What a lot of home stagers don’t realize is that agents want different things in different real estate markets. For instance, in a “buyers market” which was 2007-2011 agents just want the property to sell and not sit on the market like their competitions. In today’s seller’s market, the savvy agent wants to get the best price (and sell quickly) but price is king. Why? Because the smart agent knows that if they can be the “high price” leader in their market, then people will give them their listing (instead of their competition).
I love this story told by Lori Murphy who was recently awarded a 2013 Best of Houzz award and nominated for the RESA Rising Star of the Year even though she essentially just completed her HSR training and started her business last year! At the end of the story, I give my three tips on what agents want right now…
He continued to tell me how he wants someone who will give the seller the “bad news” so that he doesn’t have to, because he wants to keep his relationship with the seller.
The stagers they’ve been using seemed to just want the seller to like them. He said, “I need someone who will explain to sellers “why” and help them understand it is important in preparing the house to sell. I’d rather postpone putting it on the market by 4 weeks, if when it is listed it’s ready . . . every thing’s done.”
As I sat there listening to him, (he went on for an hour . . . I’ll try not to), I realized something.
At first I shook my head agreeing with him and thinking to myself, “well, of course, that’s what we do” . . . and then it hit me . . . I was trained that way. But it became suddenly clear that because not every stager in Columbus, Ohio received their certification from the Home Staging Resource . . . . well, let’s just say the advantage I have became crystal clear.
Eventually it did make a little sense, and then a little more, and then came the first staging job . . . .and then it really came together! lol
Audra, I’m so glad I made the choice to sign up with HSR! And YOU . . . over the last year and a half, I have never felt that I was in this alone.
Cheers to all the talented home stager’s out there! Any more tips you would like to add to this post?
XOXO – Happy Staging!
Hope to hear from you!
There was a study published by the Wall Street Journal* claiming that “staging” has no effect on the home’s sale price based on the photo above…seriously?! The study had a group of people view virtually staged before-and-after photos and asked them whether they would pay more for the beige room (above) over the purple room (below). Each of the respondents said they would not pay more money for the beige virtually staged room over the purple room.
How can anyone take this study even remotely serious is a minor miracle. Here are the huge problems with this study:
I wasn’t going to even respond to this study since I didn’t want to bring attention to something so absurd but since there has been some chatter about it, let’s put this matter to rest once and for all.
Anyone with half a brain would look at that “after” photo and never in a million years call this a “staged” room!
(This home was staged by Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal in New York City)
Living Room After
Boy’s Room After
Girl’s Room After
By the way, I could have produced tons of other similar success stories and photos by the many amazingly talented home stagers across the country who have been maligned by this study. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when you improve upon a product, you get a better price.
XOXO – Happy Staging!
*By the way, the study was called: “The Impact of Staging Conditions on Residential Real Estate Demand” and the Wall Street Journal article was called: “Home Staging Effect? Not Much.“
What is it that you love to do and are passionate about? Chances are if you love it, you are truly gifted at it. Do you get goosebumps when you walk into a book store and head to the interior design section? Do you anxiously wait for your design magazines to come in the mail or get “geeked up” over organizing your closet? Do you notice every design detail when you walk into a friends house and then subconsciously rearrange the space in your mind? If you answered “yes” to any of these seemingly absurd questions then you definitely have what I call the “design sickness” and the good news is there’s never been a better time to explore the possibility of creating a business doing it. There is nothing more exciting then doing what you love and getting paid for it!
The most famous real estate agent of all time, Barbara Corcoran is speaking at our Staging Convention in a couple weeks, so it’s incredibly encouraging to see how our work over the years in educating the public on staging has Barbara as a huge supporter and advocate!
Here are just a few quotes from our members I thought was worth posting to encourage others that a new year, can mean so much to you…or it can pass you by.
I am happy to say I am very busy….I have two jobs going and another that I will continue after the first of the year…..I’m loving every minute… Thank you for checking in and thank you especially for providing me with the tools to make my dream happen. I will continue to read and re-read you course and continue to learn from you and my other fellow-ette stagers…
I’m very glad I decided to get my certification and go into the home staging field. I LOVE staging homes and it doesn’t seem like work at all. I also LOVE getting great results for people and seeing their homes sell quickly!
Before deciding to invest in a Home Staging training course I’d done quite an exhausting search to find the course that would best suit my needs, budget and one that would give me the tools I needed to buid my business and my confidence. I have found all of that and more with the Home Staging Resource. I do know a quite few stagers and they have all said they wished they had trained with HSR instead. All of the materials you need are included with HSR, where they had to pay extra for just about everything that HSR provides. So glad I made the decision to go with the Home Staging Resource!
One of the critical reasons to stage a vacant home is to give perspective to buyers. Empty rooms are lifeless question marks in buyer’s eyes, so merchandising the space becomes essential! Here are seven staging tips I think you will find extremely helpful in your next staging project…
Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal, a New York City based staging company was given one of the toughest vacant staging assignments I’ve ever seen, so I just had to share it. This 3-bedroom, 4,000 square foot loft in Tribeca was on the market three months without an acceptable offer.
The loft sold at FULL asking price 22 days after Donna staged it!
This was the loft space as you walked in the home and as you can see the large columns are distracting and overwhelming. The space appears dark, lifeless, cold and definitely not easily able to arrange furniture around!
Strategically using area rugs, Donna separated the large space into groupings. A central living and seating area between the columns draws the eye to the seating area and away from the columns.
Entryway/Living Room After
The large and well placed mirror brings the eye further into the room immediately while extending the more narrow space. Using a light palette, reflective surfaces and mirrors, the space appears more open, light and inviting.
Here is a view from another angle where you can see how open the space was and how difficult it would be to fit all the represented living spaces in this one great room.
Not only did she fit a living grouping but a dining area off the kitchen as well.
What do you do with a small, seemingly un-useful space off the living area when you’ve already established plenty of seating arrangements?
Separating the space with a bookcase, it becomes an office with a view!
Filled with large, empty space this loft needs properly scaled furnishings to first “fit” between the beams in the living/entry area and now larger pieces to match this large space below.
The cabinets are artfully arranged to add color and symmetry.
Since the buyer demographic for this space was a family, Donna incorporated that lifestyle in her merchandising by turning this cold Den space into a bright, kids play area.
Notice how the brick wall in the vacant space appears to be a detraction while once it’s staged becomes an asset.
“Artful staging can turn even negative architectural elements into positive assets!”
At this point you’ve probably noticed the amazing artwork that serves to elevate the space and give personality right? Well Donna cleverly partnered with an art gallery to complete her staging vision.
This bedroom is tricky because all you notice is the long, unsightly heater under the windows.
Second Bedroom Before
Using a highly textured area rug, soft textiles and amazing artwork the space becomes a girls dream bedroom!
Second Bedroom After – Girl
Third Bedroom Before
Third Bedroom After – Boy or Guest Room
Frankly, any kitchen unstaged with cleared countertops will look cold, sterile and bring the eye to the worst architectural feature (in this case the overhanging light on the island). The “cleared counter top” look is NOT a staged kitchen!
Color was essential to move away from the hospital feel and the contemporary barstools draw the eye away from our light fixture while providing the sleek, cool feel associated with this space.
Empty bedrooms add nothing to a buyers decision. They become quick “walk-on-bys”
Add the color, textiles and life…now the buyer lingers.
Another view of the master bedroom and incredible artwork!
Thank you Donna for sharing your talent! Staging is essential for buyers to really “see” the value in a home…otherwise the seller is leaving cash on the table.
Not all professional stagers are equal! Our HSR Certification training was the first and one of the only staging and redesign training programs that has been third-party, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association, so invest in the best!
Every year I go to the RESA Convention and every year I get ten times more done in my business the months following that inspirational event because it is so motivating! I really can’t say enough about this event, so I thought I’d bullet point some key reasons to attend (and use to convince your spouse the importance of you going!)
For past and present HSR Grads, I have a special video invite just for you…