I've heard people suggest home staging is actually a deceitful practice because it is meant to disguise real problems, but this is not the case. Home staging is about letting a home's best features shine through, not hiding serious problems that need to be addressed.
The entrance of this home says “fixer-upper” because of all the junk on the porch, overgrown hedge and peeling paint. But it's actually a sound property that just needs some care to change the first impression from “fixer upper” to “welcome home.”
However, there are instances where home staging is bought after as a band-aid solution for much larger issues.
With certain properties it makes more sense for the owners to invest in repairs before staging and “home staging with integrity” means that the stager will point this out.
When a home is a true fixer-upper and has a long list of structural issues and obvious defects, no amount of paint or new furniture will disguise the problems.
If you're asked to stage such a home, suggest that the owners fix what's wrong before having it stalled because any problems will be disclosed in the home inspection anyway.
There's a big difference between patching up cracked plaster and repainting after a leaky roof has been fixed, and doing the same to hide the fact that it's leaking.
The roof issues will be uncoovered in a home inspection so the home seller will be no further ahead, and may in fact watch their deal fall apart when it could have gone through had they addressed the issue in the first place.
As a stager, you should emphasize the need to fix the leak and why, and suggest once that's done that the wall be repaired and painted. You're of course taking the color, but that does not remove the responsibility of pointing out the steps that need to happen before any paint goes on the wall.
I once refused to stage a dilapidated house that had sat on the market for months without an offer. Instead of calling me, the vendor really should have called a contractor first.
I advised the client to either drop his price significantly and sell the home as a 'tear down' for land value, or to take it off the market during the summer, repair all the problems and then call me to stage it for the fall real estate market.
As a professional stager, you do not want your home staging business associated with problem properties masquerading in nice paint and furniture.
There are plenty of solid homes crying out for cosmetic changes that can make all the difference in a real estate sale. Let your talents as a home stager shine on these. Do not waste your time or reputation staging obvious tear downs, instead keep marketing your business and more clients will follow!