The Effects of Staging Your Property (San Antonio, TX)

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What's up BP community! I'm Chris Campbell, I specialize in the San Antonio, TX real estate market and work specifically with investors. I've done a little bit of research in the past few days and wanted to share what I found with you so I hope you find it valuable. Please let me know what you think with your votes and comments below. 

I recently read THIS ARTICLE about how staging a property for sale effects the sale time and price of a property. After reading the article, it stoked my curiosity so I decided to do a little bit of research on my market and found some interesting information that I thought I'd share to show the merits (or lack thereof) for staging. The article suggests that the assumption of most agents is that staging the property IMPROVES the time to sale and the sale price by building a better idea of a home in your prospective buyer's minds about the house you're selling. This is great for fix and flippers who want to maximize their property's potential to sell and I imagine that what I found could be similar in most major markets across the US. There seems to be some competing arguments mentioned in the article so I wanted to see if I could figure it out for myself. Nerd out with me:

Using the MLS I pulled up all the sales listed as "RECENT REHAB" from the past month. 254 sales pulled up. There's a few things you begin to notice about these properties as you flip through them. (1) There's a lot of agent incompetence, lol. There's a lot of properties listed as being Recently Rehabbed that are not. (2) There's a lot of quality remodeling being done here. I was happy to see some really good rehabs that were well appreciated on the open market.

I took the time to flip through each one of these listings to view the pictures, read the agent remarks, and determine whether they were actually a recent rehab (flip) and if the property was legitimately staged for sale. [I hope you'll appreciate how tedious this was] I picked out 73 properties out of the 254. See their CMA summary stats below:

 - Average Sold $/sqft: $186.32
- Average Days on Market: 47 
- Average LP:SP Ratio: 99.15%
- Out of these 73 properties, 42 of them sold AT OR ABOVE their listed price, with those selling above for an average of +1.28% in an average of 30 days on market.

Here's the stats for the others - the ones I determined (at my discretion) that weren't a rehab or staged property.

 - Average Sold $/sqft: $157.54  (That's an ~18.26% difference)
- Average Days on Market: 52  (5 days slower in sale time)
- Average LP:SP Ratio: 99.01% (Slightly less, seems nominal)

**Feel free to reach out to me for the CMA summaries if you'd like to check my math

Off the bat these differences make it seem as though the article's assumptions are correct. What I'm curious about is how much of the impact is attributed to the staging vs the actual remodel itself. Of course, there's some other factors involved like where the property is located in the city (neighborhood desirability), the listed price of the property (lower range or higher range) and overall quality of the remodel. With reviewing each property in depth I found that staging the property for houses in the top 50-90% of the total price range of the selected listings seemed to have this kind of positive impact on the property's sale. The lower priced properties didn't really seem to benefit too much from the staging and once you get into the upper price ranges it seemed like them being staged was almost a formality. Some of the staging I saw was very basic where others went into a little more detail. I made sure not to check off the ones that were virtually staged, that's a separate topic. 

I like the idea of staging and I know of a few services here in town that do quality staging work for pretty fair pricing. If it means cashing out quicker for potentially higher prices than I'd say it's worth it but I'd like to see what others think about this. I like idea of building the vision of the home your recently remodeled house could be for the prospective buyer. I believe this has the same effect as test driving the car you like at the dealership. As soon as you actually get in and go, you become emotionally attached and you're hooked. I assume getting a few people to test drive your remodel leads to getting multiple/competing offers which drives prices up and quickens the sale. 

Let me know what you think! Do you have experience with staging your flips or are you a staging specialist yourself? Would you recommend staging flips?



Great research Christopher! I've always wondered this myself. I follow some flippers on social media who say they ALWAYS stage their properties and that it works. I know I always suggest to clients selling their home to leave the furniture in if they can. It definetely makes the house stand out more.