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NAR report stresses why staging is a must

If you have ever doubted that a home requires staging in order to sell houses, NAR's latest report on staging demonstrates the importance staging plays even in a market with lower inventory. Whether it is a simple "decluttering" or a more serious process from paint to landscaping, here are the numbers supporting staging as a key selling tool.

A well staged home can increase dollar value from 1 to 10 percent.

Buyers' Agents' Perspective

NAR's recent release of their "2017 Profile of Home Staging" reported that 77 percent of buyers' agents found that well staged spaces allow buyers to envision themselves living in a home. In fact, roughly a third of buyers' agents found that staging contributed to an increase in dollar value for the home from 1 to 5 percent.

There is also a prioritization of which rooms buyers' agents feel must be staged to impress buyers:

  • Living room: 55 percent

  • Master bedroom: 51 percent

  • Kitchen: 41 percent

Sellers' Agent's Perspective

More than a third of sellers' agents take the time to stage a home prior to listing, with only 14 percent staging only those homes that are proving a challenge to sell. There was a slight variance in the rooms they prioritized for staging with the living room still heading the list. However from the seller's perspective the kitchen was next in line, followed by the master bedroom and the dining room.

29 percent of sellers' agents were offered 1 to 5 percent more for a staged home and 21 percent found the dollar value was increased as much as 6 to 10 percent. 39 percent also found that a well staged home decreased the days on the market.

Where to Invest in Improvements

There are some not so surprising statistics on the most common improvements agents recommend to their clients. Luckily most of the top recommendations are free, or require minimal cost such as:

  • Decluttering: 93 percent

  • Major top to bottom home cleaning: 89 percent

  • Carpet cleaning: 81 percent

  • No pets present during showings: 80 percent

  • Depersonalizing: 72 percent

Decluttering is the most important aspect to home staging according to NAR 2017 statistics.

However, there were still quite high recommendations for more detailed or costly improvements which included:

  • Minor repairs: 75 percent

  • Painting walls: 68 percent

  • Landscaping: 68 percent

  • Paint touch ups: 62 percent

  • Grouting: 42 percent

So who foots the bills for improvements? The survey found that a quarter of sellers paid for improvements prior to listing, while 21 percent of agents offered to cover the costs. 14 percent of agents actually offer a staging service, and 8 percent will hire a staging professional. 27 percent made other arrangements to cover the costs of which zero included costs covered by the agents' firms.

In all, there probably aren't any real surprises found in the report. However, it does show that staging is really worth the effort when you consider potential increases in dollar value. You can do the math to decide which improvements to invest in based on the potential increase of 1 to 10 percent.

You can read the full report here.

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