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Why do buyers like staging?

Posted by krycek1984 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 13, 10 at 23:52

This is just a general question. When I was home-searching, I came across many homes, in many styles, with many types of decor, just as most of you have.

I may be unusual, but I loved being shown houses that had no furniture in them. I loved being able to see all the rooms as they were and imagine myself, and all of my furnishings, in them. I didn't mind lived-in houses either. I could totally tell if a house had been staged, though, and it was off-putting.

I see on HGTV that stagers say that buyers don't like empty houses. Is this true? I loved our house being empty!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I can't deal with empty houses. I have trouble telling what room is what, how furniture will fit, etc. I generally walk out of empty houses.

Love staged houses.

Jane


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I love them empty too.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I'm not a "usual" buyer either - 3 of the 4 houses I've bought were incredibly filthy and messy (carpet had to be lifted, appliances replaced, etc) and the 4th house was empty, and gleamingly clean. Maybe current buyers expect staging? There was no such thing when we first bought, in 1978. Now that I think about it, ALL of our houses were owned by elderly people! Maybe that makes a difference? I can see through clutter to the bones of a house, so I don't care about staging.


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Staging...

I should add that although I don't (consciously!) care about staging, I'll do it when I sell my current home.

By the way, what's with all the spam posts?!! I've been away from Gardenweb for a few years, and these were not present (or were caught) previously.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I also prefer empty when buying houses. I could care less about the sellers' decor. I want to see what condition the actual house is in, where the outlets are located, etc. Staging is wasted on my husband and I. Nor have we ever hired one when we sold. Clean and decluttered was best. NancyLouise


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I'd say 90%+ of people have trouble visualizing a space without some reference points - eg couch, table etc.

Also, there are endless studies that show people view everything more favorably based on their overall mood. eg There was one recent study that showed people were less likely to get a job if they interviewed on a rainy day. People are not nearly as objective as they like to believe.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

People are not nearly as objective as they like to believe.

I totally agree. We may disagree on how best to influence people and the degree to which one can be influenced, but perceptions can be manipulated.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

My preference would be empty too. When we were looking at old homes I found myself distracted by antiques and paying more attention to them than the condition of the house.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I prefer looking at empty houses...but I'm a seasoned buyer. I can look past all the "staging" and see the problems the stager is trying to minimize, but an empty house allows me to see everything . Condition of walls and floors can't be hidden. Most importantly I know in a vacant home that possession is not an issue. I always take a tape measure with me and in general know the size of rooms that will work for me. I've bought enough homes to know minimum size requirements for space I'll need for my furniture etc.

One of my sons and his fiancee preferred to see staged homes. My son's fiancee seemed to be making her decision on houses based on the furnishings. My hubby and I would have to point out to her that once the furnishings are gone this is what you're going to be left with. It was an education process for her. They ended up buying a vacant forclosed property.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Because the majority of people doesn't have the vision of what spaces could look like or be, or if they have the ability may not have used it to be aware of it.

I prefer empty houses myself, but my DH when we started looking (his first time to buy a house, my 3rd) couldn't look past certain things at first until I started describing what we could do and by the end of our hunt, he had gained the ability to visualize and preferred empty houses too.

Another thing is many buy with their emotions so getting them to get an emotional connection with a place will often help sell a house.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I knew a couple who supplemented their income by buying and selling houses. They moved every two years. Their beautiful, upscale (but small 'scale') furnishings moved with them. They usually did little substantial remodeling, but a lot of 'decorating'. Buyers were influenced by the tasteful decor -- and often quite chagrined once they took possession of the house after most of the decor had moved on!


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

In my area, staging is NOT the norm.
Either the owner is still living there, or the house is empty.

I prefer empty.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Is there any male/female split of those who generally can visualize versus those who cannot? Has there been any scientific studies?

In our experiences, dw cannot seem to get past paint colors, drapery, carpet, or furniture. Whereas I walk thru spaces with almost x-ray vision. She gets really caught up on what it looks like here & now, whereas I jump to seeing future potential. I don't really care if there's furniture or not, but she only seems to 'click' with homes that are decorated to her liking.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I don't know if there are any scientific studies on how differently women and men see staging. I only know that I know lots and lots of seasoned women buyers that have no issue seeing through the gimmicky staging techniques. I also know a fair share of them that get caught up in the staging tricks. I know a few men that get caught up in the staging phenom as well, can't see past the Pottery Barn living room etc. I don't think it's a man/woman thing, I think it's a matter of experience.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I'm another one who would like to see a space empty, but I understand staging. Staging helps people define a space and a cater to a market. For example, if the market were primarily families maybe that third bedroom would be a child's room. In a more urban singles area, perhaps it would be staged as a office.
I absolutely agree that some people get distracted by the decorating (good or bad) and forget to focus on the house.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I also prefer to look at vacant houses. I travel with a tape measure as well.......all the time, not just when looking at buildings. When I was looking at real estate I also traveled with a clipboard and did sketches of rooms ..........especially window and door locations. It always impacts how furniture fits, even if the room appears to be large enough.

I suspect staging became popular when people visited housing developments in progress and looked at home models. They always had a big vase of eucalyptus somewhere, LOL. I can't smell it anymore without thinking of model homes. Well, nobody thought much of a staged model, because we knew it was vacant and we figured the developers could well afford to dress up a unit or two for obvious sales purposes. It just never translated as well to me in a private home.

Yes, furniture and rugs and drapes and pictures hide flaws. If whomever doesn't know what they're doing staging can also be more of a hindrance than a help. I may also not like the 'look' a stager thinks will fly in a home.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

It may also depend on the type of home you're selling.

Most homes we were looking at were very old homes, some over a century old. I liked the vacant houses because I was able to see the intricate woodwork and hardwood floors, the detailed trim, and everything charming about an old house. Furniture can hide all of that, which makes a significant difference in value of the home.

Many new/newer homes can look quite cold without staging. I suppose that may be because in most new houses in "regular people" price ranges, the trim is not decorative at all - often times the molding is less than 2", the walls are all drywall, there is hardly any decorative trim to make the house "unique" or "warm".

So I think that is part of where staging came from. New houses without furniture can look odd. And it does bring attention to the fact that the trim is narrow, etc. Things like that certainly do make an impact.

Over on the old house forum we talk alot about what makes an old house charming and there are many things you don't even think about, such as the width of molding and decorative wood work.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I think it is pretty funny that almost everyone in this thread is saying some version of:

"I understand how those unsophisticated first time buyers might be tricked with staging, but I'm much too smart to be taken in by those things."

It's like Lake Wobegon - where all the children are above average!

The bottom line is that everyone is susceptible to very subtle marketing techniques. Everyone has walked into a room and gotten the immediate feeling that the place is homey/cozy/spacious/bright/inviting/"a great place to curl up and watch a movie"/whatever and it has almost nothing to do with 4 walls and a ceiling. That feeling influences your decisions whether you realize it or not. People who effectively "stage" rooms do things to evoke those emotional responses without the room screaming "I'm staged!"

It isn't a new concept, but it has become much more important because people move way more often now. Your grandparents didn't have to worry about things like "staging" because they probably lived in the same home their entire lives.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I prefer empty BUT again I'm well seasoned. Most of the homes we've bought have been empty when we looked at them. The exceptions were seasonal property and when we purchased we bought not only the house but the contents.

When selling I do a form of staging. I edit the contents of the house to maximize it's appeal to the greatest number of buyers even if that means putting stuff in storage.
Several of the homes we've had were atypical for the areas we lived in either size or layout. The experts told us we'd have a hard time selling them. In most cases they were surprised when the houses sold as fast as they did and for our asking price.
There's alot of folks out there who don't know how to edit their own homes, will not take a hard look at what they have and make the effort to do the changes to sell it.
I think a good stagger has the ability to get the client to change things enough that the houses negatives aren't sticking out like sore thumbs. Because the staggers lively hood is based on home decore more folks have confidence in what they have to say than they do a RA who may be as clueless as the homeowners in how to make lemonade out of the lemon of a house they have to sell.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

It isn't a matter of why BUYERS like staging. Sellers like staging, because buyers are influenced by it. Nobody likes multiple political ads all over the airwaves and lawns, but as long as they are influenced by it politicians will keep doing it. I think buyers are truly dumb or unimaginative if they "won't know what this room is" if I don't put a desk in it (just as they are if they vote for a candidate based on a lawn sign). If you, the buyer, can't figure out what a room is for, than it's for whatever you want!


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

As a seller, I would stage mostly so a buyer would feel like they found home at my house. (I sold my first home to a professor who really liked my books!) For a buyer, it does help with scale, to show that, yes, this room can comfortably hold a queen-size bed, etc.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I prefer furnished. I can see beyond the furnishings. But in empty homes I have trouble gauging the size and usability of a space. My brain just doesn't do a good job with that.

Empty space looks smaller. If you put furniture in a space it makes it look larger.

That's why new development model homes are always furnished and designed up the ying-yang. They know what works.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

It's like Lake Wobegon - where all the children are above average!

Exactly!

I suppose Colin and Justin aren't influenced by staging.

Most of the rest of us aren't as savvy as we think we are.

One of my first new home sales was almost 30 years ago while I was living there with bare bones bachelor "decorating". I took back a mortgage to help sell the property and the buyer defaulted. He put the house on the market and I took a look at his open house, dragging along a more artsy than I friend.

Our mouths literally fell open. It looked incredible with tens of thousands of dollars of strategically placed antiques. My stark fireplace was now embellished in dark antique brass and flanked by leather fireplace furniture. Grassweave wallpaper adorned bare walls.

With my power of sale hanging over his head, the Vendor got 15% more than he paid me. Boy, we thought there will be some disappointed buyers when they get possession and the luxe furnishings are gone.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I'm with Worthy and Bill on this one. Everyone thinks they're a superstar, some maybe, but most aren't, the colors furnature etc will influance you in some manor.

I can see past a lot of things and reconfigure space in my head, but wow, if its done right and furnished right it will be perceived better by everyone, even by me.

put no furanture in, the room seems smallish, but too much large furnature in, it feels really small. put old 1960s decorating in a house and $DISCOUNT! in everyone's head, a large percentage of the people will have no idea what it would look like decorated in the pottery barn flavor of the week that they aspire to.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Another one here who prefers to view an empty house--it lets my imagination run free. Being surrounded by other people's stuff just annoys me. I think that the need for staging depends mainly on the presence or absence of interesting architecture. The main floor of my present house would show wonderfully without furniture, but the bedrooms not so much. Staging is a great idea in rooms devoid of architectural interest, such as a small boxy bedroom or living room. As a member of the 'less is more' school of decorating, I would stage a boring bedroom using little more than nice paint, an effective window treatment, and a well-made bed.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I liked having furniture in it because I also have trouble telling how much will fit in a room.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Maybe the preference by experienced buyers to view empty houses is an acknowledgment of staging's effects and a desire not to be influenced by it.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Like everyone else here I'm way too experienced and astute to be taken in by marketing ploys.

I guess we're all a little smarter than the average bear.

LOL


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

"Maybe the preference by experienced buyers to view empty houses is an acknowledgment of staging's effects and a desire not to be influenced by it. "

There is no doubt that when I walk into a properly staged home, I say wow this is nice. But then I have to edit out all the furnishings and really look at the house. Luckily I can do that. Not everyone can, and that's why staging is so popular. It appeals to the broadest range of buyers. It's just marketing. I look at a dress on a hanger and go wow...I like it....but I also realize what I need in size and style of the dress to work or me. I don't buy it just because it looks pretty on the hanger, it has to fit!!


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I don't think it's ironic that a large percentage of the forum say they prefer to view homes empty, because I don't think a large percentage of the forum users are newbies at buying and selling homes. Many of them are realty nerds and that's why they hang here. They simply want an uncluttered view of the territory. In a brand new model home, most folks assume everything is functional and undamaged (though that isn't always the case). So, dolling it up isn't so much of an obstacle. That's where staging started. I also don't think posters who say they prefer to view empty homes think they are smarter than the average bear but the put-downs are a way to embarrass other posters to shut up and back down. Seems to be socially acceptable lately.

I think staging can be valuable under certain circumstances. If you cannot vacate your property before listing it, having a stager walk through and at least make suggestions might be a good idea. A good majority of us are blind to our own decorating biases and don't see our own house's blemishes, smell our own cat pans, know where our dials and buttons are and don't think lighting is necessary, have pug ugly furniture because it has sentimental value, or need to be told we shouldn't be let near a paint can or a pruning shear. We keep being taught that we need to de-personalise our surroundings to appeal to a wider audience. A staged home is anything but neutral really. There is no such thing as an attractive 'generic' theme. It will offend somebody's aesthetic sensibilities.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I think buyers like staging because it is a view of what we are or what we aspire to be. If you walk in and see a nicely decorated house with nice furnishings you think "Wow! This could be me!". If you see a shabby looking house, you either think "I don't want to live like this." or "How much of a discount can I get?"

I sold one house empty because we moved before we went on the market. As a general rule, I wouldn't want to do that. Empty houses signal a discount. The buyers are most likely paying a mortgage and need to sell. How cheap can I buy it?


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Caliope

If you're referring to my post be sure that I am not trying to embarrass or shut any one up.

Let me state this very clearly. I've seen average, I'm well above it, your mileage may vary.

Not saying that to be arrogant or anything of the sort.

Did you think I was making fun of others? Perhaps some shouldn't be so quick to judge the intent of other's posts.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

A good majority of us are blind to our own decorating biases and don't see our own house's blemishes, smell our own cat pans, know where our dials and buttons are and don't think lighting is necessary, have pug ugly furniture because it has sentimental value, or need to be told we shouldn't be let near a paint can or a pruning shear.

Nicely put!

When I was doing an inspection as a real estate broker, I remember a motorcycle gang member proudly showing me a bathroom they had renoed in their hangout to mimic an outdoor privy. "Very nice!", I agreed.

As a "realty nerd"--broker, builder, renovator, landlord--I like to think I can see past furnishings and decor. Though it's not always true. So, sure, I would rather view an empty home when I'm buying.

But as a seller, I know decluttering, depersonalizing and staging can be very effective. I first remember going through model homes more than 50 years ago with my parents. What's changed is that the same practices have moved into private home sales. It's not uncommon to read now about families who move out lock, stock and barrel to facilitate a sale.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I'll be the oddball and say I like a staged house. (I'm also not a newbie to real estate.)
I'm fine with an empty house, but a staged house says to me that the buyers give a cr@p. Maybe them caring so much to dress up their house indicates to me they might have cared enough to maintain it?
Whereas pet-stained carpets and dirty dishes in the sink makes me think "they probably haven't maintained the mechanics of the house, either."


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I was talking to my hairdresser about her house and she mentioned that it had been freshly painted before she bought it in a couple of yellow toned beiges and she really liked the color. She told me she probably wouldn't have bought it if it had been painted in colors she didn't like.

That's the reality. People on this board might see beyond paint and decorating but many people won't.

I know when I was looking at homes with my mom some made us feel good and some didn't and most of it was the decoration, paint, and general upkeep. I like to think I can see beyond it, too, but I wonder if it can effect us more then we realize.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

As I was thinking about it, I came to a realization. If I were looking at, and wanted to purchase, an open-floor plan house (which I wouldn't be doing, but it's just a thought), I'd definitely want it staged.

It's much easier in a home with traditional rooms to figure out where furniture will go, how big it will look, etc.

An open floor plan...you don't necessarily know exactly how to put stuff in there, and there is just so much space sometimes that it's overwhelming!

So I think with an open floor plan staging makes a lot of sense.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I think also if you have an odd floorplan that staging with at least enough furniture to tell what each room is would make sense.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Empty houses look smaller. I have a very small bedroom as my 3rd bedroom. If you look at it empty, you wonder how a bed is going to fit in there. With it staged with a twin sized bed a dresser and a nightstand, you can see there's plenty of room.

When I bought my house it was at the height of the bubble. Luckily the bubble has only a small effect on my home's value. But when I viewed the house, it was totally packed with belongings. The owners were affluent and moving up to a very very large house. I had no choice, since the home is unique and other buyers were interested. Sure, I found stuff that was wrong, but nothing that would have persuaded me from buying the house.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

My husband and I went to an open house today. Nice area, nice property. We walked in the front door, to the left was a large sunny room. To the right was another large sunny room. Both rooms faced the front of the house. Room on the right was the livingroom (could figure that out because of fireplace). The room on the left - we had no clue!

First thought it was a bedroom, but that made no sense as it was off the front foyer. We guessed it was a den but it had closets which were walk-in, like bedroom.

We went no further. Realtor was busy in the kitchen with other people. We left.

Whatever that room was meant to be, should have been staged. The house was empty.
(I think it was a bedroom, which would be very strange off the front entrance.)

Jane


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

jane_ny wrote:

First thought it was a bedroom, but that made no sense as it was off the front foyer. We guessed it was a den but it had closets which were walk-in, like bedroom.

We went no further. Realtor was busy in the kitchen with other people. We left.

Whatever that room was meant to be, should have been staged. The house was empty.

Did you really honestly just leave because of an empty room you couldn't figure out how to use?? (that's not meant as an attack, BTW, I just can't fathom that. We've left houses for many reasons, but never an empty room)

What does it matter how somebody else would've used the room? What would you use it for? It's a blank canvas for you to use as you wish. Why let someone else define how you'll live?

I'm the opposite. We too went to open houses today. Walked into one and the room to the left was staged as a living room, behind that was some sort of extended sitting area off the kitchen, to the right past the kitchen was a family room over the garage.

I mentally parsed out all the furniture and determined that the room to the left of the front door would be a great office with french doors and the rear opening closed off, the sitting area off the kitchen would make a better dining room, and the dining room could be opened to the family room to make a larger main living area. Likewise upstairs I 'moved' walls and rooms to envision walk-in closets, baths, etc.

There was another house that had obviously been staged, or at least 'rearranged'. There was one upstairs room, a bedroom, that's been used as an office: desk, filing cabinet, full bookcase. But wedged into the opposite corner was a mattress & foundation on a steel frame with fresh bedding and decorative pillows (one with a tag on the back), with a side table and lamp wedges in next to the filing cabinet so tight that one leg didn't completely touch the floor. It seemed blatantly staged to say "While you may see a desk, this could actually be a bedroom too." As if we couldn't figure that our ourselves, being upstairs among all the other bedrooms. The MBR tub deck had a nice arrangement of stinky candles and a potpourri basket, rolled towels. I was expecting fresh cookies in the oven too (but alas)


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

jane_ny, it sounds as if it was a center hall colonial...the L/R on one side, the D/R on the other both facing the front of the house....with the foyer and staircase in the middle....they are extremely common.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Have to agree with you calliope, some of the snarky remarks made by a few posters here were putdowns. I think I know my own mind(as do the other empty house viewers, although I will not speak for them) far better then those with the superior attitude.
Staging is like those car commercials I see on TV, outside of the cars are all shiny and polished, inside has beautiful leather seats and wood trim. All very nice but I still don't run out and buy one just for the decor. I am more interested in the "guts" of the car. What kind of mileage does it get, is it put together well so it won't break down as soon as I drive it out of the lot,etc.
Same thing for an empty house. I like seeing the "guts". NancyLouise


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Regarding the house that Jane visited: A center hall colonial would not have have two walk-in closets in the dining room. That sounds like a house with a first floor master bedroom. They are becoming more common these days so that people can age in place.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Good point graywings. However, a MB right inside the front door is IMO not the best of floor plans.

That said, it could have been used as an a office, in which the previous owner had extra closet space installed for office supply storage and such...


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

We went no further. Realtor was busy in the kitchen with other people. We left.

Whatever that room was meant to be, should have been staged. The house was empty.

Why not simply ask the realtor what the owners used it for? Since you left you don't know if there was a labeled floorplan among the brochures/papers left out for potential buyers. You don't often see complaints of too much closet space!


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

What kind of doorway did this room off the foyer have?

My daughter's house is a 3 bedroom but the one bedroom is right off the foyer with french doors. The room also has a closet and a standard door into the hallway. They use it as an office but it would be easy for someone to change out that french door for a full wall and use it as a bedroom.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

The room to our left was not a dining room as it was far from the kitchen (other end of the house). It didn't appear a den because the closets were old, sliding door closets, which reminded me of 50's closets. I think it was a master, but the next weird part was the window. It was a large bay-type with smaller panes on both sides. This window faced the front. This room was next to the front door.

Just too weird. If I were trying to sell the house, I would have staged this room as a den. I would have removed the sliding, closet doors and put shelves in. I would have put a desk, area rug and maybe a small love seat with lamp.

I'm not sure where the master was as we left. BTW, the coat closet was directly across from the door to this room.

Happyladi, the door was a single, bedroom-type door.

We didn't bother the realtor because she was busy talking to a young couple who seemed very interested in the house.

The house was cute, very bright and sunny, but had this weird layout. I could see from entering, it would need a lot of updating, so we didn't go any further. It scared us to think that room could be a bedroom.

Jane


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Ever notice how cold and impersonal those homes look that have been staged. It's like a cookie cutter look. As long as a house is clean and uncluttered I'll take personal decor over staged decor anytime even if it's not my taste.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I guess people will have to agree to disagree.

Darrah, the point of the staging is to make it impersonal and pleasing to the eye. impersonal so the buyers can feel like they can see themselves here with their family and not already marked by the existing family.

It all depends on what you're used to, in my area a large percentage of the homes look...well... cluttered, 60s, 70s 80s styling, dirty, no pictures on the walls, 1000 pictures on the walls, take your pick, any of the above, all of the above....
a neat clean house staged with the right amount of furnature with no personal pictures does hold a lot of interest.

I'm sure this will hit a nerve, but I can think of more than once the defining thing I remember about a house I viewed was the wedding picture of the owners that was 3 feet tall over the living room fireplace or in the hall. Its not a real reason not to buy a house, but it distracts.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

We never removed family photos when selling. Sold 6 homes in the past 30 years, all within a very short period of time. One family bought one of our homes because of the photos !! They saw that we had 4 kids and knew it would be a good family home !! It set the mood for the kind of home they were buying. Were the photos a distraction to other buyers? Probably. But back then de personalizing a home wasn't the thing to do. Back then making sure a home was clean and decluttered and well maintained and priced right got a home sold. But those days are no more.

I can look past family photos, but do admit that they can be a distraction. My hubby is a big military buff and one time got so engrossed in the military medals and photos in one home that he missed an important feature in the home.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I think an empty house looks cold and the rooms look smaller and dark. Having been on both ends (buyer & seller), I think sellers are hurting their chances, in this market, to not stage their homes.

There are too many homes for sale and I assure you the houses which look updated, clean and stylish are the most attractive. It is 'marketing' and you need good advice to show your house to its advantage.

Jane


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

My house is on the market and I put all away all personal photos and a lot of our clutter. I don't think my home is really that 'staged' but I do think depersonalizing does help a buyer vision themselves in this house. However, when I have looked at homes, I don't care whether they have staged or not. I just try to envision ourselves living there.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Staging, when done well, will result in potential buyers wanting to see the home in person.

These days most buyers first look on the web.....if listing photos are dark, show clutter, too much furnishings, etc it is very hard for anyone to get a good idea of the house itself, room sizes, etc.

It is human nature to follow the path of least resistance, and with so many homes on the market, those that grab the eye first are those that will be seen first, and often sold before the buyer even takes a look at the less attractive.

Point is, sellers need to realize that they are selling a house, and not their stuff. If their stuff takes the focus off of the house itself, chances are it will take longer to sell. In this market, that is something one really wants to avoid.

That said, all stagers are not created equal. Just as there were incompetent people flipping homes, the same is true for stagers. Many learn to stage from a quick course that teaches the same standard practices, which results in many cold looking homes, with cookie cutter appeal.

It's best to hire someone who has actual design talent and experience instead of just a quick staging course as training, as chances are they will be able to do a far better job in terms of making the home look attractive and inviting with a "standout from the crowd" presentation.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Staging for the sake of staging, I detest.
Balance is the thing, but this can be tough to achieve.
I do not mind a lived in look at all, even some "clutter".
But a slovenly slob can be costly - Several thousands or more to fumigate and clean up for this item alone, but if the house is decent, I'd still consider the purchase.
Many places are hopeless with design defects that only a fire could help - maybe.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

The market, in most places, is too competitive and homes which stand out as clean and attractive will stand a better chance to sell at higher prices.

Jane


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

The staged houses are often a good source of ideas, and it is easier to see how your furniture would fit. Having said that - my last three houses were purchased from older people. This one had old rugs, floors that needed refinishing, dreadful colors, etc. I suspect the price was dropped because the furnishings were so old. But we could see that the floor plan worked and the neighborhood and location were great.

The previous one was empty, so we got a great price. In our area, empty houses scream "desperate seller," The house before that, back in 1980, was a colonial furnished very traditionally. The bathroom wallpaper was the first to go - pink and red with glitter. The neighbors actually had a bet to see how quickly the new buyers would tear it down. Price was knocked down on that house, too.

Staging drives up the seller's expectation of the price they will get. Some of us might not like staging because we know it will be included in the price. A bare bones house that is furnished is easier to visualize with your colors and furniture.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

I don't like staging. I've been looking at houses and don't at all like it when there is nothing personal around. It just feels like someone has brought in some furniture and set it around. I've bought three houses in my past, before staging was the fashion. One was a new build with no furniture but the other two had personality of the owners, galore. I wanted those houses because I wanted to be comfortable in my house, just like they were. I am going to probably try to sell mine soon; I'm not going to stage. If it doesn't sell, it will be OK; I'm not desperate to sell and I'm not going to live a day in my home that is not a home. I will have to clean it up, though, ugh, and declutter. I admit that is staging in itself.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

We have been house shopping for months and I realize we love a staged house. It catches our attention, gives us ideas how to place furniture. I see wall colors I would never consider and enjoy looking at everything.

Having been in both positions as seller and now buyer, I realize, at least for us, staging sells. We've seen so many cluttered, dusty old rooms and it feels like a breath of fresh air to walk into a well-staged home.

Jane


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

Just thought I'd mention there is one popular home staging company in our area that seems like using a white leather sectional couch.

Funny, but true. I've seen that couch three times in staged homes in this area.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

When I looked at places in my area, the staged ones were pretty obvious. They all seemed to be using midcentury modern/contemporary furniture no matter what type of space they were in. While I don't remember seeing a specific piece, like a white leather sectional, it all kind of looked the same and, eventually, sterile.


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RE: Why do buyers like staging?

In my area, staging to sell has become the norm. So if you do not stage, then it is hard compete with the other houses on the market that are clean, staged, freshly painted etc.

Therefore, seller does not have the option of NOT staging if the seller wants to sell at a reasonable price and time. If the home is not staged, then the furnishings have to be impeccable, clean, well placed, stylish without being offensisve, not dowdy, not too flamboyant yadayada.

Our aquaintenance sold their $4M with their own furnishings very quickly. But, their house always looked "staged" everytime you walkd in.... No need for staging for that home!

One more phenomenon that has happened to selling homes is the internet placement with pictures. Houses that do not have pictures on-line have a very hard time selling. Since the first point of contact with the buyer is through internet pictures, you need to make the pictures as good as you can. So the pictures are taken by professional photographers. No repectable realtor uses his/her own camera to post the pictures on line.

The market is JUST different from a decade ago!


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