Ouch, that stings!....Some HGTV viewers express their opinions on staging

By
Home Stager

Being a member of Active Rain has given me a pretty good idea of how the majority of real estate agents regard home staging.  Most seem to be for it!   For quite some time, I have been searching for a forum that would allow us to see what potential buyers and sellers thought about staging.  And finally I found it!  Click here: Oh, dear....(staging) - Topic Powered by eve community  It is from the HGTV message boards under the category Buying and Selling Homes.   

The phrase "be careful what you wish for" comes to mind in this circumstance because I wasn't quite prepared for just how candid those responses would be.  Even though these opinions were expressed by only a handful of viewers, it still gives valuable insight as to how staging is perceived by both buyers and sellers.  Reading these posts was a real eye opener for me.  And painful, too!  However, just like the homeowners on the staging shows who have to listen to the frank comments of people touring their homes,  we do have to take to heart what is being said.  We are strong!  We can handle it!  

I was taken aback by the many things they perceived as being true that we would view as misconceptions; such as:  

  • Staging is a fad
  • A house that that has been cleaned, decluttered and recently painted IS staged.
  • Professional staging gets tacked on to the asking price.
  • Staging should only be for vacant or model homes.
  • New furniture must be brought in to properly stage a house.
  • Staging was invented in order to supersede interior design.
  • Staging is fake decor.
  • Suggestions for preparing a house to sell should only come from a realtor as they know the market.  

There were a few posts in defense of staging but they were mostly from home stagers or sellers whose homes were staged by their Realtors.  Some of the other concerns mentioned were:  

  • Having a sign in the yard stating that the home has been professionally staged.  The assumptions were that the house was staged free of charge by a new stager or that the homeowner got a reduced rate by allowing the advertising.  They feel that  a house should not be advertised as staged by a professional staging company anymore than it should be advertised that it was freshly cleaned by a commercial cleaning company.  One mentioned that, while house hunting with her spouse, they purposely never stopped to view homes that had a rider on the sign stating that the home was staged.  Their perception was that  staging was being touted as a feature of the home rather than a provided service.  The consensus was that it is okay to advertise that the house was staged in a vacant home but not so in an occupied one.  

  • Staging should be invisible...not contrived.  One person stated that if she was viewing an obviously staged home, she would be more interested in critiquing the stager's abilities than focusing her attention on the house.  Another felt that staging was manipulative and somewhat desperate.  Potential buyers were turned off by homes that were staged with fake lemonade set ups on the porches, open novels on tables next to reading chairs, and having all the tables in the house, including the patio,  set for company--complete with fake food.   

  • Several posters stated that they hated staging.  As both a stager and homeowner whose homes sold quickly and profitably as a result of staging, I just can't fathom how anyone could hate staging.

Now that we know what buyers and sellers are thinking, we need to address these concerns and make sure that our marketing materials and blogs clear up the misconceptions.  We also need to make sure that our staging efforts are not being perceived as "contrived".   

I welcome any thoughts or suggestions on ways to address these issues.  Go to Oh, dear....(staging) - Topic Powered by eve community  and let me know if I missed any important points. 

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Comments 58 New Comment

Anonymous #54
Anonymous
Linda Bourgault
Judy: I was taken aback as well! Some people really don't "get" the purpose of staging much less the psychology involved. As others have stated, you will always find the negative lurking around. They obviously are not candidates for your services, but it's better to allow them to weed themselves out while you use your time more effectively and efficiently. Thank you for your research and great info. Wishing you continued success.
August 30, 2007 07:42 PM
Rainer
179,642
Judy Kincaid

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and opinions.  I have loved every one of the comments.

September 14, 2007 07:01 PM
Rainer
1,370
Anita Ericksen
Realty Showcasing Inc.
Hate is such a strong word.  I can't imagine actually using the word hate and staging in the same sentence.  There will always be well wishers and devils advocates.  Keep in mind the saying "Criticism is the best compliment someone can get".  It's very true, if you aren't being critized you aren't doing anything worth noticing. 
September 01, 2007 05:05 PM
Rainer
1,370
Anita Ericksen
Realty Showcasing Inc.
Hate is such a strong word.  I can't imagine actually using the word hate and staging in the same sentence.  There will always be well wishers and devils advocates.  Keep in mind the saying "Criticism is the best compliment someone can get".  It's very true, if you aren't being critized you aren't doing anything worth noticing. 
September 01, 2007 05:05 PM
Rainer
1,370
Anita Ericksen
Realty Showcasing Inc.
Hate is such a strong word.  I can't imagine actually using the word hate and staging in the same sentence.  There will always be well wishers and devils advocates.  Keep in mind the saying "Criticism is the best compliment someone can get".  It's very true, if you aren't being critized you aren't doing anything worth noticing. 
September 01, 2007 05:05 PM
Rainer
179,642

Judy Kincaid

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