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So you have decided to do the smart thing and leave your house vacant while selling it.  Now you have (at least) one more tough decision to make.  Do you want to spend the extra time and money to stage your home?

The majority of homeowners choose to leave the house completely empty.  Besides, their Realtor told them less is more, so they are just doing what they are told!  However, as is the case quite often, the most popular choice is not always the best one.

I am not going to get into the warm and fuzzy of how the buyers feel when they walk in the door of an empty house vs. a staged home.  Instead I am going to hit you with the cold hard figures.

The Real Estate Staging Association (yes I am as surprised as you that such an organization actually exists) released a survey of over 350 Vacant homes.

The Stats

The survey consisted of 87 vacant homes that originally decided not to stage, but after not selling, the owners decided to take their home off the market and stage it.  The average time on market for the unstaged homes 277 days, those exact same homes sold in 63 days after staging the house. This is a 78% reduction in the time it took to sell the staged home when compared to the unstaged one.

Here are some powerful stats recently released by the Real Estate Staging Association.

 Days on Market:

 Before Staging  After Staging
 VACANT HOMES  277  63*

* 78 percent less time on the market after staging.

Also included in the study are homes that were staged originally when they went on the market.  These 284 homes were sold in an average of 40.5 days.  This is 233 days less than than homes that were unstaged when they came on the market.

Survey of 284 vacant homes staged prior to going on the market:

 Days on Market Before Sold
 Vacant Homes  40.5

To put it more simply, homes that were staged sold 7 months sooner than the homes that went on the market unstaged.

Cost To Carry

Lets look at this a slightly different way shall we.  Staging a home costs money, and this is the reason many home sellers choose not to do it.   But when you factor in the longer sales time, and the cost of your monthly expenses it paints an entirely different picture.

Lets take an example:

  • A monthly mortgage payment of = $1600.00
  • Expenses per month for your house = $300.00
  • Total cost to carry your house per month: $1,900.00

In the survey that the Real Estate Staging Association released it took an average of 7 months longer to sell a home that was not staged, so $1900.00 x 7 = $13,300.00 of savings if you stage your home from the start.  This is not even factoring in price reductions that typically occur on homes that sit for long periods of time.

So what are your experiences with staging? Do you plan on staging your next home?  Let us know in the comments below.

April 20th, 2012

Posted In: Selling

One Comment

  • Andy Fulton says:

    The Real Estate Staging Association (yes, I can’t believe they really exist) also found that staged homes sell closer to the listing price! It’s odd how a home populated with furniture is MUCH more prone to appeal to the human psyche than one that is completely vacant; you’d figure there wouldn’t be that much of a difference.

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