This subject could cause some controversy among those in the staging world, but it deserves some discussion.
Recently, I saw a very popular HGTV program "House Hunters" where a couple of the homes viewed by potential buyers had been "staged" using vignettes. I cannot begin to express how bad it looked on screen and how it must have been worse in person. There were very small scenes in each room, many of them in a corner, but all of them had been arranged ON THE FLOOR!
To think that this is complimenting the room is beyond belief. In many of the rooms this sad attempt at enhancement, looked mostly like a pile of garbage in the corner, causing me to ask the question "what the heck is that?" Is this the presentation that stagers wish the public to see as "staging"? Is this what most people are expecting a staging company to provide them on a tight budget?
Not to offend any of the REA's out there, but if this is something you are doing as a service to your sellers, please stop. If you are a stager and you are doing this for a client on a distressed budget...Please stop. It is better to have an empty room, than to clutter the floor with a presentation that provides no value.
If the seller is on a limited budget, help them better use their dollar. Create a beautiful potted arrangement for the front walk, this can go along way if it is maintained. Pressure wash the siding, drive and walkways, contributing to the buyers first impression. Advise the homeowner to take care of small delayed maintenance projects such as cleaning up the trim paint on the exterior or fixing broken drawers or cabinet doors in kitchens and bathrooms.
It is clear there are a number of fixes that could enhance the presentation of the property. As professionals we owe it to our clients to look after their best interest. I have refused this type of work many times, but instead I have provided a consultation filled with ideas for beneficial, small improvements, easily completed by the homeowner on a limited budget.
I welcome your comments, better yet additional ideas that you may have used successfully, to provide the best service to your clients in this situation.