fbpx
‘It’s Just For Ultra-Expensive Properties’ And Five Other Home-Staging Myths, Busted
'It's Just For Ultra-Expensive Properties' And Five Other Home-Staging Myths, Busted
‘It’s Just For Ultra-Expensive Properties’ And Five Other Home-Staging Myths, Busted
'It's Just For Ultra-Expensive Properties' And Five Other Home-Staging Myths, Busted

‘It’s Just For Ultra-Expensive Properties’ And Five Other Home-Staging Myths, Busted
Lena Katz
Lena KatzFormer Contributor
Real Estate
I cover construction, design, specialty trades and material trends.
This article is more than 2 years old.
If you’ve sold your home or you’re considering selling it, you’ve most likely heard of home staging. It’s a service that optimizes a home to go on the market and make the best impression on potential buyers. It costs in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, and a lot of people decide they don’t need it.

Darrow Home Design stages this kitchen to feel move-in ready, but still invite the potential buyer’s… [+] personal stamp
Darrow Home Design stages this kitchen to feel move-in ready, but still invite the potential buyer’s… [+] DARROW HOME DESIGN
First of all, as a homebuyer and daily viewer of real estate listings, my strong opinion is that almost every home needs it. Or at least, the seller can greatly benefit from having his/her home professionally staged. Otherwise, the emptier places – even luxury condos with beautiful finishes – look institutional and washed-out in photos. Meanwhile the fully lived-in places, crowded with people’s collections and personal effects, tend to give me that “we’re getting close to Hoarders territory” discomfort. The more I swipe through photos, the more intense the feeling gets.

According to professional stager and interior decorator Darrow Samberg of Darrow Home Design, those feelings are normal. People don’t notice their own stuff, but no one can see past someone else’s years of accumulated stuff. Thinking that potential buyers will be comforted by a lived-in house is a misconception driven by personal sentiment.

“You’re asking people to forgive the mess and still pay top dollar,” she says. “If you want to sell quicker, the home should present in a way that invites people to make their own statement.“

Ms. Samberg has staged approximately 1,700 houses to date, making her very familiar with a process that’s unfamiliar and stressful to most people. If it’s got you twisted up in knots, don’t worry – she compares putting one’s home on the market to planning a wedding. It’s that emotional, with nearly as many details to think about. The end result though, will hopefully you make a tidy profit.

Here are five other myths and misconceptions about home staging, with expert commentary from Samberg.

Misconception: The home stager only touches the interior of the house.

Reality: The home stager thinks about the impression a potential buyer will receive from the moment he/she pulls up and parks the car. That means the yard and garage may also need major changes.

“The tire swing that’s broken but has so many personal memories? The worn-out treehouse that your kids loved years ago? That may need to go,” says Samberg. In fact, she has had to remove exactly such sentimental items from recent projects. If an item doesn’t add to the aesthetic beauty of the surroundings, it shouldn’t be part of the first impression.

A staged room shows the beauty of the house’s bones.
A staged room shows the beauty of the house’s bones. DARROW HOME DESIGN
Misconception: Home staging and home decorating are basically the same. If you’ve had your home professionally decorated, you don’t need to stage it.

Reality: While many professionals can do both home staging and home decorating, the two are very different in their process, aesthetic and desired outcome.

“When you’re staging, you’re showing the property as it is in its best light–the best showcase of its bones. A lot of times that entails removing the resident’s personal stamp of decorations.”

Misconception: Only expensive homes deserve staging.

Reality: Sure, you might not want to buy all new furniture or framed art prints to bring into a modestly priced home. But no matter what price point a house has, it can be shown to its full potential, or it can show to less than that.

“Whether you’re selling a Honda or a Maserati, nobody wants to get in and sit in that seat unless it looks clean,” says Samberg.

Misconception: All you need to do is clean the house and shove a bunch of your stuff into closets before you take the photos for the listing. Then, carry on with life as usual unless there’s an open house.

Reality: People rely on more than just their eyes when making purchasing decisions. In many cases, the nose has stronger instincts.

Samberg returns to the car analogy: “Every time you get in somebody else’s car, you’re hit with the smell, the stuff, the feel of the seat—just being in someone else’s confined personal space. It’s one thing to be a passenger, and another to want to live in it.”

Misconception: Buyers have to understand that if they want to stretch their budget, they’ll need to do some renovations, painting and cleaning to fix up the place before move-in.

Reality: Every discolored motel-style bathtub or ugly linoleum countertop earns a negative checkmark in a potential buyer’s list. For every flaw, they’re thinking whether they should adjust their offer—and whether they’re going to need to fix the flaw before or during move-in. They would much, much rather not do the fixer-upper work.

“Nobody wants to take on somebody else’s project of cleaning, painting, getting things in move-in conditions,” says Samberg. “Whatever their standard is for walking in with their toothbrush—that’s what they want.”

Lena Katz
I am a writer, development producer, and talent procurement expert with an eye for characters and unexplored angles. In the real estate vertical, this leads me to stories on innovative building materials, urban redevelopment drama, specialty trade pricing, and permitting pitfalls galore. I’ve produced, written and/or cast projects for HGTV, Whalerock Industries, NBC-Universal, Bunim-Murray, Yahoo and MSN – and spent 3 years on retainer with DexYP, developing consumer education content on a thousand important home improvement and landscaping questions

LIST OF BLOGS

Writing a Successful Offer in a Low Inventory Market

With at least 40% less homes on the market currently than there were a year ago, serious buyers have probably experienced the disappointment of losing a home they wanted to buy from increased competition. Today's buyers are looking for ways to improve their odds of...

Writing a Successful Offer in a Low Inventory Market

With at least 40% less homes on the market currently than there were a year ago, serious buyers have probably experienced the disappointment of losing a home they wanted to buy from increased competition. Today's buyers are looking for ways to improve their odds of...

How long do I have to keep this stuff?

"How long do I have to keep this stuff?" is the usual question you ask yourself when feeling that you are running out of room for all this "paper" that may never be needed. The paper receipt you get from your fast-food lunch may go directly into the trash. The prudent...

How long do I have to keep this stuff?

"How long do I have to keep this stuff?" is the usual question you ask yourself when feeling that you are running out of room for all this "paper" that may never be needed. The paper receipt you get from your fast-food lunch may go directly into the trash. The prudent...

Rent your home tax free

There is a little-known provision in the tax code that allows homeowners to rent their principal residence or second home for up to 14 days a year without having to recognize the income. In this situation, the taxpayer does not deduct the rental expenses associated...

Rent your home tax free

There is a little-known provision in the tax code that allows homeowners to rent their principal residence or second home for up to 14 days a year without having to recognize the income. In this situation, the taxpayer does not deduct the rental expenses associated...

Before you pay cash for a home

Before you pay cash for a home, ask yourself if there is a possibility, at some point in the future, you might put a mortgage on the home and would want to deduct the mortgage interest on your federal tax return. Current federal tax law allows homeowners to deduct the...

Before you pay cash for a home

Before you pay cash for a home, ask yourself if there is a possibility, at some point in the future, you might put a mortgage on the home and would want to deduct the mortgage interest on your federal tax return. Current federal tax law allows homeowners to deduct the...

Before you pay cash for a home

Before you pay cash for a home, ask yourself if there is a possibility, at some point in the future, you might put a mortgage on the home and would want to deduct the mortgage interest on your federal tax return. Current federal tax law allows homeowners to deduct the...

23 Homes clients reap the rewards of social media visibility

MarrDigital, one of the UK’s largest digital Social Media advertisers tracks advertisement popularity, which is a key indicator, in fact, the lifeblood of social media impact.  “There is so much competition here in the UK alone, that it is remarkable that a US Real...

RECENT POSTS

Rent your home tax free

There is a little-known provision in the tax code that allows homeowners to rent their principal...

Rent your home tax free

There is a little-known provision in the tax code that allows homeowners to rent their principal...

ABOUT  TWENTY
THREE HOMES

The Twenty Three Homes are one of the premiere real estate groups locally, nationally and internationally, specifically dealing with high-end properties and exclusive clientele. Partner with Keller Williams Twenty Three Homes are full service real estate experts whose clients benefit from the custom tailored, hands on service while receiving all the exclusive amenities and resources of one of the most established and respected firms in the business.

GET IN TOUCH