Coffee with Cate: Stager

Welcome back to my Coffee with Cate series, where I have discussions with different types of people typically involved in the sale of a home! I recently sat down with Kara Woods to discuss the role of a stager in the sale of a home. Keep reading to learn more!

Introduce yourself and tell me about your background.

I am Kara Woods, owner of Stage to Move, a home staging and design firm that specializes in catering to the luxury market.  As one of the oldest staging companies in Connecticut, we have over 12 years of experience within the design industry. What initially began as a one-person operation has since flourished into a team of seven. In addition to my work at Stage to Move, I also share my expertise with others in the industry. Several times a year, I teach a course at the Academy of Home Staging in New York City helping to train new students in the staging and design industry.

Why is staging a home so important?

Home Staging is a powerful marketing tool that enhances a property's overall appeal, captures buyer interest, and accelerates the selling process. It encourages sellers to present their homes in the best possible light, leading to higher offers, quicker sales, and ultimately a successful real estate transaction. Thoughtful and well-arranged furniture, decor, and accessories highlight the property's best features, emphasizing its full potential. Staging also allows buyers to envision themselves living in the space, making it easier for them to imagine their future in the home. 

Can sellers continue to live in their house after it's staged?

Yes, absolutely! However, it's Important to have a balance between living in the staged home and maintaining its presentation. Sellers should aim to keep the property tidy, clutter-free, and organized to maintain the staged appeal while still enjoying the comfort of their home during the selling period. Most of our clients love the new home we create and although the process of change can be hard the ultimate result and payoff triumph.

Do you offer any other services besides staging at Stage to Move?

We offer 5 Unique services; we call ourselves the “One-stop shop!"

Our 5 services were designed to assist our clients every step of the way and to make sure our client is not emotionally drained or overwhelmed during the process. 

  1. Concierge - To help a client edit/downsize and dispose of their furniture and belongings. 
  2. Project Management - Helping to manage tradesmen (paint, floors, lighting, hardware, etc.) and to source materials (lighting, hardware, paint colors) to update and improve a home for market or move-in
  3. Home Staging -  From a small zhuzh to a complete transformation our homes are market ready.
  4. Turn-key rentals - for your clients who are renting or investing and need furniture and design assistance. We supply all they need right down to the face-towel and coffee cup
  5. Interior design - for clients who are moving and request help creating their dream home. 


What is the average ROI on staging?

Staging is a small investment that can deliver a positive return on investment. 75% of our sellers see an ROI of 5% to 15% over the asking price. According to the NAR, 20% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 and 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.

Does staging take a long time? Is it an invasive process?

Our large and skilled team of designers and logistics team enables us to stage a large home in just one day. However, it's important to note that there is a preparation process involved before the staging day. This process includes editing, decluttering, pre-packing, and moving certain items. We find that our staging results are most effective when homeowners can actively participate in this preparation process and ensure that the house is in order before the staging date. Our 5 services were designed to assist our clients every step of the way and to make sure our client is not emotionally drained or overwhelmed during the process. 

Do you have photos you can share of your favorite before/after?

Room 1:

Room 2:

Room 3:

Room 4:

Room 5:

Room 6:

Room 7:

For more information about staging, please don't hesitate to reach out to Kara Woods at [email protected] or find more information online at!

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