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Maybe staging isn’t that important


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – May 29, 2014 – Staging may not be important and may not raise residential sales prices, according to researchers at the College of William & Mary.

The study polled 820 homebuyers who were shown a series of six virtual tours of a single property, each focusing either on wall color or furnishings. The tours showed the property without furniture, with "ugly" furniture, with "good" furniture, and with wall colors such as neutral beige and an "unattractive" shade of purple.

The researchers determined that buyers would pay the same price for the home, no matter how it was staged.

"These results stand in stark contrast to the conscious opinion of both buyers and real estate agents that staging conditions significantly impact willingness to pay for a home," the researchers concluded. Study co-author Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William & Mary, speculates that today's buyers are savvy and recognize that staging involves cosmetic changes that are not expensive to redo.

However, Seiler says, "I am definitely not ready to say spending money on staging would be a waste."

According to Seiler, the general impression that a staged home is more desirable than a non-staged home could spark buyers to offer more for the listing, since they assume that the staging will make the home more desirable to competing buyers who may also like the property.

Source: "Does Staging Really Raise a Home's Price?" (2014)

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