Will staging increase the value of a home?

By
Home Stager with Home Matters

I know, some of you will think that the world must be coming to an end...  Two blogs in one week, what the heck is ole Gary doing.  Well, I woke up this morning feeling compelled to talk about something on my mind so set back for a few moments and listen to me squawk.  (Lots of birds this week on AR)

buzzard

I have read a couple of comments from our friends in the Real Estate Agent arena lately that make me pause and consider what they believe Home Staging will or will not do for their clients.  One comment in particular made me think that there may be a very large disconnect between what the perception that Home Staging does for a homes selling price versus what it really does.  A statement was made that a home listed in the $960,000 range was Staged and sold 10 months later for $720,000, far below the initial asking price.  The inference was that Staging certainly did not help this home sell quickly or for the $960,000 asking price.

Please, help me here; are their any Stagers that think that Home Staging will increase the overall price that the home is actually worth?  Our company, Home Matters, has always looked at Staging as a way to increase the marketability of a home, with-in the price range in which it competes.  The benefit of Home Staging as we have told the story here in Indianapolis is that if your house is priced appropriately among a number of houses in that price range, that staging the home will move it up in the ranks of desirability among those homes.  We have never conveyed that Staging will make the home worth more than its real intrinsic value.  I'm not sure what has happened that some would even consider buying into the thought that Home Staging will make a homes overall value increase over what the market will bare.  In the example above, what could possibly be done to a home that would make it worth $240,000 more than the market would support?  Where have we gone so wrong as to instill the thought in agents, any agents, that this is what staging will do?  I could not personally look someone in the eye and tell him or her that we can do this without blinking like crazy.  The agents, builders and home owners that Home Matters works with here in Indianapolis understand that we increase the marketability of a home and that increase will lead to a successful sale, at the appropriate price.  We don't need to try and sell them snake oil, they are happy enough to just be competitive.

race

The best way I can illustrate my thoughts on what Home Staging is designed to do, follows with this illustration; There are 250 homes in a northern suburb of Indianapolis, in the price range of $720,000 to $750,000, up for sale.  In this same area there are at any given time, 50 homebuyers looking for homes in that price range.  So at any given time there are only 50 possible winners in the home seller ranks.  Our contention is one thing and one thing only; we can increase your ranking among those 250 competing homes that are on the market, in that price range.  From a pure mathematical standpoint, every home that ranks from #51 to #250 will not compete for the 50 homebuyers.  Those homes ranked between #51 and #250 are the homes that make up the staggering 55% (Indy market) that linger on the market, month after month, eventually expiring, moving from agent to agent and some even withdrawn from the market by the seller. 

No where in this equation or in what we say our goal is for staging homes do we say that "We can make your home sell for a bunch more than it is really worth."  Having said all of that, I have heard the stories of places on the west coast or maybe in Manhattan or other areas where historically there is the opposite effect where you have 10 homes for sale and 50 buyers wanting those 10 homes.  Obviously this causes bidding wars that can lead to sale prices above the real value, what ever that is, but this is not real life for the other 95% of us.  The other 95% of us simply offer a way for homeowners to compete at the top of their heap, what ever that is.  

I have to ask; does any staging company out there really say that they can get a home seller more than their home is really worth?  Does anyone even infer it? What has taken place that some agents believe this is what we proclaim to do?  Please help me in my endeavor to seek to understand... I think my next post will be titled "How many condition issues have you covered up this week, Mr. & Mrs. Stager?"  To address the other perception that really bothers me.

The squawking is over now. 

I would really like to hear your feedback.

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Rainmaker
270,523
Cathy Lee
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA
CL Design Services Home Staging
LOL!  I went to see "Hair" at the Aquarius Theatre in June 1969.  I will never forget it as I did not know about the nude finale.  My father worked at NBC studios as a set designer/graphic artist, so I grew up staging-I went to work with him all the time!!! 
April 14, 2008 11:22 PM
Rainmaker
251,166
Robert Machado
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management - Sacramento Area
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC
I can see a staged home selling for more within its neighborhood price range and certainly quicker.  But you have to have something to work with in terms of overall condition and location too.
April 15, 2008 12:22 AM
Rainmaker
70,231
Gary Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis
Home Matters

Chadd, they certainly do that. From this standpoint there is obviously money saved in what does not have to be spent as carrying costs.  Thanks for you comment.

Cathy Lee OMG, It would have been the summer on 1969 when I went to see Hair also.  What a coincidence.  I will always remember on the walk to the theatre that it felt like I was part of a carnival.  What a bunch of interesting folks there were on the streets at that time.  So your dad was one of the true "Original" Stagers?  How cool is that.  You probably knew more about staging at 5 than most of us still know.  Very neat.  How did you wind up in Norther California?  You wouldn't believe how I got from So Cal to Arkansas.  What a culture shock that was.....

Robert, you are absolutely correct.  There are a lot of factors that go into where your home falls in any price range.  If you want it to sell at the top of the price range it fits in, make sure the condition is great and it's staged for optimum marketability.  Thanks for your comments.

April 15, 2008 08:52 AM
Rainmaker
32,738
Chris Castetter
First Vice President
F.C. Tucker Company

Gary,

Once more- excellent input for the home staging arena.  You have hit the nail on the head as usual.  I have to comment that while home staging may not increase the actual market or appriased value of a property, it will equal a faster sale and there is certainly value in that for everone involved!

April 21, 2008 12:23 PM
Rainmaker
70,231
Gary Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis
Home Matters
Hello Chris, nice to hear from you.  As we both know Staged homes, especially the ones staged just before being put on the market, can fly off the shelves, so to speak.  By the way, I see that you have some closings coming up soon...  Good for you.
April 22, 2008 07:51 AM
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Rainmaker
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Gary Barnett

Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis
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