To Stage or Not to Stage?

Posted September 25th, 2017 by Richard Pretsfelder

One of the most common questions I get from sellers of vacant homes is whether or not they should invest in staging. My answer differs based on a few factors—how the house shows vacant, budget, length of time on the market, and feedback from showings—to name a few. I leave the decision to stage entirely to the seller, but when it is a feasible option, I almost always highly recommend investing in staging.

Some may think that furniture can make a room look smaller, but it’s really the opposite. Furniture helps to show a room’s full spatial potential, where without it, it’s hard to determine if a favorite couch or table will fit in an empty space.

Even those with creative imaginations can have trouble visualizing their life in a home without furniture, personal touches and a defined layout. It can be overwhelming to take in the space, determine how to use each room and picture personal belongings in the space. When comparing this with a furnished property, it’s much easier for a buyer to imagine calling the staged option “home”.

For all of these reasons, it is likely that the cost of staging would be returned in the sale price, which is why I often tell sellers it’s worth the investment. Staging can also greatly speed up the sale process, generating more interest early on and potentially leading to a bidding war.

I do, however, understand the hesitation many owners have about staging their homes. There is no guarantee the investment will be returned in the asking price, and it is a huge expense to put toward a property the seller is no longer living in. In the end, whether or not to stage is a decision the seller of a property has to make after weighing the pros and cons.