Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

By Barb Schwarz,

There’s been a drastic change within the real estate world just in the last few years. Competition in the market continues, and sellers and agents alike are working to find solutions that will make a home stand out in the crowd.

The down economy has driven the need for Accredited Staging Professionals® (ASPs®) more than ever before. In fact, we are seeing more ASP® home stagers as part of real estate teams. With an ever-growing number of short sales and bank-owned properties in markets all over the country, sellers of homes in regular price levels are in fierce competition to get the house sold.

Just the other day I was asked to define staging services and how they relate to the seller, the agent, and the stager.

First of all, the success of staging speaks for itself. Consider that statistics gathered by shows that 94.6 percent of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional® sell within 33 days, compared to an average of 196 days for homes that are not staged. Homes staged by Accredited Staging Professionals® stay on the market 83 percent less time than a home that has not been staged.

There’s no doubt staging makes a difference and that certainly speaks to the seller. When I discuss staging with sellers, I often share one of my often-quoted sayings, “The investment of staging your home is less than your first price reduction!” Two other messages I share, both created years ago, speak to the difference between staging and decorating: “Decorating is personalizing, staging is depersonalizing. Staging is not decorating,” and “Staging is not about decorating your home; it’s about selling your house.”

Sharing the impact of staging by showing statistical evidence of success is essential to effectively communicate to the seller the difference they can expect. With many sellers not fully aware of the difference between staging and decorating, and with many hesitant to invest in staging, I encourage real estate agents and home stagers to use my sayings above (and citing me as the source when doing so, of course).

As far as staging services as they relate to the real estate agent, again, consider the statistics I shared above. There is no doubt staging has a positive impact for agents as homes sell faster and for more money. In fact, because of the success evidenced all over the country, home stagers and real estate professionals are teaming up more and more to give turnkey service to the seller. The agent’s job is to get the property priced and to do the marketing to get it sold.  The home stager merchandizes the property so that the marketing pays off.  They are working hand-in-hand more and more.

The home stager generates money for the agent because without the house staged it sits and in the end the agents either get little commission or none.  Therefore, working together, the seller wins, the agent wins, and the ASP® stager wins.

Barb Schwarz
Barb Schwarz

Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, AB, IAHSP®
The Creator of Home Staging®
IAHSP® Founder and Chairwoman of The Board of The International Association of
Home Staging Professionals® and Foundation

Stage®, ASP®, ASPM®, IAHSP® and® are Federally Registered Trademarks of®


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