Want to Sell the Home Faster? Stage it First, Study Says

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

You hear the message a lot in the real estate industry: Staging can help get a home sold faster and for more money. But convincing customers of that — particularly if it means fronting some money on their end — is not always easy.

The Real Estate Staging Association, a trade association for the staging industry, recently released some findings from a study using data from January 2012 to December 2012 that back up that message.

RESA studied 89 homes that were previously on the market that were not staged. The unstaged homes remained on the market for 166 days, on average, before the home owners called in a professional stager.

After the homes were staged, the homes received their first offer within 32 days, the study found. What’s more, nine of those homes received multiple offers.

Do your sellers need more convincing?

In studying another sample of homes, RESA evaluated 359 homes that were staged but this time before the homes ever went on the market. The homes, on average, received an offer within 26 days after being professionally staged and listed. Nearly 70 of those homes received multiple offers too.

“Our study proves it does not benefit the home owner to list their property first to see if it will sell,” according to RESA. “When [home owners] invest in staging before listing, they sell 87 percent faster.”

Plus, home owners have the potential to save more than $4,000 in carrying costs by staging first, according to the study.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. One of the struggles many real estate agents have is convincing a seller of the importance of staging a home. Especially a vacant home. While a home on the market is vacant in many cases the home looks and feels very cold to some potential buyers. Even if the staging is just minimal it is easier to sell the home. I explain it to my seller clients like this. If you are selling your car, wouldn’t it make more since to wash and possibly wax it before trying to sell it? The same goes for your home.

  2. Great article. Adding the study to your listing presentation may help convince sellers to stage their homes prior to putting them on the market.

  3. Great tips on selling home. As we have two homes, out of which we are using only one. We are planning to sell it. All of your tips sound fabulous. Melissa…thanks for making such unique and informative post. We will keep your information whenever sell our home.

  4. Excellent advise with numbers to back it! Very helpful information for sellers.

  5. Kim

    GREAT article! I hope you all plan on attending our Home Staging and Redesign Sumnit with HDTV Stars in Dallas on 11/16 and 17th! Register today at http://www.homestagingsummit.com.

  6. Alan
    RESA has a cost calculator on the site you can use to show sellers what they will SAVE by staging. They have a great download of information for sellers as well.

  7. Lori

    The numbers say it all? Stage first- sell quicker and for money! A win-win for all. Sometimes it is hard to understand that paying out money(staging costs) will bring you more money in the end!
    There are different staging services available so the costs vary of course.

    Style My Space
    Home Staging & Redesign

  8. If you have a home stager that you trust on your “team” they should be able to help you sell the concept of staging to your clients. Many of the real estate agents I work with introduce me to their clients and let me explain the benefits of home staging and how much it will cost. Staging is an investment in getting your home to sell faster and usually for a higher price.

  9. Noah Muganga

    i need lot of convincing the home sell and advertising to the media i order lot of home
    sell to know faster.

  10. Sue Remspecher

    Having very recent data to present to sellers regarding the benefits of staging is a great tool!!! Thank you!!

  11. Digby C Caesar

    I am skeptical. Gee a trade association finds in favior of it’s members practices?

  12. Digby C Caesar

    ask yourself the following: what was the asking price when the ome owner decided they fnally needed help? did this have more to do with pricing, hiring a realtor, or staging?
    RESA studied 89 homes
    that were previously on the market not staged. These 89
    homes sat on the market, on average, for 166 days before the homeowners gave
    up and called in a professional home stager. Those same homes were staged and
    received their first offer, on average,
    32 days after being professionally staged.
    This is 81% less time on the market. Nine (9) of these homes had multiple

  13. The pdf was great. We always have a staging consultation on all of our listings, what comes of it is then up to the seller and what they are willing to do. At least they can then make informed decisions.

  14. Love this article. Working daily with professional stagers in the RESA organization, I see first-hand what happens when a property is marketing correctly before being listed. A simple, low-cost consultation is sometimes all that’s needed to transform a home into something that is photo-ready for the likes of Architectural Digest. But it takes the knowledge of the RESA pros to be the outside eye and translate that vision to the seller. (And it takes a little elbow grease from the seller too!)

  15. I couldn’t agree more with the advantage of staging. I’ve rehabbed and sold dozens of homes and once I started staging the homes sold much faster. You don’t have to have a house full of furniture, just enough to make it not look so empty.

  16. Yes, staging your home well can definitely help it sell faster, as I have realized from personal experience. We have been networking with other realtors and investors, and we have just started staging homes in this fashion, and now we buy houses in Colorado Springs