Home "Buyer Beware"

by Maureen McCabe on August 28, 2007

Breaking News.. well maybe not breaking news but recent news.Thursday, August 16, 2007 -Apparently, A Good Stager Is the Buyers’ Biggest Enemy And We May Cost You $5645.  On ActiveRain Cindy Lin wrote:

“You can truly find anything on the Internet. Today I found the report How to not get tricked by staging — and potentially save $5,645 when you buy your home (PDF; 1.23 MB) published by National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. ”

This little staging tip from Cindy Lin of Staged 4 more in San Francisco brought to the attention of the staging world and the larger real estate world the controversy for buyers and sellers.  Is staging an evil plot against buyers to make them like a house?

Most buyers are selling a home or condo too though aren’t they? Should a seller not put their best foot forward to get their home sold?

Is it hiding windows to put “designer” window coverings  on them.  If you buy the window coverings at Target is it OK?  Or do you have to buy the window coverings at Wal-Mart or K Mart to make it OK?  If you have designer window coverings or even something cool you found at Target should you take them down so now buyers will be deceived that your cool 1920′s home has cool 1920′s windows?

Cindy linked to the site with a report with some absurd claims that sellers whose homes are staged are trying to deceive buyers.

REALTOR® and stager (ASP) Julie Woodward-Trenker of Chicago wrote Staging Under Fire about the same NAEBA report.   Julie’s thoughtful posts last paragraph about this buyer beware says :

In conclusion, I would imagine there are plenty of other agents like myself whose biggest challenge does not lie in Buyers making offers with rose colored glasses on, but getting them past the small, insignificant items that they manage to turn into mountains out of fear.  Which by the way, is a much larger emotion behind buying decisions (or the lack of) than bliss.  I think these agents should be supportive of staging given their buyers will perceive value in the purchase than of a home that looks like a dump with a lofty price tag.

Want to buy a home?  I can keep you from overpaying for a home.  Your qualified home inspector can keep you from buying a home with a defect the seller is unaware of.  The seller’s property disclosure is going to tell you about latent defects the sellers know of.   My website says let me help you find your dream home but if you’d rather just look at the ugly houses we can do that too.

Previously on ColumbusBestBlog:

“Help My REALTOR® is holding me hostage!” – staging and home insurance

ColumbusBestBlog Welcomes David Tamny of Professional Property Inspection - home inspection

The best home inspector in Columbus Ohio – home inspection

I like home inspectors with small shoulders- home inspection

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1 cindy@staged4more August 28, 2007 at 07:33 pm


Thanks for the mention! I was pretty surprised myself to read people’s comments and how some who are non-stagers are angry about the tactics of NAEBA. It was great however to hear about other real estate professionals such as home inspectors & realtors agree that staging does work.


2 MaureenMcCabe August 29, 2007 at 10:15 am

No thank you Cindy for writing such an interesting article about staging. We do have NAEBA members in our market. They are respected members of our board of REALTORS® but they do take a different tack when it comes to consumerism. Sometimes rather humorous, often using fear of loss, so the rhetoric in the report did not surprise me.

We really are not a big “staged home” market I do not think. We have stagers, a lot of what I see is “do it yourself, with your own stuff” staging rather than stagers with an inventory of accesories and furnishings (because of our price range?) or maybe in the higher prices there are stagers doing things I am unaware of. Builders stage their models of course. I would love to be a fly on the wall when an EBA is talking to their clients about staging at the big production builder’s models here. No way I know of to be a fly on the wall though….

3 Rachel - Staged Makeovers September 10, 2007 at 08:04 pm

I’m upset by the NAEBA’s report also. I think the survey was STAGED considering the participants were only members of NAEBA… as in buyer agents who do not frequently use staging services. Perhaps a broader group of participants could have given more realistic results.

Any good stager (or professional business person) would not try to hide flaws, instead professional home stagers tell homeowners to fix the problem before even showing the home. Serious problems must be disclosed. Oh, I could go on and on about the flaws that I have uncovered in NAEBA’s report.

4 MaureenMcCabe September 11, 2007 at 01:13 am

Are you familiar with NAEBA? It’s not the fist time they’ve used sensationalism / negativity to get attemtion. Thanks for the comment.

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