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Here are the expert answers to 5 home staging questions you need to know, but may be afraid to ask.

1. How do I know if staging will really be worth it for MY home?

If you’ll be listing a vacant home, it’ll just about always be worth it. Staging on vacant homes delivers an average return on investment (ROI) of 586%!

Why is that? Time and again research has shown that buyers need staging to help them get that sense of room scale and flow that makes them able to imagine themselves happily living there. Not only do staged homes sell faster (88% faster), they sell for more (20% more).

If you’ll be selling a furnished home, or one you’re currently living in, staging becomes more important as the pool of buyers you’ll be appealing to shrinks. So, luxury homes typically see a great ROI from staging, as do houses with unusual layouts or features.

We’ve seen living rooms with windows into the primary bedroom… dining rooms divided by staircases… kitchens with battered cabinets, and many more aspects that loom large (and scary!), until re-imagined by successful home staging.

A reputable staging company will not advise you to invest if your potential Return on Investment isn’t going to be positive. 

2. What am I REALLY paying for when I hire a stager?

  • Expert knowledge. Knowledge of what inspires potential buyers of a home like yours to fall in love with your specific home. Professional home stagers follow sales data and area trends; they also continually polish their interior decorating skills. So, when staging plans hit your desk, they’re not just tips for how to make your house look pretty, they’re wise moves for boosting the value of your investment.
  • Time. The time your team invests in creating a custom plan for how to highlight the features of your home that are going to lead to more and higher offers; and, if your stager is providing furniture or decor, time to pack, deliver, unpack, clean and iron linens, and put everything in its perfect place.
  • Overhead. When stagers are bringing in furniture and décor, you’ll be covering a small portion of the items’ cost. There are also team salaries, transportation, insurance, and other business-related costs. Tap if you’re interested in knowing more about what goes into pricing.

3. How does a home stager decide what MY HOUSE needs?

Professional stagers consider your home’s architectural style, setting, size and layout, and create a plan for what will make it most attractive to prospective buyers.

Every home is different—and not just in overall style (e.g., Arts & Crafts vs. modern…), but in its specific location, views, natural lighting, and unique features too. The staging—from paint colors to furnishing styles to decor selection—must coordinate with your home’s personality.

Your decorating style might be a little eclectic, with personal items collected over years reflecting a range of styles; and it works perfectly for you. But a buyer will have trouble seeing themselves in that home.

Your stager will always be checking against the most critical questions: Will this make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves LOVING living here? Here’s an example of a well-staged home:

Living room staging

Dining room staging questions

Home staging questions

4. Do (or can) buyers get to keep the staging items?

Typically, no. When a company stages a vacant home or brings in any furniture or decor items, neither the buyers nor the sellers keep the items. Most vacant home staging companies maintain an inventory of furniture and decor items in a range of styles. In your staging project, you’re essentially “renting” the items until the contract is past due diligence.

Stagers don’t usually go out and purchase items specifically for your home—or if they do, the items will go back to the warehouse once your home sells. Of course, just about anything’s negotiable, so if you love what’s in the home you’re buying… ask!

5. What if I don’t like my stager’s recommendations, or the new style?

This can be tricky, because these changes to your home are specifically designed to make it appeal to people OTHER THAN YOU!  Remember, you’re not just leaving your home for a while—you’re selling it!  So, before you object, be sure you’re evaluating the recommendations based on what other people will like—not yourself.

If cost is what has you concerned, that’s a little different. Most good stagers will ask your budget before putting together their plan for you.

In our experience, the people who reap the biggest rewards on their sales typically have implemented at least 75% of the steps we advise.

In the end, what you decide to do will depend on your budget and timeline, as well as how much you trust your staging professional. (Just remember to adjust your expectations accordingly!) If we can help you—please reach out!

Sherrie was outstanding in helping us stage our home to sell. Her advice is professional and knowledgeable. She is so easy to work with and there is no pressure. She will work with you to make changes that are in…read more

Paula Ragatz

Our home sold in 2 days after working with First Impressions Home Staging! I had never used a stager for a real estate transaction, and frankly, I had some trepidation. I am so glad I followed the suggestion of our…read more

Kile Law

Sherrie did an amazing job staging our house to sell. We had it on the market for a couple weeks but it was vacant and not showing well. We hired Sherrie to bring some life into it and she was…read more

Alison Spain

Sherrie and the First Impression Home Staging Team did a great job. We engaged Sherrie in designing and procuring furniture for an entire four bedroom home. Our project was very time sensitive and she beautifully designed, procured, stored and staged…read more

Michael Thurston

Sherrie was seriously amazing! Our house looks so awesome after our FaceTime staging call (quarantine probs) She was personable, patient and very knowledgeable! Would 100% use her again and definitely recommend!

Gina C

First Impression Home Staging provided a virtual consultation so we could stage our home! They were professional and patient as we did the walk through. It was a pleasure working with Sherrie Medeiros. She helped us successfully stage our home…read more

Cheri K

Sherrie helped me remotely stage my rental property that is up for sale, using FaceTime (I’m in CA and Sherrie is in NC). I initially sent her photos of the house staged with a bare minimum of furniture, which she…read more

Rena W

My husband and I are realtors in Raleigh, and we’ve been using Sherrie’s staging consultant services for our clients, and can I just say, “WOW”?! First Impression Home Staging definitely makes a HUGE difference. . . even in this current…read more

Lisa F

We used First Impressions Home Staging to help us with a completely new interior design of a vacation rental we bought in the mountains of Virginia. Sherrie and Roslyn were both amazing to work with. They were conscientious of our…read more

Josee M

Sherrie has an amazing eye for color and a talent on how to bring out the best in a space. She spent time getting to know what items in my home meant the most to me and created a paint…read more

Shannon H

We recently placed our home for sale and hired Sherrie and First Impression Home Staging to stage it. They did a fabulous job and the house looks beautiful. Sherrie is wonderful to work with. After an initial walk through of…read more

Joan K

Sherrie did a fabulous job staging our home for sale! I would HIGHLY recommend her if you are preparing your home to sale. We had never used staging before to sell a house, but now we are certainly believers indeed!…read more

Rachel M

Sherrie came in to stage our home to sell & she did just that. She made terrific suggestions & simply put, she made our home more marketable. I highly recommend her & if given the opportunity, I would choose to…read more

Sheila C.

The home that you staged went under contract in 3 days with 2 offers. I am certain that your staging was instrumental. The sellers are thrilled. They are so excited. They are convinced it was the best investment!

Mindy O.

Thanks very much Sherrie! You did an amazing job helping us get their home beautiful and ready to list.

Heather Piper, KW Realtor

Hey Sherrie I wanted to share some good news… that townhouse in Brier Creek went live on Saturday morning, held it open both days, and we have an offer on the way today. The exact unit around the corner, not…read more

Hugh Grist, Grist Realty

We’d just like to offer a sincere thanks for the work you did staging our house. We believe that the advice you and Amy gave us along with your staging made a huge difference in both the price and the…read more

Sincerely, Roger & Carla Wilson

Are you selling your house soon? Let me tell you… I didn’t believe it… But our listing didn’t go as fast as we wanted and I decided to stage my empty home… We got multiple offers over asking in 48…read more

K Mitchell
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First Impression Home Staging bedroom decorating photo.

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