My policy has always been NOT to stage an occupied property with my furniture and accessories, but to use whatever the homeowner has.  What could go wrong you say?  Plenty.  When someone is living in the house, you can’t expect them not to use what is there.  Even if they promise to be careful, everyone’s house has a particular odor.  Sometimes the odor comes from what they cook–especially if it is an ethnic dish with lots of spices, garlic, or a burnt dinner.  Some people have pets that shed hair or lie on the furniture. Some people have guests that bring smoke odors in with their clothing.  Some people spill their drinks or leave ring marks on the tables.   You get the idea.

It is the Seller’s responsibility to keep the home clean while it’s being shown.  Luckily, if the property is priced right, an offer should be forthcoming relatively soon.  However, if there are dishes in the sink, the bed is unmade, or clothes are on the floor, buyers have a difficult time looking past the chaos.

Family Room

So, for all the reasons not to stage an occupied house, I went ahead and staged a few rooms  of an occupied house. Why?  I was referred to this agent by a neighbor and friend whom I did not want to disappoint; I was only going to stage three main-level rooms, and there was only one occupant with no children and no pets.

This is a typical family room I see often–lots of brown, over-sized furniture.  Everything is positioned toward the TV.  This was a more challenging room in that there are two large openings and the TV was anchored on the side wall.  Since this room would be constantly in use by the homeowner, I only brought in a shelf unit and added art and accessories.

I removed the two reddish brown chairs & ottomans into the vacant living room.  Luckily the homeowner had a set of glass & black end tables and a coffee table.  I added art and accessories.

Living Room

The living room was vacant.  The homeowner replaced the flooring and painted the walls a bluish/gray color.

I brought in an area rug, a sofa, lamps, art, and accessories.  I re-purposed the end tables and sofa table from the family room, along with the two reddish-brown chairs.


There wasn’t a kitchen table in the dinette area because they either used the counter-height stools or the formal dining room.

I removed the buffet and wall art. I placed the buffet in the family room and added a larger, colorful piece of art, along with a round table and chairs in the dinette.

Luckily, this agent knows that staged homes sell faster and for more money than un-staged homes. Buyers make a decision–whether good or bad–within the first 15 seconds!

While the market controls the price of homes, statistics show the best chance of getting an offer at or over your asking price is within the first two weeks. If a home remains active for 30-days or longer, the list price or offer price usually drops 5-10%.  On a $500K home, that could be $25,000-$50,000!  Remember, home staging is an investment, not an expense.

Contact Premiere Stagers & Realty for a consultation today!  608-345-9396