At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.
You’ll often see professional home stagers tout stats on their website that seem conveniently in line with the value of their own services. Accurate or not, it’s hard to tell whether they’re objective or exaggerated for the company’s marketing purposes.
So, we decided to put these types of numbers to the test and conducted our own research on home staging.
The following list of home staging statistics come from the experiences and expertise of over 900 top real estate agents across the country who are experts in selling real estate.
These agents were identified by HomeLight for consistently outperforming their peers using indicators like transaction volume, speed of sale, average selling price, and client satisfaction. They were invited to participate in our Q1 2019 Top Agent Insights Survey, which had a whole section dedicated to home staging advice.
Many of the survey participants have their own staging certifications or regularly partner with home stagers in the markets. However, rather than profit from home staging directly, agents need to be money-conscious to maximize their seller clients’ returns. For one, staging costs may come out of their own marketing budgets and clients don’t appreciate having to spend more than necessary to get the house sold.
So keep reading to find out what the data really says: these home staging statistics come from top agents on the front lines of helping people sell homes successfully!
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What is home staging, anyway?
The goal of home staging is to show a property in a way that would appeal to the widest array of buyers. This helps them envision your house as their own, rather than through the lens of your personal tastes.
Using specific techniques like furniture removal and rearranging, painting in neutral tones, and placing selective accents, the idea is that home staging can dramatically transform how a home presents without you having to do any major renovations.
Moreover, the concept of staging has been popularized in the public mind through the rise of social media and home improvement shows on TV.
There’s over 1.1 million posts under the hashtag #homestaging on Instagram of professionals and homeowners sharing tips, ideas, and their staging work. And if you think about it, pretty much every HGTV show (like Fixer Upper or Property Brothers) has a home staging-inspired component.
It’s those moments at the end of the program when the host places that fresh vase of flowers on the table or puts a few yellow pillows on the couch for those final touches. In fact, 34% of sellers stated that television influenced their decision to stage their homes like how it would appear on these shows.
In the internet age, though, home staging has evolved from a technique used specifically for in-person showings to a strategy for making homes look great online, too.
NAR reports that 44% of buyers start their home search online and 98% of buyers frequently use the web to search for homes. So agents use home staging to “wow” virtual viewers from the very first picture.
The true benefits of home staging
Neal Weichel, a top 1% seller’s agent in Santa Clarita, California, has staged his homes for the past 12 years in his almost 20-year career and found that staging can make all the difference, especially in vacant properties.
Of one property in particular, he said:
“There was really no way to see and get an idea of the better features of the floor plan without staging the house to create some perspective. So we brought in a staging company and it just made all the difference. It sold right away and it’s all for a great price.”
He concludes that whatever the cost is, home staging will pay for itself, “by a factor of at least two or three.”
Do the 900 other top real estate agents we surveyed agree?
Here’s what agents told us about the resale value of home staging:
- 67% of top agents say that home staging helps a seller fetch more money for their house at resale.
- Over 50% say that staging increases a home’s value from anywhere between 1%-10%.
- Another 25% believe that staging doesn’t increase a property’s sale price, but helps attract buyers to the home and secure an offer. The more buyers you have bidding on your house, the more leverage you have as a seller.
- 92% of top agents find home staging to be beneficial toward selling the property in general.
Do staged homes sell faster?
- 83% of agents say that a staged home will sell faster than an unstaged home.
- Over 21% of agents (the largest grouping) said staged homes sell 6% to 10% faster. Note that depending on market conditions, the average home sells in 65 days. So, staging can help sell a home 4 to 7 days faster—it can shave off an entire week of time.
7. In general, 47% of real estate agents recommend staging both vacant and occupied homes.
- Over 41% of top agents find that vacant homes benefit the most from home staging, which brings personality and life to an empty property.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on home staging
Only 30% of the agents we surveyed say that their seller clients spend more than $1,000 on home staging costs.
So, if you’re wondering how much you need to spend, know that a little goes a long way.
- 50% of sellers who pay for home staging spend less than $1,000.
- More than 14% of sellers didn’t spend anything at all. (Curious how that works? Check out HomeLight’s big list of DIY home staging ideas.
- About 75% of real estate agents have provided complimentary home staging services to their seller clients.
Agents either took on the cost as part of a package or found other affordable ways to stage the homes, such as rearranging furniture and decluttering, and using their own staging know-how.
Focus your staging efforts on key rooms
Every room requires its own staging touches, and some buyers need more help visualizing how they can make use of each room.
But, if you’re strapped for time, don’t waste it trying to stage every single room. Instead, zone in on the most important ones. Agents ranked three rooms as the most important ones to stage:
- 84% of agents recommend staging the living room.
- 75% of agents agree on staging the master bedroom.
- 66% of agents say to stage the kitchen.
Makes sense. These are also the three rooms that Americans spend most of their time, as found by UCLA researchers.
- The two least important rooms to stage are the home office (9%) and guest bedrooms (7%).
- Some agents suggest staging the family room, which is a more relaxed, kid-friendly living room.
And the top home staging paint colors are…
The 900+ agents we surveyed all agree: keep the paint colors neutral. Why? Not everyone likes the bright yellow kitchen that you thought was a great idea in the ‘90s. Instead, neutral gray or beige wall colors make the rooms feel wider and modern, and will appeal to a bigger pool of buyers.
So, trust us. Leave the reds and greens for art projects. Here are the paint colors that the agents recommend using for your rooms.
- With 137 votes, Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams won as the most recommended color by top real estate agents.
- Honorable mentions go to:
The numbers don’t lie
“The rule of thumb is always the same. Spend $1 and get at least three back and have the property sell for a faster time frame,” says Weichel.
The stats show that you don’t have to spend thousands on thousands for a successful home sale. But, all-in-all, home staging is an essential step in the selling process if you do want to get that higher price point.
Whether it’s repainting a loud room or simply moving the couch to give a space better flow, find ways to create a visual experience for buyers that will make them want to move in on the spot.
Header Image Source: (Sidekix Media/ Unsplash)