Yes! It's almost a hands down, WOW! when home is expected to a shell of a home.
Why do you think model homes are first vs. a questionnaire of prospects needs at a new home development? They aren't running you off to see the empty shell. They want you purchasing their limited inventory based on your EYES not your pocket book. Now imagine your the 1 house who was STAGED? $$$,$$$ is right!
Probably 1:100 homeowners actually take advantage of staging unfortunately. Every time I walk a buyer into a staged home I think to myself "Now there is a REALTOR and SELLER who are communicating effectively together to a goal!" Never forget...You get 1 chance to impress a buyer!
Before entertaining a for sale listing I recommend a REALTOR take their seller prospect out to view the direct area competition (inside/out). Its so important to share with sellers what they are up against when buyers are window shopping your home be it from an in car drive by, in person walk thru, or even internet photos. You want your prospective seller to identify what their homes strengths and weaknesses are vs. the current market place. It can also help you the REALTOR identify reasons a prior agent may not have previously sold the sellers home or worse yet why a :"For Sale By Owner" idea didn't go as planned for your prospects. Now once back at sellers home I would ask seller to view their home from the perspective of a buyer getting out of the car AFTER leaving all those OTHER homes. Ask them to compare/contract starting from the curb. Take notes! Sellers almost always create their own homework at this point. Have the heart of a teacher and follow up on their progress. At that moment I would drop in a recommendation for how to their home from the competition...STAGING!
IF cost is an issue write into your listing contract that the REALTOR will pay staging fee's up front. When the home SELLS the sellers will as agreed reimburse the agent. Now that is a REALTOR who has literally into selling your home start to finish! This is simply one method of how to get it done. Negotiate REALTORS! Think outside the box. You will be required to do so for your seller IF/WHEN you get an offer from the buyers agent.
Goal: Combine the heart of a teacher with the focused willingness from your clients to help customize/design a sold package.
The best staging I have seen in person was from a company called By Design: http://www.bydesignsa.com/BY_Design/Home.html