Asked by Janet Bliton, Jacksonville, FL Mon Jun 2, 2008


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Shannon Eliz…, , Virginia
Tue Oct 14, 2008
Absolutely Janet, go for the Staging!! Staged homes always win over vacant homes, in my opinion. As for the house sitter, do you mean someone to pretend they live in the house while potential buyers come through? If so, you can skip that. But if by house sitter you mean someone to come along before showings and touch up (dusting, cleaning up the yard, flush the toilets, etc...) then by all means, yes! The ideal situation would be a vacant (no one living there), but beautifully staged, home.

As for staging, you can get great rental furniture and accessories and a Stager will be able to help you in coordinating this. Staging will concentrate a potential buyer's focus on the home's most important features, or those areas you wish you emphasize. Staging will also help potential buyer's to visualize themselves living in the home. Using neutral color palettes and eye catching artwork and accessories, a Stager will be able to create flow and help form a great first impression!

After staging, professional photography should also be used in all marketing as well, being sure to show the entire house in its true form. If you staged your home, yet have photos of a vacant home in your marketing, buyers will be misinformed and show up confused.

Best of luck to you and feel free to contact me for additional information on staging your home for sale!
1 vote
Shawn Bowman, , North Myrtle Beach, SC
Fri Jun 20, 2008
The current market is extremly competitive in locating and keeping buyers interested in your property. Since the majority of buyers beign their search online, you need to make sure that what they see is appealing. If a property has beautiful funishing and great decor, you have made your property emotional to buyers. Also, only 3-5% of buyers can envision where their furnishing will go. Home Staging helps the buyer see where their belongs may be located or not located. In today's market, it is not that expensive to hire a home stager or orgainzer.
1 vote
Open Door St…, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fri Jun 20, 2008
No matter how wonderfull the home, if it looks vacant, it implies neglect.

Staging your home for sale, and then taking the photographs to market the home allows you to avoid ‘empty room syndrome’.

Click on the link to take our empty room syndrome test - can you guess the price range of this home from the photos - well neither can buyers.
1 vote
DeeinAustin, , Austin, TX
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Staged is much better. Staged homes have been keeping our listings sold in a tough market. I recently took over a listing that was sitting on the market for 7 months. We staged it and followed up on feedback. Had an offer within 30 days. Our stager is so confident that she will refund her fee if a home is not sold in 60 days.
1 vote
Jim Johnson, , 78233
Tue Jun 3, 2008
All your respondents are right. I'll add only that you should arrange to have the grounds kept up, and to have the toilets flushed and the hot water run in each bath and kitchen for about 10 minutes every week. If necessary, hire a maid service to keep it eat-off-the-floor clean too. About once every week or two should do it, and it should not be too expensive since it should generally need just minor clean-up.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Definitely staged. But there's no need for a house sitter.
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1 vote
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Staged. I had a client that expressed it this way. When he grew up he listened to radio and read books. He and his generation learned how to imagine. My generation grew up on television and we lost that ability to some degree. We need to have the house presented to us.
I've also stood in open houses that were not statged and later staged and I watched the prospective buyers spend more time in the property envisioniing how they would live there.
A house sitter I don't know about. A house needs to be clean, clear of clutter and presented as if it is a product that says buy me!
1 vote
Michelle Hall, Agent, Westminster, CO
Mon Jun 2, 2008
Dear Janet,
It is better to have your home professionally staged AND vacant! That's why new home builders hire professional decorators and when the house is vacant it's always available to show and always clean!
If you feel up to the task you can stage it yourself and save that way but be sure to look at model homes and ask your realtor for their advise on the decorating.
Michelle Hall
Keller Williams Preferred Realty Colorado
1 vote
Kimo Stowell, Agent, Honolulu, HI
Fri Jan 30, 2009
Aloha Janet,

It has been my experience that homes that sell the fastest are homes that are well staged, well landscaped, spotless in terms of cleanliness, and uncluttered.

If you are worried that you can't afford a professional stager, take the time to learn the basic staging principles and do it yourself. If you have difficulty in a particular area like landscaping find a family or friend that can assist you.

If you just don't have acumen for staging, hire a professional who can give you a consultation, usually from $100-$400, that prioritizes and outlines all the areas of your property that need to be addressed. If you need professional staging references in your area of Florida let me know.

Best of luck,
0 votes
One Two Six…, , Mountain View, CA
Mon Dec 29, 2008
remember, you are selling a home, a life style, not just an empty house... you should have the house staged in order for the potential buyers to "emotionally move in",
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Michele Rose, Agent, Moorestown, NJ
Sun Oct 26, 2008
Buyers, like everyone else, have dreams of how they would like to live. Staging a home encourages those dreams-- it helps buyers imagine, "If I buy this home, I can live like this!" Once a buyer has all the facts about a home-- how many bedrooms, what are the taxes, etc., their final decision is based largely on emotion. Good staging appeals to the home buyers' emotions-- it evokes feelings of the life they've always dreamed of!

Michele Rose
Rose-Colored Staging
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Oct 22, 2008

If you look at it from the same perspective at the developers, they see the importanct of decorating their model homes to appeal to a cross section of buyers. They feel this is the best way to show their homes to potantial buyers.

From a general sales point of view, we have seen it be beneficial both ways, by being decorated and completely empty. The buyer that has important pieces of furniture that will be brought into the home, will find it easier to visualize the placement of their furnishings in an empty home.

Empty homes will show imperfections easily and require attention to painting, carpet stains, and taking care of blemishes that will potentially get in the way of a sale.

It's impossible to predict the back ground of your buyer but most buyers will have some furnishings they will be bringing to the home. Our best advise is which ever way you elect to go........make sure you do it well, allowing people to see your home in the best light.

Good luck
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company

2008 Five Star Award for Outstanding Customer Service
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Holly Gray, , Bigfork, MT
Wed Oct 22, 2008
Staging truly helps potential buyers visualize the space in a home. It can actually bring scale to rooms and make them feel larger. A vacant home feels cold and sterile, while staging helps to generate an emotional connection between the house and a buyer!
As to using a "housesitter" that can be very risky... your house and all showings will be at the mercy of someone else. Unless the house sitter is someone you trust completely, be extremely cautious!

Feel free to contact me if you would like any home staging advice!
Holly Gray
Rising Moon Interiors
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Remax Cumber…, Agent, Somerset, KY
Wed Oct 15, 2008
It's always better to have some items in a house to give it that feel of a home. But just don't over do it! I have been in some homes that a Realtor has said she staged it and it was just to busy!
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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Tue Jun 3, 2008
A staged home ( such as what you might see in a model) will do more for selling a home then a vacant one will. A beautifully staged home will highlight all the best features of the home and goes a long way in helping the client visualize themselves in that home.
Often the client will love the staging so much, they will attempt to purchase the home with the furnishings.
This happens all the time with new developments and their model homes.
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