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Ask a Stager: How can good staging combined with professional photography transform your listing?

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Welcome to Ask A Stager, your regular staging advice column designed exclusively for real estate professionals. Whether you’re grappling with how to enhance the visual appeal of your listings or seeking innovative strategies to captivate your target audience, you’ve come to the right place. Ask A Stager offers you the opportunity to pose any and all staging-related questions and receive expert advice, for free.

No query is too big or small — if it’s about elevating the look of your real estate, we want to hear it and we want to help! Email your questions to


In today’s competitive real estate market, creating a memorable first impression is crucial for attracting potential buyers. With the majority of homebuyers starting their search online, the importance of tying good staging with good photography cannot be overstated. Well-staged homes paired with high-quality photographs not only capture attention but also highlight the property’s best features, creating an emotional connection with prospective buyers right from the start. 

Here’s why this combination is essential to helping your listing stand out online.


Why good staging and photography matter


First impressions count


The first impression a buyer has of a property often comes from online listings. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 89 per cent of homebuyers say that photos are quite important in their home search. Well-staged homes photographed professionally can create an inviting atmosphere that encourages buyers to schedule a viewing.


Showcasing potential


The combination of good staging and good photography highlights a property’s potential, showing buyers how they can utilize spaces effectively, especially for awkwardly laid-out spaces. This helps buyers see how to best lay out furniture and allows them to envision their own lives in the home, which can be a significant factor in their purchasing decision.


Standing out


In a sea of online listings, high-quality photos of well-staged homes stand out. They can make the difference between a listing that gets clicked on and one that is overlooked. Eye-catching images are more likely to be shared on social media, increasing exposure.


Creating emotional connection


Good staging combined with professional photography can evoke positive emotions about the property. A beautifully staged and photographed home can create a sense of warmth, comfort and desire, helping buyers emotionally connect to the home and resulting in a higher likelihood that they’d want to see more of it in person.

Source: Nat Kay


What you gain from good staging and photography


Faster sales


Homes that are well-staged and beautifully photographed tend to sell faster. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes sell faster compared to their unstaged counterparts.


Higher selling price


Well-presented homes often sell for more money. NAR reports that 20 per cent of sellers’ agents believe staging increases the dollar value buyers are willing to offer by one to five per cent, compared to similar homes that aren’t staged.


Enhanced perception


Professional photos highlight the best features of a home, making it appear more attractive and valuable. This can lead to a more favourable perception of the property, reducing the likelihood of lowball offers.


Common pitfalls in staging and photography


Clutter and personal items


Avoid leaving personal items and clutter in the home. This can distract buyers and make it difficult for them to envision themselves in the space. A clean, decluttered home is essential for good staging and photography. It’s not the photographer’s responsibility to remove the clutter. Ensure the home is free of unsightly items on countertops and floors. A magazine-worthy photo will garner more attention.


Poor lighting


Poor lighting can make even the most well-staged home look dull and unattractive. Ensure that rooms are well-lit with natural and artificial light to create a bright and welcoming atmosphere. Strategically place table lamps and floor lamps to add more lighting to darker spaces. 


Low-quality photos


Avoid using low-resolution or poorly composed photos. Blurry, dark, overly saturated, over-exposed or unflattering images can turn buyers away. Invest in professional photography with natural lighting to ensure the home is presented in the best possible light.


How to make your listing shine


Hire professionals


Engage professional stagers and photographers. Their expertise can transform a property and capture it in its best light, making the listing more appealing and professional. Don’t invest in staging and then photograph with your phone — the difference is significant no matter how good the phone may be.


Highlight key features


Use staging and photography to highlight the home’s unique features. Whether it’s a beautiful kitchen, a spacious backyard or a cozy fireplace, make sure these elements stand out. While most real estate photos are taken with a wide-angle lens to make the rooms look larger, it’s also important to take some close-up views of key features of the home.


Don’t replace with virtual staging


While a virtual staging 2-in-1 option is a more cost-effective alternative, it’s not a replacement for good staging. Good staging combined with good photography promises buyers what they see online is what they will see in person. Even with improvements in AI technology, buyers will be left disappointed when they visit the property in person and it does not match what they see online. 


Tying good staging with good photography is a powerful strategy for real estate agents looking to sell homes quickly and at the best price. By creating a visually appealing and emotionally engaging online presence, you can attract more buyers and stand out in a competitive market.

Remember to avoid common pitfalls, use high-quality photos to highlight the property’s best features and leverage professional expertise to ensure your listings shine both on and offline.


Got home staging questions for a future column? Submit them to


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