Despite the housing market being touted as a sellers’ market, staging is still more important than ever, Realtors® agree.
NAR’s report, the 2021 Profile of Home Staging, found that more than 90% of buyers’ agents agree that home staging has an effect on at least some buyers, if not the majority.
Most buyers’ agents (82%) said that staging allows buyers to visualize the property as their own future home, while 41% said potential buyers are more likely to walk through a staged home after looking at it online and 39% said it will help the home value if the décor is similar to a buyer’s taste. More than one-quarter of buyers’ agents said that staging increased the value offered between 1-5%.
Sellers’ agents reported staging all of their homes (31%) or at least suggesting to owners’ that they fix and declutter (42%). Only 11% said they do not stage at all.
Brittany Huntoon, owner of Brittany Huntoon Professional Organizing, said the first thing sellers should focus on is curb appeal. “Make sure you have fresh paint on the front door, and that the shrubs and landscaping look good. Nothing should block the front door view, you want to be able to see that front door. Curb appeal is huge, buyers are looking online first, so if the exterior looks like it needs a lot of TLC, they are going to click next.”
More than half of sellers’ agents agree that staging a home raised the price by 1 to 10%, while 53% think a staged home’s days on the market are at least somewhat decreased, if not greatly.
“In this market, it will probably sell fast, but will it sell for the best possible price?” said Huntoon. “This is one of your biggest investments. It’s really hard for buyers to think of that home as ‘their’ house. We need to look at it that way, we need to stage your house accordingly. Treat it like your business, not your house. Buyers have a hard time thinking objectively. A great stager will know how to design it within your neighborhood and the style of the home.”
In addition to curb appeal, Huntoon recommended staging the living room, the kitchen and the master bedroom, which is what buyers’ agents also said were the most important rooms for staging.
“They need to be staged if you want to do it right and get top dollar,” she added.