Why Stage in a Hot Market – A Case Study

Is it hot enough for you? 2020/2021 will go down in the realtor history books as the hottest market ever experienced. Properties are receiving multiple offers, with some offers well over asking price, sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands. So why stage if demand is high? First answer – all the same reasons apply as if the market was slow; have great photos, create emotion, etc. Second answer – not all properties are selling on day one and the costs associated with so many Days on Market can be staggering. The property described in this case study is an excellent example of a house that sat on the market for a long time before a stager was brought in, then sold quickly after it was professionally staged.

About 1414 Catbriar Way, Odenton MD

This property is a 2200 sq ft, single family house in a 55+ community. It was listed for $639,900.00. The house is one level plus basement, and contains three bedroom and two baths.  It was built in 2017. The community is actively building new homes with attractive models on display.

First Attempt to Sell – First Realtor

Initially, the owners put the house on the market as an occupied property and tidied up the interior and exterior, removing clutter and doing landscape maintenance. After a period of time, they moved out and left the home vacant. The property was on the market for 135 days and received no offers.

Second Attempt to Sell – Second Realtor

A new realtor was brought in that recommended staging. After an initial consultation, the stager recommended staging. A proposal was submitted, accepted and the property staged one week later.  

Staging Strategy

Three-part strategy:

  1. Bring attention to features-

Coordinate the furnishings style and colors with the attractive, updated kitchen and bathrooms.

Show more floor space than as originally furnished.

  1. Sell the lifestyle –

Add bright pops of color throughout to add the excitement a buyer transitioning to a 55+ community is attracted to and plays well off dark cabinets.

Add accessories to inspire the idea of entertaining, work from home, comfort, and luxury.

  1. Reassign uses of three rooms:

                  Former 2nd bedroom staged as office to take advantage of the beautiful daytime view.

                  Former TV room staged as guest bedroom.

                  Former Office staged as elegant dining room.

Upon completion of staging, new photos of the property were put online. The accepted offer was made the first weekend the house was shown.

The Costs to the Owner

The owners took the home off the market and changed realtors who recommended staging. The selling price was not reduced. It was on the market 135 days before switching realtors and was vacant for some of that time, plus the time in between realtors. A breakdown of the expenses shows the considerable losses that eat into the profits made from the sale of the property.

Monthly Carrying Charges   (e) = estimate

Principal and Interest          $2116.41

Water Bill                            $34.00

Property Tax                        $636.00

Property Insurance(e)          $100

Front Foot                            $58.33

HOA                                    $200.00

Special Develop                  $66.00

BGE (e)                               $100.00

Total Monthly Cost            $3310.74/month x 4.5 months = $14,898.33

Staging Cost                       $3000.00

Combined Cost                   $17,898.33

Savings if Staged Initially:  $14,898.33