If You Don’t Stage Your Home Before You Sell, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Why do you need to stage your home before you sell? Here at Eye for design interiors stagers located in Cold Spring, Kentucky servicing all of the Cincinnati areas, we want to tell you why, if you don’t stage your home before you sell, even in the seller’s market, you’re crazy.

If You Don’t Stage Your Home Before You Sell, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Home Staging and Why You’d Be A Fool Not To Do It

Sharon Colvill:
I’m Sharon Colvill. The company is Eye for design interiors. And with me is Maureen Arigi, she’s one of my lead designers. There are five lead designers and we’ve got a team of about 12. So the company’s been in business for 12 years now and we’ve grown and grown and grown. We have a 20,000 square foot warehouse and enough here to stage probably 85 90 houses. Were filled with gills with all kinds of different inventory, all different price points. We’ve got some high-end luxury pieces, and then we’ve just got things that would work for, the majority of houses out there.

Stage Your Home Before You Sell- Logo

What Is Home Staging?

Sharon Colvill:
I think most of the time people don’t understand what staging is and that it is a marketing tool and how you live and how you sell are two different things. And so you want to make sure that they understand the value of removing all family photos, having neutral palette, decluttering, which clutter’s an ugly word. So I’ll kind of say ” perhaps we edit this space”

but it’s just making sure that every single space within the house shows optimally, and as we talked about those online photos are the first true showing that your house is going to have. So you want every single photo to just look fantastic. And so that’s where we will coach a seller through the fact that you know, neutralizing and decluttering and personalizing is going to help you sell for the most amount of money in the shortest period of time if you stage your home before you sell.

Stage Your Home Before You Sell- Living room


Marketing Vs. Decorating

Maureen Arigi:
Decorating is very personal, you’re decorating to live there. And when you’re staging, your staging to market your home to other buyers, and how they would see themselves living in your home.

Eric Sztanyo:
Our goal here is to market your home and get it sold for the most amount of money.

Sharon Colvill:
One of the keywords I do like to edit is “this really tastes specific.” And that will not translate well in a photo. And a lot of times that is something that most buyers are not going to feel that isn’t in their tastes.

Maureen Arigi:
I always use that comment that 10% of the people only can visualize their things or visualize the room set up. And that’s why we have lead designers. I can go into a blank room and I remember already buying furniture and redecorating to my taste. But a lot of people can’t do that. They can’t come in and look at a blank space or someone else’s furniture and put their furniture in there. And you know, it’s only 10% of people can do that. So it helps, as you said, edit to cleanout. So you can say, well my dining room table fits in there. My family can live here. So that’s what you want to put out there when you stage your home before you sell.

 Stage Your Home Before You Sell- Staging
What it looks like when you stage your home

Eric Sztanyo:
I just want to say to everyone that the real goal here when you stage your home is it has nothing to do with your tastes or your style or anything like that. You’re hiring a professional stager to come in stage your home. And their job is to make buyers who are starting their search online fall in love with your place and have an emotional attachment. Kind of something clicked inside of them like, “oh my gosh, this is amazing.” And if they do their job right, which they usually do, you’re going to get more interest. You’re going to get more showings. You’re going to get more offers. And ultimately you should get more dollars in your pocket when you’re using a professional stager to stage your home before you sell. So don’t take it personal.

What’s An Average Cost For Staging A House?

Sharon Colvill:
When people try to say, well, what is the average cost when you stage your home? Of course, it’s dependent upon the size of the property and the price point. But in general, we can say it’s between one-half to 1% of your list price. So let’s say that it’s a $500,000 house average cost for staging the key rooms, the main spaces of living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, and master would probably run 3,500, I mean 36, 37. Thereabouts. So that’s kind of an average. We do say that if there are some rooms that are important, that we want to highlight in the market, if you’ve got a first-floor study and everybody’s working from home, now we really want to do that. If there’s a finished basement, we want to include that, but we can price that out individually as well. And if this is an option.

Do Real Estate Agents Pay For The Staging?

Maureen Arigi:
Agents do pay for staging. We did a lot and the agents did pay. Some of them do bigger properties, but we had a lot of new builds.

Eric Sztanyo:
So as an agent in Cincinnati, the average sale price, I think is around $200,000 on average, which is a little lower than maybe some of the homes you’re doing. And so if you think of an agent getting 3% commission, that’s about six grand, that person might not want to be giving up some of their commission. But if you’re doing a home, that says six, seven, $800,000. And the commission is anywhere from 18 to $25,000. And that agent is working to get your listing. And they’re trying to beat out some other agents then everything is negotiable, just so you know that. When you sign a listing contract with an agent, you can fight for that in terms of “Hey, I’ll give you the listing, but will you pay my staging or half my staging” or something like that.

Can Home Sellers Get Guarantees?

Sharon Colvill:
You know, what we’ve seen is, especially in this heated market. All the sellers, like why, do you even have to stage your home before you sell? And what we say is if you’re going to spend $3,000 and make 10,000 or more, we’ve seen so many of the homes that we stage where they were in these bidding wars that were going, 10, 15, $20,000 over asking. Yes, you can sell without staging but are you going to sell for more money and quicker? I mean, especially when you get into the owner-occupied where it is painful, listing your house and living through showings and keeping it spotless, they want as fast as possible.

Difference Between A Staged and A Non-Staged Home

Erick Sztanyo:
So yeah, it’s not only just more money, but it’s also speeding and getting it under contract. And so you don’t have to do the 1, 2, 3 weeks of showings that disrupt your family in the meantime. And I think for me thinking through this, in the market, when everybody knows it’s a very hot market and has been for 10 years and just keeps getting hotter these last couple of years now. And so most sellers are thinking, “well, I can just do whatever I want and throw it out there on the market. And I’m going to get well over asking price.” And really, it doesn’t work that way, even though it is a hot market and you’re probably going to get more than you thought for it, you’re still competing against other homes that are out there.

Stage Your Home Before You Sell- Before and after
Before and after you stage your home


And you’re also competing for how much can you get for it? And you’re competing for the buyers to fall in love with it. And I would say recently, what I’m seeing, you know, early this spring, we were seeing everything going over asking price, very competitive people, waiving inspections, and the most aggressive people who had really good agents won a lot of those deals. Now what I’m seeing in mid-July 2021, is people are starting to pull back and they’re tired of being burnt. They’re tired of losing weekends and going out there and making an offer and getting emotionally tied to it. And then you know, they’re fighting against 10 other offers only to hear two days later that the listing agent choose somebody else’s offer. And so I would say the buyers are pulling back from that.


Even though the demand is really strong, you have some buyers who are kind of hesitant right now. They want to see is it going to make it past the weekend so I don’t have to waste my time. And then on the seller side, where you see some sellers pulling back right now is they know, they could sell my house for more, Then I got to go buy a house for more. And I got to go, into this crazy jungle of a market too. And so kind of pulling back too. So what are you going to do to stand out?

That’s kind of the question and the home staging gives you that first impression where Maureen was saying that online 95% of people, their first impression is the pictures online. You want people to fall in love. So that buyers won’t be hesitant to pull back, they’re going to, show up, they’re gonna make an offer and they’re going to offer over asking price. And that’s what the home staging can do.

Do You See More Staging From The Buyers Market VS The Sellers Market?

Sharon Colvill:
I think surprisingly this market where the sellers don’t have to do anything. The good agents understand it Isn’t a matter of, will it sell or not? It’s how much above asking can we get?. And so I think surprisingly, we’ve been really great and busy, busy, busy, and just, you know, right before COVID we were on this trajectory of oh my gosh. We were just, you know, exploding!

What Is The Process Of Staging A Home?

Maureen Arigi:
We walked through every room go through neutralizing the room, you know, if it needs paint or even, editing the room, cleaning out, putting away. Yeah, just making the space look bigger. You want bigger space, clean space, updating, even light fixtures, which are really simple and easy to update, knobs on cabinets, things like that I think they sometimes don’t even see, but that’s our job, is to go in and point out to them that this is a really simple, easy, inexpensive change that would really elevate your product.

Sharon Colvill:
And as Maureen said, it’s difficult as an agent to stay in a positive relationship with your client, if you have negative feedback to give them. Right. So we always say, let us be the bad guy, let us come in and professionally and kindly explain what staging is, why it works, how it works and get them to understand what they need to do to ensure that. ▲4

Why Stage Your Home Now Or Hate Yourself Later

Eric Sztanyo:
You can justify this, let’s say you put your house, they’re out there on the market and it’s not getting bites and it’s not getting the showings. It’s not getting the offers. And you mentioned, well, the price reductions generally are going to be five to 10% of the listing price.

Sharon Colvill:
If you can spend money to stage your home, which is proactive, and that is probably going to be one third to one-fourth the cost of a price reduction. So it’s kind of like, let’s be proactive and not just keep dropping in price. Let’s do something different.

Eric Sztanyo:
So I want you guys to catch that because I think that this is really the thing that if you don’t stage your house, you’re going to hate yourself later. And the problem is if you’re in a hot market and you put your home out there and you don’t put some money and thought and foresight into staging the home on the front end, and now you’re out there and you don’t have an offer in a week or two weeks because you just thought it’s a super hot market. And of course, it’s going to sell. Now you’re in this really bad spindown that you don’t want, which is your agents can say, Hey, we should have an offer by now.


It’s been two weeks. And if we don’t have an offer in this market, it means we’re overpriced. Then you have to drop your price in a seller’s market, which is the only thing besides losing money. The other thing that does is it alerts every single person who might be interested in that house. And it tells them there’s something wrong with your house. And they’re like, why didn’t is it everything’s selling in two days, why isn’t this one sold what’s wrong with it. And then when they do come and bring an offer, they’re going to give you an offer even lower because they’re like, well, it didn’t sell it in two weeks. So you’ve got something seriously wrong with your house. So this is why you want to think through it on the front end and, and put your house in the best position.


It’s so important. The moment you can do a coming soon, or the moment you’re going active on the market. That’s the most important part. Cause that’s when people are getting the first impressions and that’s when you can get the most demand from buyers. So don’t make the mistake of not staging your house.

Maureen Arigi:
Yeah. I think that first impression thing, you know, it’s hard to go back. If you put your house up for sale and then you’re trying to go back and you cleaned it up and then get new pictures but somebody has already flipped through so they’ve already passed your house out. So with first impressions, you know, that’s why you need to stage your home before you sell.

Sharon Colvill:
And we feel like every house should be staged. If it’s vacant, it needs to be staged. If it’s owner-occupied, right. You need to have a consultation and have us, you know, give them the plan.

So get a proposal, understand what the cost is and, understand the value of it. Q-tip claim, critical.

Eric Sztanyo:
And at the very minimum, when you guys are doing a consultation, and that’s a couple of hundred dollars for that for them. And even if they’re going to try to do it themselves. To have somebody with a different eye to come in the house, to come in the space and say, do this and that is so worth it.

Maureen Arigi:
If we can coach them through and give them a plan and say, look at our website, look at our pictures. That’s what your house is supposed to look like in your pictures. Yeah. That’s right. There has to look like this. Not necessarily you’re gonna live like this. Right. But that’s how you want your house to look. But our website has great pictures of, you know, jobs we’ve done and yeah. Kind of gets a comparison of because my house looked like this.

Eric Sztanyo:
So market your home appropriately. Yes. It is a marketing tool. That’s what staging is. Thank you guys so much!

Why Do You Need To Consider Staging Your Home Before Selling?

Eric Sztanyo:
I was really blown away by the amount of items they had in inventory. The fact that they can do 70, 80 houses at one time is pretty mind-boggling. But I hope that was helpful for you. And if you are thinking of staging your home or selling your home and you hadn’t considered staging, I hope you’re at least considering that now, because honestly, every time I’ve stayed at your house, every time I’ve used home stagers, I’ve gotten more interest on the home that I normally would have, and I’ve gotten better offers than I would have. And so it feels like risk may be on the front end, but you can pretty much bank that it’s going to pay for itself.


Even if the money is not crazy higher, you’re going to probably sell your home faster if you stage your home. Cause people are going to fall in love. When I take buyers out into homes and they go into homes that are stage and art. The difference is so big. When a home is not Stage, it’s like, it feels dirty. It feels cluttered. It feels like they don’t want to take it over. But when it’s cleaned and decluttered and stage, people fall in love with it.

And so if you’re thinking of selling your home, definitely consider staging, definitely check out Eye for designs! hope this is helpful for you guys and we will see you next time.

Stage Your Home Before You Sell- Staging your home
Stage Your Home
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