Staging Your Home for Young Buyers Is Apparently a Controversial Subject!

Educating my clients about the audience they will be marketing to is one of the most important things I do as a Home Stager.  When you put your home on the market to sell, you should know that the next owner will likely be younger than you are.  That’s why you should stop thinking about what you like or want in a home and start thinking about what your most likely buyer will want.  In my most recent Houzz article, this is exactly what I address.  And it seems like I touched on a nerve with many who don’t agree with my advice!
contemporary living room by Found Design

Surprisingly, Home Staging is something that many homeowners are passionately opposed to.  I experienced this about 2 years ago when one of my blogposts was featured on the infamous Ugly House Photos – one dude was so very offended about what I said in the post that you would have thought I was standing in his home and personally criticizing him.  If you want to  see what everyone’s so up in arms about, click here to read my article on  And if you have some time to spare, do yourself a favor a spend some time on Ugly House Photos.  Believe me, it’s jaw-dropping fun over there.

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23 thoughts on “Staging Your Home for Young Buyers Is Apparently a Controversial Subject!

  1. Andrea Brooks says:

    Wow Kristie, this is awesome!! You should be proud that you were able to get such a great debate going! And going…and going…..and going……Houzz better be doing a happy dance with all of the attention it’s getting. Well done!!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      In most cases, the garden tub is right next to the shower – the idea is to make a huge walk-in shower, maybe with dual showerheads and a ledge for sitting and shaving legs – so you’d likely take up that whole space. If you don’t, you would have some space left-over for shelving or such for storage and display.

  2. Donna McBroom-Theriot says:

    I love your blog and your advice. I checked out the horrible house site you mentioned. I had to close the tab. It hurt my eyes! lol

  3. Susanne says:

    The house I live in, with my beloved boyfriend, could easily win the UGLY HOUSE contest. I haven’t peeked at the photos yet, but if I were a betting person, I would probably come out a winner…lol. When I mentioned to my beloved that his house would be listed in the real estate section as a “fixer upper” with potential, he was really insulted. Some people just have no clue…hello, reality check…lol. We’ll keep this our little secret…

  4. Samantha says:

    That was a really interesting article. I can’t believe all the emotions flying around about it though. I’m in my early 20’s and thought it was interesting to read about the trends that my age group seems to like. Personally, my boyfriend and I hate stainless and granite. We are renting a condo that has both, and I don’t like it. But I can live with it. I would just hate to be looking for a house, and then end up loving one, but it had already had the kitchen redone that way. I just wouldn’t want to pay for that upgrade. However, I love white cabinets and grey walls!

  5. Susanne says:

    I’m back and yes indeedie, although not cluttered as some and no pets, the current furnishings and kitchen would be found on the Ugly House site. I promise I will not give up the battle, with him, until I win the re-decoration war. That’s where re-employment and you come in, Kristie. Okay, I also have to buy a new (used) car next week. Pros and cons on that. Darn payments will cut into re-deco fund. I will prevail.

  6. Trey Bland says:

    As you know, we had a battle to convince someone (not me) to unclutter and update some things to sell our house 2 years ago. You were right on target with painting a few of the walls a lighter color to make the rooms seem larger, as well get rid of some of the “lived in” clutter to allow prospects get an idea on what their posessions would look like in the same space. We sold the house very quickly because we listened to my favorite expert. I always like reading your posts because it allows people to get new ideas. Those that have disagreed with this article have still thought about changes to their space. So I agree with Andrea, you got people to think. Isn’t that what you creative types want the rest of us to do, see endless possibilities?? Keep the blogposts coming!!

  7. Kelley says:

    I just read some of the comments on your article, and I wonder why people seem to be taking this topic so personally. Maybe they feel that you’re saying that if they sold their house without doing these things then they were WRONG. Or, if they did successfully sell a house without following your advice, then YOU must be wrong and therefore your whole article is FALSE!

    People on the internet love to get upset about things. I thought your article had good tips and I’ve learned a lot from your blog, so keep up the good work!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Hey, thanks for the encouragement, Kelley. The most difficult part of home staging for me is when the client isn’t ready to emotionally separate from their “home” and market it like a “house.” A lot of those commenting sounded like that – they were taking my generalizations about what sells (I have proof that it does) as a personal attack of how they like to decorate their own home. My next article for Houzz is about the difference between decorating and staging, which I wrote before this one came out. I hope those agitated by this article read that one, because they obviously don’t understand the difference!

      • Kelley says:

        “A lot of those commenting sounded like that – they were taking my generalizations about what sells (I have proof that it does) as a personal attack of how they like to decorate their own home.”

        Yeah, you nailed it on the head there. I look forward to reading your next article!

  8. Edith says:


    I liked your article a lot because it makes so much sense. Every house I’ve ever bought was from people older than me and very outdated. There was the avocado green & harvest gold house, the brown $ rust house, the mauve & dusty blue house and then the one in hunter green & pink. One for every decade. I had fun updating and revamping them up but I know not everyone is like me. “Outdated” can sneak up on you real quick whether its reflected in your wardrobe, your haircut, or your home’s interior. I will follow your advice because it’s right on!

  9. Maggie says:


    I enjoyed your article –but was very surprised at some of the comments (as I’m sure you were).

    I think the best comment was that most of the people that are reading Houzz are very interested in design/decorating and would rather get a house that we can put our mark on.

    But that is not the average buyer–and especially not the average young buyer.

    I really enjoy your blog and the articles on Houzz

  10. Monique says:


    Great article! I have a friend whose house sat on the market for a few months. The one thing she did to sell her house, which was only five years old, was to add new granite countertops AND get a new realtor who was wise enough to make a few suggestions on furniture arrangements and such. Less than a month later the house sold.

    Sometimes a good realtor is all you need to sell your house. Unfortunately, not all realtors are alike. Some want to sell your house; other realtors hope the right person stumbles upon your MLS. Also, it’s very difficult to please everyone and so you definitely have to know your market as well.

    Personally, when we were looking at houses, I tried to ignore the way the rooms were decorated, paint color, etc. We wanted to know that the house had good bones, in a good neighborhood and even chatted with neighbors before buying. We avoided buying one home because the neighbors seemed to be a bit too nosey and knew a tad too much about the coming and goings of the people on their block. Kind of creepy!

    I wonder if you’d consider on occasion to post how long it took for some of the homes you staged to sell. Post before and after pics too. Your record would show the naysayers that you know what you are talking about.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Monique! I actually proposed to Houzz that I show befores/afters and talk about those successes, but that doesn’t work for their structure and they felt it would highlight me too much. Phooey.

      • Monique says:

        Interesting comment from Houzz. So if you are really good at staging and want to prove it, it’s a no go. Maybe highlighting you would raise the bar at Houzz??? 🙂

        Well, maybe you can do some of the before/afters and successes on this blog. And also include the not as successful and include reasoning. I’m guessing that sometimes staging doesn’t work and when it doesn’t there are other factors involved.

        Thanks! Love your blog!

  11. Home Staging Minnesota says:

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