Popular Reality TV shows about house flipping and home staging make the home staging process look both quick and easy.
The good news is that Reality TV has influenced home staging and made people aware of its value. The not so good news is that it may be difficult for some people to determine what’s reasonable in staging. While home staging always increases the asking price, sometimes the cost of what looks great on television isn’t worth the extra expense.
As a realtor, you want to guide your sellers towards the best financial outcome.
Many realtors gain their listings by being savvy enough to suggest home staging and the return on investment it brings. To win more listings, consider educating your sellers on the benefits of home staging from the very first listing presentation.
You can showcase the difference between the staged list price and the lower non-staged list price for each client. Home staging typically shortens the home’s days on the market. Most sellers appreciate this practical comparison because it empowers them to make a decision that’s best for them, their finances, and their long-term financial goals.
To help you accurately educate your clients, we must first dispel a few Reality TV myths about home staging. We list them below so you can easily share them with your clients.
6 Myths About Home Staging from Reality TV
Myth #1: You can stage your home yourself.
You can binge-watch Reality TV all weekend, and you might walk away inspired. But it probably won’t help you stage your own home. Why? Because it’s difficult to be objective when you’re working with your own belongings and your own home. You’re blinded by your memories. (If you doubt this, peek into the backside of your closet to that dress you wore 7 years ago. You’ll never wear it again but you just can’t part with it.)
Second, there’s much more science in home staging than can fit into one-hour episode increments. From color theory to architectural rules and all points in between, successful home staging relies on proven research.
Myth #2: Home staging is too expensive.
Does home staging cost a lot? Yes. But the return pays back in spades. Most smartly priced staged homes sell before the first price reduction. This alone saves you what you’ve spent on staging and then some. Staged homes can sell for significantly higher than their non-staged counterpoints. Because of these facts, it’s more expensive not to stage.
Myth #3: Staging only takes a day.
Some sellers think staging takes only a few hours like they see on Reality TV, but we do 90% of the work well before the staging day. It can take 4 to 8 hours to design, pack, and load a staging. This is in addition the 4 to 5 hours it takes to stage a home once it’s delivered! We put many hours into thinking of the perfect design for each staged home so it appeals to the targeted buyer and is viewed in the best light for photos and home viewings.
Myth #4: You must remove all personality from your home.
While it’s wise to remove your family portraits from your home to help a potential buyer envision their own family in the space, there’s no rule that says you have to remove personality.
Myth #5: Home staging is just a fad.
While Reality TV has influenced home staging in big ways in recent years, Barb Schwarz first introduced home staging in the 1970s. We expect home staging will continue to set listings apart in powerful and profitable ways for years to come.
Myth #6: A home stager can make my clutter look good.
A professional home stager will insist on clutter removal before the actual home staging begins. Most stagers will guide you through this process, and let you know what should go and what can stay, but expect to pack most away. Your home will be much more appealing with open spaces and uncluttered closets.
When we stage vacant homes, we clear out all the clutter, but we often include some of our client’s pieces with our staging inventory. (We also guide clients through the necessary steps to prepare their home for sale if they’re selling while living in their home.)
Even though Reality TV has influenced home staging in big ways, you can counter the myths, educate your clients, and win more listings when you explain the many benefits of home staging.