Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty: To stage or not to stage? That is the question

Staging a listing helps potential buyers envision the property as a place they could call home by reducing clutter and making a strong first impression. Above, a Mission Hills living room before (on left) and after staging.

By Andrew Bash

Andrew Bash of Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty.

Should you stage your home prior to listing? It’s an important question for sellers.

Staging is the process of making the home look even more appealing to potential buyers by decluttering, incorporating décor, making cosmetic updates and rearranging furniture.

But, as with everything, the process comes with a cost — either your time and energy, or the fee paid to a professional stager.

So is it worth it?

Helping a buyer see themselves in the space

Buying a house is more than just a financial transaction. Buyers are looking for a place to put down roots or start a new chapter. They’re looking for a place that will provide a sense of respite and comfort — a place they can truly feel at home.

Successful staging should make it easy for buyers to envision themselves in the space. Amanda Crossley, an agent on the Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty team, is a big proponent of staging for that reason.

“If a buyer can imagine themselves in your space, they’re more likely to make an offer,” she said. “I’ve found it not only helps sell a home more quickly, but also at a higher price.”

In fact, National Association of Realtors reports that 83% of buyers’ agents believe staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.

Making a first impression

The first time a typical buyer lays eyes on a property, it’s going to be from an online listing. As such, listing photos are incredibly important.

“It’s important for sellers to understand that each time a potential buyer sees their listing online, that is essentially a showing,” said Stacy Foxworthy, a Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty agent. “So staging a home to create photos that make a great first impression is key.”

The most common rooms to stage are

  • the living room (93%)
  • kitchen (84%)
  • master bedroom (78%)
  • and the dining room (72%).

To see what a difference staging can make, check out the before and after photos below.

Here’s an example of a bedroom from a Mission Hills property before staging:

And after:

Here’s a living room for one of our listings in Fairway before staging:

And after:

Return on investment

As a rule of thumb, the higher the listing price, the higher the cost to stage a property.

That in mind, what does staging a home mean for the sales price?

According to the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), around three quarters of home sellers see a 5% to 15% ROI over the list price of their home after making an average investment of 1% of the list price in staging.

“We use staging in some form for every listing appointment,” said Bash & Co. International Realty agent Wendy Foil, “whether that’s having a stager to the house to do put a decluttering to-do list for the seller, or hiring a stager for furnishing. I believe it sells the house. Our listings usually go above the asking price, and we can usually attribute that to staging and marketing!”

So should you stage your home? Based on statistics from NAR, RESA and the seasoned opinions of our pros here at Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty, the answer to is a resounding YES!

Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty is an innovative full-service residential real estate brokerage that leverages the latest technology to serve clients in emerging, established, and luxury neighborhoods across the Kansas City area. Follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here.