Home Staging – Not a half way house


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One of my future projects is to stage a vacant house. I’m staging the living and outdoor spaces plus the master bedroom but not staging the remaining bedrooms or the office. There are special circumstances surrounding the house but really I hate to only stage part of a house – the first time I’ve ever agreed to do it.

As I write this post I have a quote under consideration that is ‘competing’ with a quote from another stager who recommends not staging the bedrooms, office and rumpus of a lovely modern house in Brisbane. Obviously her quote is cheaper and the client is weighing up his decision.

Primarily the decision to only stage half a house comes down to money. These are the kind of reasons I hear from clients:

” The quote has come back for more than I wanted to pay. I need to shave some rooms to save money”

“I only have X. How many rooms can I afford?

” I just want to stage a couple of rooms to show people what’s possible”

Agents can get caught up in this money issue with their clients and tell me:

“I’ve told the owner that he doesn’t need to do all the rooms – just the ones that will be in the photos”

As a side issue I find that many agents are nervous of telling their clients how much staging will cost – maybe fears that they will lose something from their marketing budget?

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 A Staged dining/living room and an unstaged bedroom. Confusing isnt’ it?

So, what’s my view on staging only some rooms in a house.

  • “Buyers shop on logic but buy on emotion” (Staging Diva). They buy the lifestyle they will lead if they live in the house. Imagine your buyers walking through the house “oh, this living area is fabulous -more than enough room for our sofa and a place for the kids to do their homework. Look at this beautiful dining room, this table is a fantastic size for family gatherings… oh, what happened here? what’s this room for? Where’s the furniture? Is it a bedroom or office? would our bed fit? did they vendors run out of money? did someone move out? are they desperate to sell? what’s the story?  The focus moves from lifestyle to ‘what’s happened here?’
  • My aim when staging is for prospective buyers to think that the house is owned by people with great taste who have prepared the house well. My aim is never for buyers to think the house has been staged. A house where only some rooms are staged has obviously BEEN staged.
  • 9 out of 10 buyers can’t imagine the purpose or layout of a room unless it’s shown to them. Buyers will be confused by every empty room they see even if the agent is standing next to them saying “this is the bedroom”
  • Half staging a house is a mismatch, a confusing contrast, a feeling that something isn’t ‘quite right’
  • Staging a property is a means to an end – selling a house fast, for the best price and with the least stress. My view is that this will be more successful if the whole house is furnished

If you are planning to stage when you sell and are considering doing half the job, I hope the above has given you another point of view.  I’m not negating that money may be an issue but I urge you to think of return on investment not just initial cost outlay. Your buyers and their offers will thank your for it.

I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you want to (fully!) stage your vacant property then I’d love to help. Contact me through my website or on 0432994056

You may also like:

Latest RESA proof that home staging works

Home Staging – it’s all in the layers

Good home staging isn’t cheap (and cheap home staging isn’t good)

2 thoughts on “Home Staging – Not a half way house

  1. Gill Chesterfield says:

    Hi Imogen, your blog is very timely as we try to educate the market and real estate agents locally on the benefit of staging a house completely compared to just one or 2 rooms.
    Thanks for your insight.

    Gill from Home Staging Toowoomba

    1. ib69 says:

      Hi Gill. Yes it’s a constant education of agents and their clients. I don’t think they’ve thought it through from the eyes of a buyer – and that’s the only opinion that matters. Thanks for commenting : )

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