5 Home Staging Myths to Overcome Before a Sale


Home staging isn’t just about decorating; it’s an essential part of making sure your home gets sold. A home that has been staged to attract house hunters will be easier to market and help you get the price you’re looking for on a sale.

Despite the impact that staging can have on a sale, some sellers remain unconvinced of its importance due to some common myths and misconceptions. In the last year I encountered a seller who hadn’t made any improvements on their home in 25 years and yet was set on an asking price that was comparable to homes in his neighborhood that had been recently updated. He wasn’t convinced that landscaping, painting and other staging tactics would help him achieve his asking price. Unfortunately, the seller sat on the market for over 6 months before calling us again to stage his home.

By overcoming these home staging myths you can make your home more appealing to buyers, which will help you sell faster and closer to the price you want.

Home Staging Myth # 1: My home will sell on it’s own without staging.
Selling your home involves the combination of having the right price, marketing the space properly and preparing the home for purchase. Leaving your house in “as-is” condition is not enough if you want to sell fast and for top dollar.

Sellers need to shift their mindset and focus on the buyer by really getting out of their own way and remaining focused on the goal of selling their home. Once a home seller can detach themselves from their home, they can view it as a product and prepare the space properly for maximum buyer appeal. When the home shows well it will get more attention and more eyeballs, which means more offers.

Home Staging Myth # 2: Home staging is expensive.
Home staging doesn’t have to be expensive, but a home seller will have to spend some money in order to make money. Home staging is an added cost, however it also adds value to a home. If a seller thinks painting, redoing the bathroom, or changing the carpet seems too high an expense to sell the home, imagine what the buyer thinks when they see all of the updates they need to complete upon moving in. Buyers will exaggerate repair costs in their mind and may provide a low offer, if they make an offer at all.

Home Staging Myth # 3: Home staging is only for vacant spaces.
This is a huge myth among real estate agents and home sellers, who think they only need to stage their vacant properties. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Home staging can benefit those still living in their home by forcing the seller to organize their belongings, consolidate each room and start the moving process. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, only 10 percent of home buyers can actually see the potential of a home, so it’s important that home sellers show them the lifestyle they can enjoy in their new home. Almost any home, whether vacant or occupied, could benefit from the advice of a home stager.

Home staging helps you attract the right audience and keeps the home top of mind when buyers are house hunting. In this case sellers need to think like a buyer, which shouldn’t be too hard because in most cases the seller is in the process of searching for a new home of their own. Some questions to a seller should ask themselves include:

  • What do I see when I view each room?
  • Is this home outdated?
  • Is this home cluttered?
  • Is this home too dark?
  • Is this house too dull or boring?
  • Is the first thing I notice appealing?

If you answer “no” to most of these questions then it’s definitely time to stage your home.

Home Staging Myth # 4: Staging is just about organizing and cleaning.
Both cleaning and organizing play a huge role in the home staging process, but it’s not everything. Some other things to think about when preparing your home for sale involve learning how to make a lasting impression on the buyer. A home seller should learn more about their buyer’s demographics, their hobbies, lifestyle and spending habits. Home repairs, optimizing square footage by rearranging furnishing and updating your décor are also crucial to home staging.

Home Staging Myth # 5: Staging is the same as decorating.
While decorating a home involves showing a homeowner’s individual personality, home staging is the act of preparing and showcasing a home for sale. It’s a combination of real estate knowledge, home repairs and creative design that mimic the neighborhood’s lifestyle.

Prepare your home for staging with a few spring cleaning tips and you’ll be well on your way to a successful sale.

Tori Toth is a Certified Home Staging Expert, Regional Vice President for Real Estate Staging Association and owner of Stylish Stagers, Inc. She has been interviewed on CNN Money and was named a Professional Stager of the Year Finalist in 2012. Learn more about Tori and her Stage 2 Sell Strategy at www.toritoth.com