Staging is a concept that is becoming more popular in promoting real estate by making a house look more appealing. Sometimes staging is done with the seller’s own furniture and accessories, and sometimes it is done with a staging service or Realtor’s furniture and accessories. Occasionally the two are combined. Staging ranges from a complete furnishing and accessorizing package down to just a few pieces artfully arranged.
There are some furniture rental businesses such as Cort Furniture Rentals that will provide however much furniture is sought and may include some design services. There are also staging services that will, for a fee, consult with a seller to assist in the arranging of the seller’s belongings, or bring in furnishings and set them up. Fees vary.
According to many studies done by various professional groups (National Association of Realtors and American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners, for instance) staged homes (properly priced – their disclaimer) tend to sell quicker and for more money. The idea is to make the buyers imagine themselves living in the perfectly furnished and decorated home. Based on personal observations there are pro’s AND con’s to the staging idea. I have worked with both buyers and sellers who are not convinced that staging is important. Some Realtors believe a properly priced house will sell regardless of presentation. As far as the claims of selling quicker and for more, an argument could be made that it is impossible to prove a negative. Even if the house had been marketed for some time prior to being staged, it is possible market conditions changed in the interim.
One thing staging will NOT do is erase underlying negative conditions such as an undesirable location, unresolved repair issues or overpricing. Negative conditions must be dealt with first, if possible, before resources should be expended on staging. Clean and in good repair is the place to begin. Proper pricing is next. The improvements with the greatest payback potential are carpeting, paint and light fixtures.
Pat Mullikin holds the Accredited Staging Professional designation (ASP), representing specialty training and recognition of her experience in staging. She will assist you in presenting your home in its best possible light, at no additional charge over and above the listing commission.