Selling Your Home-NOT Exactly "As Seen on TV"!

Home Stager with Faulkner House Interior Redesign




A great marketing plan starts with your home, presented to stand out from similar homes.  A model consults with a professional stylist before a photo session.  A staging pro’s expertise highlights the best aspects of your home for its big premiere.

Stagers offer services from do-it-yourself staging consults and coaching to comprehensive, turnkey packages. When consulting with a stager, consider your budget, how much DIY time you may have, and if you have skills and knowledge to make needed changes or repairs that will conform to local codes.

Home shows on TV can give misleading impressions about prepping your home for sale, especially the realities of costs in time and money.  Remember, the shows are edited and produced as much for entertainment as they are for information.  Some points:

  •      Most professional stagers are respectful of your feelings and your furnishings.  They will, however, be honest about furnishings that are not an asset to the selling presentation.
  •     When your are selling your home,  it's not just about you.  It’s also about buyers.  A staging professional isn't there to judge your tastes but to present your house so that it appeals to a broad range of buyers. You may need to live without some furnishings to give your home a more open and updated look. Stagers will try to not to disrupt your life in the process of prepping your home, but the reality is that you may be inconvenienced a little or a lot, for a short period of time, if it can help streamline the selling process.
  •      Remodeling isn’t always needed. Major repairs may need to be done, but quicker, less expensive, and effective updates, like painting, replacing carpeting or light fixtures will also appeal to buyers.
  •      Lack of maintenance isn’t resolved in an hour.  Tend to those issues now or as soon as you decide to sell. 
  •      Preparing your home involves costs. Maintenance issues, updates, and needed interior re-arrangements affect the costs. How much you will do and how much you expect others to do are also factors.  A staging consult can give you a clearer idea of what is needed to prep the house.  It’s one of your best investments.
  •      You affect the sale of your home.  You partner with your realtor, stager, and others to prep your home.  How your house is prepped directly affects how it shows, the offers made and how long it will take to sell.   


    Follow these reality checks and leave the drama to TV shows!


  © Pam Faulkner, Faulkner House Interior Redesign, LLC  




Comments (11)

Marianne Cherico
Interiors by Marianne Cherico - Foxboro, MA
Home Stager -Massachusetts and Rhode Island


This is really a wonderful blog and all very true. If a Seller hasn't maintained the house in years, of course it will impact the selling price. I always advise Sellers on this when I do a consult. I also mention what things Buyers are referring to when they get bfeedback that the house is "dated". I love that you mentioned that the SELLEr directly effects the sale and is a PARTNER in the transaction. They do have control of the sale by pricing it right AND presenting it well.


May 05, 2010 07:18 PM


This is a great blog!

I am always uncomfortable when watching "Take This House & Sell It"   The stagers/designers are talented;however I hate the way they talk about the clients decorating/lack of skills with & without the sellers present.

And, as Pam commented, it is really important for there to be a co-operative relationship between seller, stager & realtor.

May 06, 2010 04:47 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Marianne and Sharon, thank you!  Don't you just cringe when you hear some of the comments that the stagers make on the show?  I've been told that the producers encourage this to create some drama but I don't like it.  I don't think it is necessary to criticize anyone's tastes, particularly when you know that they will be watching and hearing everything that is said and HOW it is said. That's just rude.


May 06, 2010 07:27 AM
Debra Valentine
Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC - Bountiful, UT
Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas

Hi Pam!

You make some great points here. I recently commented on another blog about how a recent client was "nervous" to have me come out for a verbal consultation. She watches all of the staging shows and really thought that I would treat her that way! I reassured her on the phone and proved it to her on our visit. Afterward she gave a great testimonial, emphasizing how "comfortable and easy" I made the process. Based on this experience, I wonder how many potential clients are scared away from us because of this?

May 06, 2010 09:59 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Debra, I would guess that many homeowners and realtors are put off by this portrayal.  Why would a homeowner put up with one more stressful experience, especially if their realtor isn't sold on the benefits of staging and maybe believes some opinionated expert will come in and stir things up. 


May 06, 2010 10:17 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Pam- excellent post.  While the shows on HGTV have helped to educate the public on the concept of staging, they have also at times portrayed a skewed version of what we do.  We along with their Realtor are partners in their efforts to sell their house.

May 06, 2010 02:56 PM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Kathy, we just have to do our best to counter the misunderstandings that are out there.  That means educating the homeowner and the realtor.  I was at a gathering during the holidays and heard part of a conversation involving someone's experience selling a home.  This was second hand, but supposedly the sellers asked if the realtor thought it was worth getting the house staged.  The realtor told them that if they enjoyed paying to be criticized for their taste then to go ahead!  Then everyone laughed and started talking about the TV shows.  OMG, I was so horrified.  I wanted to go over and explain that we aren't like that but it wasn't the time or place to get on my soapbox.  It has stayed with me, obviously, so I was motivated to blog about it here.

May 07, 2010 01:36 PM
Heather Cook
Beyond the Stage Homes - Kitchener, ON
Delivering beautifully staged spaces

Pam - great post and excellent way of highlighting that while TV shows are great at highlighting what we do, they are less than stellar at representing how we do our job.

I think its also very frustrating that when it comes time to assess how much money was spent on transformations on TV that no mention is made of what the labour cost - all that's mentioned are materials purchased. I find that has directly impacted quotes we have done for clients because they expect the costs to be far less - because that's what is on TV - and are surprised when we charge a staging fee.

Great that you highlighted that the sellers also need to be open, communicative and co-operative partners in the project.

May 10, 2010 03:25 PM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Heather, you make another good point.  The homeowners often put a lot of their own time into the prep but the actual labor costs can be double the material costs.  The time needed is often misleading, though for drama they will have it coming down to the wire, which can happen in real life.

May 11, 2010 05:43 PM
Mary Lou Teague
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN

Pam, very informative post !! Thanks for sharing, I have bookmarked to refer back to...again great info

May 12, 2010 04:23 AM
Pam Faulkner
Faulkner House Interior Redesign - Herndon, VA
Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA

Thanks Mary Lou!  We all need to pay attention to the 3 C's in our businesses, but it's important for our clients to know that this is a two way street.

May 12, 2010 04:56 AM