You can truly find anything on the internet. Today I found the report How to not get tricked by staging — and potentially save $5,645 when you buy your home (PDF; 1.23 MB) published by National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents.
The gist of the report is that staging is the enemy and a good buyer's agent must steer the buyers away from staged homes, or teach them to look past all the tricks that stagers use to make the home look better than it really is. The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents strongly feels that staging has become the media darling of real estate industry, with mainstream TV channels such as HGTV running its shows like Designed To Sell to convince people the power of staging. It also has been a dominant topic in the real estate trade magazines and other publications. All these have been campaigned in seller's favor. So NAEBA feels that it must address the buyers' needs by exposing what staging really is and how the buyers can consequently save money when they see past the staging.
In the report, NAEBA outlines "The dangers of home staging from your position as a home buyer"
"NAEBA recommends that buyers remain cautionary about staged homes. In the real estate profession there are an abundance of stories of buyers seeing a staged home, becoming emotionally attached to it, and then paying over market value for the home. This is exactly what you want to avoid as a buyer. The emotional attachment can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Staging also tries to minimize a home’s shortcomings. This almost always includes using small furniture to make a room look larger, particularly small dining tables and chairs and small bedroom furniture. Watch out for it! Additionally, the survey results indicate that stagers and/or home sellers often use furniture and wall stager had brought in some very nice window coverings. Unfortunately they covered up a broken window that ended up being the buyer’s problem. Often when you see a staged home you might get the impression that if the home looks this good now, it must have been well maintained. This is often false and a potentially dangerous assumption. Many times staged homes take advantage of the staging to cover up deferred maintenance issues and improper construction and repair issues. Do not assume that an attractively presented home has been well maintained. "
At the end of the report, NAEBA also points out "'Know your enemy' resources from some of America's top staging professionals:
http://www.stagingdiva.com/ Debra Gould’s website
http://stagedhomes.com/ Barbara Schwarz’s website
http://www.recreatinginteriors.com/ Mary McDonald’s website
http://www.homestagingresource.com/ Audra Slinkey’s website
http://decoratedtosell.com/ Calie Waterhouse’s website "
I suppose it's a form of flattery that we stagers are considered as public enemy #1 by National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. While I agree with certain parts of the report such that sellers will be able to sell their home faster and potentially for more money, but a lot of it I do not agree with.
The report spent a lot of time explaining that sellers use staging to mask fundamental flaws such as foundation cracks, stains, leakage, etc. which I considered as HIGHLY UNETHICAL on a stager's part, and illegal may I add (at least in California). It is NOT my job as a stager concealing fundamental flaws of the home, nor I should do it because not only I am open myself, my agent client and my seller client to liability and lawsuits, it is something that sellers must disclose while selling. Additionally staging is geared toward buyer's benefits as well.
The staging will help buyers to realize the home's potential by staging tricky floor plan and using furnishing to help guiding the buyers to realize that just because of the room is small, it doesn't mean this is a total waste of space. Moreover, staging helps buyers' agents by assisting the clients finding the home that they want. It will help to add to their commission by closing a higher priced sale. The report also pointed out that buyers get so distracted by the staging, they don't noticed details such as cracked windows or cracks on the wall and they end up buying the house. Excuse me, but isn't it buyers agents' due diligence to notice these types of things as well? And seller must discloses these on the contract (at least in California). Moreover, staged props are generally removed by final inspections. Things such as cracked windows, carpet stains, should be visible in plain sight.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. To view the report, go to How to not get tricked by staging — and potentially save $5,645 when you buy your home.