Is Real Estate Staging a bubble profession?

By
Home Stager with New Vision Interiors LLC

With so many agents opting not to renew their licenses and mortgage brokers who are throwing in the towel, you wonder what's on the horizon for Real estate stagers. In better times the market was filled with flippers, builders, and investors who knew the value of merchandising a property. Now the market stands still with a silence that deafens the nation.

  

Staging has been considered a luxury service and deemed an unnecessary expense by some. It is a profession that is directly affected by the performance of the market. One would like to believe that with all the excess inventory, Stagers would be the first marketing tool considered before listing a property. In many areas of the country this is not the case, and raises questions about the viability of the staging industry as a whole?

  

Are Stagers slowly becoming a casualty of this latest real estate bubble?

Comments (15)

Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

I don't think so Benita.  It's just going to narrow the playing field and that's great for those of us that can stick it out. 

Apr 07, 2009 02:31 AM
Peg Prather
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA

Benita; you ask some valid questions. However, here is my take on it. I believe that home staging will be around as long as there are houses for sale. It doesn't matter if there are 2 houses or 2,000 on the market, there is competition for buyers. And buyers go into a home with a logical view of their needs (as they should), but in the end, they buy the best looking place that feels like "home" to them (but still fits their needs.)

The savvy, smart Realtors who will stay in business will realize this, and make sure their listed homes are staged. Also, home sellers understand the value of staging, and often call us before a Realtor does!

We aren't going anywhere except up.  Never be discouraged by the market, it has changed before, it will change again!

Apr 07, 2009 02:34 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Benita ~ I'm with Ginger and Peg above .... homeowners need us now more than ever to make their homes appealing to potential buyers!  Experienced Realtors also recognize the importance of staging in presenting a property when there's so much inventory out there.  We offer a variety of services that are very reasonably priced that will help any homeowner prepare their home for sale.  I'm convinced that professional home staging is here to stay, but the hobbyists and wannabee stagers will find they can't make it in this challenging market.

Apr 07, 2009 04:48 AM
Gary Barnett
Home Matters - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis

Hello Benita, Your post is short, sweet and to the point.  I like it!  As long as there are sellers, Realtors, investors and builders that understand that Home Staging provides a marketing advantage over their competition, then yes we will be in demand.   

Apr 07, 2009 04:57 AM
Benita Gottfried
New Vision Interiors LLC - Hopatcong, NJ

Ginger- I believe that also and I am willing to ride out this storm. I guess no one ever said it was going to be easy.

 

Peg- Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

 

Maureen- Hopefully television exposure and the education we provide as stagers will solidify our industry. And you are right the wannabees and hobbyists will continue to fall by the shoulder of the road.

 

Gary- Thank you for your comments.

 

Apr 07, 2009 05:28 AM
Rhonda Hay Rawlins
Glastonbury Home Staging - Glastonbury, CT

Benita - I agree with the others, if there are houses to be sold, stagers will be needed to solve the problem of houses not being in the kind of condition that buyers want.

Apr 07, 2009 07:17 AM
Nicole Hurst
Cole House Design - Georgetown, ON
Your Halton & Peel Home Staging Expert

Benita:  I like what Peg said above, and agree with her wholeheartedly! 

The Realtors who are top in sales in my area have incorpated home staging into their marketing plans and are all very busy, versus those agents who have not grasped the idea of staging yet.  I am hoping that home staging becomes a norm in the real estate world in the near future, just as home inspectors have over the last few years. 

As Maureen mentioned above, the stagers that are poorly running their businesses or are just hobbyists, could find the current economy does them in.  I have seen two close in my area recently.

Apr 07, 2009 08:32 AM
Wendy Timmons
Move Home Realty - Temecula, CA
Temecula Realtor

Hi Benita! I think there is going to be stagers getting out, just as there is agents getting out of the industry. However, those of us who are committed and have the passion and business sense will be there till the end. I still believe that staging will become the norm. So we( stagers) won't be a causualty, the agents who don't jump on board will :)

Apr 07, 2009 08:43 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

We have found that our business has strengthened with the difficult housing market.  Agents and sellers are looking for a way to set themselves (and their properties) apart.  Staging statistics in our area have shown that the investment of staging is saving sellers money, so I think they'll keep staging.  Even banks and relo companies have been jumping on the staging wagon in our town... which is keeping us hopping!

Apr 07, 2009 09:00 AM
Edgar Marroquin
ABQ Home Staging - Albuquerque, NM

I certainly hope not. However I also think it may be a geographical problem too. I used to live in San Francisco, and I don't see that people will stop staging their homes there. I now live in Albuquerque and Staging never really took off here so it is a bit more challenging to get clients to commit. Will I be around a year from now, absolutely I am looking at different ways to market my services, maybe focus a bit more on the redesign aspect. I've been doing this for seven years, I love what I do and I'm not going anywhere.

Apr 07, 2009 11:35 AM
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR AssociateĀ® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Benita,

Thought provoking but I don't see staging going by the wayside any more than merchandising, marketing, or advertising. Thanks for the inspiration for a new post.

Peace,

Apr 07, 2009 01:10 PM
Benita Gottfried
New Vision Interiors LLC - Hopatcong, NJ

Thank you all, for your insightful comments.

Apr 07, 2009 11:38 PM
Isabel Gomes
Gomes Design - London, ON
Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont

Hi Benita.  I understand your point.  There may be less realtors outh there but competition to sell it is more prominent.

What I have been experiencing is an increase in my services being required.  Since there has been a drop of about 20% in sales REaltors and sellers want to make sure their listing is the first to be purchased.

Apr 08, 2009 10:51 AM
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Nope, not in our area, the good stagers are busier than ever and in fact the banks are beginning to call them. When a home on the market can sell in a month or two vs, 6 or more, who wouldn't figure it out?  it's a numbers game.  And the numbers work with staging.  Just like in real estate in general these markets weed out the people that were just hobbyists anyway.  I agree with Isabel

Apr 09, 2009 07:20 PM
Janis Gaines
Staging Sells Eugene Homes - Eugene, OR
Home Stager Eugene OR - The Notably Well-Dressed H

Along with many of you, I love what I do and I'm determined to make it through these challenging times.

In Eugene Oregon, we have had a similar experience to what Edgar says about Albuquerque. Staging didn't really get a firm foothold before the economy downturn. I'm keeping afloat and have been in business now for four years. However, some of my newer colleagues have had very little or no work over the last year. Very discouraging for them.

I don't think Staging will go away because it is a whole new world out there with the internet being the first place most people see homes. Those 3x4 inch pictures of clutter or vacant "vanilla boxes" just don't scream out "come and see me" the way a beautifully prepared and photographed home does. One of my most savvy realtors (a multi-million dollar producer after only 2 years in the business) has a marketing and advertising background and boy, does she "GET" staging. I need a handful of realtors like her who bring me out on every listing - vacant or owner occupied - and I will be keeping quite busy!

Apr 09, 2009 08:46 PM