In a time when nearly two-thirds of home buyers made an offer on a home without ever seeing it in person, a new survey from the National Association of Realtors shows that home staging has perhaps never been more important.
According to the survey, more than 70% of real estate agents said that photos, videos, and virtual tours have become more important since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given that, staging a home “continues to be a significant part of the home buying and selling process,” NAR said.
“At the start of the pandemic, in-person open house tours either diminished or were halted altogether, so buyers had to rely on photos and virtual tours in search of their dream home,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “These features become even more important as housing inventory is limited and buyers need to plan their in-person tours strategically.”
That’s where staging comes in. According to the survey, 82% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home made it easier for their buyers to see themselves living in the home.
“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property,” Lautz said. “It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”
Staging also has an impact on the price buyers are willing to pay. According to the survey, 23% of buyers’ agents and 23% of sellers’ agents said that staging a home increased the amount offered for the home by 1% to 5% compared to a similar home that wasn’t staged.
A smaller percentage of sellers’ agents (18%) said that staging increased the sales price of a home by 6% to 10%.
According to the survey, staging a home also helps a home sell faster.
As for how homes should be staged, buyers are looking to TV for their inspiration. According to the survey, agents said that 10% of buyers believed that homes should look the same as they do on TV shows.
Beyond that, 63% of the agents surveyed said that buyers requested the homes they looked at be staged like the ones they see on TV. Consequently, 68% of the agents surveyed said that buyers were disappointed by how homes looked in real-life compared to what they saw on TV.
Regardless of what buyers’ expectations may be compared to what’s on TV, staging has a positive impact on a home’s sales price. In fact, none of the sellers’ agents surveyed said that staging had a negative effect on a property’s value.