To Stage or Not to Stage, Not an Easy Answer, Unless it's Hamlet

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Real Estate Agent with Power Brokers Int'l BRE# 01439865

Thanks to Charita Cadenhead, I was introduced to a post by Karen Bernetti, the Lipsticksecond of two she had written about the benefits of home staging.

I have watched this discussion unfold many times.  It is one of those ubiquitous topics that has its supporters and detractors. 

However this topic is unique.  There is no question that staging a property can do nothing but help the subject sell and, possibly sell faster.  It shouldn't be the subject of discussion.  It is a no brainer.

What might be a better topic is what to do when it makes absolutely no sense to stage a particular property. How to do the best with that home.

In our area, at a certain price point, a seller cannot always afford to stage the home, outside of making sure that it is clean and in good order.  And certainly in a short sale situation it is totally out of the question.

My famous example is the $2.7 million tear down that I sold.  Staging that would have been like putting lipstick on the proverbial pig.

I have never staged a home, and I have sold every listing without doing so.  It is wonderful if the seller can afford it, or if the home begs it, but it is not always practical. 

I kind of equate it to going out without make-up.  We might scare some children and a few timorous adults, but if we have a personality and they see our worth, we will eventually win them over.

 

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  1. Praful Thakkar 01/16/2011 01:42 PM
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Rainmaker
1,165,448
Bill Burchard
3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA - Murrieta, CA
Broker, Realtor - Murrieta Homes For Sale, Califor

Great post, Jane. Staging is not for every property, but can make a difference in the right situation. On the flip side, I’ve seen some “staging” on properties that actually detracted from the home. If someone’s going to stage a home, then do it right by hiring a professional.

Jan 16, 2011 02:06 PM #20
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Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

I do strategic staging--in one vacant property the best amenities were the gorgeous backyard and large patio plus a large courtyard in front.  I staged both and threw open the numerous French doors to show off the indoor-outdoor living potential.  The rest of the house stood on its own merit--no staging necessary.

Jan 16, 2011 02:19 PM #21
Rainmaker
919,463
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Alexsandra,  thank you kindly.

Carla, but they will eventually be won over by our charm and personality :)

Debbie,  especially if it has good bones.

Bill, all good points.  The ultimate is to stage, but it is not always appropriate or possible.

Al & Peggy, and some of those objections are that the home is staged weirdly enough.

Bruce,  and the staging needs to significantly uplift the look.  Staging for staging's sake isn't going to do it.

Charles,  good point for the pro side.  And it is not that I am anti.  I just don't think it is mandatory.

Nina,  that is a good idea.  Pay for a consultation and then choose which way to go.  On your own or with the stager.

Karen,  you were the inspiration for the post.  I honestly would love to stage every home, but the ones I have sold would have looked absolutely ridiculous.

Peggy,  I totally agree.  A home still needs to look its possible best, especially when it doesn't warrant staging.

Roger,  nothing against pigs though.

Bill,  I agree totally.  If you are going to do it, hire a professsional.

Norma,  perfect example of how to do it right.  Love that.  Strategic staging.

 

Jan 16, 2011 02:39 PM #22
Rainmaker
608,773
Teri Eckholm
REMAX Results - White Bear Lake, MN
Acreage & Lakeshore REALTOR Minneapolis St Paul

Jane--lol scaring the kids without the makeup....hahaha. You are one funny lady but you also make a great deal of sense. Staging is wonderful but kind of spendy for some clients. If it is an expensive home and they want top dollar for it AND the client can afford it, then by all means have it professionally staged to the hilt. I have a great stager that will consult and "tweak" a home for sellers that need to move things around a bit. Not full out staging but decorating to sell....in the makeup analogy....foundation, mascara and lipgloss only. Nice post!

Jan 16, 2011 02:55 PM #23
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Teri,  that makes sense.  Staging on a budget.  Or strategic staging as Norma did.

Jan 16, 2011 03:05 PM #24
Rainmaker
243,870
David Ames
Zephyr Real Estate, San Francisco - San Francisco, CA
San Francisco

You know me Jane...big promoter of staging, but I couldn't agree more.  In fact, I've suggested to colleagues (on occasion) your "lipstick on a pig" scenario.  Sometimes the property just is what it is.

Jan 16, 2011 06:12 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,589,829
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Just as long as one of my residents doesn't want to have a pig as a pet in their suite!

Jan 16, 2011 06:21 PM #26
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

David,  exactly right.  Not every property can or should be staged.

Roger,  :)

Jan 16, 2011 07:10 PM #27
Rainmaker
552,124
Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS
Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA and Copperhill TN - Murphy, NC
Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA

Staging just isn't done much in our area except for a few new builder homes. Definitely the de-cluttering would really make the home show better, but some people just can't do that either. Pricing can cover a multitude of clutter though.

Jan 16, 2011 07:38 PM #28
Rainmaker
919,463
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Carol,  pricing is key no matter what.

Jan 16, 2011 07:46 PM #29
Rainmaker
635,440
Dawn A Fabiszak
Keller Williams Real Estate ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jane ~ there are times when staging a home is just not a feasible answer due to the cost or situation, like a short sale or foreclosure.  And there are times when a stager can be a neutral voice telling the home owner to de-clutter.

Jan 16, 2011 08:20 PM #30
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Dawn, I think a consult with a stager is a great idea if a seller is motivated to make the place look its best.

Jan 16, 2011 08:28 PM #31
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jane- to some extent I do agree... I would never waste my lipstick on a pig!   And yes there are homes that will sell without ever being staged... it may take a while and they may go through several price reductions, or it may be one of those properties that everyone wants.   I have passed on staging a vacant home because as I told the seller, all the furniture in the home won't help the buyers see past the master bathroom which was in major need of updating.

Jan 16, 2011 08:29 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,499,980
Rebecca Gaujot, the GO TO REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Jane, not many homes are staged in my area, except maybe one or two that was just built.  Most people do not want to spend the money for staging. Like your analogy of staging and makeup.

Jan 16, 2011 08:38 PM #33
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Kathy,  I would love to stage all my properties, but I haven't yet been able to warrant it.

Jan 16, 2011 08:39 PM #34
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Rebecca, if someone can afford it and the house is in a certain price range, it is the thing to do.  But there are so many reasons not to also.

Jan 16, 2011 08:43 PM #35
Anonymous
Anonymous

Jane, I would have to agree, but regarding my personal makeup. It all depends on how I apply it that day, and I guess that would be the same with a staged house. If you don't know what you are doing, that perhaps its best not to stage it...or you may end up having a real pig on your hands:)

Jan 16, 2011 09:29 PM #36
Rainmaker
919,463
Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Jane, if you are going to stage then it should be with professional help.

Jan 17, 2011 02:04 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,272,641
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL
REALTOR

Jane - Staging isn't big in my area and I'm not sure it will ever take off especially with all of the short sales and REO's, I love your analogy.

Jan 22, 2011 10:17 PM #38
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Power Brokers Int'l - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene

Michelle,  it definitely has its place.  Many people just can't afford it.

Jan 22, 2011 10:54 PM #39
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