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With the real estate market holding vibrant and strong, many folks think they are ready to sell. And so do countless other Americans whose houses have been on the market for months. How do some homes stand out from their competition? Stage your home to sell. If done properly, it could be the difference between your home sitting or selling.

One of the biggest misconceptions in a seller’s market is the seller thinks the house will sell itself. Sellers might not see the importance of investing money in prepping the house for market. Professional staging taps into the emotional side as buyers imagine themselves in their new home.

Top 4 reasons to stage your home:

  1. You will make more money. A survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. found that staged homes spent half the time on the market than non-staged homes and sold for significantly more than the asking price.
  2. Your house will sell faster. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey found that the longer homes stay on the market, the further their price drops.
  3. You will make your money back. The NAR survey also found the average staging investment is between 1 and 3 percent of the home’s asking price, which generates a home-staging ROI of 3 to 7 percent.
  4. Your online photos will stand out. Same NAR survey found that 90 percent of potential buyers search online first.

Justin Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency says:

  • “It is estimated that well-staged homes sell 83% faster than a non-staged or poorly staged homes.”
  • “If one was to invest in good staging, the ROI is estimated at three to seven-fold in 30 days.”
  • In this current real estate market, a well-staged house will often sell for 30% over the asking price vs. a non-staged or poorly staged house selling for $10,000 under the asking price.

While home staging is in part about showing a property in its best possible light, it can also help potential buyers imagine themselves in the space. Particularly after a move-out, or before a property has ever been occupied, many buyers like to see what a room really looks like, how it lives. “Buyers have a hard time envisioning themselves if it’s empty,” says Realtor Jeanine Burke of Windermere Madison Park, “I think also a home looks smaller if it’s empty.”

In a recent Real Estate Staging Association survey, professionally staged homes spent 72% LESS time on the market and according to a Zillow survey of real estate experts, home staging was listed as a TOP TWO necessary item for sellers.

The staging proof is in the statistical pudding. In home staging, pretty is good, but not everything. Spade and Archer also delivers the goods, physically and financially. Below are the facts about our success, just the facts ma'am.

Average days on market since November 2009

  • General market: 90 Days
  • Spade and Archer projects: 11.7 Days
  • Spade and Archer houses accept offers 87% faster than the general market


Lets talk about The Tower. It's a cool story, but please note, the names have been changed.

Unit 1910 in The Tower has been on the market, vacant and unstaged for over 4 months at a price of $399,000. We staged unit 2210 in The Tower just last week, it went on the market a few days later at a price of $415,000. The views, layout, finishes and fixtures (down to the Murphy bed in one of the bedrooms) is exactly the same in both units.

The unit we staged (2210) went pending in just 4 days. The Realtor spent a total of $2,190 to stage the unit and it sold for $16,000 more than the exact same unit just a few floors away. So if we subtract the cost from the profit $16,000 - $2,190 we can see the return on investment or ROI is $13,810.

This is what working with Spade and Archer is all about; identifying the exact improvements to achieve the highest ROI in the least amount of time.
PS - The unstaged unit 1910 is still on the market at $399,000.


It’s that time again to put on our thinking caps talk about Days on Market, or DOM. I know it is more fun to talk about the pretty stuff, but honestly when it comes down to it, the entire point of the pretty stuff is to get more of the green stuff. If you want more of the green stuff, then you want less DOM. Here is a case study, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

123 NW Maple Street is a condominium complex with six identical units. Two of the units went on the market within a month of each other this past summer. Both units originally listed at $519,000. The two units are mirror images of each other and have comparable finishes, fixtures and amenities, so it would make sense that both realtors would come up with the exact same price.

The realtor for Unit A (we will call him Realtor “A”) called Spade and Archer for a consultation prior to going on market, which is his usual practice. We gave him a few minor suggestions and pricing of $2,510 to stage the entire unit. He and his client proceed with staging about a week later. It went on the market and went pending at full price within a few days.

About a month later we received a phone call from the realtor for Unit B (we will call him Realtor “B”). Realtor “B" asked how much it cost to stage Unit A. We looked up the price and let Realtor “B” that we would be more than glad to stage Unit B for the same cost. We did not even hear back from Realtor “B”, but a few days later Unit “B” dropped their asking pricing to $499,000. For those of you keeping track, that is a $20,000 price drop. So here is what it all boils down to. The more Days on Market you have, the less money you can ask for.

The total investment for Realtor “A” was $2,510 and the return was $20,000. The ROI in this case is $17,490 as well as a fast sell, and a happy client. Unit B is still on the market as of this morning. This is what working with Spade and Archer is all about; identifying the exact improvements to achieve the highest ROI in the least amount of time.