How Staging Can Eliminate Buyer Confusion

By Patti Stern, PJ & Co. Home Styling LLC

When I first met with a recent client, Stuart, he shared memories of raising his family, gatherings with friends, and 23 years in his beautiful 3,200-square-foot contemporary home.

The home offered tremendous open space and wonderful features, but for the past several years, key rooms in the home were converted to Stu’s home office suite. The living and dining room housed desks, chairs, and video editing equipment — an uninviting space for a young family seeking a place to call home and make their own memories.

Real estate professional Ellen Levada of Calcagni in Cheshire, Conn., recommended our staging services to make the home attractive to buyers, get it sold, and for top dollar. With a new home already purchased, Stu was motivated and understood the importance of staging to sell. After our initial meeting, he embraced our proposal to stage 14 rooms and showcase the open floor plan, square footage, and wonderful architectural details of the home.

Home staged by PJ & Co. Home Styling LLC / The open living room offers great windows, high ceilings, and hardwood floors but as an office suite was not going to engage buyers. To show buyers the space potential, stagers removed all of the office furniture and replaced it with appropriate furnishings including a couch, love seat, and tables. We also painted the walls a more modern, neutral color, and accessorized.

Buyers today want move-in condition homes with updated decor that can easily fit their lifestyle and furnishings. Fresh modern paint choices in several of the rooms and new carpeting provided a neutral canvas for furnishings and decor. Our team then transformed 14 rooms in the home in a single day to “wow” buyers and help establish an emotional connection to the space.

Professional listing photos captured the beauty of the home and in just a short 14 days on the market, guess what? The home sold and is now under contract!

Home staged by PJ & Co. Home Styling LLC / This home’s dining room was open to the living room and featured beautiful natural light but was another room being used as office space. We continued the updated paint color throughout this space and added an elegant dining room table, chairs and accessories.

Home staged by PJ & Co. Home Styling LLC / This spacious master bedroom looked small and uninviting. A warm neutral wall color showcases the rooms size and high ceilings. We replaced the existing bedding with more sophisticated decor in gold and taupe tones to create a modern retreat. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti Stern is a principal of PJ & Company Home Styling, LLC , and an interior decorator and accredited home stager. She and her team offer decorating and home staging services for individuals, real estate professionals, builders, and others in the industry. For more information visit or

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. mike harbert

    It’s always nice to use the camera shot for BOTH photos. Using enhanced lenses and perspectives has nothing to do with staging except as a deception. What do they do with all the discarded stuff ? ? Just dont open that garage door.

  2. The professional photos help make the scene look much better too.

  3. Lori

    Great article on understanding the importance of staging to sell,quickly and for more money. Professional photos make a difference as well!

    Style My Space
    Home Staging & Redesgn

  4. Mike, it is called a storage unit. You place unused items in it until you are ready to use them again. I don’t understand why you think it is deceptive to change the rooms back to their original purpose. I believe that putting your home in its best light is a good tlhing!

  5. Home staging is very helpful because it clearly shows to the prospective buyer what space inside the home is capable of being used for.

  6. Sellers must realize how badly needed staging is.

  7. We can also be creative in staging spaces still used by the owner.