Home Buyers Still Learning to Look Past the Staging

For every story of a home seller who had a successful sale only after “finally” having had the home staged, there are multiple untold stories of buyers who either couldn’t see the house’s potential until it was staged, or were dazzled by the staging into overlooking its faults.

Take, for example, the May, 2012 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, which contained an article called “How to Sell Your Home Fast,” by Patricia Mertz Esswein.

Esswein tells the story of the Barbers, in Minneapolis, who spent months trying to sell their high-end home in a hot location — without luck, apparently owing to the fact that their furnishings did nothing to minimize the house’s long, narrow living room. Only when they moved their furnishings out and got a stager to redo the living room with “smaller-scale” furniture did an offer come in.

So, were the early buyers unimaginative, or was the ultimate buyer fooled by a mini-sofa? Hard to say. But now seems like a good time to offer up another tip to buyers on how to scrutinize a well-staged home.

TIP: Remember, your office will never look as cute — or as clean — as this one.

Space for a home office, whether it’s in a converted garage, closet, or bonus room, can be an attractive feature in a home. But if your home office is anything like mine, it’s a thicket of electrical cords, equipment, and supplies.

Kind of makes you nostalgic for that typewriter on the desk, doesn’t it? (But I’d never go back to a typewriter, ever.)

With that lesson in mind, take a closer look at any potential home office space, particularly if this is an important house feature for you. Does the space have sufficient electrical outlets? Space for a printer, shredder, file cabinet, desk, bookshelves, table, and so forth? Make sure the basics meet your needs before you start planning where you’d put the little globe.