The Importance of Staging; A Case Study

photos from the NWMLS

There is no doubt that the real estate market has started to shift with the rising interest rates. While we’re still seeing properties move quickly, we aren’t seeing the abundance of bidding wars that we saw over the past few years.

With these market shifts, keeping a competitive edge when selling is more important than ever. Staging is one way to do that.

According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging provided by the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group:

  • 82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • 48% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered when compared to comparable homes on the market.
  • 53% of sellers’ agents said they saw a decrease in time on the market when a home was staged.

Data is one thing but nothing really compares to a real-life example of how staging can impact the sale of your home.

I recently put my condo on the market and we were living there while it was listed. Even though I’m a designer and a stager by trade, I knew that having someone else evaluate how my place was showing would provide valuable perspective on how the home looked to prospective buyers.

As soon as I knew we were selling, I called our Lead Stager and Interior Designer, Mayra Zarabia, to provide her perspective on my space. I had already done the top things we tell every client to do: de-clutter, de-personalize and downsize.

Mayra helped me finesse my space with a few purchased accessories and art. Within a short amount of time and Mayra’s help, my condo went from looking fabulously lived in to looking fabulous for someone else to live in.

There were three similarly sized condos on the market when we listed. Two of them had been on the market for about a month when we listed, which is not terribly long, but still longer than the trend had been in previous years.

The first one—that ended up selling the day we listed—was listed for a steal of a price and had been on the market for 35 days when it went pending. It was staged originally but remained empty for showings and they ended up lowering the price by 20K within the first few weeks.

The second was priced well and was a similar size to ours but not fully staged. There was furniture in the home, but it did not showcase the layout or show the potential buyers how they could live in the space. It did have good photos and was listed a smidge below ours. It sold about 5 days after we listed our condo and had been on the market for 35 days.

The third property went on the market about a week before ours. It was listed with dark, cell phone photos, was not staged or organized and was listed for about 30k above ours. It had a few good things going for it like vaulted ceilings, and an updated kitchen, but the photos and lack of staging really hindered the marketability of the unit. This unit was eventually taken off the market and did not sell. While I can’t speak to the exact reason it was pulled, I’m sure staging could have helped to sell that unit.

Finally, we get to our listing. We took the time to have a stager (who was not me. Thank you Mayra!) help make our space shine. We had fantastic photos and had similar updates to the other units. We listed on a Thursday. On the following Thursday—that’s right, in just one week—we had an offer that came in above asking. This to me, all came down to how our unit was marketed.

The initial purpose of staging is for the photos. It’s those photos that sway people from merely browsing on-line to scheduling an appointment to look in person. Once they step into the listing, we want them to envision themselves living there. Staging broadens the appeal to the greatest range of prospective buyers.

We focus on the best layout to achieve the most appealing look that highlights the home’s best features. We make sure to have just enough art and accessories to make the space feel warm and welcoming, but not feel like you’re walking into someone else’s home.

Whether you are living in a listed home or are selling a vacant home, staging can be the piece of the puzzle to help you stand out from your competition. For more information about staging, check out our website or call Nikole at our office at 206.719.1662