To Stage or Not to Stage? Real Estate Study Split on Effectiveness of Traditional Marketing

February 14th, 2014 – in home design real estate marketing

New research indicates that staging homes might not be as important as experts once thought. However, for many Real Estate professionals, these findings are hard to believe. After watching popular television shows like, “Love it or List it” and “The Stagers” on HGTV, it's obvious for anyone to see how much more pleasant a staged home is to behold.

Additionally, according to the Association of Home Staging Professionals, 95 percent of all staged homes sell in 11 or fewer days — typically for 17 percent more money. In comparison, the association found that non-staged homes can take up to 90 days or more to sell.

A professor at William and Mary's College of Real Estate and Finance, along with other researchers at John's Hopkins and Old Dominion University, studied 820 participants who were planning to buy a home in the near future. Participants looked at six professionally rendered, virtual house tours. Researchers asked participants to state how much they would pay for the homes. The value of each home was around $200,000 and all participants said they would pay about $204,000 for each, despite tacky wall colors like purple and terrible furniture style choices.

Researchers admitted that good staging might influence a buyer's “overall impression” of a property. They also conceded that their study could not show whether staged homes would sell faster than the non-staged homes. They could only say that they felt staging does not increase the amount of money a real world buyer will pay for a property.

Should You Change Your Sales Strategies?

Though these findings are interesting, it's probably not a good idea to quit staging your properties just yet. Many professionals still find, based on personal experience, that staging is a very effective marketing tool. Many find that staging a property works to increase sales for four reasons.

  1. Staged homes encourage emotional buying. They help buyers connect to a property personally and emotionally.
  2. Agents feel that staged homes have a higher perceived value and will sell for more.
  3. Many shoppers respond best to visual stimulation — about 65 percent of the world's population are visual learners.
  4. Staging doesn't really cost a lot of money — only time — so why not do it?

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section, below.

Author: James Ibanez