The Real Deal New York

Home staging has little impact on sale price: study

December 27, 2013 12:40PM

Home staging may affect prospective homebuyers’ initial perception of a house, but it won’t persuade them to pay more, according to a new study from three business professors.

The authors — Michael Seiler of the College of William & Mary, Vicky Seiler of Johns Hopkins University and Mark Lane of Old Dominion University — led hundreds of would-be homebuyers through six virtual house tours last year in an effort to conduct research. 

The study looked at staging’s impact of the sale price of a home, not the speed at which it sells, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The houses differed in furniture quality and paint choices. Buyers expressed interest in spending $204,000 on average for each of the houses – unrelated to the colors or furniture. But when it came to other buyers, they said their competition would likely adjust their offers based on how the home was staged, the study showed.

“We were able to parse out what you consciously believe and subconsciously believe,” Michael Seiler told the Journal. “Beforehand, everyone thinks poor staging is going to be a problem. But when we actually did the experiment, we found it doesn’t matter.”

The Journal of Housing Research plans to publish the study, “The Impact of Staging Conditions on Residential Real Estate Demand,” next year. [WSJ]Mark Maurer