To Stage or Not To Stage…

To Stage or Not To Stage…

Plenty of Austin County Real Estate Sellers want to know what they can do to help sell their home.  One solution I always offer is to invest in the help of a home staging professional.  I, however, never thought of the different types of home staging a seller could consider.

Special thanks to my friend and most trusted home staging expert, Glenda Banta, for writing this amazing post for us!  She is incredible at what she does and I trust her opinion immensely.  Here she is, describing the different types of home stagers:


Staging Savvy
Many of my clients don’t realize that not only are there different kinds of stagers, but that choosing the right stager is just as important as choosing the right realtor! You want to sell your home for top dollar, so keep in mind these tips that savvy sellers use when choosing a stager.

The Empty House Stager:
If your house will be empty when it goes on the market, you might want to consider a stager who specializes in staging empty houses. This stager has a warehouse full of classic and classy furniture and art pieces that will make your home feel cozy and give potential buyers a sense of how the space might be used. This type of stager frequently works with developers and house flippers.
If you are on a budget and can’t afford to rent furniture for the whole house, ask around for a stager who specializes in budget staging. Sometimes all it takes for a house to show at its best is staging the kitchen, bathrooms, and slightly staging the living room. These people are super creative and good at making a great impression for very little money.
The Occupied Home Stager:
If you are going to be living in your home while it is showing, you will want someone who specializes in staging occupied homes. This stager has been trained to use what you already have to make your home show to its best advantage and usually works with real estate agents and home owners.
This type of stager has also been trained to understand that selling a home is an emotional–sometimes even stressful–experience, so he or she will work with the home owners to make staging as painless as possible. Occupied Home Stagers can also share lots of tips for keeping your home looking like the cover of a magazine even if it is being inhabited by 3 rowdy boys and a big dog!
Beware the Hobbyist!
Not all home stagers are trained. Home staging is an unregulated industry, which means that a stager doesn’t have to have credentials to run a business or to call themselves a stager. However, because staging can cost big bucks, the client should always ask about the stager’s education and background. No truly professional stager will be offended or caught off guard by this question.
In recent years, home buyers have become very savvy to the tricks used by the Hobbyist Stager. (Yes, I am talking about that seashell tied around the towel in the master bathroom.) If a buyer walks into an occupied home that has been too obviously staged, that buyer is likely to offer between 5% and 15% below asking price as it has become “common knowledge” that staged homes often sell for more than un-staged homes. A trained stager does not rely on “tricks of the trade” but approaches each home as a unique space that needs to be shown to its best advantage. A professionally staged home does not look “staged.” It looks like your home at its very best.
Not every home needs a full on staging. However, the appearance of nearly every home can benefit from the input of a trained eye. Feel free to ask your stager for a flat fee walk through consultation. Paying for the advice and then doing the heavy lifting yourself will save you a ton of money. You can also save money by asking a stager to just deal with one or two “problem” rooms in your house. A problem room is a room that you never felt turned out just right, that is difficult to photograph, or that your agent thinks needs help. Also, be sure to ask your agent if he or she works with a stager that provides them with a discounted rate!
If your stager walks into your home, looks around, and then tells you that you need to put everything in storage and rent art and furniture from her, this is not the right person for you. This is a person who just wants to take your money– and as much of it as possible! A good stager will not suggest that you spend $2000 dollars on rental furniture when you can just as easily spend $200 on a slip cover and some new pillows and still have money left over for a fresh coat of paint. Ask around, get recommendations, ask about your stager’s background, and talk to her about your budget. You want top dollar for your home. You don’t want to spend money unnecessarily on the wrong stager.
Glenda Banta
Contributing Author & Staging Consultant

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