Profiting from staging

Staging a house helps it sell, but who should pay for it?

From a non-existent profession a generation or so ago, [tag]home stagers[/tag] have become a force to be reckoned with in the [tag]real estate[/tag] industry. Stagers claim they turn sow’s ears into silk purses every day, and make pots of money for their clients. Just what is home staging and what does it involve? And shouldn’t the cost of staging come out of the agent’s commission rather than the seller’s profits?

Before [tag]home staging[/tag] began, in the early 1970s, most real estate agents thought showing houses vacant was best. But Schwarz thought empty rooms looked small and cold; she started to put a few pieces of furniture in to make them more welcoming. “Every room should have two things,” says Schwarz, “grounded furniture and leggy furniture. If it’s all grounded, like sofas with upholstery that extends to the floor, it sinks the room. If it’s all leggy, like tables, the room floats.” Another technique she exploits is what she calls the “magic of three,” assembling furnishings and decorations in “vignettes” containing three objects, one tall, one medium and one short.

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