To stage or not to stage? That is the question. Let’s find out if staging is right for you

Warren Oberholser
Warren Oberholser
Published on March 27, 2021

Hi, I’m Warren Oberholser. I’m a realtor in the East Bay Tri-Valley area in Northern California. My goal is to help both buyers and sellers get maximum results for one of their biggest investments, their home.

Are you getting ready to sell your house?

If so, one of the last steps you may do before the photographer takes their pictures is to have your house staged. In this BLOG I’ll have the pros and cons for staging your home, what you should do to prepare your house for the stager, and is staging right for you? Let’s get started.

Over the years, I’ve handled numerous listings from small one-bedroom condos, all the way to large custom homes.

A question that usually comes up from my clients is, should we stage our house? And the answer is, it depends. I know you thought I was going to say yes. Please understand I’m a big fan of staging.

Studies have shown that a staged home has a much better chance of selling faster and for more money.

The majority of my listings are staged. However, there are times I don’t recommend staging. To see if staging is right for you, let’s break down some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages, pictures, and videos. When a home is staged, the pictures and videos look amazing. This is very important when a buyer views your property on the MLS for the first time. If the property looks inviting, the buyer will want a tour immediately and hopefully, consider putting in an offer. This is especially important if there are several new listings competing with your home. Now I do want to point out when I say pictures and videos, I’m referring to professionally taken, not someone using their cell phones.

Staged home shows flow and function

So another advantage is a staged home allows someone to see the function and layout. When a home is properly staged, it allows the buyer to understand and appreciate the home’s floor plan and how it can best be utilized. So when I discuss function and layout, there are two different situations I want to go over.

Empty rooms can be puzzling and misleading to a buyer

The first is an empty house. When a house is completely empty, it can often be puzzling and misleading to a buyer. The reason being, an empty house can appear smaller than it actually is. Also, a vacant space forces the buyer to use their imagination on how to fill it.

The next situation is the opposite, a cluttered or overfilled home. Now I’m not talking about the property you see on hoarders. I’m just referring to a property that has too much furniture, knick-knacks, personal pictures, et cetera. In the event the seller chooses to remain on the property while it’s on the market, I may bring in a stager to give guidance on what items the seller should remove and which ones can stay. I will usually have the stager bring some accessories that can complement the homeowner’s personal items, which will enhance the overall look of the home.

Some disadvantages or negatives for staging. Timeline, there can be some challenges coordinating the removal of staging with the timeline of the contract.

Make sure you have enough time to remove the staging before the property closes.

Now I’ll discuss the contract timeline in great detail in my purchase agreement video. Vacate the property. In order to have the house completely staged, the owners will have to move out early. This means unless you are already in your new home, you may have to find some temporary housing.

Liability, read your staging contract carefully. In the event, the stagers property is either damaged or stolen, you may be liable for it. Now, please note, this may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Most stagers have some kind of insurance as well. Just make sure you’re aware of everything. Preparing your house for the stager.

Have the stager visit the property when empty

Vacant, paint, and clean. In order for the stager to have the best opportunity to assess your home, empty your house and send them pictures of it vacant.

If you’re planning to paint, I’d invite them over first so they can help you choose what color works best before you start the painting. I would have it cleaned right before you have it staged.

If you clean too soon before any repairs, you may have to have it cleaned again. Now, this is especially true with any kind of carpet cleaning. When not to stage, preemptive purchase offer. In the event we receive a preemptive purchase offer before the home is put on the market and my seller decides to accept it, there would be no reason to have the home staged. This can happen with a home that’s very unique and there’s a special buyer out there. Or if the market has no very little inventory. These situations are rare, but they can happen.

When not to Stage: Listing price way below market value. If a home is priced substantially below the current market, then there isn’t any reason to put staging in. The price alone will do the work.

Please understand this usually occurs when there are some major issues to the home and the property is considered a teardown or a contractor special.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please let me know if you have any questions. Warren


Hello…I work with both buyers and sellers in the Tri-Valley area of Northern California. The Tri-Valley is comprised of 6 cities: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo. To better understand what each city has to offer, I have created a Pros and Cons video and BLOG for each – (Pros & Cons for Pleasanton, Pros & Cons for Livermore, Pros & Cons for Dublin, Pros & Cons for San Ramon, Pros & Cons for Danville and Pros & Cons for Alamo). If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home, please reach out to me by text, phone, or email. If it is convenient, I can schedule a Zoom chat so we can discuss your home goals. Wishing you all the best on your home journey. Cheers!

Warren Oberholser

🏡Home buyers guide 🏡

💰 Free Mortgage Calculator 💸

🏡 E-book guide getting your house ready to sell 🏡

🏡 De-clutter your home 🏡

📸 How to Prepare your home for the photographer📸

Warren Oberholser

eXp Realty

[email protected]

(925) 980-4603

DRE # 01861944


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