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DC is Crazy For Staged Real Estate: But Have We Gone Too Far?

WSJ's House Talk blog is pondering one of the pressing issues of our time: should you let a realtor pressure you into the cost of having a home staged to sell? Which is to say, hide the toaster, the crockpot the dish drain and the whimsical giraffe-print shower curtain. Your personality shall be extracted for the value of the home.

According to our concerned home owner, "staging really isn't something you can avoid, at least if you live in a major metropolitan area." If you try to fight the redaction of your personal taste, the agent will fight back with a number! That being 73%. It is legend that staged homes sell 73% faster than those that aren't. And what sort of skills are going into making that happen? Virtually none? Scandal. The article points out that most stagers are "former real-estate agents or moonlighting home organizers who may or may not have had any formal training or certifications." Case in point, the decor dispute described between four different stagers:

One loved the flowered curtains in my kitchen and the giraffe-print shower curtain in the master bath but said my palm-tree bathroom wallpaper had to go. Another nixed both the kitchen curtain and the animal-print shower curtain, but said she liked the palm-tree wallpaper. A third complimented me on my "airy" cream-colored living-room furniture; a fourth denigrated it as being too light for today's Pottery Barn tastes.
The inhumanity. As it turns out, the one thing a group of stagers can agree on is that red apples are for suckers. The expert advice is to set out a bowl of green apples on the kitchen counter.
· How Much Staging Is Too Much? [WSJ]