Cheryl Eisen, a home stager, part of a niche profession of 11th-hour decorators brought in to convert hypercritical house-hunters into smitten buyers, gently reminded the home owner/seller in an e-mail that “we’re not selling furniture or interior design; we’re selling the strong emotional reaction buyers get when they enter an apartment.”
Home stagers are usually called in by brokers but paid by sellers. And they are hired for purely financial reasons, so owners can sell apartments for more than they otherwise would have, or sell them more quickly. Often, they are called upon to make empty or brand-new apartments look tastefully lived-in…Yet stagers earn their pay not just for their design sense, but for their ability to navigate tricky emotional waters. They, not the brokers, are the ones who have to deliver the bad news that sellers’ real lives, as reflected in their design taste, just don’t cut it. They bring sellers face to face with all they meant to do but never got around to, from replacing that dowdy light fixture to finally getting a dining-room table that fits the space.
By Elissa Gootman, July 27, 2012, NYT