To Stage or Not to Stage? Survey Shows a Gap.

Real estate professionals are divided on the impact of home staging, depending on whether they represent buyers or sellers, a recent survey found. But they can all agree on which rooms are the most important to trick out when preparing a home for sale.staged_home

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Profile of Home Staging, 96 percent of surveyed real estate professionals who primarily work with buyers believe that staging a property makes an impact on most or some their clientele, while only 4 percent think it has no effect whatsoever.

On the flip side of the coin, 51 percent of real estate professionals who mostly represent sellers would recommend that all or some of their clients – including those with high-priced or difficult-to-sell homes – stage the property before holding an open house. Rather than a full-blown stage, 44 percent of sell-side respondents would advise clients to simply declutter the home and make necessary repairs, while 5 percent would recommend no staging activities at all.

Interestingly, 71 percent of sell-side real estate professionals believe that staging adds value to a home, compared with 52 percent of those representing buyers. Roughly one-third of respondents on both sides of the transaction estimated that staging can increase a home’s value by 1 to 5 percent.

Despite the gap concerning the necessity of staging, both sides were in exact agreement when ranking rooms by order of importance in a staged home: living room, kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, bathroom, children’s bedroom, and guest bedroom.

If you decide to hire a professional to stage your home before potential buyers walk through the door, you may wonder how much it costs – and who’s going to foot the bill. According to NAR’s survey of sell-side real estate professionals, the median cost of a typical staging job is $675, and 62 percent of respondents said that they include it as part of their client-services package.

Keep in mind that every home and selling situation is unique, so plan to discuss staging with your trusted real estate professional before you make a final decision.

(Photo: Flickr/Wonderlane)

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