What is the impact of TV shows on buyers’ staging expectations?


Home staging is the premise of many popular reality TV shows, but even when no film crew is involved, it plays an important role in the real real estate market. For many buyers, a bare, empty room can leave too much to the imagination, which is why setting the scene is essential in showing the full potential of a space.

Why staging is so important

According to Home Staging 2021 Profile Report of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 82% of buying agents said a staged property made it easier for potential buyers to “see” themselves in the space.

While staging is an investment of time and money for the seller, it is an investment that could pay off. In fact, this is already the case for many sellers: 23% of buying agents said that offers rose 1% to 5% more than similar properties that weren’t featured. Additionally, 18% of the seller’s agents said a property’s dollar value increased between 6% and 10%. Along with increased supply, another statistic worth mentioning is that 31% of agents say a staged house has spent significantly reduced time on the market.

Home hunting during the pandemic

the pandemic slammed the door on countless open days, first home buyers to perform searches virtually. It goes without saying that downloading Pictures to a real estate ad – in stages or not – is of vital importance in attracting buyers.

Gone are the days of putting together just a quick exterior photo of a home: 83% of buyers’ agents said the photo listing has been larger since the start of the pandemic. Videos and virtual tours are also important, with 74% and 73% of agents, respectively, noting their importance in home search.

Reality TV vs Real World Expectations

For some buyers, however, reality TV skewed their expectations. The report noted that 10% of buyers expected homes to look the same as on TV. In fact, 63% of buyers wanted a home to look like the one featured on TV. Given these expectations, it’s no surprise that 68% of agents said homebuyers were disappointed with how some homes looked in real life.

Despite these high expectations, the report found that a property does not need to be fully staged to appeal to buyers. The staging of one or two rooms in a house can still have an impact. The most important rooms for buyers to see staged in a property were the living room (46%), the master bedroom (43%), and the cooked (35%). No agent reported a decrease in value due to staging.

The bottom line

When the real estate market is hot and homes are selling fast, it can be tempting to investor to ignore the staging of a property. But as the NAR report shows, buyers expect to see properties staged the way they see them on TV – and some are willing to pay more when they see the space’s greatest potential.


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