How Staging Is Key to Tackle the Emerging Generational Gap

By Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Every one is starting to make predictions already for the 2015 housing market. One of our own predictions: 2015 will continue to be a buyer’s market, particularly in certain areas where homes are older. While low inventory has plagued the market for years, a broader disconnect exists between inventory and buyer preferences.

As more Millennial’s (the generation under the age of 33), enter the market and baby boomers downsize, the generation gap between buyers and sellers will further drive market conditions.

Younger home buyers make up the largest groups of today’s consumers. According to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, Millennial’s and slightly older Generation X represent over 60 percent of today’s home buyers.

However, the bulk of the housing inventory over the next 15 years will come from retiring boomers who want to downsize and embrace a new lifestyle that doesn’t include their large suburban home. It’s expected that 20.1 million senior households will attempt to sell between 2015 and 2030, and according to University of Utah researcher, Arthur C. Nelson. What’s more, an estimated 7.4 million won’t be able to find people to buy the houses.

Younger buyers want an already updated home and with a large percentage of homes built before 1990, that poses a challenge for the market. Older, outdated homes give buyers a lot of reasons to cross the property off their list.


Homes staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

The ‘Senior Sell Off’

Sellers who adapt to the changing marketplace and understand that today’s buyers don’t have the same vision when it comes to updating a home will position their property in the market and stand out from the competition.

Staging continues to be more important than ever before — whether it is a $250,000 home or a $2 million dollar home — to preserve and in some cases boost a home’s value and get it sold.


Homes staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Only 35.1 percent of home sellers nationwide think now is a good time to sell. But waiting may mean increased competition from similar style and aged homes. Staging and even low cost renovations can help sellers get top dollar in a shorter market time today so they don’t become part of the ‘senior sell-off’.

“It’s important we offer sellers the resources to successfully sell their home now,” says John and Joanne Hoye with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in West Hartford, Conn. “Staging gets the properties looking their absolute best, boosting seller’s confidence in listing their home today rather than waiting. It also helps address inventory issues by bringing to market more move-in condition homes. Quality, well-priced inventory will ultimately drive a more balanced market that’s a win-win for our buyer and seller clients and staging can help us get there.”

For more examples of home staging, visit
PattiABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating, and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit She can be reached at

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Sellers still do not see the full value of Staging properly, they just look at the cost. Even when a top dedicated real estate agent assists the buyer, they are just too short sighted and do not want to lay out the money.

  2. I recently started my own staging and design consultation company because I could see it was a market ripe with opportuinty. One of my Realtors who is a huge fan and supporter of my work consistently has her home Sellers hire me to clean/pack and stage homes that are part of the estate sale market (homeowner has passed away or has gone into assisted living). Many of the adult children of these types of homeowners live out of state and have neither the time nor the desire to complete the work necessary to prepare their parents’ homes for sale in the real estate market, but they are more than happy to pay someone to do it for them, which is where I come in. The proof is in the pudding; One such home I decluttered, packed, re-arranged and prepared for market was able to garner a much higher list price and sales price than had been projected by 2 other Realtors interviewed by the family. It also sold in 20 days, a much shorter time on market than was anticipated.

  3. Sold two homes this year in record time, one in two days, one in four. one gets 99.9% of asking price and one gets over asking. Both with just a minimum amount of staging. I wish more sellers would listen to me and spend a little time and effort to make a lot more money and with a lot less head-aches.