In Spokane’s real estate market, it’s not a question of if a home will sell – but for how much.
And home staging plays a big part in what buyers are willing to pay for properties, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors.
Some 23% percent of real estate agents indicated in the survey that home staging raised the amount offered from 1% to 5% over list price, compared with homes on the market that had not been staged. About 18% of agents surveyed said staging could increase the price above asking by 6% to 10%.
Staging maximizes a property’s appeal by allowing potential buyers to visualize it as their future home, said Amy Barragan, owner of Spokane-based Affordable Home Staging.
“I’ll tell sellers their house could sell vacant, but if they can get enough people to come to the home because it looks good online, they have a way higher chance of bids going higher and higher,” said Barragan, who specializes in vacant-home staging. “The general statistics out there are that usually it could sell 10% over (listing price). If you sell your house for $400,000, that’s $40,000 more you can get when your home looks really nice.”
Home staging also gives buyers looking at online listings a way to see how different spaces can be used, Barragan said.
“A lot of times, too, with staging, if it’s done well – smaller spaces look bigger,” she said.
Some 31% of agents in NAR’s survey said home staging “greatly decreased” the amount of time a home spent on the market.
Living rooms, kitchens, master bedrooms and dining rooms are the most common areas to stage, but many people are also opting to stage a home office space, with more people working remotely because of the pandemic, according to the NAR survey.
“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property,” Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, said in a statement. “It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”
Seventy-three percent of buyers’ agents said in NAR’s survey that having videos and virtual tours for listings became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the start of the pandemic, in-person open house tours either diminished or were halted altogether, so buyers had to rely on photos and virtual tours in search of their dream home,” Lautz said. “These features become even more important as housing inventory is limited and buyers need to plan their in-person tours strategically.”
Because buyers make a decision of whether a home is right for them within seconds of visiting, Barragan recommends sellers stage the front entrance with a welcome mat or wreath hung on the door.
She also advises sellers to ensure their home is free of clutter and smells fresh, to maximize its appeal.
“This is your one chance to get buyers in here,” Barragan said. “You want to eliminate as many distractions as possible so people can see what your house has to offer.”
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