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Do I really need to stage my house in order to sell it for the highest price?
Maybe. The staging trend really got going when McMansions became so prevalent and for those big houses staging is probably a good idea. The whole purpose of staging is to send one subtle clue after another that this house is a completely liveable home so that people checking it out think they would fit into it perfectly. So for huge houses that seem more like a warehouse staging is probably worth the investment so the rooms don’t seem so huge and impersonal.
Staging can also be a good idea for houses at the other end of the size spectrum, such as really small spaces that can feel cramped when a bunch of people are wandering around during an open house. If you set up a desk in the corner of the bedroom that will show people that the room is big enough for a bed and office space, for example. If they just see an empty room they might think the place isn’t big enough for them. So the simple answer is to your question is: staging is useful some of the time.