I can already hear what you’re thinking…

‘Ugh, of course you are going to say it does, you work for a home staging business. You are biased.’

Well guess what.

And by ‘research’ I don’t mean a 2 minute google search.

Oh no.

I wanted to get to the bottom of this. Over the last week I secretly dedicated more than 20 hours of my office time to delve deep into this topic, without anyone at Foxy knowing.

It’s not that I was doing it behind their back.

I just wanted to keep my research objective. Unbiased. Low-key. No one knew, just you and me.

First, I looked at some statistics…

I was determined to keep it factual and impartial, so my first point of search were Government websites and industry bodies.

Several hours passed and I found nothing, except for a few unrelated blog posts from other home staging businesses.

No official statistics, no surveys, no numbers…. in Australia.

In the U.S. however, multiple studies have been done to find out how home-staging affects the property movement on the market. I will acknowledge that the U.S. real estate market is different to the Australian one, but some of the results I found were quite fascinating.

  • 83% of real estate agents said that a staged home sells faster than an unstaged home

  • 92% of agents found home staging to be beneficial

  • over 50% of agents said that staging increases a home’s value anywhere from 1%-15%

Wait a minute.

Let’s use an example to see if I can wrap my head around these numbers…

I’ll be conservative and assume the property sells for ‘only’ 5% above the advertised price (less than the industry average).

Let’s say the property is valued at $650k.

If staging helps sell the property 5% above the asking price, that’s extra $32,500 in the sellers’ pocket.

That means they will not only cover their staging costs, but with that amount of money they could easily afford a family holiday in Costa Rica (once Covid-19 restrictions ease, of course).

*looks longingly into the distance*

The numbers in these studies were convincingly high, but it takes more than that to convert me.

What do Australian Real Estate Agents think?

That was my next question.

The reason I was curious about this is because the agents do not have a horse in the race. They’re not going to try to “sell” home staging services to me if it doesn’t work. What they care about is selling it for the highest price possible.

So to find an answer to our hypothesis, I looked up some of Australia’s top real estate agencies along with ‘…is home staging worth it?’.

After reading more than twelve articles on this topic, all written by different agents – I didn’t feel the need to keep reading.

They all unambiguously agreed that home staging is a worthwhile investment.

In fact, I noticed a lot of similarities between the blogs. Phrases like ‘first impressions count’, ‘the wow factor is what sells’ and ‘more online views’ seemed to be coming up most often.

So I kept digging.

Do staged properties really attract more views online?

As I mentioned above, ‘more online views’ and ‘high click-through-ratio’ were the most commonly used phrases by real estate agents with reference to staged properties.

Is that really the case, though? I discovered that Realestate.com.au shows the number of page views for each listing, which was perfect for my plan.

So I picked two similar-looking properties (around the same price & size), both in the same suburb, both listed exactly 6 days ago.

The only difference was that Property A was staged professionally, while Property B was photographed ‘as is’. That means old furniture (some of which was covered with drapes), stained carpets and lots of personal items everywhere.

Before I continue…  I don’t mean to be dramatic. I really don’t. But when I saw the difference in page views….

Property B (unstaged): 551 views

Property A (staged): 1,912 views

That’s more than triple the amount of eyes on the listing, which presumably translates to 3x more phone calls, 3x more emails and 3x more walk-ins.

Foxy’s ‘$25k difference’ Experience

It was time I asked Jake & Phoebe if something this impactful ever happened at Foxy.

Without raising any suspicion, I discreetly slid this question into my conversation with Phoebe while we were driving to an install.

“Well, there was this one unit we staged. Around the same time, another almost identical property came up for sale in the complex. Same size – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 living.  That unit was styled virtually and sold 4 weeks later. Our unit was sold during the first open home for $25,000 more.

Well…. ladies and gents, there you have it. I don’t know about you, but my mind is made up.

The conclusion? Home Staging works.

And I’m not saying this because I work at Foxy.

I’ve done the research.