I love that home staging TV shows are boosting the average person's awareness of the importance of presenting their home in the best possible way when it's time to sell. It's also increasing awareness that "home staging" is actually a service.
But, it's a service that comes with a cost.
My concern with shows like "Buy Me," "Sell This House", etc. is that they present a completely unrealistic view of what can be accomplished over a weekend and for how much. They have huge teams that descend on a place and work night and day for free. Of course a house can be transformed for $2,000 with no labor cost and no cost for the home stager's expertise, time to come up with the ideas and implementing them!
Check out the email I received to see what I mean:
"How does one manage to get one's home on TV where the staging is done for
free? Can real people qualify for this or are the families pre-selected? How
much does staging cost? Is there a service in Maryland? Please help? My home
is rather new and in good shape. A four bedroom, 3.5 bath colonial., that we
need to sell due to change of circumstances. We need to get top dollar. Our
furniture is nice as well and most of it is fairly new but the house does not
look like it could. I don't know what is wrong. My home used to look like a
model but no longer. A good stager could make this a showplace. There are
little things that need to be done but nobody is handy and contractors want to
gouge you for something that takes five or ten minutes. Most people on TV
live on the West coast in tiny homes. I live on the East coast in a nice sized
home. Is TV an option for people like me? If not, can my house be staged for
a small amount of money like they do on the shows?"
This was my reply:
"Those TV shows are completely unrealistic because the significant labor they use is all free. You might be able to get your home on one, but you'll have no control over when that is. So if you have to sell at a certain time, this might not be a realistic objective.
Yes there are stagers in Maryland. But if free or little or no cost is your most important criteria, I can't recommend anyone."
I watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition a couple of weeks ago. They built an entire house over a few days. I wonder if silly viewers ask real life contractors and architects whether they can have that too?!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
President Six Elements Inc. Home Staging