Do You Need to Stage Your Home in a Seller's Market?

Home Stager with Rooms With Style

I know many people are asking that question and wondering if home staging is needed when inventory is low and homes are selling quickly. The answer may depend a bit but if you don't stage, may you be leaving some money on the table?  Money on the Table

Let's say you list your home 'as is' and you put the asking price a bit lower so you don't have to do much of anything. You get an offer within a few weeks, maybe a few thousand below list but overall the percentage is still really good. Ok great!

But now let's say you bring in a Home Stager, at the very minimum for a Home Staging Consultation, to give you a list of top things to do to get your home in top selling condition. She may suggest some fresh paint, or a couple new light fixtures, some repairs.

Now let's say you are moving to your new home first and you are wondering if you should list the house empty or stage a couple key rooms with furniture. Will that matter?

Sold Sign


Let's take a look at an older home I consulted on for a Realtor. I did recommend some paint, a couple new light fixtures, new vinyl flooring in the kitchen and staging it with fresh modern furniture when they moved out. Here is the email I received from her shortly after is was listed:


  • Listed as coming soon 5/8
  • Active listing 5/22
  • 38 showings 5/22, 36 showings 5/23, 10 showings 5/24
  • Received 32 offers!
  • Inspection completed, now pending closing June 30

That's 84 showings and 32 offers!!! PLUS it sold for $25,100 over list price! Which was over 10% of the list price. Unbelievable!


So yes the market is good. Would the house of sold anyway without staging? Absolutely.  Would the sellers have received 32 offers and sold for $25K over list without staging? We will never know for sure but I don't think so. Don't take a chance of leaving money on the table!




Comments (22)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Shar - a commonly asked question with a thoughtful reply.  

Sep 21, 2020 09:32 AM
Shar Sitter

Thanks Michael Jacobs 

Sep 22, 2020 06:57 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Hi Shar Sitter 

I think it's important to stage every property. It's all part of the process of selling, in most instances. Great post.

Sep 21, 2020 10:33 AM
Shar Sitter

Couldn't agree more Doug Dawes , and thank you!

Sep 22, 2020 06:58 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Hello Shar,  Even staging lite, as I call it, is better than a bare naked home. 

Sep 21, 2020 11:24 AM
Shar Sitter

Amen Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

Sep 22, 2020 06:58 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

This says it all. Staging remains the best way to get homes sold in the shortest amount of time, and for the highest price. Good job, Shar. D

Sep 21, 2020 01:35 PM
Shar Sitter

Thank you so much Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD 

Sep 22, 2020 06:58 AM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Always a great option... why not? right... Thank you for sharing. Having a professional as partner to help you when need.. I am in!! Have a great day and be safe

Sep 21, 2020 02:03 PM
Shar Sitter

Yes a stager and realtor partnership to get a house in top selling condition is the best AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS 

Sep 22, 2020 06:59 AM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

Shar, great example from personal experience.

Can't argue with those numbers, a sale substantially above list and one happy seller.  Congrats!

Sep 21, 2020 02:23 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Buyers look at photos online when they go house shopping to decide which ones they want to see, at least in my area.  And photos look obviously very bare without the staging. Although it would be unheard of in our upscale market to have that many showings (especially now that we can only have 2 people plus an agent in at one time), still, it's nice to fill up the "dance card" in order to get in multiple offers. 


Sep 21, 2020 03:21 PM
Shar Sitter

Yes MLS photos are so very important Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® 

Sep 22, 2020 07:00 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Shar:

Staging a home in a seller's market is still a smart thing to do. These days buyers are looking online first before deciding on touring a home or not. Will there still be plenty of showings due to the market? Probably...but why not enhance the opportunity for a better sales price and perhaaps more offers.


Sep 21, 2020 06:45 PM
Shar Sitter

Amen to all of that Jeff Dowler, CRS !

Sep 22, 2020 07:01 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Shar,

It baffles my mind how little imagination some people have. Even if they have a queen size bed at home, they cannot imagine, what it would look like in the bedroom. And don't even start with sectionals. Better to put some furniture, so people can compare in their mind.

Sep 21, 2020 07:21 PM
Shar Sitter

Yes, only about 10% of the people can really visual the space past what they see.

Sep 22, 2020 07:02 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

If and when I am able to convince my sellers yes we stage... sadly too many are penny wise and pound foolish, Endre

Sep 21, 2020 09:09 PM
Shar Sitter

Ha.....nice saying Endre Barath, Jr. 

Sep 22, 2020 07:03 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Wow, now that's a lot of showings and offers!

Just getting a staging consultation can often open up a home seller's eyes about how the home might look to buyers. Simple things like paint can make a huge difference.

Sep 22, 2020 05:03 AM
Shar Sitter

Yes a home staging consultation is a huge help and great place to start Kat Palmiotti 

Sep 22, 2020 07:05 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

This is so very true & it's nice to see those numbers! Great post & advice.

Sep 22, 2020 06:34 AM
Shar Sitter

Thanks so much Lyn Sims 

Sep 22, 2020 07:05 AM
Kristina Davy
Lori Bonarek Realty - Coal City, IL
Realtor focused on Grundy, Kendall & Will County

 Great blog! I love you tracked and provided the showing and offer numbers to support this.

Sep 22, 2020 06:42 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Kristina Davy 

Sep 22, 2020 07:05 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Sometimes just some 'light' staging can make a big difference. Certainly with the online photos--empty homes just don't photograph as well.

Sep 22, 2020 09:00 AM
Shar Sitter

No a photo of one empty room after another just doesn't do it Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR 

Sep 24, 2020 06:11 AM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

Great blog and topic, ... so many times sellers and brokers just let the market activity dictate how to prepare the home.  Always go with the best look that is feasible to the Seller's market dollar.  Vacant homes, it should be a must, in order to "tell the theme" of the home's floor plan.

Sep 22, 2020 10:42 AM
Shar Sitter

Thank you Dan Hopper and yes, vacant  homes can leave buyers very confused on utilization of the space.

Sep 24, 2020 06:12 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

You are 100% correct, Shar SitterA staged home will sell more quickly and for more money. Yes, that sounds like a slogan, but it is always true, at least in my experience over the years, even in a hot market many of us are experiencing these days.

Sep 22, 2020 03:20 PM
Shar Sitter

You are correct that people think that is just a marketing slogan but it really is true Greg Mona . Thank you!

Sep 24, 2020 06:13 AM
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

I think staging can be VERY useful for specific properties, but some just sell due to the house!

Sep 23, 2020 05:56 AM
Shar Sitter


Sep 24, 2020 06:14 AM
Carol Culkin
Diamond Partners Inc - Overland Park, KS
Overland Park Residential Real Estate

Sellers should understand that their homes are still being compared to others in the same price range. Every seller should step back and look at their home and others in their area with buyer's eyes. 

Sep 24, 2020 05:36 AM
Shar Sitter

So true but so hard for many sellers to do Carol Culkin, ReeceNichols 

Sep 24, 2020 06:15 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Staging to make a world of difference if you do it the right way and really spruce it up really nicely!

Oct 01, 2020 09:56 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Yeah Carol, that’s definitely the way to go in the way to think, in my opinion. You’re always being compared to another house. Carol Culkin, ReeceNichols

Oct 01, 2020 09:58 PM