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When is the right time to call a professional home stager?

Home Stager with Chicagoland Home Staging LLC
It seems that home staging is often viewed as a last resort idea. When the listing isn't selling, it's a good time to call in a stager. For those who are interested in maximizing the value of their customer's home sale, what they really need to know, is that we should be first on the list, not last. 

Home Staging makes the most of the best time to sell

When a home is freshly listed, new on MLS, new in online syndicate sites, and fresh in the minds of office Realtors, it has the chance of getting the best offers. This of course is exactly why often sellers and agents think it's not needed -  yet. But what if the home were shown in it's best possible condition from the beginning? Sure home staging will work if you call us 30 days after it was listed. But what we can't bring back are the 30 days on market you've already experienced. No matter how great we can make a property look and feel, as an agent tell us what has happened to the percent of list to close ratio? 
chicago home staging

An offer in 30 days will bring you less money than one in 3.

Sure, sellers will tell us that they don't really care that staging will sell their home more quickly. What they forget is that more quickly usually is an exact correlation to selling for more money. Waiting to stage your property means that you've already lost the best time to make the biggest return. 
So, when is the best time to have your home professionally staged? At the beginning, before it has gone live and before it has had professional photos. (oh, and yes. You need those too.) 
Posted by


Margaret Gehr is the principle owner of Chicagoland Home Staging, servicing the greater Chicago area for home staging, redesign, and design projects. We work in both occupied and vacant homes. 


Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Excellent point, Margaret!  The first few weeks are going to be the best opportunity to impress buyers. Homes that aren't presented well, with all of the benefits that professional staging provides, won't attract as much activity because the online photos won't look great, and in-person viewings could fall flat, too.

May 01, 2013 05:34 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

The home stager is the FIRST person to call.  Having the home 100% ready PRIOR to listing is the best case scenerio!  

May 01, 2013 09:56 AM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Staging comes in the begining of the sales process. Your best offers come in the begining & if your home looks good in the begining than quess what, yu will net more by homestaging.

May 01, 2013 11:01 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Margaret-   so much is lost if a seller doesn't make their home "market ready" from day 1.  You may not get some of the agents to come back to the property if they saw it before it was market ready.  Congrats on the feature. 

May 01, 2013 11:09 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Good advice, Margaret.  Stage at the beginning!  There is a "New on the Market Momentum" that must be maximized by the Seller.

May 01, 2013 11:28 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Scott - your absolutely right! Going in first a stager also saves a lot of time, money, and aggravation for the Realtor and seller.


Hi Li - Staging first makes for a better selling experience for everyone! Thanks for your comments


Agree 100% Maureen! Couldn't have said it better myself  :))


Hi Sharon - Prepare first! Sell Second!


Jimmy - excellent points. Seems so easy right?  Thanks for sharing.


Hi Kathy - As you know staging still works later but we all know how hard it is to get the same agents back in months later. It seems we have to do much more to the property to relaunch so it just makes sense to do it from day 1  


May 01, 2013 11:31 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

You make a lot of good points.  It often is difficult to get folks to spend the money, when they are clost to being upside down.

May 01, 2013 12:27 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Great comment Fred because that momentum can certainly translate to more $!


Hi Joan - I know...it's education process, but more and more sellers are getting it AND it doesn't have to cost alot of money. Many times sellers just need direction :)  Thanks for your comment.

May 01, 2013 12:45 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I'm biased, but an d third party is always worth it. :) 

May 01, 2013 12:49 PM
Digital Digital
Alachua, FL
full service


I agree with you, it's always best to get the home staged in the beginning.

It could save the home owner times, money and frustration.

Keep up the good work!

May 01, 2013 01:23 PM
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor
Staged homes sell faster saving carrying costs. Staged homes aprraise better. Staged homes get more showings which lead to better offers.
May 01, 2013 01:29 PM
Sarah Becker
SJB Real Estate & Management - Browns Valley, CA
Northern CA REO & HUD Home Sales
I agree. There are not enough stagers in my area.
May 01, 2013 02:23 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Laura - I am as well...and a third party specialist is always worth it.

Wandanna - thanks for the comments it's amazing how happy the sellers are in the end after the process is over.

Beverly - couldn't have said it better :)

Hi Sara - you only need one good one.




May 01, 2013 09:06 PM
Jenn Morson
Metro Referrals - Crofton, MD
Licensed Referral Agent and ASP - Team Woda

A thousand times yes! Staging before photos means that your buyer will see the home in its best condition first. They might not even make it through the door if those photos are bad. And any amount of staging is better than no staging at all.

May 01, 2013 11:08 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good Morning Margaret, Agree with you 100%. home should be staged well before listing is posted online.

May 01, 2013 11:41 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Margaret~ We need to remind sellers that they only have ONE chance to make a first impression with potential buyers.

May 02, 2013 12:01 AM
Janelle Ancillotti
Seneca Home Staging - Syracuse, NY
HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY

I agree 100%. Now all we need to do is convince all those sellers out there.

May 02, 2013 12:09 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

The house should be staged up front... but I'll take it later in the listing process, if there's no other way around it.

May 02, 2013 12:35 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

When should a Stager be called?  The minute you decide to sell your house! 

May 02, 2013 04:27 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks Jen - Your absolutely right.. I'd rather see some staging than none at all. 

Hi Jen - so many sellers don't realize the impact it can have

Hi Donna - AND that first impression is made before a seller even knows anyone is looking - Great online photos bring in more buyers

Hi Janelle - You just need a good stager on your team and they'll do the educating so you don't have to. 

I agree Nina, better late than never. If I had a dollar for every client that said "I should have done this 6 months ago"!..:)

Perfectly said Julia



May 02, 2013 09:40 AM