Renovating vs. Home Staging: How to Redesign For A Faster Sale

Renovating vs. Home Staging: How to Redesign For A Faster Sale

Aug 20, 2019

Deciding whether renovating is necessary, or if home staging is the best redesign for a faster sale can sometimes be difficult for a real estate agent or home owner. In a dated home, the seller might be tempted to completely renovate the whole home. But, Home Staging is more than just putting a beautiful sofa in a room. Furniture is just one of the tools that Home Stagers use to solve problems.

If a home has been on the market without success, Staging Design Professionals™ will always ask what the feedback has been, and then find a solution to the negative comments. That sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but you would be amazed at how often homeowners and realtors can misinterpret the feedback they receive.

This home had been on the market for a full year, without an accepted offer. The homeowners had moved out-of-state and, after $200,000 in price reductions (!!!), were getting desperate. Based on the feedback, they were at a point where they thought they were going to have to do major renovations, including gutting the kitchen and baths. Thankfully, they called us in for a consultation and a bid on vacant staging, before going to that extreme.

The feedback had been that:

A. The kitchen was dark and needed to be updated

The sellers were looking at forking over $75-100k for a new kitchen. Instead, we recommended a few simple changes.

We removed the columns and knocked down the island to counter height to open it up. New paint and hardware on the cabinets brightened and updated the space.


Cabinets are Sherwin Williams “Alabaster.” Kitchen island is Sherwin Williams 7018 “Dove Tail”. White subway tile replaced the painted mural tile and de-cluttered the look.

B. Buyers didn’t like the upstairs laundry.

The sellers interpreted that to mean that buyers wanted the laundry to be relocated downstairs, and were planning on taking up part of the pantry to make that happen. We explained that in a large family, home buyers would appreciate the laundry being upstairs with the bedrooms. That was not the problem! The problem was that it was a tiny closet in the hall, only large enough for an apartment-size stackable unit.

 We drew a quick sketch of how they could take some unused space in a bathroom and 2 other closets.

This allowed us to create a walk-in laundry room with shelves and a place to fold clothes without standing in the middle of the main hallway.


C. The house felt old and dark. 

The sellers thought that meant that buyers didn’t like the beautiful woodwork and arches. Wrong again.


We removed the sagging suede wall-coverings in the study and simplified the ceiling. Little touches like a new entry chandelier made all the difference.


D. The master bath needed to be updated.

Like the kitchen, the homeowners imagined an expensive major remodeling job. Minor changes brought major results. We replaced the art glass in the shower, the cabinet hardware, and light fixtures. Voila! New bathroom.

These homeowners were wonderful, did exactly what we suggested, and had every intention of having us bring in the finishing touch with furnishings. Guess what, though? It never made it to that point. By the time the renovations were nearing completion, they accepted a great offer. Imagine, though, how much they could have saved by getting professional staging input from the beginning.

The goal of staging is always to get the property sold in the shortest amount of time, for the greatest profit. Sometimes that means a sofa; sometimes that means paint; sometimes just de-cluttering. Staging Design Professionals take a hard look at what might be getting in the way of that goal and we remove that obstacle. Good home stagers also think hard about what could move us toward that goal by icing the cake with furnishings.

In this case, removing the obstacles was all it took. We had done our job as stagers. We had solved the issues and the house sold!

What feedback challenge are you facing right now?

Interested in learning more about home staging? Watch our free videos on home staging design. All of our training was created for home stagers by home stagers.

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