Wall Street Journal: Home Staging Effect? Not Much.

| February 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

On December 26, 2013, the Wall Street Journal published the article Home Staging Effect? Not Much.

The article begins:

How much does a tacky purple wall color affect a home’s sale price? Not much, according to new research on home staging.

While good staging does influence a home buyer’s overall impression of a house, staging alone doesn’t result in buyers willing to pay more for the house, says Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William and Mary, who researched how home buyers responded to six house tours that…

(The rest of the article is currently only available to those who subscribe to the WSJ.)

It was brought to my attention by a Stager, and I greatly appreciate her for doing so. Here is her letter, and how I answered her:

Hi Barb, I am a professional home stager I was wondering what is your take on the recent WSJ article referencing a study that have shown that home staging does not result in higher selling pricing. I have written a blog post to rebuttal the study and sent my response to the WSJ as well as the researchers and the editor of the Journal of the housing research. I would love to know your thoughts as I have a great deal of respect for you and your expertise.

Thank you for your time, Natalya

I wrote her back:

Dear Natalia,

I too of course totally disagree with what they said. I wrote to another reporter who asked me my thoughts about it this past week and here is what I said to him:

“It would be my pleasure to help you Jim! On our www.Stagedhomes.com we have our latest stats on the lower left side of the Home page. Also click on that banner and it takes you to another full page of stats too. On that page you see more about our stats and also Duke university and HomeGains’s graph. For every $75 invested home gain shows a % return for each $75 invested. Really their graph I consider almost all Staging as I say below their graph on our stat site page. They broke it out. But most all of it is really Staging.

There can be nay sayers out there but after Inventing the Concept of Staging that I did and Staging and selling over 5.000 homes they is NO question that Staging works and homes sell for more money and in a quicker amount of time which means more money in sellers pocket. As a broker – also I always say “Longevity on the market means one thing….reduction in price”. So either they Stage or will have to drop the price.

Now you share that they say in their article that Staging adds no value to a home. Really? Because what I explained above that our research shows is that houses are on the market less time so they sell for more because they don’t have to drop the price usually at all. In fact many sell for more. That can vary from selling for straight listing price (so they didn’t have to lower the price ….to even 8,000% more. I had a house I Staged that was on the market for $1,500,000 and it sold for $1,900,000. The Staging fee was around $8,000 and their mortgage broker told them they had achieved a return of about 8,000% because it sold for $1,900,000 and they only invested eight thousand. The Average % we quote from our ASP’s around the country right now is 17% more. HUD also has said the same thing.

They used the words you said of “no added value”. Well I doubt if they are RE agents or brokers or appraisers…..because value is value and what the market of buyers will pay as the buyers determine the value. Period. And when a house is Staged it is then clean, clutter free, and with the right colors and Buyers chose the houses Staged over non Staged homes. Which means that the Staged houses don’t sit and don’t need price reductions but the Non Staged sure sit and then have to reduce their price and sometimes over and over again. They traditionally sell for less and appraise for less too at what the dropped price is. Appraisers usually appraise a house for what it sells for as the market of buyers is setting what it sells for. So does Staging add more value? Houses that are Staged sell for more and in a quicker amount of time and the appraiser appraises it usually at what it sells for. Staged or none Staged. Our facts don’t lie. It is like “detail your house like you detail your car” and as you do that you will sell or trade it in quicker and usually for more money. The same with houses too. Buyers want turn key today. They don’t want to paint walls, take out all the junk and clean it all. Not when they want to live in it!!

Now investors know the value of Staging too as they work to buy non staged houses, then Stage them as they fix them up and sell for a profit. That tells us about value too. They are not in the dark (nor stupid). They Stage the houses as they know by doing so they sell quicker and for more money!!!!! Otherwise Investors wouldn’t do it at all!!!!

Jim, I Hope this helps. Thank you for coming to me. I am here to help. Once people Stage their home for sale and it does sell quicker, which means more money for them, they never go back to not Staging a house for sale. Staging brings Quicker sales means more money in your pocket. And Staged Value is totally different than non Staged value. I wonder if the people that wrote the WSJ article will Stage their homes when they want to sell them, I would bet a lot of money that they will !!!! Nay sayers can say all they want until it comes to selling their own homes and then they sing a different tune.

All my best, Barb

Here’s what I wrote back to dear Natalya:

Natalya, I hope this helps you too, the reporter wrote me back that it really did help him write a column in his paper answering what the people said in the WSJ. Thank you for writing the WSJ as what the people said in my view is not true, i have seen all the rewards, value and extra dollars sellers have earned all these years, every year, since I invented the idea in the early 70′s. Thank you for asking me my opinion….in the end we are all in this together.

Please contact the following regarding the WSJ article:

Everyone please write the WSJ and let them know your experiences. What the value of Home Staging really does do for homes that are for sale!!!!!

Always working for you,

Barb

Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, IAHSP®
The Creator of Home Staging®
Founder and CEO,Stagedhomes.com
Founder and Chairwoman, IAHSP and the IAHSP Foundation

 

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