Proof that Home Staging Does Make a Difference! A Tale of Two Homes

Home Stager with Simply Staging

CastleOnce Upon a Time, about 10 to 15 years ago, in a land called The Greater Sacramento Area, there were many new housing developments popping up all over the place.  The "newness" of these homes along with the "lower than average California going rate" made our area very attractive to home buyers all over the California Kingdom.  One of the disadvantages of buying a newer track home was that yours would likely be exactly the same as 100's of others in your village.

This is a tale of two track homes with the same exact floor plan, same buyer, same Realtor, very similar lots, "for sale" at the same time... OK, I think you get the point - just about the same everything.  There was one difference and I'm sure you've guessed by now what that was, one was staged and the other was not.

We begin our story with the home buyer, they were taken to see the unstaged home first, as they entered, it was the awful smell that struck them first.  Kitty litter mixed in with the scent of cheap cologne and a strong, but unpleasant, cover-up air freshener.  Next, our buyers notice the walls painted an ogre green (Like Shrek) and brown (like baby poop) and an entry full of stuff, the kitty hair balls everywhere a huge fish tank and wires everwhere.  Not a very good first impression.  The old hand-me-down furniture, unmade beds, dirty bathrooms and an untidy kitchen through out the rest of the home didn't help improve that impression either.  The buyers hated almost everything about it, their words, not mine.  This is an actual picture of the home being shown while on the market.

ugly green walls

Now onto our second home, the homeowner simply followed their agent's direction to meet with a stager.  After they clearly understood the value of home staging, they did almost everything their stager asked; in the end it cost a few paint cans, a storage unit, a few tough weekends, a little inconvenience and a few hundred dollars investment for the staging consultation.  Our second home was staged to perfection.  Our buyers were welcomed into the home with clean floors, no unpleasant odors, beautifully painted walls and a neutral, but welcoming foyer.  Did they want to see the rest of the house?  You bet they did. 

How do I know?  Well, because the Real Estate Agent told me so.  At the end of the tour, the buyers were ready to put in an offer on the staged home.  Instead of being thrilled that he had finally found a house for his picky buyers, the agent stands there confused. 

The Agent:  "Don't get me wrong, this is really great news, but why did you tell me that you hated the house and now you want to put in an offer?" 

Now it's the buyers turn to be confused.  The Buyers:  "What do you mean?  We love this house!  Why else would we want to make an offer?" 

The Agent:  "Well because you told me on the first house that you hated it and now you want to put in an offer on the same house." 

The Buyers:  "This isn't the same house as the smelly one."

The Agent:  "Yes, it is the same house as the smelly one.  It's the same floor plan, same everything!  I thought I had mentioned that to you already.  Didn't I?"

The Buyers:  "Are you kidding me?"

The Agent:  "No.  I'm not kidding."

The Buyers:  "Well, I'll be darned.  Now that I think about it, it is the same house.  Wow!  That's incredible!" 

The Agent:  "So, do you want to look at the other one again?" 

The Buyers:  "No.  Why would we want to do that for?" 

The Agent:   "Just in case you want to compare them again now that you know they're the same."

The Buyers:  "The only reason we'd want to see that house again is to see how much lower our offer will be because it isn't as nice as this one.  But on the other hand, we'll have to do so much work to get it to look as good as this one." 

How did the story end you ask?  Well, our buyer wanted a move-in ready house and so they offered full price for the staged one. 

My agent loves to tell this story because when he does, sellers don't need anymore convincing. 

Sure it could have ended with the buyer going for the "smelly" house and my story wouldn't have ended as happily.  But don't think for a moment that the homeowner of the unstaged house wouldn't have questioned why his house sold $20,000 to $40,000 below his neighbor's staged house.  

The moral of my story:  Do your client and yourself a favor, recommend an experienced stager and you too can live happily every after with a client for life.  The End

Master BR B4 Although these are not pictures of the actual homes described here in the tale, they are actual before and afters of a recently staged home that shows what a difference a few small changes can make.  Moving the dresser helped open up the room to make it look bigger from the buyer's perspective.

Master Bedroom After


Simply Staging has been offering Home Staging Solutions for both the "Vacant" and the "Not So Vacant" homes in El Dorado County and The Greater Sacramento area for more than 4 years.  For your proposal, give us a call at (530) 417-1337 and see what it takes to get your home "Sell Ready".

Posted by

Emma Vargas, ASP

Simply Staging has been offering Home Staging Solutions for both the "Vacant" and the "Not So Vacant" homes in El Dorado County and The Greater Sacramento area for more than 4 years.  For your proposal, give us a call at (530) 417-1337 and see what it takes to get your home "Sell Ready".

Comments (10)

Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Haaaa! That was so funny.... and you are so right! I was looking right over the lake at you the other day ;)

Jun 01, 2009 01:09 PM
Billie Hillier - North Las Vegas, NV
Savvy Home Realty Solutions

Great story - - - I need my home staged just to live in!

Jun 01, 2009 01:42 PM
Karen Rice
Joseph J. O'Brien REALTOR Inc. - Greentown, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

The smelly dirty house wouldn't stand a chance against a plain old vacant home either.  Nobody wants a smelly house that looks obviously uncared for.

Jun 01, 2009 01:50 PM
Eric Reid
Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners - Lawrenceville, GA

There is you go .. you can do home make overs for home owners -- "why buy new ... we will stage a whole house make over .."

Jun 01, 2009 01:52 PM
Ron Tiller
Star Referral - Grand rapids MI - Grand Rapids, MI

Proof again that buyers buy the sizzle, not the steak.

Jun 01, 2009 02:13 PM
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

I don't need any convincing, I have seen lots of good staging pics here on AR.

Jun 01, 2009 02:40 PM
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager


I really enjoy happy endings and this one is no exception.  I love the story and yes a Professional Stager can enhance any home so that it will "Shine and Sell".  The end!

Jun 01, 2009 05:58 PM
Debra Valentine
Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC - Bountiful, UT
Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas

Emma: I love a good fairy-tale, but as it turns out this is more like an "Autobiography of a House", which I like even more. Great way to make a very valid point - thanks!

Jun 02, 2009 07:56 AM
Peg Prather
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA

And sadly, the little unstaged house sits and sits, unloved by all who enter. It will continue to be used as the house to show buyers, when you want them to buy another one! Staged houses sell...a Happy Ending!

Jun 02, 2009 12:58 PM
Emma Vargas
Simply Staging - Cameron Park, CA
Simply Staging

Sometimes its hard to convince people that staging makes that much of a difference.  I wish I had these 2 homes available at all times, so I could take all home sellers to show them the proof.  Unfortunately, I didn't know the agent at the time, otherwise I would've taken some great pictures of both homes.  All I have is the ugly one.

Debbie- So true!  This is not a fairytale, it can come true and anyone can have this happy ending if they just choose to stage their house.

Jun 03, 2009 05:29 AM

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