• Nedra D Hines

Cheap Staging - Yay or Nay?

I was talking to a Real Estate Agent a while back who called to get a quote on Vacant Home Staging. She mentioned her property was in a certain area of Dallas and was excited about the fact that it was an $800k home. She went on to say, “this isn’t some regular home, so I want an elegant look”. I knew immediately that she didn’t know how Home Staging worked because of all the aesthetics stagers talk about, “elegant” isn’t one of them. Long story short, she didn’t know what aesthetic she was looking for and didn’t have pictures to show me what she wanted.


Side note: if a potential client calls me and they’re interested in a particular aesthetic, I’m always happy to help them find a stager whose inventory includes that aesthetic. Otherwise, they’ll have better luck with an Interior Designer.


Back to the agent. During our conversation she said, “I’ve seen run-of-the-mill staging” and I want something better than that. She confirmed how unimpressed she was by the staging she’s seen so far, and I completely understand that.


Now hear it from a Home Stager’s perspective.


I can’t tell you how many times stagers get calls from potential clients (particularly agents and investors) asking and looking for discounts. People want something for nothing and as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. A lot of stagers lose out on jobs because the client chose the cheaper talent over them. Ever heard of a high-volume stager? That’s a stager who gets higher volume because their prices are cheaper compared to their industry peers. They’re able to keep their costs lower because they aren’t as detailed-oriented and they’re not adding as many accessories to a staging compared to their more expensive peers. They focus more on bargains and discounted items, whose appearance may lack panache.


The staging is basically cookie-cutter. Because investors (and some agents) are known for wanting bottom barrel prices, they are very attracted to the high-volume staging company. Those who place emphasis on quality, will opt for the more expensive staging company because their aesthetic is more customized and detail oriented. Those companies aren’t discounting their service and they’re more focused on how they represent their brand in public. To put it simply: their aesthetic has panache, and they intentionally bring the same level of service to each home staging project they complete.


So, if you notice staging that’s less than impressive, now you know why – the clients want that and they’re paying for it. As my momma used to say, “You can’t have champagne taste with a Kool-Aid glass!”