"A Staged Home Sells on Average 17% Higher". Show Me the Study.

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage GREC #208281

I came across a blog today that had what seemed to be a really unbelievable stat:

"U.S. Housing and Urban Development reports that a staged house sells, on average, 17% higher than a non-staged house."

Wow!  That would mean a $300,000 home could be staged and then sell for $351,000.  17% is just the average.  That would mean staging could create even higher increases on occasion.  That just sounds incredible.  I figured they must have meant 1.7%.

I questioned the source and was provided with a  home staging website. I looked around the site and found that statement. Unfortunately there was no link to the HUD study.

I did a Google search for "staged home sells 17% higher" and got a lot of stager sites that quote that same HUD study but no one referenced it with a link.

I then went to the HUD site and did all kinds of searches to try to find the original study.  I just couldn't find it there.

So is this much quoted HUD study just an Urban Legend? I'd love to see how they came up with those numbers.

On average, how much does staging a home affect the price a seller gets?  In my personal experience, I might have  estimated about  5%.  But 17% as an average just seems way out of whack. 

Do most stagers really use that kind of statistic in their presentations? 

Does anyone have the actual HUD study? 


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About the Author:  Tim Maitski has been a full time Realtor since 1999. He has sold several hundreds of homes in areas around metro Atlanta.  Tim started with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta and is now with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage.


Along with blogging on ActiveRain, he provides one of the best real estate websites in Atlanta at www.HomeAtlanta.com .


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Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales
90% of the time, I take most statistics with about 80% of salt.  LOL
Apr 10, 2007 09:35 AM #3
Gerald Mori
Coldwell Banker 2M Realty - Whitby, ON
Realtor - Coldwell Banker, Oshawa
Someone here wrote a blog yesterday saying that the staged homes sold for 20% more money. This may or may not be true but I think these stats needs to be qualified. What market are these homes in? What geographic area? Had any other improvements been made in addition to staging the home?

I'm sure that properly presenting a home has a positive effect on the selling price of that home. Staging certainly helps with presentation but is never the only factor involved. I think that if people are going to throw numbers around they really ought to back them up with sources.

Someone once stated that 86% of all statistics are made up. I think more people are likely to believe that one... :)


Apr 10, 2007 10:02 AM #4
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Tim, I don't believe it at all. 17%!!!! To me that sounds like a ridiculous figure. But what the heck do I know. Let us know if the mystery data shows up.
Apr 10, 2007 10:03 AM #5
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
The house will sell just what it is appraised for....unless you got all cash buyer's who are willing to pay more for a "nicely staged" home.  A staged home is definitely more appealing than not but do you all think the cosmetic....actually sells for more.....especially when the stuff won't be there when the sale closes???
Apr 10, 2007 11:04 AM #6
Beth Bastian
Rosemont Financial Inc - Simi Valley, CA
Simi Valley Real Estate
I bet in some markets it might be true.  I know in my market, a staged home does get you more money but not 17%
Apr 10, 2007 12:38 PM #7
Miriam Bernstein, CRS
Rochester, NY
Amen.  Would lover to see that study as well.  Ridiculous.
Apr 10, 2007 12:38 PM #8
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Darn! I figured with all of the stagers around here someone would be able to provide the link to the HUD study.  It's sounds so official too to quote a HUD study.  I guess if you repeat something enough, it becomes fact and no one sees the necessity of citing the source.

Apr 10, 2007 02:43 PM #9
Judy Heinrich
Judy Heinrich Home Staging - San Diego, CA

I'm a home stager and I have heard that statistic used a lot!  I have been unable to ever come up with the report and therefore never use that statistic.  I think statistics can be misleading.  A few years ago, homes were selling way over asking price (in California and other places as well) and maybe during that period the 17% was realistic.  In this market?  I think not.  Stagers should only use their personal experience to inform potential clients of their staging track record.   I tell clients staging is a marketing tool and prepares the house to be shown at its fullest potential.  We all know there's much more to a successful sale of a house than just having it staged.

Apr 10, 2007 11:29 PM #10
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Around here agents have a difficult time convincing sellers to rake up their leaves or stain the deck, much less "stage" the house. 


Apr 10, 2007 11:46 PM #11
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Judy,  I can't imagine setting such a high expectation for a seller. The other problem I see with it is it really degrades the stager's credibility.  If I see such an outrageous claim on a website, I immendately think that everything else they say is probably a lot of hype.

Apr 11, 2007 12:28 AM #12
Home Staging
Reston, VA

I am also a stager and dont beleive that statistic.  I have heard about 6.9% in the past but never something that large.  I always tell stagers to back up their numbers!  In fact I would caution anyone to quote statistics without a source....never a good idea. 

Staging can certainly help you sell a listing, but faster, and for more money....well....you would really have to do a test comparing an identical house with identical buyers in an identical market....darn near imposible don't cha think...?????

I can tell you that 99% of my staged listings sell in under 30-days. I rarely quote anyone else' statistics.


Apr 11, 2007 01:41 AM #13
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes
Larry the cable guy says...42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot. In this case it may be true. Then again who is taking the survey?
Apr 11, 2007 03:38 AM #14
Becky Fields Home Staging and ReDesign
Becky Fields Home Staging and ReDesign - Tracy, CA

As a new stager, I don't have stats on my website other than one from a Prepare to Sell Study done by HomeGain in 2000 and it is cited and linked so there is no mistake it is an older stat. 

What sellers and Realtors don't understand about staging is that it helps with appeal and marketability.  No, a staged home will not "earn" a seller more money over a non-staged home "That would mean a $300,000 home could be staged and then sell for $351,000."  A house can only sell at what the market will allow or what it could appraise at. 

What it does mean is a staged home has less "flaws or negatives" than a non-staged house.  Buyers want houses which they can just move into without having to "fix it up".  If sellers prepare their house through staging; process of cleaning, decluttering, neutralizing, updating and styling (giving the house a model home feel), buyers feel the house is worth the asking price and will not propose a lowball offer. 

Potential Home Buyers tour houses with little calculators in the heads;

  • Old dirty carpet - deduct $5,000 or more for new carpet
  • Wallpaper or wall color buyer doesn't like - deduct $2,000 to have a professional strip or paint
  • Outdated kitchen cabinets - deduct $20,000 or more for brand new kitchen
  • Update bathrooms - deduct $5,000 for new bathroom

Make an offer $40,000 less than asking price.

Had the seller cleaned the carpets (up to $500 for a professional deep clean), removed wallpaper and painted the walls a neutral color ($100), painted the kitchen cabinets and added new hardware (up to $500) and updated the bathroom with fresh paint, new vanity or hardware, new light and fixtures (up to $500), buyers couldn't justify a low offer.

If buyers don't feel a house is worth the asking price they will either make a low offer or disregard the house altogether and move on to the next.  With so many houses on the market, wouldn't you want to do what you could to make sure a seller gets the highest offer they can?  I mean, it affects your commission when sellers accept a lower than asking price offer.

Instead of suggesting sellers reduce their asking price $5,000-$10,000 or more, wouldn't it be better to advice sellers to have their house professionally staged for a few thousand or less? (Depends on the area and the amount of staging needed)  Even if a house is presently listed on the MLS, staging is a way to refresh a forgotten/overlooked house and bring it to the bargaining table. Sellers should do what it takes to make sure their house is worth the asking price or they won't get it.  Staging is a way of helping a seller get what they think their house is worth. 

Ultimately the goal is to sell the house and if staging helps get it sold, then its a valuable tool.

Don't lower your asking price; raise the home's condition/value instead. Stage your house/listings.

Apr 11, 2007 05:46 AM #15
Alyse Bromberg
Dressed for Success - Kingston, ON

Becky, you couldn't have said it better.

For example - my best stat ever is a home that I staged that was originally listed at $329k.  It was reduced to $314k, and then further reduced to $299k.  It had been on the market for 9 months, in a HOT market.  Everything around it was selling. They took it off the market, and staged it.  We painted the entire house, changed the door handles on all interior doors, changed the light fixtures in most rooms, and rearranged the furniture and accessories.  Several new agents were called in to give their market evaluation.  It was relisted at $389k and was sold for $385 in 3 weeks time. -  In this case the house after being staged technically sold for 22% more.

Simply doing some minor updating and rearranging and the home had an entirely new feel.  Buyers didn't feel like they were walking into a 1970 house that would require them to do a lot to make it feel like their own.  Instead they walked into a house that felt here and now, and they bought it.

Staging does work!

Apr 11, 2007 07:56 AM #16
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI



In my very first blog that I EVER wrote this is what I had to say... "To get the most out of staging, its best to stage a property BEFORE it is listed.  Staging can move the listing price to the top end of the property's possible price range. But if the property is already listed, INSTEAD of a price reduction, consider staging.  Real Estaging can be less costly and have more of an impact."

Getting a realtor to wait to list a property until it has been staged has been a problem. But when we can... we usually see a price increase that easliy covers our fees in leaves cash in the pockets of the sellers.



Apr 11, 2007 10:17 AM #17
Patrick Harfst
Realty Executives - Phoenix AZ - Gilbert, AZ


Staging helps, but 17% sounds high! I wonder if & when this "study" actually shows up, how thorough it was done. Just interview a few staging proponents? What is the baseline to compare to? Inasmuch as no two homes are identical, much less on the the market at the same time, I see problems quantifying such "data". My guess is that the 17% is someone's best guess. Someone selling their staging services. Once again, I find myself asking for an extra dose of truth in advertising... Thanks for bringing this topic to light!


Apr 13, 2007 09:32 AM #18
Marcyne Touchton
Domaine Staging - Charlotte, NC


Thanks for bringing that up. I recently am doing my own research with US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The department I called upon could not find any research about staging but recommended that I call the office in DC who could conduct a more thorough research, which I will be doing soon. (as soon as I stop staging, meeting clients, writing on AR -LOL)  We stagers in the AR community and in the industry as a whole are concerned about that number being thrown out without anything to substantiate that.

I do have statistics from Stagedhomes.com.  They are a very reliable source, in fact, the founder and CEO is "Queen Stager," as she created the industry and termed & trademarked the phrase, staging.  You can look it up on Stagedhomes.com homepage where on the leftside, kinda in the middle, says, statistics. 

Staged homes sell for 6.9% more money than a nonstaged home and sells 50% faster!  And we do believe the stat is actually higher than that, and they were going to do a more recent survey as that is outdated. I couldn't tell you when it was last done and am not sure when they will come out with a new one.  Now that is not a S.W.A.G. (as someone recently mentioned as I've never seen this acronym before -  Sceintific Wild Ass Guess). ( :

Apr 14, 2007 02:16 PM #19
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Tim - great question. I was just going to post what I knew from looking at Barb Schwarz' Staged Homes site, and that is a 6.9% higher price, based on their own survey, but Marcyne beat me to it. That seems more believable, but the sample size I think was only 200 homes and that's pretty small. But whether that 6.9% number or some other is the reality, staging clearly can make a difference in terms of time and price.


Apr 15, 2007 07:41 AM #20
Lorrie Thomas RE/MAX Town & Country of Hickory Flat located i
So, did anyone ever find the actual HUD report with the actual #'s?
Jan 31, 2008 03:02 PM #21
Al Leong
It is a false claim, and logically impossible - HUD has been contacted. These firms are advertising fraudlently because normally, the appraisal process negates staging as a visual tool that is removed after the house is sold. the original of the statement was a writer in about.com, and she may have made a mistake. That statement has since been removed by about.com after contacting HUD. In its place you may cite other research including Homegain, P&G and this new report conducted in Canada - http://bit.ly/1g13XPF This report does not conclusively show any correlation between the final sale price and home staging, and at most a 4% increase.
Jan 22, 2014 04:28 AM #22
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Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal
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