Home Staging Stories From the Trenches: "Yes, we can work with your furniture!"

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Home Stager with Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging

I often get calls from Realtors who say, “I have a family who is actually going to be living in their home while it’s on the market. They would like to use their own furniture. Do you do that?” It always amazes me that they have to ask whether a full service Home Staging company would be willing to work with (gasp) someone’s OWN THINGS?! But I know why they have to ask.

There are some Stagers out there who refuse to work with anything but a completely blank slate. I once did a consultation for a guy who had a beautiful view home and completely workable furniture. His place just needed some updating and new accessories to make it appeal more to today’s buyers. He told me that the last Stager he interviewed told him she’d only take the job if he removed ALL of his own belongings and let her start from scratch…to the tune of over $30,000 in Staging fees! No wonder there are agents and homeowners out there who have yet to hire a Stager to help them prepare their home for sale!

Not only is it bad business to waste someone’s money on unnecessary furniture rental, but in my opinion it’s just plain lazy for a designer to say that they won’t work with a homeowner’s own pieces. Of course it’s easier (and more lucrative) for us to start from scratch because we can pick every last piece down to the art, rugs and plants and know that it will all coordinate beautifully. But if a homeowner has furniture that’s in decent shape and is properly scaled for his home, why would we ask them to get rid of it?

Though my company does lots of vacant home Stagings and model homes, I work all the time with families who are living in their homes while they’re on the market. For these clients, we start with a Consultation. We spend 2-3 hours on site determining what needs to be done in order to get the property sold quickly and for the best price. Recommendations might include de-cluttering, rearranging, reconfiguring or repurposing some of the furniture, updating paint or light fixtures, replacing worn or filthy carpets, and reaccessorizing. After our meeting, the seller receives a written Consultation Report, which gives them a room-by-room check list of what needs to be done. Often the seller takes this list and runs with it and we never hear from them again (until they call to let us know how happy they are that the property SOLD)! Sometimes, however, the client hires us to bring in the recommended accessories or additional furniture pieces that we’ve noted in the report, and to put the finishing touches on the Staging transformation.

As an example, we were recently brought in by a Realtor to do a Consultation on her client’s 4-bedroom home in Tarzana, California. The client had a gorgeous home with beautiful furniture, but she had seen some Staged properties on the market and knew that her home had a couple of trouble spots that needed to be addressed before it could compete with those Staged homes.


Click here to see photos of her trouble spots and how Stage to Sell turned them into selling points!

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Annie Pinsker-Brown | Stage to Sell
Owner & Principal Designer
310-384-1084
www.stagetosell.biz

"We get you to SOLD so you can get on with your life!"

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Stage to Sell is the premier West Los Angeles Home Staging Company.

Owner & Principal Designer Annie Pinsker-Brown is an ASP Home Stager, a member of IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals), an affiliate member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors and a member of the Culver City and West LA Chambers of Commerce.

Annie has Staged LA homes for Bravo's hit show "Million Dollar Listing" and TLC's "Property Ladder." She has also been featured in recent articles on Home Staging in Los Angeles Magazine, The New York Times , Costco Connection and Frontiers Magazine .

If you would like to see more of our Home Staging work, visit our website . There is an extensive gallery of before & after photos , as well as a list of our Staged properties currently on the market.

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  1. Karen Hubert 10/10/2009 03:57 AM
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Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
California Los Angeles County Tarzana
Groups:
Home Staging
LA Connection
Realtors®
Services for Real Estate Professionals
Southern California Real Estate Forum
Tags:
consultation
declutter
full service home staging
home stager
home staging los angeles
occupied home staging
realtor
tarzana
staging vacant homes

Comments 11 New Comment

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Rainer
54,317
Teresa Berry

Annie -  I like your style!! Great post that shows your passion: I clicked through to see the fabulous transformation you created in each room - Nicely Done!

October 10, 2009 12:07 PM
Rainer
70,066
Pangaea Interior Design Home Stager - Redesign - Model Homes
Portland Oregon

Holy moly! Only in LA could stagers get away with that attitude ... LMAO! Here in Portland, I don't know of any stagers who will not work with a client's own furnishings to the extent that it is in the client's best interests. You did a lovely job on those rooms. You can actually see the rooms now!

October 11, 2009 02:52 PM
Rainmaker
72,338
Annie Pinsker-Brown
Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager
Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging

Judy, thank you! I agree that Staging occupied homes is so much fun. It is truly rewarding!

Sharon, thanks so much! Yes I think that asking a client to remove all their personal belongings really is more interior design than staging. And as I said, I think it's a lazy approach.

Teresa, thanks! I do have passion for helping families get their homes sold in the most economical way possible. Glad that comes through in my post!

Pangaea, yes it's totally an LA attitude. However there are several great stagers in the LA area that work with what you have in the same way that I do. I don't want everyone to think LA is like they portray it on Million Dollar Listing. That focuses on Malibu and Beverly Hills. Most of us service the rest of Los Angeles which is not quite so extreme!

 

October 13, 2009 04:45 PM
Rainer
128,913
Deena Cottingham
Home Stager & Photographer
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography

You are preaching to the choir! I totally agree with you that it seems a little like a cop-out to only work from a blank slate as a stager. I think we can help more homeowners by being willing to tweak and enhance, too.

Thanks, Annie.

October 29, 2009 08:29 PM
Rainmaker
72,338
Annie Pinsker-Brown
Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager
Stage to Sell - LA Home Staging

Deena, it's our job to help a homeowner properly prepare his/her home for sale WITHOUT breaking the bank. So much can be done using what's already in a home - it's silly to ask someone to spend money when it's not necessary. Thanks for stopping by!

October 29, 2009 10:14 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
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Annie Pinsker-Brown

Stage to Sell, Los Angeles Home Stager
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