Dear Joan,  I have been interviewing Realtors to list my home.  I really liked the third one and she seemed talented and aggressive enough to get the job done, but I have one reservation.  She started talking about “staging”  and having someone come into my home and tell me what I needed to change to make it look better.  Frankly, I was a little offended because I think my house looks great and I get complements from my husband and guests all the time about how well I keep my house looking.  the Realtor gave me some arguments on why I should do it, but I still am not sure.  Any insight from you and all your years of experience selling homes in this Valley?

Dear Offended, you are not the first or the last client to get offended over the prospect of having a stager give you advice about how your own home should look.  I am not sure what your Realtor said,  but we tell clients that it is not necessarily to make your home look “better” but it is done to make your home appeal to more people, as we don’t know what the next Buyer will like.  We all make our homes appeal to our own tastes, but we do not remember that everyone does not like what we like.  The statistics show that staged homes sell faster and for more money, and I can personally attest to that.  I am not sure how your Realtor handles the staging process, so I think you should ask her so that you will be mentally prepared.  Our Team has varying degrees of staging we offer, and we pay for a written list, room by room, of suggestions on how to make your property appeal to more Buyers.  Some times we offer the stagers services, at an expense to you, to physically make the changes that are suggested, including buying a few things (or a lot, if you want to spend the money!).  Usually the goal is to not have the suggestions cost the client money, but rather give suggestions such as, declutter all counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, remove as many objects as possible off the floor to make the rooms look more spacious, thoroughly clean the home and especially the windows, do paint or trim touch ups at the front door and remove any and all Christmas lights inside and out.  Those are just a few things that do not cost money, but can make a big difference.  Sometimes the stager will suggest you buy a few brightly colored towels, throw pillows or a rug or two, and that can have a wonderful affect on the feel of the room when you walk in.  Have this discussion with the Realtor you have chosen and you will feel a lot more comfortable knowing what to expect.  And then concentrate on selling faster and  getting more money for your home and I think your discomfort will disappear and you will enjoy the process!  Best of luck!