Home Staging | What do Buyers Think?

July 15, 2020

As Home Stagers with a string of ‘Sold’ sign successes behind us, it’s easy for us to talk about the benefits of staging from a selling point of view. It’s attractive. It de-personalises. It pulls you in. It defines spaces. It sells.

But what do buyers think of it? …Do these points transfer over?

Keen to understand just how it assists in the buying process, we asked Auckland house-hunters and recent purchasers what their impressions are of staging and if it influenced their opinions and purchase at all.

Below are the results!


A staged home draws you in and sells the ‘dream’

  • Feedback shows that great staging makes a positive first impression on entering the house. When selling a home a buyers first impression is the ONLY impression.


Quality staging tailored to the home helps to highlight the its natural features like position of the sun etc. which all add to the ‘dream’.


First impressions are important so I know that if I walk into an open home, and note it has been staged, the positive impression that makes for me is going to last throughout my time there, and I’m sure some of the minor negative details will be overlooked by me as a result. I much prefer to visit a home that has been staged as it DOES work! As in I do feel more welcome, I do feel it’s liveable and is a more beautiful space. It definitely makes the house seem more attractive- especially because often it can give you some ideas on how you could organise the space if you were to purchase the home. Staging is great because it allows you to see the home for what it could be at its very best.


A staged home helps to depersonalise & understand space

  • Everyone interviewed talked of how seeing empty spaces made it difficult to work out what could fit in a space but also on the other end of the scale, how seeing people’s personal belongings in situ meant they couldn’t imagine the place as their own.


Staging is a wonderful tool for showing the size and scale of a room, while detaching and de-personalising from the current owners.


“I’ve only been to one empty home before and I struggled to get a feeling for whether it was a large space, or whether that was a trick of the eye because it was empty. It was a bit unsettling too to walk through empty rooms.” “When you go into an ‘average’ house and you see yucky furniture or mess from the people living there it doesn’t feel like it could be yours. The same for when it’s just empty - sometimes it’s hard to imagine how everything would look or operate.” “If the space is really small or an unusual shape then furniture is really good to see” “No styling in an older / dated house with older or dated furniture can make a place feel kinda stuck and depressing, and you can feel a bit limited in what you might do to it to make it yours. The same goes for if there’s too much of ‘them’ and their stuff everywhere - School stuff and kids stuff and kids art and lots of personal photos... no thank you! It feels creepy and like I'm snooping, rather than like I'm looking at buying your house.” “Whether the room fits a queen bed and a set of drawers or a chair in the corner etc. will help me get a feel for the size of the room. That is a far better indicator of size than reading how many metres a wall is.” “It just instantly attracts me to it more than a house that isn’t staged / or is messy and lived in.” “I definitely prefer to see staged properties. I hate empty properties as I have no concept of space and wouldn’t know if I’m standing in a big or small room. Furniture shows you how you can use the space - can I get a queen sized bed in or will only a single fit? If I get a queen in will it be squished or can I walk around it? Spaces can look small if there’s nothing in the room.” “Empty homes do not show the property to their full potential and looking into empty space it is hard to figure out what would fit or look good.”


Staging gives the impression of quality / that the home has been cared for

  • A really interesting perspective here! One especially interesting if you take into consideration older / more ‘worn’ homes.


Having the impression of quality and care goes hand-in-hand with a higher perceived value and could therefore bump up the price someone is willing to pay for your property.


“I definitely think staging makes the property seem more valuable.” “Seeing staging makes me think they care about the property and are not cutting corners if they’re spending extra to make sure it’s staged effectively. It gives the impression of quality.” It gives an impression of quality / higher value for sure. Humans are visual creatures.



People can tell the difference between cheap and quality staging… and the bad stuff makes them MAD

  • So many people talked of the differences they could tell between the different ways properties are staged. It really surprised us to see how much attention is paid to the details and just how much of a difference it made to peoples overall opinion of a property.


Budget / lower quality staging certainly seems to leave a bitter taste and instigates a negative view of the property overall. Invest in a good quality staging company that knows what they are doing in order to not under or over-style for your target market.




“If done well and the overall colour palette is really cohesive and feels like it is telling the same story as the home and its surroundings…then overall the home will feel more “whole” and intentional and welcoming, and I know that creates a great impression on me.“I hate when they try desperately to convince you the third bedroom could be a double, but you can't actually close the door and your head would hit the shelf getting in and out of bed. That actually just highlights how small the room is and is an emotive turn off to the whole place- Like there’s no respect for my intelligence and what I can clearly see before me.” “Good styling can definitely help you see how big a space is and see how you might be able to use it, even as a suggestion. It can also help you see how a dated place could be modernised or be made to feel a bit more fresh with some of the right pieces. Nasty styling can be where everything is suddenly bright and unnecessary. There's a bright red (or lime green or bright turquoise) throw here. Some cushions in the same colour. A cookbook stand and weird sculpture or word art in the kitchen in the same colour… then again on the beds… and the hand towels. Blurghhhhh. That's when it feels artificial and styled.”

Tel: +64 21 823 743 julie@sojodesign.co.nz