Staging? Too much of a good thing?

Real Estate Agent with Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233 TN 221117, 299512

As we know, staging, or organizing a
home's furnishingsA plain-Jane kitchen which could use some staging. to show off its best
features, can take ordinary and ugly spaces and turn them into beautiful and appealing places.  

Savvy sellers know that in this market, they MUST get their home show ready to sell.  By watching shows like HGTV, they have been educated on the need for it. They may call in a professional for consultation, but many times they have good ideas of their own.  

I notice, however, when showing homes in a neighborhood where many homes are on the market, and which are all similar in age and floor plan, that to compete most are definitely 'staged.'  They are all beautiful. Breathtaking!  

My question for discussion: With so many sellers seriously getting their home ready to sell by de-cluttering, painting walls in attractive colors, arranging furniture in the most attractive way....Making it look like a model do we keep the houses from all looking alike?  How do we make one beautiful home stand out from another?   

When staging was a well kept secret, and we showed 10 houses, and maybe only one was staged, the buyer wanted to write the contract right there in the kitchen!  It was love at first sight!  

Now, I may show 10 houses and at least 8 of them are staged, and gorgeous.  It's like picking Miss America from 50 beautiful women. What a decision!! 

Where do we go from here? What is the next level?

Sarah & John Rummage
Nashville TN Real Estate Specialists

Posted by

Sarah & John Rummage, Realtors®
Sarah Direct: 615-516-5233
John Direct:  615-945-1838

2500 - 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37212
Office: 615.432.2919 

 Email me to receive a current list of any type property in the Middle Tennessee area. Write a short message about what type property you are looking for (for instance, 'condo downtown,' 'single family home in Belle Meade,' etc). 

Sarah is your Nashville, Middle Tennessee, USA, realty specialist. She specializes in executive homes. Also, seniors' downsizing, foreclosures, bank REO & Fannie Mae properties, investor buying and selling.  


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Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Lol, Good point about picking Miss America! I agree, but love it when the Sellers put their best foot forward, rather than the opposite!

Jan 04, 2011 01:34 AM #1
Sarah, John Rummage
Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233 - Nashville, TN
Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area!

Oh, I agree, Sylvie, that it's great when the sellers put their best foot forward.  What impresses me is how much talent they have in making their home beautiful, and how industrious and diligent they are to do all the hard work to get it that way to go on the market!  I have seen some homes which I thought needed very little extra to be done, but the sellers jumped in and did a ton more anyway.

Happy 2011!


Jan 04, 2011 01:58 AM #2
Brandon DeVere
Force Realty - Las Vegas, NV


 I know what you mean, I had a listing presentation today and the first thing that my client did was take me through the house to show me what she was going to paint/fix/stage. I know it seems tough to pick "Miss America" but when you are trying to show her, it is much easier when that is what she wants to be.

My point being; it was so refreshing to have a client that knew other people may not like what she does so she was willing to make changes and not get offended when I offered suggestions. 

Jan 04, 2011 05:42 PM #3
Chris Eckert
Keller Williams Realty - San Mateo, CA
Your Mid-Peninsula Realtor
the bar has been raised and it is very difficult to compete now, unless your listing is staged.
Jan 04, 2011 05:56 PM #4
Ron T. Weems Jr.
Weems Property Group | KW Northwest - Marysville, WA

It is great to have the sellers stage their homes to get it sold quickly and for the highest possible price. When you show 10 homes and 8 are staged it comes down to the location and price. The home the family feels most comfortable in will probably be the home they decide to purchase. 

Jan 04, 2011 05:57 PM #5
Lin Wetzel
Outstanding Staging - Stroudsburg, PA
People Prefer OUTSTANDING Properties! tm

Very interesting questions, "Where do we go from here? What is the next level?"

Staging certainly includes,as you say, "de-cluttering, painting walls in attractive colors, arranging furniture in the most attractive way" but to get to the highest level, great stagers often recommend more substantial changes, including repairs, and certain smart improvements geared toward getting the highest returns when the home sells. Sellers who go all the way can improve not only their chances to stand out from the competition in beauty, but more importantly, in reality. Home inspectors see right through "beauty." The old saying about "putting lipstick on a pig" comes to mind in some cases.

Staging "all the way" by making repairs and wise improvements can yield much higher returns for everyone; the seller can get a much higher price, the buyer can get a much better house, and the agent can net more with less effort. While all staged homes may be beautiful to look at and cause love at first sight, the love of a property with true inner beauty lasts so much longer!

~ Lin

Jan 04, 2011 11:13 PM #6
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Every seller is different, there will be those who do more and those who do less.  That's life!  Whatever will be will be.

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Jan 05, 2011 12:36 AM #7
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

When home sellers are willing to stage their homes to make sure they are ready to compete it is a wonderful thing!  Just like a real estate professional has more to offer sellers than when they try to do FSBO, a Professional Home Stager offers more than just a clean and pretty property.  Great stagers are trained to take it beyond attractive, but to also make more of an emotional connection with sellers.  One of our top read blogs this year was "My Home is Beautiful - do I really need a Stager?"  In the hundreds of homes we've visited - only ONE I said - this is perfect I wouldn't change a thing and left without charging!   

Jan 05, 2011 03:58 AM #8
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

What to do after the staging? I would say that hopefully the price of the home speaks for itself.  If the house is immaculate and beautifully staged but the price isn't aligned to market conditions than all of the most beautiful furniture in the world isn't going to get the home to sell.

Jan 05, 2011 04:10 AM #9
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Hi Sara & John, I'd say the home better be priced correctly from the START, have everything in working order!

Jan 05, 2011 05:34 AM #10
Brent & Deb Wells
LivingWell Properties - Prosper, TX
Prosper TX

Sara & John,

Staging is helpful, but it will not sell a home that is overpriced. Now with all things being equal you have to take a huge step back and look at landscaping in the terms of how you look at interior staging. Deb & I have been offering this along with her ASP staging skills for years. It may sound simple, but so many folks don't know the impact of proper well done 'staging landscaping'.


Jan 05, 2011 07:00 AM #11
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

In my area staging has not taken off yet. So we see it as the exception not the rule!

Jan 05, 2011 07:13 AM #12
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

In my area staging has not taken off yet. So we see it as the exception not the rule!

Jan 05, 2011 07:13 AM #13
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