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Does staging a house really work? Is staging worth it?

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

Many years ago I was the listing agent for a lovely colonial in Glenn Dale, MD. The sellers were repeat clients of mine and trusted my opinion on how to get their home looking its best - online and in person. I edited their belongings, removed some items, and brought in others. It paid off. We were under contract rather quickly. However, the week of closing - and after my sellers had fully vacated the property - the contract fell apart because the buyer had lost his job but "forgot" to mention it to their agent and lender. When the lender called for final verification of employment, he was told that the buyer had been fired. So back on the market we went. This time, however, the home was completely empty, and new potential home buyers struggled to visualize it as their home. The dining room was too small. The primary bedroom was too big. The house was just okay. After we heard these complaints multiple times, and no offer came in, we regrouped. 

We took the home temporarily off the market and searched for a professional home stager. My sellers hired Jessica Flavell with Flavell Home Staging who worked her magic. She staged the main areas of the house, showing buyers how furniture in the family room can be arranged, and how the primary bedroom can be divided into a sleeping and lounge area. The sellers and I brought some furniture and accessories back to stage a secondary bedroom and the finished basement. After staging was complete, my professional photographer returned for a second shoot and I updated all the pictures in the MLS. It is important to show what the house looks like in its current state, otherwise, it can be quite a disappointment to buyers. Truth in advertising should never be optional. 

Not one feedback we received the second time around included comments about the room sizes. It was 100% positive and culminated in three offers... two above list price. It's important to note that this was a much more balanced market back then, and multiple offers weren't the norm. The final sold price was 11K above list price with the seller recouping more than double the amount they had invested in staging. Had the house remained empty, we would not have achieved the result that we did. I am certain of that. 

This experience  showed me how truly important and valuable staging is. I've been a firm believer ever since and have been assisting all my seller clients with either staging their homes while they are still residing in the property or enlisting the help of Jessica Flavell for vacant ones. Jessica and I collaborated on a few listings over the years, but, unfortunately, she retired from the business some time ago.

However, it prompted my broker and I to increase our staging inventory to be able to assist our sellers better and include staging in our listing services. We are always adding to our inventory and are in the process of expanding our office to have more space to store it all. 

Andrea Bedard, Thompson Co. REALTORS who stage

Does staging a house really work? You bet. 

Staging serves multiple purposes. Besides showing buyers how furniture can be arranged in a home, it also shows them what size of a couch or bedframe could fit, or what that oddly shaped room, or nook in the corner, could be utilized for. 

A staged home shows better in all visual presentations and online marketing. It warms up a space and turns a vacant house into a home. The listing pictures are the very first impression a potential buyer gets of your home, we have to make it a great one! 

A staged home also tends to elicit emotions. Few buyers will make an offer on a home that does not feel like it could be their home and leaves them unexcited. The goal is for buyers to walk in and be wowed, to fall in love and make their best offer. Staging helps accomplish that. 

Are you hoping to receive the same or better results than my Glenn Dale clients did? Then call me, Andrea, at 240.593.2860. I would love to connect with you! After 20 years as a licensed, full-time REALTOR® in Silver Spring, MD, and beyond, I can confidently say, I know how to stage, price correctly, market efficiently, and get it SOLD. References are available upon request. I very much enjoy the process of collaborating with my sellers, enlisting the expertise of our in-house contractors (if needed), staging it, and sending my clients the professional photographs when it's picture-perfect... and hearing them say Wow. This is my house? It looks amazing! 

Did you stumble upon my blog post from another part of the country (or the world) because you are looking for a REALTOR® who stages? Please contact me. I maintain a network of the very best agents and can help you find the best fit. 

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

Fluent in Real Estate and German.
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Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Andre,

I'm a firm believer in staging and always have found a home to sell faster and for more money. I have my favorite stager I always recommend. He has 4 warehouses of furniture and accessories and is always refreshing his inventory. Each house he stages takes on its own personality and he and his team are excellent!

Apr 19, 2024 06:36 PM
Andrea Bedard

Hi Dorie Dillard Austin TX! A staged home is much more welcoming and buyers are much more likely to fall in love with it! That's the goal! I loved collaborating with Jessica Flavell and was sad to see her retire! We've now been steadily growing our inventory but still have a couple of professional home stagers on speed dial.  

Apr 24, 2024 09:42 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Andrea- wonderful post!!!  Vacant homes do sell but except for investors who may not care or seasoned buyers with a keen eye, most buyers need visual assistance in seeing the property and what it has to offer. 

Apr 19, 2024 08:24 PM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Kathy Streib! Staging warms up a space and elicits emotions. The goal is to have buyers fall in love to make their best offer. Staging plays a huge role in that! 

Apr 24, 2024 09:43 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Loved your post Staging not only works it bring buyers faster and for more money because most lack the imagination what it could look like and staging shows them, Endre

Apr 19, 2024 10:29 PM
Andrea Bedard

Thank you, Endre Barath, Jr.! It is difficult to imagine furniture in an empty house. I am not a fan of virtual staging. While it shows possibilities online, it's still a bland space in person.  

Apr 24, 2024 09:45 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Andrea - everyday real estate experiences certainly provide a lot of lessons.  The example in your post is one that you can continue to share.   It underscores the benefits of proper presentation. 

Apr 20, 2024 04:22 AM
Andrea Bedard

I've told this story many times, Michael Jacobs. I've yet to meet a seller who objected to staging. The process excites me, seeing the transformation, and how a room comes alive with personality.. just one reason why we are steadily expanding our inventory to be able to offer more sellers our assistance when their house is either vacant or needs some editing. 

Apr 24, 2024 09:47 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Andrea... I'm a big believer in staging and have any number of experiences in getting homes sold after staging it when previously they languished on the market and expired with other agents.

Apr 20, 2024 04:47 AM
Andrea Bedard

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker! It's so transformative! I love seeing it all come together. A staged home shows so much better virtually and in person. 

Apr 24, 2024 09:48 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Staging ALWAYS works and is ALWAYS worth it, although it is very difficult to convince some sellers, haha.

Apr 20, 2024 05:46 AM
Andrea Bedard

I have yet to meet a seller who didn't want our staging help, Brian England. We are hands-on and include it in our listing service. We are adding to our office because we've been running out of space to store our inventory.

Apr 24, 2024 09:50 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Oh yes, I believe in staging as well. I had a vacant home that wasn't selling and after staging it was under contract in no time!

Apr 20, 2024 06:34 AM
Andrea Bedard

Just like my Glenn Dale, MD listing, Kat Palmiotti. Staging is truly transformative and so worth it! 

Apr 24, 2024 09:51 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Andrea Bedard I have always felt staging was worth the the investment, and am surprised it is not done more often here in CT.

Apr 20, 2024 12:42 PM
Andrea Bedard

I am surprised that it's not more popular in CT, George Souto. I only had one listing last year that we didn't stage. It was a rehab/reno loan candidate. We were showing the potential, staging would have been a distraction in that case. Otherwise, I always suggest staging and we include it in our listing service. Many of our sellers have wonderful taste and we only edit their belongings and bring in accessories. But we've been growing our inventory to be able to stage more vacant properties, too.  

Apr 24, 2024 09:54 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Apr 21, 2024 05:39 AM
Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

It’s a great post. Thank you for sharing!


Have a super fantastic week!

Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

Apr 24, 2024 10:46 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I have started buying my own staging equipment - wayfair is amazing - great prices and good things for not much if you don't mind putting it together - sofas and chairs are easy - I hit a wall with a small end table with two drawers.  I thought the drawers would do me in

Apr 25, 2024 09:55 AM
Andrea Bedard

I don't mind putting it together, Lise! I frequently borrow from my house, too. It's not unusual for my kids to get home and find pieces missing, lol! 

Apr 26, 2024 02:06 PM