Can Professional Home Staging Hurt Your Chances for a Sale?

When Professional Home Staging is Executed Correctly, Buyers Make Offers

staged dining roomAs a professional home staging company, whether or not home staging is an effective marketing tool is always front and center on our mind. If home staging isn't helping our clients sell faster and for more money, then home staging as a profession is pointless. Fortunately, countless statistics and our own personal experience have proven that home staging is indeed an effective marketing tool. Looking at the National Association of Realtors' recent statistics, it shows that professional home staging works. You can read our blog post, Home Staging Statistics 2014, for more information. While overall the NAR report shows positive results for staging, it does state that 1% of agents believed home staging could have a negative effect. Of course, 1% vs. 99% is negligible and not to be too concerned about. However, it did remind us of a conversation we had one day with a Dunkin Donuts worker.One time we were in Dunkin Donuts in Marlboro. We were wearing our matching Buyers Desire Home Staging polo shirts and the girl behind the counter asked what we did for a living. We told her we owned a professional home staging company and she looked a bit taken a back. She said she and her husband were currently house hunting and saw a staged home in Marlboro. Instead of being impressed by the home, they felt that something was wrong with the home and it was staged to distract them. In this case home staging prevented a sale rather than encouraged one.Optimizing the space planning of rooms, establishing focal points, and clearly defining the function of rooms would never negatively affect the sale of the home. So why did the Dunkin Donuts worker feel this way? We can't say for sure because we didn't see the property she was referring to. However, our guess is that the home was overstaged and to the wrong target buyer, creating confusion and distraction rather than enhancing the space.If you were staging a million dollar listing, it may make sense to stage a dining room by setting the table with an elaborate table setting, as you see on the picture above. which was in a dining room of a higher in home in Westford, MA. The type of buyer who can afford a higher end home in Westford is used to luxury, and displaying this in the house was appropriate. However, using this same dining room set up in Marlboro might feel unnatural and cause a negative reaction.

You don't want buyers to think you are trying too hard. If they feel that you staged out of an act of desperation, the staging is viewed negatively. No one wants to feel conned into buying a property. This is why baking cookies, a common selling tactic a few years ago, is now viewed negatively.

To prevent overstaging you must know your target buyer. To ensure we are staging to the correct buyer, we conduct an extensive Assessment of Buyer Demographic when we stage a home for sale. This lets us know how to stage the home so the home will feel natural to potential buyers and will elicit a positive reaction.Let's take a look at an example. Below are two photos of office areas we have staged. Although both are clearly office areas, the research of the buyer demographic assisted us with making different style choices.staged homeIn the photo to the left shows an office set up for the same Westwood home shown above. It was a higher end home with three bedrooms and had 2000 square feet. We identified the most likely buyer as someone between their late thirties to forties, married, and with children. The home needed to have a formal elegance appeal. To achieve this look we brought in a wooden desk, leather chair, and elevated looking lamp and accessories.
canhomestaginghurt3The office shown on the right was in a small condo in Cambridge, which had two small bedrooms. To get to the unit you had to walk up three flights of stairs. We identified the most likely buyer as a single young adult or young couple. It also was likely this was a dorm alternative. To speak to this buyer we chose playful accessories, brightly colored artwork, and a laptop.
How do you ensure that your home is properly staged to appeal to the correct buyer for your home? We would suggest hiring a professional home staging company who bases their staging design plan around the most likely buyer for the home. This way, the staging will feel natural and result in offers, instead of being off-putting.Not sure what to look for in a professional home staging company? Download our guide, Top 10 Most Important Questions to Ask Your Home Staging Company.Click to DownloadCall us today at 781-498-8489 to schedule a free in-home home staging consultation.   Save