What Home Staging is NOT

Home Stager with First Impressions by Joanna: Home Staging, Redesign, & Decor

With some of the negative articles I have been reading about Home Staging recently- this being the latest one:



I am tempted to have a "What Home Staging is not" section on my web page.  Maybe we can compile a list together and we can all put it on our sites. 


Lets get the ball rolling...


Home Staging is not a trick and there is no magic involved

Home Staging is not about masking flaws in a home


Please feel free to add your own.



A few comments on the article I posted above.  Here are some points that caught my eye:


"If you've been keeping up with the news, you probably know that the real estate market has hit a rough spot lately. With less people opting to rent instead of buying, sellers have developed some strategies to catch the buyer's eye.  The first, and more predictable, "trick" is staging the house".


So wait, Home Staging is something that sellers have recently developed in order to trick buyers?


"Usually, a beautifully set-up home will mask flaws that would otherwise be noticed"

That isn't staging, that is deceiving and I personally do not know any Stagers that are that unethical


"Staging tricks range from the expected (i.e. a fresh coat of paint, de-cluttering, etc.)"

LOL, so now a fresh coat of paint and getting rid of your junk is a "trick"?

"to the downright wacky, like spray-painting the lawn green"

ok, I'll agree there, that is wacky and tacky. Has anyone here ever done that?


"Some even resort to "feng-shui staging," which creates a better energy flow in the home by arranging furniture and other household items in specific positions. An article on RISMedia tells the story of a real estate agent who, in order to sell a house that had been sitting there for months, finally resorted to feng shui. According to this agent, the energy flow provided by this new arrangement enabled visitors to feel comfortable right away, and create a good first impression".


Isn't that a good thing......to make visitors feel comfortable and create a good first impression?


lets all leave "comments"  on the articl.  Scroll all the way down:)


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Terianne Muhl
Verve Home Staging - Ottawa, ON
Hey Joanna, 
I definitely agree that there is negative press out there, but I think it should just fuel us to educate those who don't understand yet, and to continue to do a great job when we do stage to prove that the negativity is unfounded. The people will soon reallize that we are not master tricksters. What I found funny about the article was that the only really negative comment was about the spray painted grass, which I guess could be seen as misleading...it would also probably KILL THE LAWN! I don't think a home stager would even attempt this. Another thing that's hilarious is that if you look back at the writer's profile (and by the way, what makes her an expert on home staging "tricks"?) she just bought a model home...I think with this one we can chalk it up to ignorance. 

p.s. I would love a basket full of cookies wih an attached CONGRATS balloon...hmm, should I start giving cookie baskets out post sale?
Sep 21, 2007 12:22 AM #1
Susan Smith
Rooms That Work LLC - Sandy Hook, CT

I agree with Terianne!  Just some smoke and mirrors from someone who doesn't understand what staging is...which means...we have more educating to do!  I wrote an ezine article about what staging is not...you might find some ideas there for your website.


Sep 21, 2007 01:29 AM #2
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging - West Chester, PA

It does seem our industry is taking a beating right now, in large part due to the sheer number of people purporting to be professional stagers.  Like Realtors, the ones who stick out a tough market and develop good relationships will remain above the frey.  Quality service and public education--those are the keys.

By the way, Susan's article was a great one.  I printed it out some time ago.

Kim Dillon, Creative Eye Home Staging

Sep 21, 2007 02:56 AM #3
Karen Reynolds
Champagne Staging, LLC - Wake Forest, NC

Staging is NOT:  Magic that works overnight (in most cases).

Staging is NOT:  An excuse to inflate the value of your home.

What @)^^$! me off the most about those who bash on Staging is:  WHY IS IT OKAY FOR BUILDERS TO HAVE MODEL HOMES but it is a TRICK for homeowners to want to create the same environment by Staging?  Model homes are full of construction flaws too... nobody accuses them of "decorating" to cover bad workmanship....

quandong:  I don't even want to know....LOL

Sep 21, 2007 02:00 PM #4
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Joanna,

Great topic! I personally never pay attention when people say stuff like this. Tips, Tricks, Cover ups .... I think any good stager, decorator, designer, builder, seamstress, engineer, mathematician, and so on, has lots up their sleeves.

As professionals its our job to know what works and the simplest ways to implement the strategy. To a layman that doesn't understand the marketing and importance of "appeal to the masses" it may seem like trickery, but true be told thats what they're paying us for. If my seamstress told me she knew a trick to make my dress more flattering on me and I'd look beautiful I'd say go for it and tell me more.

Our knowledge, expertise and experience has picked up some basic tricks that work. For a stager it may be furniture placement or editing to visually enlarge a space, or providing a color palette that appeals to the masses and makes people feel welcome. It takes skill to correctly use accessories to create focal points of interest that help carry a buyer through a property. It takes an experienced stager to know when you done enough. The tips and tricks you learn along the way teach you that the right props will enhance the viewing experiance for a buyer. Points of interest or strategic placement of accessories might be needed to slow a buyer down so they don't whiz by rooms, or maybe it needs a little pizazz. So I say... have tips, tricks, and secrets that help sell your homes faster and be proud that you know them. It makes you more valuable even if we all know they are just simple common sense things. We'll always have critics, I just smile and keep staging.

Margaret Gehr, Re-Arrange It Interiors, Plainfield, IL 







Sep 21, 2007 02:53 PM #5
Becca Briggs
Rochester, NY


After reading the article, it seems very weak  I took your advise and responded.  I used an old blog of our about Corporte America and there marketing tools.  I guess if staging is tricky so is all the advertising for everything! 

We will see if there are more responces, as mine was the 1st.


Sep 22, 2007 01:45 AM #6
Pat Emmett
Prudential Palms Realty - Sarasota, FL

I am not a stager, but I believe in presenting a product in the most appealing manner.  Buyers know that they won't be living in a model home just like they know that they won't look like the runway model if they buy the same dress seen in Vogue. 

The recent article I read in the Sarasota paper got way too much exposure for what I thought was a dumb premise.  

Oh well, guess you know you've arrived as a force when you begin to be slammed in the press.  

If you'd like to read it (and get really mad, maybe), try this link


Sep 22, 2007 02:37 AM #7
Becca Briggs
Rochester, NY

Pat thanks for the link.  This one was even worst than the one Joanne has.  Why is it that marketing is well accepted by a corporation, but when a homeowner uses it - it become a sin!! 


Sep 22, 2007 03:43 AM #8
Nancy Morrish
Stage Tucson! Professional Home Staging - Tucson, AZ
Stage Tucson!
...I'm confused.....  I replied to the article and it said that mine was the first comment.........where are the others??   and speaking of Feng Shui..........I would be worried about "bad karma" if I was Celia
Sep 22, 2007 04:07 AM #9
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells
Staging is not a luxury anymore. It's a necessity!
Sep 22, 2007 05:09 PM #10
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Home Staging is lifestyle merchandising and is not decorating.

Sep 18, 2011 08:23 AM #11
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Joanna Bonicker

Home Stager - Baltimore, Maryland
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