I LOVE this SHOW! It's interesting to see how people are trying to sell their house but don't understand what the Buyer is looking at. I have gone into many Seller's homes and noticed how their personal touches distract me from seeing the features of the house.
I think that Agents need to make it clear to Sellers what they need to do to 'appeal' to the mass market to get their house sold. It is CRUCIAL! Especially since the market has changed and it takes longer to sell a house.
It can take about $1000 or more to stage the house if you do it yourself. I would even rent out furniture to stage the house and sell it quickly. There are also professional stagers available.
Take note when an Agent tells you to put away your personal belongings, pack up your closets, change things in your house. If they DON'T tell you to do that..I would question that. A good Agent will tell you what needs to be done even though you don't want to hear it. They are the experts...at least the good ones are. Just like any thing else..there are good Agents and bad Agents. Do your homework.
Staging is WORTH YOUR TIME AND MONEY!