It makes sense that staging a listing to make a home more appealing might influence a buyer’s decision. But, that’s just a nebulous idea until you put a dollar value on it.

So, here it is: 25% of agents representing buyers in a survey by the National Association of Realtors last month said staging increased offers by up to 5%. Using NAR’s March median price of $259,400, that’s $12,970. About 12% said it increased offers by up to 10%, or $25,940. And, 29% said it had no impact on the offer.

Agents representing sellers put a higher dollar value on home staging. About 22% reported a bump in sale price of up to 5%, 17% reported an increase of up to 10%, and 2% reported a payback of up to 20% – on a median-priced home, that’s a cool $51,880.

When deciding which homes need extra help, 28% of sellers' agents said they stage all listings and 45% said they don’t get involved in staging but they advise sellers to declutter and spruce up a home. About 13% said they only stage homes that are difficult to sell, and 7% only stage homes in higher price brackets.

"Buying a house is more than a financial decision – it’s an emotional decision as well,” said NAR President John Smaby, a broker at Edina Realty in Edina, Minnesota. "Realtors have the expertise and local market knowledge to know which properties and specific rooms will benefit the most from staging.”

About 47% of agents who represent buyers said living rooms are the most important area to stage, 42% put master bedrooms next on the list, and 35% cited kitchens in third place. Sellers' agents had the same list, but in reverse order: kitchens, master bedrooms, and then living rooms. One thing they all agreed on: the guest bedroom is the least important room to stage.

More than half of sellers' agents said that staging decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market. Of those, 25% said it greatly decreases the time and 28% said it slightly decreases the time.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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