Let's me start by saying beware of home staging companies that fill your home to the max with furniture and decor.
Its a little-known fact that many home stagers fill your home up with as much items as they can they earn a little off each item you rent from them in addition to their hourly fee. I've seen houses over-staged (example is a table that was set and the stager used wine goblets and then placed a pine-cone in each glass). Pine cones. Really? When I saw this, I told my clients to look carefully at the house
When I stage homes, I do my very best to make the home functional for the homeowner. It doesn't have to be perfect. A overly staged home can set off buyers to examine the home's asking price and be ware of overpaying for your house. Touches here and there, decluttering, moving furniture around for better flow, and immaculate with fresh paint throughout is all that is needed.
A good home stager interprets the home's best features in order to enhance them and also knows how to correct the home's drawbacks which can include dark hallways, dated lighting and lack of kitchen counter-top space.
Should every room in a vacant home be staged? No. Buyers will know the home is vacant when they open the closets and kitchen cupboards. But staging the master bedroom is a good idea to show that a King-size or Queen-size bed will fit along with end tables. Staging a dining area with a table and chairs will prevent people from banging their head on the hanging light as they walk around. So be ware of a home stager that loads your home up - its not necessary - creates additional costs for you and can set off the buyer's red flags to look harder at the the price than a buyer normally would. Look for a talented home stager who takes the things you have and makes you look like you have great style and are an interesting, modern person. Buyers buy homes that reflect lifestyles they can identify with and staging should send this message. The key is not to hear "this house is beautifully staged" but more like "wow, they people are cool!". Sell the lifestyle - not the decor.