To Stage or Not To Stage Real Estate For Sale?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property Appraisals croesch@ptauctions.net

 

Will you all please help me out with this most frequently asked question of me?

I'm asked all the time by my Auction clients that are in the midst of downsizing, moving, or divorce about the merits of leaving some items to stage the house. I always direct them back to their Realtor as the best person to answer that question. Working with Realtors from both franchised and unaffiliated firms the answer seems to be varied in the end.

I have not kept track of the responses but many of my Realtor clients say that having the personal property removed makes for a better showing of the house and reduces damage risk. They tell me Buyers are then easily able to analyze the room size and visualize their contents in the home, easily find the electrical outlets among other things of their curiosity.

As well, removing the items during or before the listing minimizes the risk of damage to the house that will need to be dealt with before closing and can potentially eliminate seller concessions and concerns from moving damage before the final walk through.

I will continue to refer the question back to the listing broker but thought I could get some opinions from the AR community

 

Thanks for weighing in on this.

 

 

 

 

Cathy Roesch, Auctioneer, Appraiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by

 Cathy Roesch Palatium Auctions

Cathy Roesch, Auctions, Appraisals
Online Auction Expert
Palatium Auctions and Liquidations
618-406-2065 mobile or 618-233-1000 Office
croesch@ptauctions.net

Complete Auction Services                                                                                           

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  1. Will Nesbitt 09/28/2014 11:55 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Missouri Saint Louis County
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Ambassador
3,750,752
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Cathy- For me, the answer would be, it depends.  If the sellers are just going to leave a table in the room or s sofa against the wall, then no it's better to leave the home empty.

Sep 20, 2014 05:48 AM #1
Rainmaker
2,650,596
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

While I do think this depends, there are several things above that I would give a different perspective on.

First, having some furniture (but not too much and not too little) actually makes the space look LARGER not smaller.  with it, your eye can picture the space; without, you have no context and usually the space looks smaller.  I have seen this many times w/ and wo/ furniture in the same spaces where I've seen it before the sellers moved their furniture.

 

The part about depersonalizing is all very true, and often if the furniture is ugly, dated or very taste specific, it's prob. better to remove it than leave it.

 

Regarding risk of damage or any of that stuff, in all the myriads of articles I have read about staging, not once have I heard this as an issue.

Sep 20, 2014 10:32 PM #2
Ambassador
1,206,709
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

I have only had a few of my listings professionally staged.                                                     

Sep 20, 2014 10:51 PM #3
Rainmaker
773,997
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Hi Cathy, I sometimes do stage homes in my design work but I must admit that for the most part, it is better to get most things out of the house and show a home without any furniture, if you are moving before the house goes on the market.  However, when there is a confusing or open floor plan, a few pieces do go a long way-especially when a room is small and you need to show that it is not wasted space.

Sep 20, 2014 11:32 PM #4
Ambassador
3,750,752
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

What I learned

Thanks Cathy Roesch 

Sep 21, 2014 01:05 AM #5
Rainmaker
392,304
Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000
Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property A... - Town and Country, MO
St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction

Thank You all for your comments. Routinely I ultimately refer the question back to the Realtor.  We know that the highest valued asset is the house being sold and take exceptional care to protect it's floors, walls, doors, etc. and to staff accordingly at our auctions to help assure the preservation of the real property. Damage can occur when buyers are removing the large furniture items, washer, dryer. The washer and refrigerator ice maker water hook up is especially problematic with the potential faucet corrosion and dripping water. In most cases we therefore recommend getting it all out so any challenges can be dealt with prior to contract.  As an option we also recommend a professional staging firm if the client is insistent to assure that the space is properly displayed. Again the Realtor's call.

 

 

Sep 21, 2014 08:42 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,087,941
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Debbie Gartner summed it up very well in my opinion.  Empty rooms will appear smaller than furnished rooms.  Empty rooms will show more negative aspects of the room.  There is nothing else in the room to look at, so you are more likely to notice defects in paint or flooring....worn or dirty areas of carpeting, etc.  

I've never heard of removing large items to prevent damage during a move.

Best case scenerio is presenting an emotionally and visually appealing home, that looks well maintained and cared for.  If the existing furnishings don't do the job, it's best to remove them.

Sep 21, 2014 09:20 AM #7
Ambassador
1,549,697
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Staging can be anything from decluttering to bringing in a full room of furniture...it's about creating a pleasant environment and that's always worth it. 

Sep 21, 2014 11:28 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,650,596
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Oh yes, Sharon Tara is so right that if there is no furniture, you notice issues w/ floors and walls much more easily.

Sep 21, 2014 12:07 PM #9
Rainmaker
555,025
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hi Cathy: An illusion of larger space could be created by less furniture and furnishings. I always tell the sellers to de-clutter and minimize personal properties as much as possible.

Sep 21, 2014 09:30 PM #10
Rainmaker
392,304
Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000
Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property A... - Town and Country, MO
St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction

Your comments are so very helpful.  From what I am understanding, every piece of real estate is different and unique.  The right answer to the question, "To Stage or Not to Stage?" depends on so many aspects of the real estate from the square footage size, to the size of the furniture to the actual floor plan.  So many different personalities when showing a home and it's probably better to leave it generic yet warm and inviting.

Sep 22, 2014 01:00 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,277,551
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Cathy~ I'm going to say it depends too. I have found that having furniture for photos is a benefit, because it really helps to show the size of the room. I would most often vote for staging, but it does depend.

Sep 22, 2014 12:24 PM #12
Rainer
14,195
Debbie Stolle
Integrity FIRST REALTORS - Branson, MO

Cathy, I see potential buyers walk into homes and if there is nothing in it they may not even step into a room but lean in and do a quick scan. Having furnishings staged to suggest a lifestyle in that home can give people pause and they start seeing themselves suddenly sitting at the desk writing or entertaining friends at the wet bar that has wine and glasses. The longer they stay, the more they are considering this home as a contender in their top selects. Empty homes just can't create the dream...in my humble opinion.

Sep 25, 2014 11:33 AM #13
Rainmaker
392,304
Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000
Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property A... - Town and Country, MO
St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction

Thanks Debbie, interesting observation that a staged home "suggest a lifestyle" and "creates the dream" rather than a barren house. Collectively the answers seem to suggest that a tastefully staged decluttered home provides the best showing.

Sep 27, 2014 12:06 AM #14
Rainer
220,071
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

I'm with Kathy Streib , if they're leaving a couple items, they're not really doing the home any favors. If we're talking a complete living room set in decent condition and it's the right size, then it could really benefit how the home shows.

Sep 29, 2014 12:34 AM #15
Rainmaker
797,059
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

I'ver heard benefits to both an empty house, and a staged house. I prefer staged myself, but it does depend on how much furniture, and whether the furniture actually enhances the home or looks out of place.

Sep 29, 2014 02:05 AM #16
Rainmaker
392,304
Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000
Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property A... - Town and Country, MO
St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction

You all have given me ideas that I hadn't thought of before.  Debbie Gartner's comment is Counterintuitive "Empty rooms will appear smaller than furnished rooms".  I like what everyone has said and I think Karen Fiddler's comment is the consensus "it's about creating a pleasant environment" on the other hand as Kathy Streib says "it depends". Thanks everyone for your comments and posts and hope you will follow me.

Sep 30, 2014 11:30 PM #17
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Rainmaker
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Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000

St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction
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