I write this with no real chosen opinion on the matter. I've been in Real Estate since 1993 and have been involved with numerous transations. I've often had the chance to market vacant homes since we've had numerous bank repo accounts. Of all the bank repo assignments, not one of them were ever staged. Cleaned, yes. New carpet, new appliances and paint? Many times. Especially for the Freddie Mac assignments. But never staging.
When the market shifted and we as a team began to shift as well, to flipping homes, we would stage somewhat. No furniture, nothing extravagant or expensive. Merely some towels, candles and decorations in the bathrooms, and perhaps a cookbook and some kitchen utensils in the kitchen. But just a few items to make the place a little warmer.
After several 1,000 un-staged sales of repos assignments and flip properties over the past 20 years, I wonder if staging really helps. Does the cost of staging really improve the bottom line? Does it really make that much of a difference?
I do know that cluttered homes are harder to sell. And de-cluttering always helps make the home look more open. I also understand that vacant homes can be drab and cold. But with a vacant home, a "blank slate", I know people who can see the possibilities. Does having some furniture and decorations change that? Do they get in the way of the imaginative? I'm curious to know what my colleagues have to say. Please feel free to comment with your various experiences. I want to know.