Myths and Facts About Home Staging

As a seller, you’ve got a lot of things to consider in order to ensure a successful transaction, and one of them is prepping your home for prospective buyers. After all, you want to present your home in the best light possible in order to attract as many buyers as you can, and many times professional home staging is the best way to do that.

Home staging is definitely an effective part of the home selling process, but there are a lot of misconceptions about it floating around out there.

Here are some of those myths and the truths behind them.

Myth: I can stage my own home.

Fact: It’s actually a lot harder for homeowners to stage their own homes for the market. That’s because they may furnish and decorate according to their own tastes without actually thinking about what the target buyer in the area wants. Homeowners have a tough time looking at their own homes in an objective manner, which is crucial for effective staging.

Instead, professional home stagers do not have an emotional attachment to the home and are better able to look at the property objectively to make better decorating decisions that will appease buyers in the area. Home stagers study the target buyers in a neighborhood and understand exactly what they are looking for in a new home, and they furnish and decorate accordingly. Since you have an emotional connection to your home and might not be in-the-know about what buyers in the area want, you might not necessarily make the right staging decisions.

Myth: Buyers can see past anything they don’t find attractive.

Fact: Only a mere 10% of buyers are actually able to visualize what a home can look like after it has been furnished and decorated the way they would want it. That means an overwhelming majority of buyers can’t see what your home could look like because of how it is currently furnished and decorated. Buyers usually get distracted by what is present in your home and often gloss over its size, layout, and architecture.

It’s absolutely imperative that you show buyers what your home could potentially look like by actually staging it that way. In turn, buyers will have an easier time visualizing themselves calling the place home, which will increase the odds of a solid offer coming in soon.

Myth: Home staging is too expensive and not worth the money.

Fact: Home staging certainly comes with an upfront cost to the home stager. However, it’s been shown that homes that have been professionally staged sell for more money than homes that are not. You can effectively increase the perceived value of your home – as much as 10% to 15%! – and therefore wind up with a higher sale price with home staging.

Not only that, but it’s been shown that the average cost of a home staging project is typically a lot less than a first price reduction, which can happen when there are no offers coming in.

Myth: My whole house should be painted beige when staging.

Fact: While it’s true that part of home staging involves neutralizing the decor to some degree, that doesn’t mean your home has to be bland. When people think of ‘neutral’, thoughts of the color beige come to mind. But this color is not the only one that falls under the neutral color umbrella. There are more exciting neutrals that you can use on your walls, including taupe, steel blue, and grey, among others.

With the appropriate neural backdrop, you can then add subtle pops of color in accent pieces, such as wall art, throw pillows, and area rugs.

Myth: Home staging should agree with my tastes and style.

Fact: One thing that sellers might have a hard time with is the fact that home staging is actually not about them at all – it’s about the buyer. Considering this fact, homeowners need to understand that any decorating suggestions that home stagers make are meant to appeal to the tastes and styles of the target buyer in your area, not yours.

Yes, it’s quite possible that the way your home stager decorates your home may not be in your taste, but you should not take it personally. Your stager is trying to appeal to as many prospective buyers as possible in order to bring in the offers quickly, which is the ultimate goal.

Myth: My home is already decorated, so that’s enough.

Fact: Expanding on the point just made, your home’s current decor might not necessarily be what buyers want. In fact, ‘interior decorating’ and ‘home staging’ are two completely different things. Interior decorating is about you and the type of decor and furnishings that appeal to your tastes. On the other hand, home staging is about selling a specific lifestyle to the buyer.

Your home may be decorated beautifully, but that’s according to your own style. There’s a possibility that this style may not necessarily be what buyers in your area are looking for.

The Bottom Line

Home staging is certainly a very important component of the home selling process, as it can help you sell more quickly and for more money. But some of the myths that exist about home staging can cloud people’s perceptions of it. If you’re thinking of selling your home sometime soon, consider home staging as part of your overall marketing strategy.