One of the biggest trends in real estate over the past few years has been Home Staging or Real Estate Staging.
Television networks such as HGTV, TLC, and A&E have jumped on the bandwagon to bring this practice to the mainstream. Real estate professionals and home sellers nationally and even internationally, have implemented this strategy with outstanding and very profitable results. Now that the market has shifted, it is even more important than ever that staging be put to use in the marketing of a property. Unfortunately, in recessions, many real estate professionals and homeowners struggle to sell their properties quickly and many think the best way to survive is to cut their staging budgets. The opposite is actually true, if you want to sell a property quickly.
Studies show that pulling back on staging homes during a recession actually hurts, rather than helps with home sales. Listings that are staged and priced competitively sell at minimum, 50% faster than non-staged properties do.
All real estate professionals and homeowners who have taken a hasty approach to putting a house on the market and choosing to forgo staging has experienced the penalties of that decision as their houses languish on the market, month after month, price reduction after price reduction, with no sale.
In case you're still hesitant about incorporating home staging into your marketing plan, read on to learn about the Top 3 Benefits of Home Staging.
The reality is that the real estate market has shifted, So if you're tired of dealing with lack luster sales, then you should grab any advantage you can get your hands on.
Benefit #1 - $FINANCIAL$
Bottom line is that statistically, staged homes tend to sell faster and for more money. Listings that are staged and priced competitively sell at minimum, 50% faster than non-staged properties do. A 2007 survey found that 94% of staged homes sold on average in one month or less. Homes that were staged spent 80% less time on the market than those that were not staged. A side benefit of this is savings on holding costs (mortgage payments, homeowners insurance, utility bills, etc.) associated with the maintenance of a property while it is on the market.
Staging, when done right, increases perceived value. By showcasing the property in its best possible light, it is automatically assumed that the property has been well taken care of and Staged homes often appraise at a higher value. A 2007 Home Gain survey of 2,000 practitioners found that the return on investment from home staging was as much as 343%.
Lastly, the cost associated with staging (which does not have to be expensive depending on individual needs) is a drop in the bucket compared to a price reduction. When you consider that price reductions usually start at $10,000 before anyone notices a price change, most home sellers invest only a small fraction of that in preparing their homes for sale.
Benefit #2 - Emotional
95% of buyers buy on emotion so you've got to make it "love at first sight". Home buyers begin their shopping process with a list of criteria (i.e. 4 bedrooms, 2+ baths, 2 car garage, 2000+ square feet, in a particular neighborhood, within a particular price range), but what pulls them towards one house over another is the emotional experience they have upon entering that specific house.
It's how they feel when they first see the house, their experience as they walk through the house, and if they can envision living there, that's it, that is the house! When they start to see where their furniture can be placed, whose room is whose, and how they can create a home in that property, you've got a sale!
That is why it is so important to create the most desirable environment possible so that you attract and pull at your prospective buyers heartstrings. In fact, if you're able to do that with several prospects at the same time, you will benefit from multiple offers which usually results in a higher selling price. Who doesn't want that? The goal is to appeal to the greatest number of prospective buyers within a certain target market.
Benefit #3 - Visual
According to the 2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 84% of buyers use the internet as the information source used in their home search. As buyers are searching the internet for a property, if your photos don't capture their attention, or worse, you don't have any photos at all (a common mistake made by real estate professionals); you're losing a significant amount of prospective buyer traffic. Hands down, photos of Staged properties are more appealing than photos of non-staged properties, for obvious reasons.
If buyers are searching for properties online, they want to get as much information as they can to narrow down their choices. A major part of that decision is what the property looks like, not just an exterior photo of the house, but what the interior has to offer. If what they see meets or exceeds their expectations, they will take the next step and visit the property in person. If you're not capturing their online attention, you've likely lost that prospect for good because they're not even considering your property as an option.
Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Whether that first impression is online or in person, you only have a few seconds to make them STOP and take notice. This is why Staging is so important.