Portland Home Staging Works 2021

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For years now, the importance of quality online photos has increased, as the internet becomes more and more a main jumping off point for potential buyers. But last year, many predicted that importance to shoot up even further. And yes, that did pan out to an extent. Since the pandemic made folks more selective about viewing homes in person, it’s logical that having attractive photos in your online listing becomes crucial to getting boots in the door.

And what helps create attractive photos? Professional staging. Conventional wisdom, plus some statistics, show that staging a home increases chances of a favorable sale. Now that we’ve been through a pandemic year, will staging remain more important than it was before? Will what started as a reaction to the virus become an innate part of the culture of home shopping?

To answer these questions, we turn to the National Association of Realtors’ 2021 profile of home staging. Because their methodology involves surveying Realtors rather than staging trade professionals, their results are the least likely to show bias. So let’s take a dive into what they find to be trending in 2021, as we see the vaccine roll out alleviating the tensions of 2020.

Do Staged Homes Sell for More?

Why not jump right in with the question most pertinent to most sellers. If I’m going to pay for professional staging, will I see a return on my investment? Before we get to the bottom of this, though, we have to start with some tough love. You will never know for an absolute certainty whether your home would have sold for more or less because of staging. Many factors go into how offers come in, from time of year to current market conditions. What we can do, though, is turn to Realtor experience. Good agents have their finger on the pulse, and they know how to size up your home to comparable homes in your area.

According to NAR’s poll, 49% of buyers’ agents and 52% of sellers’s agents reported that staging increased the dollar value of the sale. Those might not seem like very strong numbers. But don’t assume that it’s a 50/50 split. Only 26% of buyers’ agents and 18% of sellers’ agents felt that staging had no impact. The remaining were “unsure.” So, if you were to put it to a vote, the case that staging does in fact help a home sell for more would win out.

Of those on the side of staging, the most agents estimated the dollar increase to be between 1-5%. Back in January, we did some digging and found that staging a 2,000 square foot home in Portland is likely to run you around $2,000. Let’s say your home’s valued at $500,000. One percent of that comes to $5,000. Sounds like a good investment to us.

Do Staged Homes Sell Faster?

Another factor to consider as you’re weighing the merits of staging is how quickly you’d like to sell. The NAR’s 2021 data found that 53% of sellers’ agents believe, based on their experience, that staging decreases time on the market. And 25% qualify that statement: staging “greatly decreases” the time it takes to sell. Meanwhile, only 12% of sellers’ agents feel that staging does not impact how quickly a home sells.

Right now, this data might not matter as much to some sellers as it will to others. Portland’s real estate market has been solidly in the seller’s corner for some time now. And homes are selling more quickly than ever. But it won’t stay that way for forever. Especially if you aren’t looking to list right away, take into account whether it’s worth it to try and sell your home faster when the time comes.

Do Buyers Expect Homes to Be Staged?

Buyers might not always specifically disclose that they expect homes to be staged. But the NAR’s research demonstrates that they certainly respond to staging. According to the survey of buyers’ agents, 47% of agents found that staging has an affect on some buyers, but not always. 44% responded that staging has an affect on most buyers. Meanwhile, only 7% of buyers’ agents think that staging does not affect prospective buyers.

It’s not a stretch to imagine that the plethora of reality TV shows about home buying make their mark here. After all, most buyers have had some exposure to this type of programming. But the data around this issue came out with mixed results. While 61% of respondents felt that TV gave buyers higher expectations of how homes should look, not all claimed to have direct evidence of that. Only 16% of the agents could say that 50% or more of their clients cited TV programs as a factor in their expectations.

So where does that leave the seller? In a pretty good spot, actually. The numbers show that buyers are, on the average, positively influenced by staging. But they don’t necessarily expect it to look exactly like the overly curated scenes they’ve seen on TV. What that says to us is that a range of staging options are viable and worth it for a range of budgets.

To Stage or Not to Stage?

In general, the data points to home staging being an effective strategy. And yes, we are seeing an upward trend, with the NAR’s 2021 data coming out slightly more favorably towards staging than their 2019 report. It’s not a huge leap. But the fact that the percentage of agents who felt staged homes sold for more rose from 45% to 52%. It would appear that virtual presence is here to stay.

When considering whether or not to stage your home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s My Budget? Staging can run into the thousands of dollars. But keep in mind that you have options! You can stage a limited number of rooms, opt for significantly less expensive virtual staging, or combine the two as needed!
  • How Large Is My Space? Large spaces, particularly open floor plans, benefit from staging because it makes them feel more lived in. Smaller spaces, on the other hand, might do better without staging. Leaving them empty in these cases can help a small space feel more open.
  • What Does My Agent Think? When in doubt, ask a trusted agent’s advice. In fact, we’ll pay for an interior design consult for a client who wants one! Even if you’re still occupying your home, they can help you find the right balance to show your home in its best light.

When you’re ready to put your home on the market, we’re here to answer all these questions and more. Talk to our top 1% sellers agents today. They’re ready to work for your interest, and their commission rates are reasonable too.

May 19, 2021
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call him direct: 503-714-1111 for Oregon or 360-470-7777 for Washington.

We sell homes for 4.5% max. commission (it is often less, call for details) and pay more to market our clients’ homes so they sell faster and for more. We top it off with cancel anytime contracts for no charge. Our top 1% buyer’s team prioritizes customer service and is full of top-ranked, local industry veterans ready to help you find the home of your dreams.

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