Dear Darlie

Hi. I'm Darlene (aka Darlie)

Have a question about staging? Hungry for more information?  We've compiled our most popular questions here.  Check back each week as we present new staging questions in our weekly Dear Darlie page.

Dear Darlie:


I've been trying to help my clients understand the value of staging but they are hesitant to spend any more money.  How can I help them see the value in what you do?



Janeen, Realtor




Dear Janeen:


Staging is an investment, not an expense.  The best way to explain the importance and value of staging to your clients is to show them the statistics of days on market as they relate to price reductions in your area.  Then show them the average days on market for a staged home.  (Our average day on market is under 30!)  Get an estimate for staging.  Write out two fake checks.  One for what their next price reduction will need to be to remain competitive and the other for the cost of staging (Nominal next to the average price reduction which in my area is 5-10% of list price.  That's $50-$100k on a million dollar home!)  Ask them which check they prefer to sign.  Simple as that.


Also, consider having a stager speak directly to your client.  It is often much easier to separate yourself and allow the stager to sell the service.


Warm Regards,




Dear Darlie:

Why Should I Stage my Home?


SIMPLICITY has an entire blog devoted to this question.  In a nutshell, staged homes generally sell faster, show better, receive more foot traffic, and have a higher perceived value than equally priced non-staged homes, 

Dear Darlie

What Should I Look for When Hiring a Stager?

There are many stagers with different styles and experience levels.  Unlike interior design, staging is a relatively new industry that is somewhat deregulated so it's important to interview your stager and hire someone you respect and trust.  A good guideline is to ask for  their portfolio photos, experience, and their track record of success.  You can tell so much from a portfolio.  Is the stager a minimalist?  Do they have a distinct style?  Do all their stagings look cookie cutter or custom?  What is the quality of the furnishings they use?  SIMPLICITY has been providing quality service with an outstanding record of success since 2006.  Visit the About section to learn more about the company and staff.  Feel free to view our portfolio to evaluate our staging.

Dear Darlie

Why Are There Vast Difference in the Prices I Receive From Different Stager's Bids?

This is a great and important question.  First, when you receive a quote ask what is included in each room.  Some stagers are more sparse than others.  I've seen rooms that had a chair and pillow thrown in the corner that was meant to be staged.  I've also seen beautiful designs with complete room packages that are welcoming and encourage buyers ot want to stay,  It's important to know what you are getting for the money and it's in your right to ask.  There is something to be said for the saying "You get what you pay for."  Every stager also has a unique way of running their business.  Some own their own furniture and can set their own pricing while others utilize furniutre rental companies and have to work with the prices set by the national vendors.  The benefit of working with someone with their own furnishings is the cost savings.  The negative is that the furniture could be cheap looking and the designs could be very sparse in their effort to purchase furniture on a tight budget.  It's important to look at their portfolio.  The negative of working with a stager who uses a national rental company is the cost could be higher.  The positives are that they have a vast selection of furnishings to match the style of different houses keeping every staging fresh and custom.  They also carry higher quality furnishings.  SIMPLICITY mixes some of our own pieces with furiture rental companies in order to achieve the best of both worlds: it keeps our cost a bit lower and our designs looking more high end.  Furniture is critical in creating a higher perceived value for a home.  

Dar Darlie

Is Staging Expensive?

Staging costs less than a price reduction.  There are staging packages for every budget with consults starting as low as $249. As a general rule of thumb, a full staging with furniture rental can cost anywhere from 1-2% of the list price of a home.  It's important to remember that staging is an investment, not an expense.  The return on investment can be as high as 900% in some cases.  I had a client that made $20,000 over asking price the first day on the market after staging.  His investment was less than $10,000.

Dear Darlie

Who Pays For The Staging?

Staging is generally paid for by the sellers.  It is not uncommon for Realtors to pay for the consultations, leaving additional staging services up to the homeowner.  If you are interested in finding a Realtor who is familar with the staging process in New Jersey, PA, or CT contact me for a referral.

Dear Darlie

Is Staging the Same as DeCluttering or Cleaning?

No.  Staging is not house cleaning.  There is a small element of staging that includes decluttering but for the most part that is the responsibility of the homeonwer to pack their belongings.  Stagers can temporarily box items to be permantently packed but most stagers are not insured as movers.  SIMPLICITY can reccomend organizers if you need help decluttering your home.  We can also recommend clean out and hauling companies. Items remaining and not used to stage may be placed in a POD or brought to a storage facility.  We can also assist clients selling items online.

Dear Darlie

Do I need Special Insurance to Stage? Should my Stager be Insured?

You do not need insurance to stage your home although furnishings rented through our vendor are covered under a damage waiver.  It is recomended that you have home owners insurance.  your stager should carry insurance.  SIMPLICITY is fully insured and carries 2,000,000/4,000,000 in general liability.  

Dear Darlie

How Does Furniture Rental Work? Is there a Minimum Rental Period?

Companies that own their own furniture can set their own terms, however any stager working with a national furniture rental company, like we do, is subject to their terms. The minimum furniture rnetal period is 3 months.  You can rent for less but it's the same price so you may as well keep it.  I also suggest keeping the furniture as close to the closing date as possible in case something falls through.  Even if an offer comes through the first day it can often take two months to close.  The 3 month period is a nice term.  Minimum furniture rental with our company is $750.  Our vendor also has a special package, rent 3 months and get the 3 months free if the house doesn't sell in the first 3 months.  It's a bit more than the typical 3 month rental period but for higher end houses or homes with a challenging objection to overcome, it's well worth the piece of mind.

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