It's true: American's are the ultimate, discriminating consumers — and homebuyers are no different. Sellers must take a page out of the retail playbook and merchandise their property so it competes well with other homes for sale. What does does this entail?
It means that you'll need to transform your property from being "explicitly yours" to "implicitly theirs." Depersonalizing, eliminating clutter and odors, neutralizing colors, arranging furniture attractively, creating a sense of space and purpose in each room... all are important ingredients to help create an emotional connection with those prospective buyers.
As the video below illustrates, the case in favor of home staging is very compelling:
- Most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 7-10 seconds of arriving.
- Over 90% of buyers look at homes they've found on the Internet. It is critical that your home makes a strong first impression online. Staging will help you do just that.
- A staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than a home that is not staged. (Source: US Housing and Urban Development).
In her article, Home Staging Facts and Statistics, Kristen DiNobile compiles some important considerations:
Most buyers form an opinion about a home within the first 7-10 seconds of arriving.
Over 90% of buyers look at homes they've found on the Internet. It is critical that your home makes a strong first impression online. Staging will help you do just that.
A staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than a home that is not staged. (US Housing and Urban Development)
Sellers who spent $500 on staging recovered over 343% of the cost when they sold their home. (Homegain.com)
In controlled tests selling identical homes, professionally staged vs. those not staged, the non-staged houses sold in 102 days, while the staged houses sold in 45 days. (Real Estate Staging Association)
It is estimated that only 10% of home buyers can visualize the potential of a home. That means 90% are not going to be able to look past dirt, clutter, and imperfections.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average staging investment is between 1 and 3% of the home's asking price, which generates a return of 8 to 10%. That's a pretty good investment.
In a 2009 Home Gain Survey of over 2,000 Realtors, it was discovered that home staging typically provides a 586% return on investment.
According to a 2011 study by HomeGain.com, these are some top updates you can make to prepare your home for sale that will result in the greatest return on your investment:
- Clean and declutter: 872%
- Lighten & brighten: 572%
- Landscaping (both front and back): 473%
- Paint interior: 250%
- Update kitchen: 237%
- Update bathroom: 172%
Staged homes spent 83% less time on the market than non-staged homes. (HomeGain.com)
Duke University conducted a survey to determine the importance people place on certain staging principles. In other words, they stated how important they felt these principles were when staging a home. The participants rated the principles on a scale of 1-7. These are just a few:
- Remove personal items: 6.5
- Use rooms for intended purposes: 6.49
- Remove evidence of pets: 6.48
- Turn on all the lights during showings: 6.39
- Show homes furnished (as opposed to empty): 6.39
- Remove personal photographs: 6.02
- Surprisingly, these items rated very low on the survey:
- Have cookies baking in the oven: 2.60
- Use scented candles, potpourri, etc: 3.63
For full results, you can download a PDF of the study.