The International Association of Home Staging Professionals’ Barb Schwarz says that of properties staged by its members, 95 percent sell for 17 percent more than non-staged homes and within 11 days or fewer on average. Another report by the Real Estate Staging Association estimates that staged homes sell 78 faster. “A properly staged home will always attract more shoppers, which equals more showings, which equals greater potential for offers and a sale,” says Patricia Marie Kelly of the Algonquin, Ill.-based real estate services firm Marie Kelly Unlimited. Schwarz stresses the difference between decorating — which involves personalizing — and staging — which involves depersonalizing — and emphasizes that the goal of staging is to help buyers visualize the space as their own. A HomeGain survey indicates that shelling out money on staging pays off in the long run, with $75 portable lighting fixtures translating into an additional $1,000 to $1,500 on the asking price and $275 in springtime seasonal yard improvements boosting the price by a similar amount. However, Kelly says whatever items are used to stage the home for MLS photos should be kept in the house during the selling process, as buyers could perceive the removal of the items “as bait and switch.” | Read More