Next to great photography, staging is the single most important marketing tool in a real estate agent’s toolbox. Staging allows potential buyers to truly be able to envision the “lifestyle” that could take place within a home.

Next to great photography, staging is the single most important marketing tool in a real estate agent’s toolbox. Staging allows potential buyers to truly be able to envision the “lifestyle” that could take place within a home.(Handout/TNS)

Next to great photography, staging is the single most important marketing tool in a real estate agent’s toolbox.

Staging allows potential buyers to truly be able to envision the “lifestyle” that could take place within a home. For most people, purchasing real estate is an emotional transaction, they often experience an emotional trigger when they “feel” that a property is right for them and their family, and that emotional reaction of “this is home,” is what leads to a decision to make an offer on a property.

Effective staging allows a potential buyer to want to look, linger, “kick the tires” as opposed to come in for a 10 second glance, before retreating back to their vehicle.

Hiring a professional stager

While the basic elements of staging, such as decluttering, depersonalizing and neutralizing, can be easily done by a homeowner, infusing the skills of a professional stager will go a long way in helping a seller secure top dollar in the shortest amount of time (days on market).

Professional stagers not only have a trained eye that allows them to know and understand the best way to market your property, they also typically own a large and diverse inventory that they have available for rent as part of their professional services. When looking to hire a professional stager, be sure to look for those stagers in your local market as well as those who may be listed in the national resource directories for industry organizations such as RESA (the Real Estate Staging Association).

The investment in staging

For most Americans, their home is their single biggest asset. While someone may have worked for a company for a long time, investing in retirement vehicles such as a 401K or IRA, the equity one has in their home is typically their biggest financial asset in terms of invested dollars.

To secure the most amount of money from that asset (equity) one must realize that once they place their home on the market for sale, that it is no longer their home, but a “product” on the market for sale that will be compared with other products. In other words, a home buyer is not looking to just see home A that is in their price range, but they will also want to see home B and C that are around the corner that are also in the same price range as well. Staging helps to showcase a property in its best possible light.

Low budget refresher tips

If hiring a professional home stager isn’t feasible there are some easy and affordable options that home seller can do on their own.

They include:

  • Painting
  • Removing Wallpaper
  • Minor Repairs
  • Power washing (home or decks)
  • Re-caulking (bathtubs)
  • Replacing a faucet, toilet or showerhead
  • Replacing a sink or vanity
  • Re-grouting tile
  • Steam cleaning or carpet replacement


By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service (TNS). Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com. ©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.