Many real estate organizations have performed a home staging experiment in which an identical residence was shown to prospective buyers in three different states of décor.
The first showing consisted of buyers viewing a home which was decorated by the family who owned it and lived in throughout the sales process. The second showing removed all the furnishings out of the residence and buyers were able to view a completely vacant home, devoid of any personalized touches. The last showing to potential buyers used the same home, but this time, the residence was professionally staged inside and out.
The results of this public opinion survey are quite remarkable and support the proven benefits of real estate staging 110%.
Empty Home Staging Experiment
Prospective buyers were asked to rate the home on various criteria after seeing it in all three states of décor. The lowest all-around rating for any home used in the experiment was the empty house. Buyers did not seem to like a space devoid of any life whatsoever. Many prospective buyers said that they had a difficult time envisioning how to set up the space to suit their own needs.
Additionally, most potential buyers cited that the rooms looked the smallest when they did not contain any furnishings at all. Some of the actual common adjectives used to describe the vacant home include: “boring, stark, small and tight”. These are never positive attributes in any buyer’s vocabulary.
Experimenting with a Family Residence
The family decorated home fell in the middle of the staging experiment, in terms of results. The home selected was clean, well kept and up-to-date, but not professionally decorated. Additionally, the family had two small children. Buyers reported that they liked some things about the home and disliked others.
Prospective buyers who had their own young children rated the home slightly higher than those without children. Some of the common descriptions for this family home included:
“Not my taste.”
“I did not like the furniture or color palate.”
“I was wondering how all those people can live in such a small home.”
“I can see my family living there, with some major renovations.”
Home Staging Experiment with an Optimized House
The last version of the house to be seen was a professional staged residence. This time, all the décor was expertly planned and the look, feel and flow were optimized to provide a pleasing contemporary layout ideal for a young family buyer demographic. This residence received the highest ratings, by far, and had the majority of potential buyers interested in making offers on the home. Here are some of the comments on the same house, which had disappointed buyers in the past 2 décor versions:
“I can see myself here. I want it.”
“The rooms are spacious and set up beautifully.”
“I love the style and colors. I would not change a thing.”
“10 out of 10.”
“I want to make an offer.”
I think the results of this experiment speak volumes for themselves.