Bottom Line?
- 37% of seller’s agents believe staged homes increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by 1-5%
- 22% of seller’s agents believe it increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by 6-10%
- 10% of seller’s agents say there is no impact on the dollar value
- 8% of seller’s agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value buyers are willing to pay by 11-15%
Fewer seller’s agents felt staging had no impact than buyer’s agents, which was an interesting finding.
Median Dollar Value Spent on Home Staging
According to this report, the sellers they interviewed spent a median of $675 on staging for their homes. When you consider the return on investment for even a 1% increase in purchase price, those numbers work out well.
Staging Produces the Highest ROI for Sellers
There are very few improvements sellers can make that will have the same ROI as staging. As long as you don’t go overboard, you’ll easily make four times or more what you spent. Our team of home selling experts can help you identify what you can do to maximize your return on investment when staging your home.
Want to Sell Your Austin Home for Top Dollar?
We’ll show you how you can prepare your home to sell to ensure it sells for top dollar. We also have the best home marketing program in Austin that will generate the most interest from qualified buyers. Check out our Austin Home Sellers section to learn more about our team and how our team will get you the most money in the shortest amount of time. When you’re ready to schedule an in home consultation, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Seller Survey.
What’s the Most My Home Could Sell For?
Online real estate portals give you an idea for what your home is worth. Need a more qualified range of what your home is worth in today’s market? Try our Qualified Home Evaluation where one of our home selling specialists will prepare a more detailed analysis with the upper limit of your home’s value.