NAR® Profile on Home Staging: Dispelling the Myth
This is not the bible for staging results
March 2019 The National Association of Realtors® released a survey they had conducted with their members about the effect staging had on the sale of real estate.
Buyer agents were the highest respondents (57%) and favored staging services over selling agents. Eighty three percent of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future home. To me this is a significant result as these agents specialize in showing property to potential buyers and hear firsthand the response it evokes. Yet only 38% said buyers were more willing to walk thorough a property they had seen online, and buyer agents identified that staging would positively impact the property value if the house décor appealed to the buyer’s taste.
I find it fascinating only 25% said that staging increased the dollar value offered between 1-5% compared to other properties that were not staged. AND 29% indicated it had no impact. Yet everyday stager’s who do this work for a living and show you results where the sale price was significantly more than asking. Perhaps the root cause here is who is doing the staging and to what degree the staging was done.
Only 28% of seller agents said they staged all sellers homes prior to listing them for sale. 7% of agents said they only staged high value properties 13% said they only staged the difficult to sell ones and a whopping 45% said they didn’t stage prior to listing but did suggest the sellers “declutter” and fix faults. SHAME, truly if you are honoring your fiduciary responsibility you owe every client the opportunity to secure the highest return on investment. EVERY property owner needs to be made aware that staging can bring incredible results; honoring the seller by letting them have the time to secure the most equity possible prior to starting the marketing process, means no photos, no broker tours, no coming soon signs absolutely no one sees the property until it is ready.
The point real estate agents need to process is that staging is the single most powerful marketing service when conducted well it has measurable value.
NAR® survey in 2018 stated 90% of people cannot visualize how space can look so are the real estate agents doing their own staging falling into that category? I think the problem is perception that staging isn’t necessary, we have sold property for years without it, a little bit is good enough and “the buyer will want their own changes” are all weak and defenseless concepts that have no place in today real estate world.
It was a common response that seller agents personally staged property for the client. Bless their hearts they think they are helping their client, but a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. WE have seen disastrous “stagent” work. If you are telling your client to “de-clutter” (a stager would never say that word BTW), clean the house, remove pets, cut the grass, clean carpets you have to know that is NOT staging. 58% of respondents said they were not influenced to stage property as they would see on TV. Shake head- do you know that over 40% of stager business comes directly to them from a seller!
The median respondent was a female, 55yrs with 12 years (47% 50-64) & 20% over 65 no disrespect but I think this is significant. “we have always done what we do they way we do it and there is no need to change.”
Real estate is usually the highest “wealth” a person has, helping the seller of property keep as much of the equity earned is a vital step in being an awesome agent who will be referred over and over. Staging is a serious responsibility; it should not be undervalued, mis-understood or blown off as frivolous. Done well it involves a systematic methodology which includes skills, knowledge and abilities of real estate, economics, property renovations & creative design principles all married to a plan to secure a buyer. Agents and Sellers need stagers who bring all of this and more to every listing. CSP® graduates have actual experience, their skills have been measured. The CSP logo on their work is an endorsement of their integrity, knowledge and technical competency. A great staging partner will strengthen and support an agent’s reputation.
Cheap staging isn’t good and Great staging isn’t cheap
(it is an investment to get the property sold for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time.
Real estate agents don’t do home inspection why would they take on staging? For all of us to work together well and respectfully real estate agents shouldn’t be involved in the staging process, they shouldn’t pay for the service either. They can direct some of their marketing budget to the consultation if they are not compromising what the seller is told. They should be 100% focused on securing a buyer- focused on marketing and prospecting for buyers of the property and leave the staging to professionals who are trained to target the buyer most likely to purchase.
Photo courtesy of Phyllis Parfuma