The Power of Staging
There’s no question of the correlation between days on market (DOM) and the percentage of list price for which a property sells. The data prove homes that sell faster also sell for closer to, if not more than, the asking price. The first step to reduce days on market is for agents develop a deep understanding of the local market in order to expertly price property, and the second step is staging.
In NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Staging, staged homes sold for 17% more than comparable properties unstaged. The power of staging starts by increasing buyer awareness online where it makes your listing photos stand out in a sea of white and beige walls. When the home shows, staging accentuates its best features and proves its potential and livability.
An “unpolished” property will perform poorer than one with completed cosmetic repairs and an introduction into the MLS with professionals photos. The fewer days a property spends on the market, the less the need for a price reduction. That’s a win-win for agents and homeowners!
It’s a common misperception that only “luxury” properties deserve to be staged, and, on the flip side, many agents use staging as a last resort for “difficult to sell” properties. What we do know is that list price does not change the effects of staging–it works regardless of price. By flipping these ideas on their heads, agents can positively impact their personal DOM statistics and increase their sellers’ satisfaction with faster sales.
What about virtual staging? Yes, virtual staging will increase your listing’s initial interest. However, what’s worse than a bad first impression is a false impression. A virtually staged space can be in sharp contrast to what the space looks like in-person. It’s best to err on the side of “less is more” and include in the description that it is virtually staged to avoid buyers feeling baited and switched when the property is shown.
Enlist the help of a professional, or at least educate yourself on the science and psychology of staging. Yes, it is a studied, established, and scientific topic of conversation explored by experts in many books, and articles on the topic are abundant online.
Speak with several home stagers to find an approach and offer packages that work best for you and your client. Not all charge the same, and according to NAR’s study, 27% of staged properties were paid for by an “other arrangement.” Staging is an investment with proven ROI, so be open and collaborative with your clients to find a solution. Everyone wins!
Rooms to prioritize: Living, Kitchen, and Master