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NAR study: Home Staging Decreases Time on Market

Staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.

By Toby Tobin

WASHINGTON – July 7, 2017 – Sixty-two percent of sellers' agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Staging.

"Realtors know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR's most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers," says NAR President William E. Brown. "While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value."

Sellers' agents

According to the report, which is in its second iteration, nearly two-thirds of sellers' agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market: 39 percent say it greatly decreases the time, and 23 percent saying it slightly decreases the time. On the flipside, 16 percent of sellers' agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home's time on the market, and 8 percent believe that it has no impact.

Buyers' agents

Seventy-seven percent of buyers' agents said that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 40 percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online.

However, 38 percent of buyers' agents said that staging positively affects a home's value if the home is decorated to the buyer's taste, suggesting that staging should be designed to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

Almost half (49 percent) of the buyers' agents said that staging has an effect on most buyers. Another 48 percent stated that staging has an effect on some buyers' opinion but not always, and 4 percent said that it has no impact on buyers.

Dual agents

Realtors representing both buyers and sellers agreed that the living room is the most important room to stage, followed by the master bedroom, the kitchen, and then the yard or outdoor space. The guest bedroom is considered the least important room to stage.

The highest share of buyers' agents, 31 percent, reported that staging increases a home's dollar value by 1 to 5 percent; 13 percent said that staging increases the dollar value 6 to 10 percent; and 25 percent said it has no impact on dollar value. Only 1 percent of buyers' agents felt that staging has a negative impact on a home's dollar value.

Sellers' agents report even more value is added from staging: 29 percent reported an increase of 1 to 5 percent in dollar value offered by buyers; 21 percent reporting an increase of 8 to 10 percent; and 5 percent reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent. No sellers' agents reported a negative impact.

To stage or not to stage?

When deciding which homes to stage, 38 percent of sellers' agents said that they stage all of their sellers' homes before listing them, 14 percent will stage only homes that are difficult to sell, and 7 percent stage only homes in higher price brackets. Thirty-seven percent of sellers' agents said they do not stage homes before listing them, but they recommend sellers declutter their homes and fix any faults with the property.

When it comes to paying for home staging, 25 percent of the time, the seller pays before listing the home; 21 percent of sellers' agents personally provide funds to stage the home, and 14 percent of agents offer home staging services to sellers.

Beyond staging, agents also named the most common home improvement projects they recommend to sellers: 93 percent recommend decluttering the home, 89 percent recommend an entire home cleaning, and 81 percent recommend carpet cleaning. Other pre-sale projects include depersonalizing the home, removing pets during showings and making minor repairs.

© 2017 Florida Realtors. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.