You buy homes like you buy product.  Roughly, the order of questions whenever you're shopping is:

  1. Do I want/need what I'm looking at?
  2. Does it do the job that I'm looking for (feature sets)?
  3. Is it the right price?
  4. Does it look good?

Here, we look at question 4, and what part looks plays into the decision making process.

Staging can be pricey.  Especially if you go with someone good.  The designer alone can run on the range of $1400-$3000 and rental of materials as much as $300-700 per month.  Is it worth it?  Homes that are priced right still need to compete.  Anytime you can remove people's fears about purchasing a twix, a computer or a home, you'll be that much closer to locking in the sale.

8 Reasons to Get a Stager... with Pictures!

  1. You don't wake up thinking, I'm so glad I live in a dump.  Why would you want anyone else to think that about the home you're trying to sell.
  2. Unless you have an artsy, creative eye, I promise you what you produce will not hold a candle to a solid designer.
  3. See what a few cans of paint and some updated furniture will do to an old home.
  4. Most likely, your home doesn't have couches, paintings or other materials that look and match this well.  Designers can come in and aid what you currently have and replace what simply doesn't work so well.
  5. Take the guess work out of people's minds.  Show them where items such as the couch, the tv, or beds belong.  If you want to leave room for imagination, empty out a single room.
  6. Staging a home isn't simply interior decoration, it's making people envious of your place.  Make people want what you have, and in this case, they can have it.
  7. Stagers typically have a certain amount of inventory.  Sometimes enough to stage 12-15 houses at the same time.  Take advantage and rent it from them.  Don't needlessly throw money at the old home by buying fancy fancy furniture when you're about to go into a new one.
  8. Most pictures in the MLS or any other home listing service look like this:
    thumbs_img_4856[1] thumbs_img_4881[1] thumbs_img_4913[1]

    Same builder; same building in fact.  A stager, a few cans of paint, rented furniture, and a professional photographer.  It simply does not compare:
    har_009-copy[1] har_014-copy[1]

A few tips:

  • If the stager recommends painting something, go out and do it yourself.  You'll save a ton of money.
  • Craigslist is a perfect place to find potential interior designers or stagers.  Always ask for their portfolio
  • Get a professional photographer.  Point and shoot is nice, but compare these pictures to those of a point and shoot.

Photos from Reasons 3, 5, 6 are compliments of Lisa Lucas Design - Interior Design and Home Stager.