Why do some Realtors suggest NOT to stage a property?

Home Stager with Restage Inc.

Why do some Realtors suggest NOT to stage a property?

After years and years of staging properties it still amazes me how some realtors still discourage sellers from staging.

Is it because they didn't suggest staging right away and the house has sat unsold for so long they don't want to admit they could have done more?

Or is it because they think that it honestly doesn't work?

If so I ask why have home builders been "staging" their properties forever. Why do the statistics tell us that staged properties sell faster for more money than non staged properties?

Bottom line - It works.

It's been proven over and over again that staging done right helps sell a property faster for more money!

Presentation is everything and it's proven in pretty much every aspect of our lives. From the grocery store where plan-o-grams are used to make sure all of the products are placed exactly right and presented to the buyer in an attractive and pleasing way.

We pay more as consumers for brand name products that are packaged nicely.

We go to "nice" restaurants and pay more for pretty dishes and elegant decor.

And the list goes on....

The more consumers are educated on the staging process the more I think sellers and buyers will appreciate a finely packaged home.

I know from experience in my own home shopping I do.

I have included a house we completed about 2 weeks ago to show some examples of our staging.

The house depicted in the pictures was an interesting property in so far as it was a challenge for furniture placement.

The angles and layout of the room was different and I think it turned out quite well.

House sold in 1 week for 99.9% of the asking price - No conditions.

Another great statistic on why to stage your house!!!

Comments (20)

Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Do Realtors actually tell seller not to stage a home.  I find that hard to believe.  I can see some not including it in their presentation.  But they would be very foolish to suggest it does not matter.

Mar 03, 2010 04:35 PM
Kim Suecroft - Hanson
Restage Inc. - Calgary, AB

I actually had a home owner (vacant property) tell me that their realtor strongly discouraged them from staging the property - He even went on to tell the homeowner that he didn't believe it worked and thought it was a waste of money.

I'm trying to wrap my head around that one and understand why a realtor would say that?

Mar 03, 2010 04:42 PM
Mark VanBuskirk
Cassidon Realty - Lehighton, PA
PA REALTOR Specializing in Carbon & Monroe County

Thanks for the insight! I think alot of agents are mis-informed about stagers! I've used them and they have helped!

Mar 03, 2010 04:52 PM
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Kim - The only thing I can think of is that the Realtor must have thought he'd have to pay for it out of his commission and put himself first.  Not good, but it's the only reason I can think of.  I try to sell my sellers on staging all the time.  If they can't spend the money, I use whatever I can of their own stuff to do at least some staging, and make them store whatever I don't want in the house until it is sold.  Most folks have way too much furniture and "stuff".  If it is vacant, I ask them if I can "borrow" some of their stuff for a light staging.  If they can afford it, I definitely urge a professional staging.  Trouble is, so many these days are short sales and the sellers don't get any of the proceeds and can't afford to spend anything to sell it.

Mar 03, 2010 04:53 PM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Kim:  It is just because of misinformation. . .most Realtors do not know the value because they have not been exposed

Mar 03, 2010 09:22 PM
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

I honestly believe that agents "get it." The bigger challenge may lie in the fact that most homeowners don't believe they can afford to have their home professionally staged. 

Regarding your staging in this post - it's incredible. I can see how the layout of the room may have posed some challenges for the buyers if the home had been left vacant. Congrats on such a quick sale.


Mar 03, 2010 11:10 PM
Betty Knowles
Southwest Missouri Realty - www.teamknowles.com - Springfield, MO
TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate

We recommend it but sometimes run into people that take it personally and think we are criticizing their decor. We have to explain that its not about decor and that the way we live in our homes is different than we sell them.

Mar 03, 2010 11:46 PM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Kim, that's VERY common place in my area.  Three times I've even had clients all lined up to do a staging (they called me and they would pay) and their agent or the agent's office members have talked them out of it.  I have an agent in 1 office that uses me frequently and he gets bombarded by negatives from the rest of his office. 

I have only one theory that hasn't already been mentioned.  They really don't want staging to work.  They want to go back to "the good ole' days" when property sold almost before it was listed with NO attention to condition.  Of course, that isn't going to happen and houses are sitting on the market for years.  I truly believe that they think that if NO ONE in my area stages their listings then no one will need to stage their listings.  Preposterous, I know and hard to overcome, especially when they always hear about the results that my stagings produce.  Hard-headed, stubborn, stuck-in-the-past and not servicing their clients. 

I recently asked, in a large REA meeting who had read Gary Keller's SHIFT and 1 person raised his hand. It's just SAD!!!

Mar 04, 2010 01:46 AM
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

This very conundrum has left me scratching my head on numerous occasions.  Their is one Agent in my area who has probably a DOZEN listings, all newly upgraded or new construction ON THE BEACH and he refuses to Stage.  He stated, and I quote "I haven't seen that it has benefitted the Seller to Stage a property vs. ones that have not."  Yet, when we had spoken, my company had just Staged a home in the same neighborhood, NOT on the beach and it sold 48 days after we Staged. He simply dismissed it.

Yet ALL of his vacant listings have been on the market for over 1 year - some even over 2 years! Yep, he wants the good 'ol days back.

Mar 04, 2010 03:00 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Excellent post Kim and I'm hopeful more are reading it.  You did an amazing job working with the layout of this home and this is precisely the reason home sellers need you!

Mar 04, 2010 04:04 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Kim it's a question that has many of us wondering if some agents are just not living in today's "real" world! It points to the importance of our continuing to educate the public -- homeowners and agents -- about the powerful benefits of home staging.  By the way your staging of this home looks fantastic!

Mar 04, 2010 04:14 AM
Leanne Zumbrunnen
Showhomes of Kansas City - Lenexa, KS

I usually work with property investors who sell their own homes (if they can, if not they turn to a realtor).  My first realtor happened to also be a property investor.  Makes you wonder... 

Had to comment on the fantastic staging,  I can see where no furniture in that home would be very confusing for buyers.  I love it!

Mar 04, 2010 06:44 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Kim- that's the million dollar question, isn't it?  I asked a realtor/friend the question (about why more realtors aren't suggesting staging) and she thought it might be because they're reluctant to ask the Seller to spend more money, especially after they've pointed out to the seller that they will probably not get what they'd hope to get for their house. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that your staging was remarkable.

Mar 04, 2010 11:31 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Really nice job Kim on this property. Love the colors and I can imagine it was quite a challenge to work with those angles and fireplace!

As to Realtors not recommending staging or even going so far as to discourage it - sounds like they don't want to lose any control.... even if its not in their clients best interests.

Vacant staging is a no brainer if the client can afford it. Occupied staging consultations can be introduced tactfully by the agent by telling the seller they recommend staging to ALL of their clients because they know it works and will help them get a quicker sale. That takes some of the "what's wrong with my house" out of it.

Mar 04, 2010 11:56 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Tessa, bingo!!  Control, they are afraid of loosing their client if they are not open to it, they do not push it!

Mar 05, 2010 12:58 AM
Linda Sticklin
Home Staging & Organizing - Berwyn, PA

I have had 2 of these situations in the past year--one recently. In each case, they were vacant resales. The seller had already purchased another house and really needed to sell. In both cases, they were willing to invest a significant amount of money to do it right and realtor advised against it! I was honest with both sellers and said the realtor must have either had a bad experience with a stager or just wasn't educated about the benefits. Of course, the realtor is not the one left with mortgages, utility costs and taxes on 2 properties. Both sellers were professional, educated people yet were intimidated into doing nothing. In one case the seller opted to rent instead of sell and the other is waiting for the listing contract to expire and will reconsider staging at that time. I have referred that seller to a realtor that is a strong advocate of staging!

Mar 05, 2010 01:01 AM
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

I've had this happen quite a few times.  I had one seller say "my REALTOR is discouraging me from staging, let's prove them wrong and stage it."  After the agent walk-through, they commented on how they loved it!

Mar 05, 2010 01:26 PM
Robby Zettler-Metropolitan Home Design

I'd like to address Team Knowles. Part of our job as Stagers is to convey the message to the seller that staging works. You market, we merchandise. I often remind my realtors that that puts them in a much better position with their client.  A big part of my job is helping a client understand how staging will help them. I have never insulted someones decor or taste nor would I. However, I've made good clients along the way and quite often they hire me to help them move into their new space. The realtors job is simply to refer me.

Beautiful job on the staging, Kim!

Mar 06, 2010 03:34 AM
Gail Sterback
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals, Lancaster PA - Mountville, PA
LancasterRelocation Specialist

Realtors inLancaster Pa believe in staging.  It does work!  Most people have a hard time visualizing what a place could look like.

Mar 06, 2010 11:39 PM
Keith Landis
Keystone Home Finance - NMLS#834342 - Conventional - FHA - VA -USDA - Jumbo Programs - Direct Phone 412-726-1654 - Pittsburgh, PA
Pennsylvania - "Your Pennsylvania Mortgage Source"

Buyers respond to staging.   Staging is money well spent on the seller side.  Especially in a buyer's market.

Mar 08, 2010 10:23 PM