Is the staging process worth the investment and why wait?

As discussed on the Pete and Brenda radio show to be aired on Wednesday 3/30th, 12:40 and 9:40pm PST.  Stream from your computer.

This article reviews recent survey results on whether or not home staging is worth the investment, but why wait until you put your house up for sale?  Now is a great time to start tackling your maintenance and repair to-do list, and make your home shine!  This post also includes some cost effective ideas that you can do now.   

A survey recently released by RESA® resulted in some interesting statistics to help sellers determine if the home staging process is worth the investment.

The study results:

  • Both vacant and occupied homes previously on the market experienced 78% less time on the market after they were staged!
  • 126 homeowners of vacant and occupied homes had their property on the market on average of 263 days before they decided to stage. 263 days = 9 months!!!  After staging they sold in 63 days on average!
  • 284 vacant and occupied homes that were staged before they went on the market and sold in 40.5 days on average after staging.  This is approximately 223 days less on the market. 223 days = 7 months.
  • The study also provides a formula to help people determine approximately how much money they will continue to spend while their home is on the market un-staged.  Link to report.
Click on image for larger view

It’s sad to wait until you put your home up for sale to make it shine and fix all the little things that have been adding up.  When I sold my first house and completed the buyer’s to-do list, I thought why didn’t I just do all this stuff sooner???  And plus, when you start packing things up when moving, often you’ll notice the place starts to look better as the clutter decreases!    Why wait?  Now is a great time to focus on making the most of what you have, since it’s a tough seller’s market.

Specific areas to work on:


  • Turn an unattractive fireplace into a selling feature!
  • Fireplaces are a great feature that have been widely known to attract buyers, so emphasizing and updating fireplaces benefits you in more ways than one!
  • Stick with the era of your home.  Be careful about using the most common materials you see in the home improvement stores or that are being put in new homes… it may not match your home.  If you have a 1950’s home for example, stick with that style.  You may not like the stone on the fireplace, but if it’s indicative of the 1950’s era, it could be a mistake to change it…. 1950’s is now old enough to be considered cool again, and the style is back in popularity.  Think back in the 1970’s and 1980’s when people would modernize the look of the Victorian and Edwardian era homes with the most popular styles of the day….. HUGE mistake!  And a lot of great architectural history was covered up or even destroyed.

Fireplace before

Fireplace after refinishing with faux stone panels © Interiors by Decorating Den

 Kitchen and bath cabinetry & Counter tops

       High/low options for updating your counter tops…

  • High – Concrete / Low – concrete veneer
  • High – Solid granite / Low – granite tiles or pre-fabricated solid, pre-cut tops / using scraps on small bath vanity counter tops
  • High – Tile / Low – re-grout existing tile

Granite Squares courtesy of

Concrete veneer using RScrete from

Tile countertop courtesy of

Cabinets:  You have several options for updating the look…

  • Re-stain or at least clean up the stain with Murphy’s Oil
  • Re-finish with paint
  • Change out the knobs

Above:  Boring oak cabinetry doors before refinishing

Above and below:  Same oak cabinetry after priming, painting and adding an aging effect.   This project was done for a charity makeover project for Oregon Dream Makeover under the guidance of a professional faux finisher, Johanna Annable, of Johanna’s Design Studio, and cabinet painter, Dustin Holyk of Connily Enterprise, LLC.  I helped as well, and I can testify from experience that painting cabinetry is not hard, just time intensive.  However the faux aging touches do take a little more creative skill.


Kitchen appliances:

  • A less expensive alternative to purchasing new stainless steel appliances is using stainless-steel stick-on panels.   Website for Faux Stainless Steel panels:
  • You don’t have to have all small appliances out on counters… clean out cupboards and create more hidden storage to help de-clutter items on top of counters
Photo courtesy of
  • Neutralize the colors
  • Re-finish wood floors
  • Shampoo carpets or re-carpet
  • Tile – great for bathrooms, entryways, kitchen floors

Window shades/blinds

Lower cost options…

  • Faux wood blinds
  • Verticals that are covered with sheer fabric
  • Honeycomb… tax breaks for energy efficiency

Vertical Sheers

Woven woods_exotic

Faux wood blinds are a great low cost option

 Ideas for Improving Your Curb Appeal

  • Start a list and tackle it
  • Paint house, garage door – coordinate color with the rest of your neighborhood.  Good taste in color is important
  • Add trim around windows and paint in a contrasting color
  • Add planter window boxes if they fit the era of your home.  Add free standing plant containers, and group together in larger sizes for a better impression, or flank your entryway with one on each side.  Be careful about cluttering up your exterior with smaller planters.
  • Clean, re-stain decking
  • Plant perennials and trees, bulbs
  • Stain cement areas, or re-seal

For more staging ideas,  see Design and Remodeling Tips to Help Increase the Value of Your Home.

Also feel free to subscribe to this blog (from the home page), and fan us on Facebook for quick tips and images.

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