The Increasingly Important Art and Business of Staging

An industry comes into its own

Not that long ago, professional staging was a niche service aimed mostly at the ultra-luxury tier; outside of that, if agents thought a house needed to be dressed up a bit, they did it themselves. But as the real estate market has become increasingly sophisticated and high-stakes, so has the business of staging, reports Business of Home.

  • Staging today is a highly specialized creative trade, fully on par with interior design Some stagers now refer to what they do as “interior marketing”, which captures the highly strategic sell-driven approach taken by the leading firms in the field. In many cases, staging goes well beyond temporary decor. An expertly-staged listing has the potential to go viral, function as PR for a new residential building or supercharge awareness of any given project.
  • Buyers today often request to buy pieces provided by the stager along with the home. That’s becoming a huge part of the bottom line for many staging companies, who also rent or sell the furniture they use in their projects. That speaks to the degree to which stagers now guide the home decor market — they’re not only incredibly influential as designers, but have also become major furniture distributors in their own right.
  • Staging has also gone from a luxury to an essential in the eyes of many in the real estate world. According to the NAR, 82% of buyer’s agents say staging helps buyers see a listing as a future home. Staging also helps homes stand out in photos and videos, which have become much more important in an era where buyers often fall in love with a house online. All of that attention and attachment from buyers adds up. 90% of agents say staging makes a big impact on buyers, while close to 50% report that staging increases the selling price.

All in all, the heightened role of staging says a lot about the overall state of the market. Real estate is now much more design-driven than it was in the past, and buyers now want to see idealized homes rather than blank slates. And they don’t mind if that fantasy has been professionally staged. In many cases they actually prefer it.

Read more at Business of Home: The strategic, psychological, sometimes sensitive new world of home staging

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