As I'm writing this (summer of 2021), the market is crazy hot. But contrary to what many people believe, that's all the more reason to stage your home! Buyers are clamoring to submit their best offers on the homes that most appeal to them out of fear that another buyer will outbid them. I've been seeing buyers willing to pay as much as $200,000 or more over asking price (not on million-dollar homes... just median-priced homes!), and some buyers are even willing to write into their offers that they will still pay that much over list price even if the house doesn't appraise at the price they're offering. Some buyers are even willing to waive contingencies pay above appraisal value!
If it feels to the buyer like they're having to settle for a house that only evokes a "meh" feeling from them, they may still submit an offer in a hot market (because they know there aren't many other choices out there), but it probably won't be their best offer. In other words, if you invest the money and effort into evoking a "wow" reaction from buyers rather than a "I-guess-this-house-will-have-to-do" reaction, it could make the difference between one or two offers with terms you're not crazy about, or an all-out bidding war between buyers willing to only stop short of offering you their first-born child.
60% of members responding to the Real Estate Staging Association's 2020 "State of the Industry" survey reported a 15%-25% return on a 1.5% investment in their vacant home staging services
Will your house sell in a super hot, on-fire market like this without staging? Probably, but why set the bar so low? By not staging, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Don't leave money on the closing table.
If you're a seller, you will get a return on the investment in staging in the form of higher offers with better terms, all of which will result in more money in your pocket after closing.
If you're a listing agent, consistently partnering with a quality, professional home staging company will elevate your brand and reputation. The better-than-average stats you'll accumulate will impress prospective clients during your listing presentations, and those stats, coupled with the gorgeous MLS photos that will populate your website and social media pages, will earn you more listings and fill your pipeline, meaning higher commissions and more of them.
I've written more on the benefits of home staging here.