Are You Putting Lipstick on a Pig?

What is lipstick on a pig

Let’s examine how the term lipstick on a pig applies to home staging. I learned early on in our business the term “lipstick on a pig”. Essentially it means you’re trying to make something really pretty, but you’re actually just covering up a mess of flaws. Let’s talk about the full breadth of what home staging truly means.

Home Staging Preliminaries

As a home stager serving the Daytona Beach and Orlando North real estate markets, I get asked often how much it costs to bring in some updated furniture. As a professional who thoroughly enjoys home staging and showcasing properties, I’m going to ask a few questions first. What is the property address you want to stage, age of the home, square footage, etc.?

Sure, any home stager would be more than pleased to make a buck renting furnishings in any dwelling. Ask yourself the question though: Is the home stager’s best interest for the homeowner or their own wallet? I say this because home staging is more than just placing a few items haphazardly into a home and listing it on the market.

What is home staging?

Let’s first examine what home staging is: The act of preparing and showcasing residential property for sale. It is a systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate, home renovations and creative design principles are applied to attract a buyer. Preparing a property involves all or part of cleaning, decluttering, updating and repairing. Showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light. In other words, you bake the cake first and then you frost it.

First of all, I commend you for wanting to stage because that lets me know that you understand the value it brings in selling the home. As a professional home stager, though, I’m working for the homeowner and I want them to get the most value added to their product. If the homeowner is on a limited budget, I’m going to recommend the best way to spend their resources. And – it may not be through adding in current furnishings. In the home staging industry, if you skip the “preparation” phase and go straight to showcasing, we call this “lipstick on a pig.” Wikipedia defines this as “a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product.”

lipstick on a pig
It’s Still a Pig

Does Home Staging Add Value

If you’re a realtor reading this, please help your homeowners understand the value added vs. the price reductions they’ll suffer by not addressing the preparation phase of home staging. I would rather conduct an affordable home staging consultation than have a homeowner spend several thousand renting furniture to try and mask the real problem of dated cabinetry, flooring, carpet and paneling. Okay, so it’s not much money in my pocket but I know in my heart I’ve done the right thing for the homeowner. It’s called being ethical and fair.

1970s harvest gold kitchen
70s Harvest Gold Kitchen Limits the Pool of Potential Buyers

Return on Investment (ROI)

In the preparation phase of home staging, let’s discuss your return on investment. Home Gain’s Home Sale MaximizerTM Guide provides on page 4 the chart that follows. Let’s take a couple examples: Replacing or shampooing carpet provides a 295% return on your investment. Landscaping the front/back yard provides a 473% return. Home staging provides a 586% return. Click on the link for the document in its entirety, especially if you’re getting ready to list your home. This document contains valuable information that you need to know.

return on investment statistics
Home Improvement Return on Investment Chart

Thanks for dropping by and reading “Are You Putting Lipstick on a Pig?” brought to you by Foxy Interiors, serving homeowners in the Daytona Beach and Orlando North real estate markets.