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The Bitter Pill of Rejection, Part 1: Objections to Staging

May 09, 2018

Rejection can be a bitter pill to swallow. Here's a spoonful of sugar for you, though...

Each objection can be turned into a great opportunity to educate. Use push-back as a chance to turn a lukewarm lead into a solid client.

There are 2 types of objections that we face in the staging industry. First, there are objections to staging at all. Then there are objections to the staging recommendations that we offer. This week, we are looking at the objections to staging (our next blog is about objections to your staging recommendations). 

Objections to Staging

Zig Ziglar taught that every sale has 5 basic obstacles: 

  • No Need
  • No Money
  • No Hurry
  • No Desire
  • No Trust

Let's take a look at each of those and explore some appropriate responses. This is your script for handling each situation.

No Need

The seller may say something along the lines of "I didn't stage my last house and it sold fine," or "My home was professionally decorated," or "It looks clean and open since it is vacant."

The market has changed and, thanks to HGTV, Pinterest, Houzz, etc, buyers now expect more. They want to be 'wow'ed.

Buyers stay in a vacant home for an average of 5 minutes but will linger in a furnished home an average of 40 minutes. This is important because the National Association of Realtors says that the longer a buyer remains in a home, the more likely they are to make an offer. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, a staged home sells 67% faster than a vacant home and on average for 6% more than the asking price.

No Money

"Staging is too expensive."

When clients ask about cost before you start quoting your prices, lead with the benefits of staging in general and the benefits of working with you specifically. Why should they choose you? - Experience, training, awards, reviews, service, etc.

Staging is much less expensive and much more effective than your first price reduction.


According to, the Return on Investment for staging is 586%!

This home had been a problem child for the builder for a long time on the market. Sold the next day after staging.

No Hurry

"We'll try it for a while and then, if it doesn't sell, we will stage."

The longer a home stays on the market, the further below list price it drops. A National Association of Realtors study found that homes that sold in the first 4 weeks averaged 1% more than list price.

  • 4 to 12 weeks averaged 5% below list price
  • 13 to 24 weeks averaged 6.4% below
  • 24 weeks averaged more than 10% below

Those first few days and weeks are the prime opportunity to get the home sold for the greatest profit. Once the 'buzz' is gone, it becomes increasingly difficult.

No Desire

"The buyers will just have to have vision."

77% of buyer's agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. -- National Association of Realtors

“My home works great for the way I live. Why should I have to change it?”

The way we live is different than the way we sell. We have some secret staging strategies that we use to emotionally connect the buyer to your home. For example, we try to place a mirror in the entry, so that the buyer literally 'sees' themselves in this home. That is their first and last impression during their visit.

“I just want to sell as-is.”

Almost a third (27%) of buyers are more willing to “overlook property faults” when the home is staged.

87% of buyers will pay more for 'move-in-ready'. --National Association of Realtors

No Trust

"We are interviewing other stagers as well."

I understand that. You will likely find that we are not the cheapest. We don't try to be the cheapest stagers. Our goal is to be the best and to help you get this sold in record time.

“The home will sell if it is priced correctly. I don’t need staging.”

Your agent will probably create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Report for you, showing a range of the appropriate prices for your home. A staged home will always rise to the top of that range.

All of these are some of the ready answers that you can prepare yourself with when your clients need to be educated.

Price and Presentation - the 2 P's

Sometimes, we are the ones who need a little schooling. The sale of a home boils down to either Price or Presentation. The same goes for our staging services. If we are consistently missing out on bids, we need to take a hard look at our pricing and presentation.

Never try to be the cheapest stager. It is simply not a sustainable business model and will only hurt you in the long run. However, you may need to adjust it to reflect your market, or better yet, tweak how you structure your pricing.

For example, we found that clients objected more to the monthly fee, but never complained about the delivery. We overcame that by increasing the delivery fee while decreasing the monthly. The net effect was the same, but for some reason, it was more palatable to our clients.

The other obstacle may be your presentation. If you show up unprepared and looking like you just rolled out of bed, it may be killing your sales conversion rate.


Your personal appearance, business ethics, website, service, portfolio, logo - everything that represents you - are part of your branding. Your confidence and professionalism are key to overcoming all of the objections you encounter in your business.

Stay tuned for our next blog about overcoming objections to your staging recommendations.

Debbie Boggs, Co-Founder of Staging Studio and BY Design Home Staging, recently did a 1-hour webinar for the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) on objections. In this webinar, Debbie dives much deeper into this topic. It is free for RESA members and $50 for non-members. (Click here for the webinar.)

If you would like to learn more about how to get your clients on board with staging, educate your customers about the benefits of professional Home Staging. This customizable Lunch & Learn presentation will set you up as the Home Staging expert and get quality face time with Real Estate Agents! 

Host Lunch & Learns and use this marketing presentation to teach local real estate agents how to become the top producer in their market (by using your staging services as their secret ingredient— of course!)

If you are a Stager and want to learn more tips and staging strategies, our Staging Design Professional® course includes everything you need to be a BOSS Stager!

 customizable marketing presentation for home stagers

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