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Staging Thoughts

Home Stager

Staging Thoughts


Even though I’m retired from home staging, I still believe in its ability to help sell a home. 


This week Dick Betts wrote an excellent post about virtual staging. When it first made its entrance I admit I was skeptical. At that time it was less cost-effective than it is now.  My one “must” (besides FULL DISCLOSURE in the listing) has always been that large photos of the virtually staged room must be front and center for a potential buyer to see.

As I expressed in my comment, when homes were going under contract within days of the listing, it made some sense to use virtual staging. 


However, I continue to love a staged home. Dorie Dillard Austin TX ’s listings, for example, always look impeccable. You immediately want to view the home. See her latest post about Embracing the Power of Staging.


I stepped into the wayback machine to a staging I provided for one of my favorite clients. One of his properties was move-in ready and nicely updated.

After viewing it with his assistant, I scratched my head and asked “Where is the dine-in area?”


There was nowhere outside of the kitchen area for a small breakfast table. His assistant agreed and said ‘That’s why you’re here!” 


While today’s buyers may no longer want or need a dining room, they want an area where they can dine other than the kitchen bar. 


The area just beyond the kitchen area was small and couldn’t even accommodate a bistro table. 

This is what we came up with.. 

This view is from the entry looking towards the family room. 



If you’re still uncertain about the merits of preparing a home for sale and utilizing staging to help, please read Dick and Dorie’s posts. 

Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

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Dick Betts
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida

Kathy Streib thank you!

Feb 08, 2024 05:15 AM
Kathy Streib

Dick Betts you are very welcome. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:32 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Kathy - like so many things in life, change and evolution is part of the ongoing discussion.   We live, we learn. . .  

I remember the early days of real estate staging.  There is an example that still stands out in my mind - one day, a brokers open house tour, five or six different houses, in the same market, different styles/prices and different stagers.  Each appeared to be staged identically to my untrained eye.  I wondered what a seller thought - if they were even aware.  

When virtual staging came on the scene - the results from consumers was not enthusiastic.  Education was necessary as was an introduction of the practice.  

We live.  Lessons are learned. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:26 AM
Kathy Streib

I know what you mean Michael Jacobs I felt the same way when I was actively staging vacant properties. So many of the homes I saw looked the same. It's expensive to carry a large inventory. I used Cort Furniture Rental and even they have their limitations in inventory. 


Feb 08, 2024 05:35 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kathy Streib ,

Thank you so much for the mention. I've always believed in staging but it also means choosing the right stager. I read Michael Jacobs comment and feel some houses look alike by different stagers but the reason I always recommend Brian David Design is  he goes above and beyond in identifying the lifestyle of the homes he and his team stage. His complete staging is memorable and always captures the eye of the buyer and their agent.

Feb 08, 2024 05:37 AM
Kathy Streib

Dorie Dillard Austin TX  many stagers have yearly sales so they can renew and refresh their inventory. I love the work that Brian does. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:39 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Kathy. Actual staging and virtual staging both have their place. Letting potential buyers know photos are with virtual staging is essential. Thanks! Enjoy your day.

Feb 08, 2024 05:38 AM
Kathy Streib

Wayne Martin I agree. If I were doing staging, I'd like to learn how to do virtual staging. You don't have to carry an inventory and it's a lot easier on the back. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:40 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Kathy,
Some people have a great vision of what can be done with a house (with their things), and others don't. You have to show them.  It also gives perspective to room size.  Thanks for the post.

Feb 08, 2024 07:07 AM
Kathy Streib

Carol Williams when the buyer/investor, his assistant, his project manager and I couldn't find anyplace to place a dine-in table, we knew that buyers would have the same problem. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:41 PM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Kathy, It's those who may not immediately see the possibilities and need demonstration to help them envision the potential!

Feb 08, 2024 07:18 AM
Kathy Streib

Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 some people can see the possibilities. But now everyone can and that's why it's important to consider staging. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:45 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I like virtual staging, but it really depends on who is doing it. I have seen some terrible work...as well as some awesome stuff.

Feb 08, 2024 07:27 AM
Kathy Streib

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty I've seen that as well. When I started staging, I met someone who decided she could stage and asked me to look at a home she'd done. Her idea of staging was to have silk flowers and plants on every table in the house. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:52 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Kathy Streib. I believe actual staging is better than virtual staging, but lately the prices for virtual staging has gone down, and some of them do look appealing too. I remember using virtual staging on one of my last listings that was empty. 

Feb 08, 2024 07:48 AM
Kathy Streib

Jerry Newman When I first heard about virtual staging, if I remember correctly, each room could run $300-600 or more. It wasn't as cost-effective at that time as most actual staging jobs. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:54 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Kathy, for sharing your experience and advice. 

Have a great day.

Feb 08, 2024 08:21 AM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Roy Kelley Thank you. Hello to Chef Dolores. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:55 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kathy and staging is so important and Dorie and Dick make some good points in their past blogs.  So go Chiefs.


Feb 08, 2024 09:28 AM
Kathy Streib

Will Hamm both posts were excellent!!!  And yes, Go Chiefs. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:56 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I've long been a proponent of staging every home we've had for sale for so many years I can't even tell you how many.  During the high frenzy days a couple of years ago we didn't stage a few homes and they sold with multiplexes of offers but I never thought they showed off their best.

Feb 08, 2024 11:15 AM
Kathy Streib

Anna "Banana" Kruchten we had a good friend who listed her home when she was up north for the summer. (actually, her son put it on the market for her) It was sold as is. She didn't know before she left FL that it was going to be sold. while it did sell, I felt she left some money on the table. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:59 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy that was a good observation.  For me no "dine-in area" no sale.

Feb 08, 2024 01:50 PM
Kathy Streib

And you know, George Souto , if that's what you're thinking, so are the buyers. 

Feb 08, 2024 06:00 PM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Hello Kathy Streib in my opinion staging a home is better that virtual staging, but nowadays virtual staging is more common.

Feb 08, 2024 05:38 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kathy I have always been a fan of stagging and both Dorie Dillard Austin TX  &  Dick Betts  posts resonated with me. There are many sellers I could not convince to do the staging due to the costs entailed. On the other hand I could pay out of pocket the virtual Staging and both have worked for me over the years, Endre

Feb 08, 2024 09:11 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Virtual staging makes for a more enticing photo, but if the home is vacant, it's still difficult to imagine furniture there while walking through it in person, haha.

Feb 09, 2024 04:49 AM
Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

It really is all about making the first impression a lasting one. Thanks for sharing. I hope you enjoy the weekend.

Feb 09, 2024 09:13 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Coming up with ideas to avoid doubt and questions in the minds of buyers is my favorite part of staging. All about perceived value. You have to prepare and present in such a way that all the possible negative impressions never come to light.

Feb 09, 2024 12:56 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Staging can make an important difference in marketing homes.  I have often been amazed at the before and after photos of homes I marketed, where homes were staged.

Feb 10, 2024 04:02 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Kathy, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Feb 10, 2024 04:03 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes

My thoughts about it are that it can save time and money compared to traditional staging and enables sellers to showcase the property quickly.  But with that being said, I have seen some terrible staging both virtual and real.

Feb 11, 2024 06:18 PM