Is Paying for a Stager Worth the Investment?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty


Staging, the perfect name to depict the intent of focusing attention to the home and pleasing the audience at hand.  I share with clients that staging is putting on the best show.  You recall the props, scenery and most of all the acting.  The seller must remember that their home is not about their personality or comfort but setting the right tone and impression so the audience will want to applaud and remember your home as a stand out.  

I have recently layered another service for my clients, a professional stager.  In the past I feel I have done an adequate job of assisting them in furniture placement, decorating tips, etc.  As more awareness of proper staging has been brought to us by numerous popular television shows, I have found that sellers tend to receive the suggetions made by an accredited stager with a design background better than to me.  It has been a valuable tool to get the home prepared on the front end for success.   

I made a business decision to offer paying for a couple of hours of consultation with a professional stager when I have received a listing commitment.  The homes I offer this to usually are older and are as we politely put it as Realtors, "tired" in finishes.  They need some upfront money invested to get much more on return.  The owners have to be willing and able to afford and make changes.  They also have to have the personality to receive the recommendations as helpful and not as criticism.  That is why it is important to utilize the services of a good stager that has the personality balance to deliver the suggestions with authority but in a polite manner.

I have recently called upon the services of one of our Active Rain members, Karen Otto, to visit on a couple of my new listings.  It was a outstanding experience and the ideas were excellent.  She knew just how to deliver the news that some areas of the home needed attention and verified what I had told the sellers about dollars put in would have a huge return for the investments and also reduction of days on market.  An ideal partnerhip to my business.

Not only is a well staged home is critical to maximizing the home's potential of selling for top dollar it is also a reflection to you, the Realtor, for helping your sellers understand that the right impression from the very beginning of the listing is equally critical.  The spotlight is on you to deliver the message. And to answer my question posed ... YES, the service of a stager is worth every penny!  It make the home look great and me look good.

Comments (13)

Emmaniece Gordon
Dekka Realty - Fort Meade, MD
PSC, CDPE, Realtors, Local Real Estate Expert, Mar

Hi Connie,

I would agree with you that the expense of a Stager is worth every penny if using a good stager.  I think all Realtors should see this as part of their marketing budget per listing if the selling is willing and committed to getting their home sold.

This is especially important if the home seller is also willing to keep the property looking in great showing condition for as long as the listing is active.  This certainly should be a commitment of all involve, to get the home sold.

Feb 22, 2009 04:08 AM
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Getting a home sold quickly is crucial in a soft or declining market. Staging may consist of a simple consultation including some pre-packing tips and furniture movement. Of course it can be much, much more. It's good to test the motiviation of the seller by having them commit to the cost of staging.

Feb 22, 2009 05:03 AM
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Connie, can I clone you?  As a stager, what you are saying is music to my ears.  In my opinion, the best money the realtor can spend is for the staging consultation on behalf of your clients.  Beyond that, the homeowner will have to pick up the tab, but just the consultation will get you a long way down the road toward moving the property. 

Yes, it is amazing that, even though the realtor knows what needs to be done, the homeowner will not typically take it from you.  On the other hand, when you bring in the "expert", they bend over backwards to be cooperative.  I think maybe they are a little scared that we are going to blast them like the stagers do on TV.  Whatever the reason, they are typically willing to make the changes I recommend.  Good post.

Feb 22, 2009 05:38 AM
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

I am a HUGE advocate for staging with my sellers. It's just tough to convince sellers of the upfront payments - but recently, I have used some good flyers with before and after pics, and 'staging sells' info.

Nice reminder Connie !

Cheers !


Feb 22, 2009 07:10 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Connie, great post and highlighting the value of Stagers. Great to see you are working with superstar Karen!

Feb 22, 2009 08:23 AM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING CONNIE!  I recently became a supporter of staging and your post perfectly describes why! The way information is presented in a delicate situation makes a difference!  Your decision to pay for the consultation also showed your clients the value you place on the service!  -- Gabrielle 

Feb 22, 2009 09:47 PM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Wow where have I been today? (((((CONNIE)))) - I'll give you a real hug next time I see you!

I only wish there were more Realtors like you Connie who truly understand the value stagers bring to the home selling table and it does not have to break the bank.  You are absolutely right that a well presented home is not only critical to maximizing the home selling potential but is a reflection on the standards of listings you present for show as a Realtor.

It is a priviledge and an honor to be working with you and your clients.  They have got one great Realtor on their side! 



Feb 23, 2009 06:46 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Just wanted to let you know I've re-blogged this in some of the Stager sites Connie.

Feb 23, 2009 08:25 AM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Connie: Congratulations on being a Realtor who is not afraid to think out of the box to get her clients' listings sold. I'm not sure why so many Realtors are not inclined to suggest home staging to their clients. It helps the Realtor and it helps the client. The investment for a consultation is minimal and can yield huge results in terms of a faster, easier sale.

I'd also like to congratulate you on selecting Karen Otto as your stager of choice. You couldn't have picked a more professional and talented stager to assist you. Karen has really got it going on. Besides that she is an incredibly nice person.

Feb 23, 2009 09:03 AM
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Connie - I applaud you.  Karen Otto is a shining star within the staging industry.  You truly picked one of the best the state of Texas has to offer.

Your decision to use a professional to help remove that "tired" look will no doubt come back 10-fold.


Feb 23, 2009 10:02 AM
Jo Potvin

I am so pleased to hear the success you are experiencing with staging.  I know Karen  is a true professional!

Feb 23, 2009 12:29 PM
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Wow Connie, what a fabulous tribute to staging. You are so right in that just a consultation alone can make a huge difference. I also applaud you for "getting it" as a realtor and using a professional 3rd party to help your clients make the needed changes to sell their home. This does reflect on you... you betcha!

You are in excellent and caring hands with your stager choice, Karen Otto. By adding her to your team, you will definately have the selling edge that you need in this market. Besides... she is a wonderful person to work with and will always give you and your clients, honest advice. Great post and the best to you!

Feb 23, 2009 01:30 PM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Connie -- I already knew you were a great staging fan from all your kind comments on my blogs and I am SO glad that you have partnered with Karen Otto to provide such an added value for your clients!  I work with some fabulous realtors who give great staging advice as well, but they are always pleased with how much more I can achieve with their clients!  Bringing in a professional not only achieves great results but promotes you as a professional as well!

Feb 24, 2009 08:09 AM