10 Instances When Staging Alone Can’t Help…

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

...Unless you're ready to listen to your agent and stager.


Home staging is effective but it can’t perform miracles.  Too often stagers receive calls from sellers and agents about homes that have been sitting on the market with no offers.


They’ve decided to bring in a home stager to get it sold. While it’s true that staging your home can help to get it sold by showing its possibilities, it doesn’t cover up issues that can impact its perceived value.


home staging


Below are 10 instances when staging alone can’t help...


1. The bathrooms aren’t updated.

You don’t need to knock down walls but buyers will look for new fixtures including lighting. The less they have to do, the more they can live with it.


2. The kitchen was updated ...a dozen or more years ago.

This is the heart of the home.  Today’s buyers want move-in ready and tops on their list is the kitchen. New appliances and fixtures, recently updated countertops can go a long way in making the sale.  Towels, cookbooks, and kitchen accessories help but aren’t enough.


3. There is a built-in Formica headboard in the master bedroom.

I’ve seen this on more than one staging consultation and needs to be removed. Trying to bring in new linens and lamps and working around the built-in is like putting lipstick on a pig.


home staging


4. The carpeting is worn.

Stagers and agents aren’t in the business of covering up. Old and dated flooring still looks old and dated in the light of day, even with a sofa and chairs on it.


5. The paint color is very taste specific.

Furniture and accessories are meant to complement the wall color. It can’t make you forget about it.


6. The dining room has one wall that is all mirrors circa 1980.

This just screams old! Instead of picturing themselves in your home, they’ll be trying to figure out how much it’s going to cost in time and money to remove it.


7. Your wonderful 4 legged family members have left a distinct odor that permeates throughout the house.

Ask any agent...this is a huge turn-off. Again, furniture and accessories won’t help. In fact, some stagers will refuse to place inventory in a home with pets or heavy odor.


8. Your home is next to a very busy street and you can hear the traffic as soon as you step out.

Unless you provide earplugs for your buyers, we can’t change the location. There are some things that you can do such as placing trees along the property line that might minimize the noise.


9. Your home backs up to a commercial business that you can see from the entry.

Once again, we’re not in the business to deceive or hide. However, we did work with a client who upon our suggestion planted a large tree in the sight line between her patio door and the offending business. The contract was forthcoming.


staging deferred maintenance


10. You have a laundry list of deferred maintenance issues.

Not to repeat myself but these are things that buyers WILL see regardless of any furniture that is in the room. Sellers are better off tackling these as they turn up.


You may think that addressing these distractions won’t be worth the money you invest. And that may be so.


Or, by not addressing these issues, you may not even get an offer to consider. Discuss this with your agent.  


Not sure what to do?  Call for a Home Staging Consultation whether you’re ready to sell now or in the next few years!!!



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Sally K. & David L. Hanson 08/28/2018 08:21 AM
  2. Gita Bantwal 09/26/2018 10:43 AM
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marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

Kathy Streib  Totally agree ! First thing I did at my new condo was literally rip everything out except for the walls and windows. My contractor rebuilt everything from scratch. It was like living in a war zone for awhile but well worth it ! ;-)

Aug 28, 2018 02:15 PM #25
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Your points as usual are well taken.  Staging just cannot disguised these aspects that the owners need to take care of.  A

Aug 28, 2018 02:30 PM #26
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I love your message Kathy Streib , it is funny when i see some listings they do indeed need a miracle to sell

Aug 28, 2018 03:34 PM #27
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

As my old country Dad used to say, that is a horse that can't be rode.

Aug 28, 2018 03:38 PM #28
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy Streib -  This is good information for sellers to understand. A lot of these issues should be detected by the list agent and the price adjusted accordingly. I wouldn't call in a stager just to confirm what I already know. It is not fair to you. Your time is valuable. 

Sometimes buyers will criticize to get a lower price. I have seen buyers try to get $100,000 off the list price by saying they want a gas stove top instead of the electric and the fireplace was not updated. 

Aug 28, 2018 04:43 PM #29
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Sharon Tara so have I!  One of my clients bought a home she was going to flip. Great location, 900++ on the water. The kitchen and guest bath had been updated. But the Master bedroom and primarily the master bath was not worthy of the house. I suggested she update that and if there was money left in the budget, then give me a call. 

Aug 28, 2018 06:13 PM #30
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 too many times I've had to tell sellers that covering up isn't an option. 

Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty That should be one I add to the list. I staged a condo on the island once that was really over-priced. The agent tried but they were not to be convinced. I brought in soft goods for the home but instead of having them rent from me, I suggested that they give me a budget so I could buy the items for them. I couldn't in good conscience take money from them when I knew the condo would sit on the market for 6+ months. (which it did)

Aug 28, 2018 06:18 PM #31
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Margaret Goss I know that Sharon Tara and I both have talked ourselves out of large staging jobs for that very reason. 

John Henry there are design do's and don'ts that can be used to enhance a room that may have low ceilings or is small or too long but there's only so much lipstick in the world! 

Aug 28, 2018 06:24 PM #32
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

marti garaughty and you will be able to enjoy all of your efforts while you're living in it!!!!  Smart move!

Ron and Alexandra Seigel A flipper asked me last year if I could just put a rug on the non-matching wood flooring that had just been laid. I suggested he contact the vendor and tell them to make it right. 

Aug 28, 2018 06:27 PM #33
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Scott Godzyk It really doesn't take much...but the seller has to want to.

Joe Pryor I love that expression!!!!

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® I'm a firm believer that there is a buyer for every house but the seller has to understand that the perceived value by the buyer is what counts. 

Aug 28, 2018 06:30 PM #34
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent list of items sellers need to address or drop the price!  Going to share this on G+!  

Aug 28, 2018 06:32 PM #35
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Kathys ten instances....

Aug 28, 2018 06:36 PM #36
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I have one seller that just has NO interest in any updating.  I'm about to fire him.

Aug 28, 2018 09:02 PM #37
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Well done! There are definitely things that get in the way of a home selling quickly. It's a great idea for sellers to bite the bullet and fix those before sale.

Aug 29, 2018 03:50 AM #38
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Great advice!  Sometimes the staging funds should be used to update and or repair the home.

Aug 29, 2018 04:28 AM #39
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Excellent advice - staging is important, but it's not an answer to everything!

Aug 29, 2018 05:04 AM #40
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Hi Kathy! It is true! That being said, staging may help some see past the items that cannot be changed - or at least make them more palatable! 

Aug 29, 2018 05:54 AM #41
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Built-in formica headboards must be a regional thing - or perhaps a time era thing. In 19 years of selling homes that is something I never saw. Could it be because so many of the homes here were built too early or much later?

Aug 29, 2018 10:15 AM #42
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Have not seen a built in formica headboard around the Denver neighborhoods.  Maybe they all had the decency to avoid that "trend" altogether. 

Aug 30, 2018 01:03 PM #43
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I have & had 2 listings that match a couple of your bullet points above. Sometimes, the owners just don't listen and other times, as you said in #8, you can't move the house but planting trees (which we did) might help.

Aug 31, 2018 06:53 AM #44
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Kathy Streib

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