Staging a home that is for sale is one of the smartest decisions a seller can make. Home staging can turn a cold and lifeless looking property into a warm and inviting home in the potential buyer's mind.
There is a fine line between enhancement and camouflage, and staging houses for sale -- like dressing up people -- lies somewhere in between. In good staging, the best features of the house are maximized, and the worst are minimized. Staging a house is presenting the dream, showing it the way it could be. That's what dreams are made of, and the relatively recent phenomenon of staging homes for sale has proven that actualizing that dream has merit, both for buyers and sellers.
Some sellers are reluctant to spend the money on home staging, but that is usually short-sighted. Study after study has shown that the increase in the purchase price of staged homes far more than covers the cost of staging. In addition, staged homes usually sell much faster, and with more satisfied buyers.
The following statistics indicate how much: suspected that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price than those that are not staged. Wanting to test that theory, analyzed 2,800 properties sold in 1999, in eight California cities: Atherton, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Portola Valley and Sunnyvale. Out of that group, a sample of 130 properties that had been staged. This sample represented condominiums, townhouses and single-family residences. They ranged in list price from $230,000 to $5 million.
The following results show marked differences between the sample of staged homes and the total group, which consisted of both staged and unstaged properties. For the group of 2,800 properties, the average number of days on the market was 30, and the average difference in sales price over list price was 1.6%.
For the sample of staged homes, the average number of days on the market was about half of the time for houses in the general sample. The average difference in selling price over list price was 6.3%, nearly four times as much as for the other group of homes. Please note: the staged sample was not skewed by one or two outstanding properties. The homes in the sample were fairly similar in terms of days on the market and net sales difference.