Home Staging - Is it Worth the Time and Effort?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Gail Clark & Associates


 Family Room After Home StagingFamily Room Before Staging












Click Here or on Pictures

To view a slide presentation of more before and after home staged photos


Home Staging - Is it worth it?

How can I be so sure I will get back my investment?

How do I know it will make my house sell? 

How can I know I will get a higher price and make more profit? 

These are all questions everyone ask.   But even in a seller’s market, home staging can still be a benefit to the seller.  In a buyer’s market two things happen; 

            1.) Sellers have more competition due to the number of homes on the market

            2.) Buyers get pickier when they have more choices.

Staging a house is effective because it sets a seller’s house apart from its competition while it appeals to the picky buyers. 

Picky Buyers are Willing to Pay More for a House

A staged house also has broader market appeal and thus increases the number of potential buyers for that house. An increase in potential buyers creates more showings.  More showings result in a quicker sale.  A timely sale is important because studies have shown that houses sold within the first 30 days on the market sell closer to the listed price.  The longer a house is on the market, the showing activity begins to decline and the more vulnerable the sales price becomes.  Picky buyers are not interested in seeing houses that have been passed over by other buyers.  Most of the initial showings when a home is first listed on the market are picky buyers viewing because they have looked at everything and are just looking at new inventory.  Past the 30-days exposure on the market the picky buyers have moved on and that leaves two other types of buyers to view your home; the investor type and the owner occupant fix-up type.  The investor is looking for a good deal and will either rent the house or fix it up and resale it for a profit.  The owner occupant is also looking for a good deal because they want to live in the house while fixing it up to build “sweat equity”.   Both these types are looking for houses with issues so they can have justifiable reasons to make lower price offers.  So you can understand why a house’s price becomes vulnerable after it has been on the market an extended period or time.

The Psychology of Home Staging and Why it is Effective 

Staging a Home for the Buyers’ Eyes 

Home staging not only sets your house apart from the competition, if done correctly, it stimulates imagination in the buyer’s eyes and mind.  A key process in the decision to purchase a house is the buyers can imagine living in the house themselves.  Buyers imagine their furniture, their pictures, their children and even pets in a home before they purchase.  They think about what they would do differently or change in the home to make it comfortable for them.  The way we live in our homes does not create an atmosphere that allows a buyer to experience this part of the buying process.  After all, we make our space comfortable for us, not someone else.  We have pictures of our families and friends displayed in our home.  We may have a favorite comfortable old blanket to warm us while watching TV from the couch.  We keep our appliances conveniently accessible on the kitchen counter and our “To Do” lists on our refrigerator.  We have our personal items in easy to reach locations in the bathroom.  We might keep some blinds closed in the summer months because it keeps the house cooler during the hot summer days.  We may keep our teenager’s bedroom door closed so we don’t have to look at the cluttered room.   All this gets in the way of a buyer’s ability to move through the buying process and reach a final decision. 


People buy houses not homes. 

We buy a house and we make it our home with our personal items to suit our preferences and life style.  This is so hard for people to understand from a selling perspective.  We are proud of our homes and think many people are out there looking for and want exactly what we have.  Or the other end of the spectrum is the mind set that if my house is alright for me, it is fine for the next person.   It is for this reason that using a professional to home stage is crucial.  We are not objective about our homes even when we try our best to be unbiased and open.   What we see, touch, smell and hear creates a direct response to our emotions.  Staging your home should incorporate all these senses without being offensive or overwhelming to the visitor.  Striking that perfect balance to stimulate a buyer and motivate them to bring an offer is the objective.  New home builders have known this for years.  They professionally decorate and stage their model homes.  Even builders know, they may be great at building, but for staging their model houses, they bring in the professional designers. 

So is it worth it to stage your home?  I always stage my listings because it does pays off.  But if you still are in doubt, check out my before and after shots of some of my staged homes by clicking on either of the two pictures above. Pictures are worth a thousand words….or more.




Comments (4)

Peter M . Christopher
Fairfield County Home Inspection LLC - Fairfield, CT
Residential & Commercial Inspections in
Nice House, Welcome to A/R !
Aug 28, 2007 07:13 AM
Earlene Myers
Fleming Island, FL
Your Client Connection

Gail - Welcome to the ActiveRain netowkr; we're glad to have you here. 

Remember, to get the most out of everything this community has to offer, participate in whatever way you can.  Enjoy!

Aug 28, 2007 09:35 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate
Welcome to ActiveRain, Gail! My favorite saying about the value of staging is "The cost of staging is usually far less than the first price adjustment."
Aug 28, 2007 03:25 PM
Cindy Lin
Staged4more School of Home Staging - South San Francisco, CA
Host, The Home Staging Show podcast

Welcome to AR! And staging does work! ;)



Aug 28, 2007 05:23 PM