We have actually been using staging techniques since 2005, as we've recognized that the two things that dramatically affect the saleability of a home are - price and condition! In fact we feel so strongly about this that we include a staging consultation by our accredited staff member as part of the service we provide our sellers.
Staging is not about decorating - but instead is about showcasing the selling features of the home. These can be the overall space of the home, updates like granite counters and hardwood floors, as well as architectural details such as vaulted ceilings or dramatic windows!
To showcase these selling features, it is important to remove distractions for buyers. Too many collectibles, accessories with a lot of color and detail, and family photos will draw buyers' eyes and attention away from what we want them to focus on. Sometimes eliminating or repositioning furniture will help to showcase the size of a room.
If sellers are expecting to receive "top dollar" for their home, they will not want to present a home that telegraphs a lot of "work" to the potential buyer. Most buyers do not want to purchase a home which will require hours removing wallpaper, repainting and replacing outdated light fixtures. If they do make an offer on such a home, they typically "tick down" the price of the home to compensate for such work. Paint is one of the cheapest ways to update a home - and new light fixtures and hardware will also assist in moving an 1980's house into the 2000's!
With most buyers beginning their search on the internet, it is really imperative to have sharp, clear and well taken photos of property. Rooms with too many accessories, overfilled with furniture, or with very dated decor will not reflect well in photos, and may deter buyers from wanting to see the home in person. A well staged home will definately reflect nicely in the brochures and photos online!
With the many HGTV "staging" shows on cable TV, we find that many of our sellers are already knowledgable about some aspects of staging - and most agree that once they have gone thru the process they are glad to have done so. Many of our sellers like to think of it as "early packing for a quick sale"!