To Stage or Not to Stage, That is the Question!



Selling your home takes preparation. You rely on your agent to guide you through the process and sometimes, they suggest "staging" to help sell your home. If you love your decor, I'm sure you assume that others will love it too but that's not always the case so it's important to have your agent walk through your home and help you determine what needs to stay and what needs to be put away.


Agents often recommend a professional stager to prepare the home. Generally there are 2 types of staging; 1. The stager will help you organize, de-clutter and de-personalize your home using existing furniture and accessories or 2. They'll bring in staging furniture and accessories. The first option costs less and allows you to live your everyday life while marketing the home. The other option is usually employed when a house is empty or when very dated furniture needs to be brought in to create a contemporary vibe.


Staging costs money but it's important to remember that first impressions make lasting impressions and marketing photos and showings need to impress. Updated linens, new pillows, minimally decorated shelves, potted plants and nice patio furniture really can make a difference. Staging is used to neutralize a space and it also helps to show buyers how they can use "challenging" spaces.


I think we can generally tell when a house has been staged but there is a reason we can. It doesn't look like anyone lives there and that's exactly what we want. Staging has the capacity to create an environment that allows buyers to see themselves in a home.....most people don't live 'that staged life', but many aspire to. So why not help them imagine?


A well staged home has the capacity to de-personalize a space to the point where viewers stop focusing on the seller's life and start dreaming of their own future lives. Yes, some staging can be a bit generic so it requires some ingredients of uniqueness to produce imagery that has some elements of distinctiveness. But for the most part staging that depicts a 'canvas' that allows consumers to imagine and create their own masterpiece is the key.


Usually a stager will charge an initial upfront fee and then a monthly fee for furniture/accessory rentals. It's an added expense but it can be a great way to maximize your sales price. At my brokerage, we have a program called Compass Concierge. It helps you sell your home faster and for more money by covering the cost of home improvement services that can include staging— no upfront fees or interest charged. When you sell your home, costs are reimbursed to Compass.


If you are ready to sell your house, it's time to pack up your memories and your things and let the professionals help you through the process.