Over half of estate agents in the US back staging a home before putting it on the market

Staging a home when putting it on the market reduces the time it takes to sell and may help it to sell for more, according to real estate agents in the United States.

Some 62% said it helps buyers to imagine themselves living in the property if it is decluttered and nicely presented, according to the latest research from the National Association of Realtors.

‘While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher value, said William Brown, NAR president.

According to the research nearly two-thirds of sellers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market, with 39% saying that it greatly decreases the time and 23% saying it slightly decreases the time.

It also found that 16% of sellers’ agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home’s time on the market, while 8% believe that it has no impact.

Meanwhile, 77% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualise the property as their future home and 40% are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online.

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

But 49% of buyers’ agents said that staging has an effect on most buyers and another 48% stated that staging has an effect on some buyers’ opinion of a home, but not always, and only 4% said that it has no impact on buyers.

Agents representing both buyers and sellers agreed that the living room is the most important room in a home 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%, reported that staging a home increases its value by 1% to 5%, some 13% said that staging increases the value 6% to 10% while 25% stated it has no impact on value. Only 1% of buyers’ agents felt that staging has a negative impact on a home’s value.

Sellers’ agents report even more value is added from staging. Some 29% reported an increase of 1% to 5% in value offered by buyers, 21% an increase of 8% to 10% and 5% reported an increase of 11% to 15%. No sellers’ agents reported a negative impact.

When deciding which homes to stage, 38% of sellers’ agents said that they stage all of their sellers’ homes before listing them, 14% will stage only homes that are difficult to sell and 7% stage only homes in higher price brackets.

The research also shows that 37% 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% of the time the seller pays before listing the home while 21% of sellers’ agents will personally provide funds to stage the home and 14% of agents will offer home staging services to sellers.

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

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