• To Stage or Not to Stage? How much is enough?

    How many rooms should I stage?  Should I stage the entire house?  What if I only stage the living room?  Do I have to stage all the bedrooms? My answer to these questions is as varied as the style and character of the homes on the market.  It really depends!  In a perfect world I would always stage every room, as The National Association of REALTORS 2015 Profile on Home Staging found that 81% of buyers find it is easier to visualize a property as a future home when it’s Staged.


    In addition, a virtual tour of a vacant room is well, boring. Do you stop and gaze at the photos of empty living rooms? No, you just click on through. How can you tell one bedroom from the next if they are just room after room of carpet and walls? It always seems a shame to me that many Realtors and sellers invest in professional photography without including staging as part of their marketing plan.   Of course on the flip side, I hate to see people invest in staging without including professional photography.   However it isn’t always necessary to stage all the rooms in the home, especially if you have over 3 bedrooms. Here are somethings I consider when deciding how many and which rooms to stage.

    1. Challenging spaces. Homes with great room spaces are difficult for buyers to imagine how the space will be used. Is it an eating area or a family room. Staging will define the living space and buyers will appreciate how great it will be for the family to be able to cook, watch TV and dine together in an open great room space.greatroom
    2. Is the room smaller than average?  Staging will help the room to feel larger.  Small master bedrooms and guest rooms feel larger and usable if they are well staged.
    3. Architectural challenges.  How are they going to arrange furniture when there is a beam in the middle of the room?  Did you remove a supporting wall and need to leave a support beam in the middle of a family room?  These are the most challenging rooms to stage.  If we find it difficult to imagine after staging hundreds of home, how much harder is it for a buyer to figure out how to use the room?
    4. Fireplace off center.  The fireplace is usually the focal point of a room, but in some homes the fireplace is off to the side or located in the center cutting the room in half.  These spaces are really critical to stage.
    5. Functional rooms not well defined.  For example, in our world we all need a home office, but not all homes have a room that was specifically designed as an office.  In these homes we can add a desk to a bedroom, creating a guestroom/office or add an office space to a large family room.

    The minimum staging design that I recommend is to stage the Living room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Family Room all bathrooms, and the master bedroom.  If there is an eating area in the kitchen as well as a formal dining room, the eating area should also be staged.  In larger homes where there is a formal living room, a family room and a bonus room, we sometimes leave off staging the bonus area.  However this really depends on the room.  In some homes the bonus room is just a space at the opt of the stairs, and not staged the buyer will not appreciate the perfect space for kids or an extra office.

    In a nutshell staging a few additional rooms may make the difference in a home that sells for asking price, or one that sells for thousands over.

    If you have a specific question, call me or post it on my Facebook page, and I will feature your question with an answer on my bi-weekly radio show on the Chat with Women Network.  Listen in the first and third Wednesday of the month on KKNW 1150 AM radio from 8:00am to 9:00am!


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