Definition of Staging: It's Not Just About The Pretty

Reblogger Debbie Cook
Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc MD 82788 DC SP97220

Home Sellers in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Maryland and Washington,DC - If you are considering selling your home, this article from a Home Staging professional in California is definitely worth the time to read.  Note the comment that comes from the opinion of an appraiser.

Original content by Ana Hitzel 658279

After a recent conversation with fellow Stagers, I thought to re-post this.  Home Staging comes in many forms.  The definition of Staging is not as narrow as some would think. To me the definition of Staging is very broad and includes not only making things look pretty and up to date but it also includes cleaning, repair and improvements. I addressed this in my article below and believe it is worth repeating  given the misconceptions that exist about Staging when I disucss it with potential clients and even some stagers.

As each property will be unique so are it's Staging needs. In many cases minor improvements, editing and cleaning will set the stage more effectively than all new paint, furniture and accessories that everyone thinks of when they hear the word Staging. So below are thoughts that came to me after reading an appraisers response to a homeowner considering Staging with a few more additional comments.



"Forget staging it has no value in the appraisal..... I look for updated kitchen and baths (if its an older home) condition of the exterior and interior. This will determine the effective age of your house. You can have a 35 year old house and never has been updated or very little and a effective age of 30 years and the same house next door that is 35 years old and completly remodeled with a effective age of 5 years. Appraisers look at condition and updated items. We also look for deferred maintenance like worn carpet, moss on the roof, bad gutters, house needs painting, bad roof, ect. if your house is in average conditon you will be fine. Your home is based on other comparables sales (withing the last 6 months) and within 1-2 miles of your home, with similar design....

This was part of a comment made by an appraiser responding to a blog question on whether a homeowner should Stage her house prior to her appraisal.  Staging as a part of home selling, to many, has no value. You may already see where I am going with this. 

I can't speak for what every appraiser looks at when evaluating a home but I have seen what some commented on and looked at when appraising my own homes for sale.

While we as Stagers don't get into evaluating the "bones" of a house (I have  pointed out cracked and falling shingles visible from the street ect.) we should and do address many of the things this particular appraiser mentioned. 

A professional Stager will do a thorough consultation that should address more than just style.  We look at many areas and attempt to give objective observations on things that may stand out to potential buyers.  These "Staging" recommendations do affect the value of a home.  We help the homeowner determine which updates and fixes will affect their home value the most while spending the least. 

A good Stager should understand these things. We are up on the latest trends and research what similar homes in a particular neighborhood have as far as cosmetic features too. If a house has laminate counters and most everyone else in the neighborhood has granite and modern faucets, does this affect the asking price of a home?  Size and location top of the list but condition is another huge consideration. A proper staging consultation should be brutally honest in an understanding and respectful way. It's not just about what curtains to hang and where the couch should go and how much it will cost. 

Preparing a home for sale is a time consuming process but more than that it's an investment.  As a Stager, I will pass on a job here and there because I tell clients their money would be better spent fixing and improving areas of higher priority.  After all, the goal is to maximize profit, shorten time on the market and walk away with the best feeling possible. It's not about pretty furniture and window treatments or in some cases ugly poorly staged rooms installed by fly by night stagers whose only attraction is a rock bottom fee.  Buyer beware.

So as a seller, investor or listing agent, would you rather be prepared to stack up against your competition saving time, money and possibly getting better offers or would you "Forget staging"

No, pretty pots on the porch won't get you a higher appraisal, but fixing the cracked steps and painting your worn front door and replacing the hardware just may.

Staging is not just about the pretty.


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Home and Life Improvement

Ana Hitzel is the owner of AccentPositives Home Staging and the host of Your Place Your Space Home Improvement Radio on KNOC 1680 AM and

The show airs Fridays 11AM to 12 PM PST. Stream live internet or catch the archived broadcast on the show page by visiting or click on the show logo below. Email the show at Visit our Face Book page for more tips and information and don't forget to hit the LIKE button!

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AccentPositives provides effective and economical Home Staging Consultations and services on site and on line.  Selected Best of Corona 2012 in the Interior Design category, we are located in Corona and serve the Inland Empire of Southern California, the Palm Springs area and North San Diego County. Call 951 833 8529.  Email   Visit

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Debbie Cook

Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
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