Does "Staging" a home in Poinciana FL make sense?

Can you Stage this yard?

OK, all you Stagers out there….this post is for you. My friend, Craig Schiller, wrote this post earlier this week. First, thanks Craig. I feel honored that my opinion means so much to you. As promised, this is my post on Staging.

Folks, if you have never read the posts in the "Stage It Forward" group, you need to. These folks are VERY passionate about what they do and I for one respect that immensely.

OK, with that said, I want to try and get my head around staging and how I can implement it into my business. From everything that I have read about Staging I agree that it will work. But my questions are.

  • Would having a property Staged increase it's value?

I'm not sold on the idea that it would. While a Buyer may be enticed to purchase a Staged home, over one that's not Staged, I don't believe he would be willing to pay more for it. For one, the Staging props will be gone on day of closing and secondly, an appraiser could not care less about the Staging.

Also, I still believe it is pricing that will sell a property. If the property is priced wrong Buyers will not even look at it. Staging will only increase the chance of the property selling if the Buyers see it. They are only going to see it if it is priced right. So, I do not believe Staging will increase the value of the property, at least not in my market….where price is king.

  • Would having a property Staged decrease it's time on market?

I believe presentation is everything. If the Buyer is looking at two similar properties, for the same price, and one is Staged and the other is a vacant property, would he like the Staged one better? Maybe. Staging will create a better "feel" in the property. Staging allows the buyer to see the features of the property and will have a better chance of making the Buyer "feel at home". Purchasing a home is as much an emotional decision as it is a financial decision. Staging plays on the emotions. Therefore, I do feel Staging would decrease time on market.

  • Would it be cost effective, in my market, where the average selling price right now is about $140,000?

This is the big one for me. Will the costs of Staging increase the Sellers bottom line? Since, in my opinion, Staging will NOT increase the value of the property, the Seller's Net increase would have to be in the reduced time on market. So we get down to carrying costs for the property or the opportunity costs of the Seller being able to move on with their lives.

Both of these costs can be substantial. So certainly there is value in Staging if these costs can be reduced. And I believe they can.

  • What is the price point for the Staging service that would make sense to the Seller?

Let's assume that a Staged property, that was vacant, would sell 2 months quicker than an un-staged property but at the same price. Let's assume the carrying costs for a property in Poinciana is about $1,700 a month. By Staging the Seller could save $3,400 by selling 2 months sooner. Based on these assumptions the Seller could pay up to $3,000 and come out ahead of the game.

Now we have to figure in the risk. These questions are for the Stagers.

  • What if the Seller dished out $3,000 and the property didn't sell in less time?
  • Is the opportunity to sell quicker and make a few hundred bucks worth the cost?
  • Could a vacant 1800 sq ft home be Staged for $3,000, for a couple of months?  
  • Is there a price point where Staging just does not make sense?
  • Would a Stager be willing to work on a contingency basis if they knew the property was priced right?

When I started writing this post it was intended to help the Stagers sell their services to REALTORS®. But, as you can see, I ended up with more questions than answers. So, Stagers, I need you to help me out here. I'm still on the fence. How can I get my Sellers and REALTORS® to understand your value?

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