Why Bother to Stage?

Staging Photo2 "Why bother in this market?" is what I was asked at a recent dinner party. And really one would have to be living under a rock for the last six months to have missed that we are in the hottest market since 2006. So why bother to stage, dear reader, when the belief is that everything is selling as fast as the proverbial hotcake?

The average days of market time for all Portland listings so far this year is 68 days. This includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. My average is 18. Virtually all my sellers agree to do some form of staging on their properties.

Very few of us live in homes that are "ready for their closeup." There are all manners of staging devices that can be employed; from supplementing the homeowner's existing art and furniture with a "re-arrange" of the home, to full staging of a vacant home. Every buyer shops- and screens the use of their valuable time prior to any home visit, first online. If we cannot create excitement online through our photographs we cannot get them into the home. The more buyers we get into the home in the shortest amount of time, the best chance we have of getting a full price offer and competing offers.

Every buyer asks the magic question, "How long has this house been on the market?" It follows then, if a house has been on the market- in this market, even past a week or so, the buyer thinks "If no one else has bought it for this price, why should I?" I never like to invite lower offers on my listings.

Staging gives my photographer something great for me to market, an aspirational home that sets us apart from hundreds of other listings, our competition. The National Association of Realtors finds that not only do staged homes sell 80% faster, they do so for up to 11% more return.  That's because a well staged home creates excitement and desire. It shows buyers how spaces can be used, especially those awkward spaces that we lived with or underutilized.  Potential homeowners do not have to guess if a king-sized bed fits or where to place the sofa. They are that much closer to imagining their life to-be.

In the end, most of my clients that are selling have somewhere else to go, and what they redeem from the sale of their homes is very important to them in terms of realizing their next dream. And that is why we bother to stage.