Staging Myths & Misunderstandings

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

Staging Myths & Misunderstandings

Last year I read a post that discussed seeing past staging when buying a home.  And that may be true when viewing a model home. A buyer needs to be realistic in that their own furniture and design may not staged homeyield the same effects as that selected by a professional interior designer.


Conversely, as Sharon Tara mentioned, you could make the same case for seeing past the issues in homes that have not been staged or whose condition has not been enhanced.


Staging is meant to show the possibilities and livability of a home to potential buyers.


However, there are still some who aren’t sure about staging...what it is and what it isn’t.


Here are just a few myths and misunderstandings that some have about home staging.


1.Stagers cover up problems with furniture or decor.

Reputable stagers never suggest covering up problems via the use of rugs or furniture.

We may use design ideas to enhance the area, such as a more flattering paint color or editing furniture but not to cover up.

In fact, stagers will point out items such as carpet stains or cracked tile that need to be addressed so that they do not detract from the showing of the house.

2. Stagers have been known to remove interior doors.

I have never known of a stager removing doors in a staging. I have seen model homes that had their doors to rooms and closets removed by the builder.

3.Stagers manipulate lighting.

Only in suggesting that sellers have all of their lights on and window coverings open when a house is being shown do we manipulate lighting. That, however, is what agents would suggest as well.

home staging4.Stagers reposition furniture.

Of course, we do if it is necessary. Making sure that there is a clear and safe traffic pattern for a buyer to see the space is key.

5.Stagers use tricks like baking cookies before a showing.

To be sure, odors can be a huge turn-off to a potential buyer. However, we encourage sellers to address this via letting the fresh air in and removing the cause of the odor.

As a home stager, I recommend against lighting candles for 2 reasons:

~They are not safe

~Buyers are on to this trick and in fact, some candle scents may be too much for a buyer.

6. Using furniture to make a space appear larger.

If we are working with an occupied home, we typically will use what the seller has. Renting furniture is expensive!

In a vacant home, we use furniture to help the buyers see the space and how it can be used.

And, of course, as a design axiom, certain sizes of furniture and the furnishings used can enhance a space.


Stagers don’t use tricks to make a house what it is or isn’t.

The goal is to help you get your house sold with a minimum of discomfort and expense. And we want to help you maximize the investment you’ve made in it.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 06/27/2018 01:00 AM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 04/21/2018 12:50 PM
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

I totally understand the benefits of staging but am uncomfortable with "virtual staging" because when the buyer actually visits the listing, it doesn't look anything like the pictures.

Apr 19, 2018 08:00 PM #35
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

There are so many benefits to staging!  Thank you for your expertise!

Apr 19, 2018 08:10 PM #36
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Thank you 1 million for clearing all of this up so perfectly! Really great stuff all around!

Apr 19, 2018 11:33 PM #37
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

The postives definitely outway the negatives or myths in my opinion.  It is a proven fact that homes that are staged sell faster than the ones that are not.  You are great at what you do Kathy Streib .  Have a great day!

Apr 20, 2018 05:30 AM #38
Kathy Booth, Setting the Stage
Setting the Stage - Newmarket, ON
Home Staging and ReDesign Professional

I was one of thousands of stagers who signed a petition to have Canadian Tire, a large retail store in Canada, remove a commercial which suggested that stagers cover up some serious issues with attractive lighting and furniture (from their store).  We were appalled!!  Canadian Tire issued an apology and stopped airing the commercial.  Thank you for your very well written article!!  :)  

Apr 20, 2018 05:55 AM #39
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The world of staging made better known courtesy of Kathy

Apr 20, 2018 07:46 AM #40
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We always ecommend staging a home prior to selling. For a small ( compared to the ROI ) cost, a home will sell more quickly and for more money than a non-staged home. You folks are simply amazing - and it's not trickery at all - just great design concepts. D 

Apr 20, 2018 10:25 AM #41
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Many homes, vacant or occupied, benefit from staging - resulting in an increased sales price.     I agree with your comments about scents - fixing the problem, not masking it!

Apr 20, 2018 10:29 AM #42
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Not every listing requires staging.  But once that decision has been made, i just can't see a downside to staging.  It can be very effective, and helps buyers (who have almost zero imagination) envision how a room might be used, and help them understand its livability.

Apr 20, 2018 01:04 PM #43
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Kathy Streib - I saw this posted on FB and will also share it on my FB page!  Great info that people need to know about staging. 

Apr 20, 2018 03:49 PM #44
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Kathy Streib, this is great information for sure. Getting a professional stager's opinions should be a welcome part of a listing.

The bigger problem I have is convincing some sellers that someone can make their home look better... Decluttering can be a huge challenge, too.

Thanks for sharing!


Apr 20, 2018 07:47 PM #45
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This is a good overview of staging and what it entails. There are some people who are allergic to those scented candles. In addition, the first thought when smelling them is, "What are they covering up?"

Apr 21, 2018 04:14 AM #46
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Kathy, this is a well written and needed post.

This presentation of myths and facts can help clear up a lot of misconceptions about what staging is actually doing for the home. 


Apr 21, 2018 07:28 AM #47
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Very informative, concise and useful for sellers, buyers, and agents. Great post. 

Apr 21, 2018 08:34 AM #48
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Great post & totally correct about the over use of scented candles. Sometimes it's horrible!

Apr 21, 2018 01:23 PM #49
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Great job addressing a few of the objections to staging that are out there. Just because someone that knows no different does not know how to decorate their home does not mean a pro does shifty things. Plug-ins are my pet peeve. I think they are too pungent and the homeowner's taste may not appeal to the buyers (just like the paint color a stager would recommend changing...go figure).

Apr 21, 2018 08:21 PM #50
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Proper staging always enhances and not take away.  So many buyers don't have the vision.

Apr 21, 2018 09:24 PM #51
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Kathy Streib this is a great post. There is not usually "trickery" in staging - it is making the home look as good as it can for someone else to see the home as potentially for them!

May 18, 2018 01:04 PM #52
Sharon Mistowski
Horizon Lending Services, LLC - Prosper, TX
Horizon Lending Services, LLC

Kathy, what an incredible post you've written to help debunk some common myths about staging. Sharing this in my social calendar. I know my followers would appreciate reading this. Thanks!

May 18, 2018 03:07 PM #53
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Kathy,

What I find staging very useful for is to imagine the approximate size of furniture. If clients have a queen size bed & see a king, they feel reassured that their bed will fit & how. I often see them discussing the sizes of their particular dressers or sofas in comparison to the staged furniture. I find it helps a lot.

Aug 15, 2018 09:02 PM #54
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Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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