While effective home staging can influence first impressions of a property, new research concludes that the strategy by itself will not convince buyers to pay more. College of William and Mary real estate and finance professor Michael Seiler led the study, called “The Impact of Staging Conditions on Residential Real Estate Demand.” He and his co-authors used professional rendering software to create six virtual home tours with varying degrees of attractive or neutral design and furnishings, ugly furniture and design elements, or no furniture at all. More than 800 home buyers were walked through one of the tours, after which they reported how much they would be willing to pay for the featured listing. Regardless of the paint color or quality of the furnishings, study participants all said they would pay about the same for all six of the homes: $204,000. Despite the findings, many real estate agents still believe staging works — especially when buyer emotions come into play. If the staging is favorable, they say, buyers will be willing to up the purchase price; but if it is unfavorable, it may be the element that causes them to walk away. | Read More