How to Earn Ds and Fs: Let a Professional Stager Tutor You!

Home Stager with Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes

Listing a house:  It's like sending a child off to school.  You hope they've received the right preparation and developed excellent study habits so they will earn straight A+s, go to an Ivy League School, and successfully pursue the career of their dreams.  If they need help along the way, you'd get them a tutor, wouldn't you?

Classic Family Room

You're so proud of your new listing.  You've given the Sellers checklists of things they need to do:  repaint the kids' bedrooms; power wash the deck; farm out the pets.  You're now ready for the MLS photos because the house is clean and neat as a pin, right?

What kind of grades did the house earn?  You're thinking "Well, gee, the Sellers worked hard and accomplished a lot of the things I told them to do.  So I'll give them As and Bs."  It would be far better if you'd hired a professional  Stager to earn Ds and Fs!  Here's why:


The report card for a successfully Staged house should have all Ds and Fs:

D = Declutter:  Clutter is in the eye of the beholder.  It takes an objective eye to identify and remove it.  Is the grouping of twenty-three family photos still on the family room wall?  Pack them up and fill the space with one large piece of neutral art.

D = Deep Clean:  Most homes are clean (except mine - but it's not on the market!), but once a home is on the market it must remain spotless.  Moreover, here "clean" means like new:  the grout, fixtures, appliances must all look NEW.  Also, be careful of unique cooking smells that can linger for days!

F = Function:  Is it a dining room or a playroom?  Don't confuse the buyer.  Each space must have a clearly defined function, usually the one it was originally designed for.  Hint:  Got a three bedroom house?  Better show it as that, not a two bedroom and home office.

F = Flow:  Does the layout of the furniture enable a natural and easy traffic flow through the house?  You don't want potential buyers ending up at dead ends, backtracking or feeling crowded.  You want the house to feel as expansive as possible.  A Stager can provide the optimal layout.

F = Flavor:  It's not about decorating.  It's about presenting the house's features in the best light possible for potential target buyers.  So even though those valances are clean and neat, get rid of them.  They're outdated and block the light and architectural trim!  Install some updated neutral drapery panels to give the room height and let in the light!

Family Room Redux

A professional Stager will tutor the house and Sellers towards the desired goal:  a quick and successful sale!

 Happy Staging!  Julie


Re-Bloggged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Trisha Pennington 12/16/2009 02:20 PM
  2. Donald Bradbury 12/16/2009 02:38 PM
  3. Beverly Carlson 12/16/2009 02:39 PM
  4. Linda Jandura 12/16/2009 06:47 PM
  5. Marian Pierre-Louis 12/16/2009 10:13 PM
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Michael Bergin
Northern Virginia Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES

Julia - If a sale resulted I would be thrilled to get D's and F's.  Thanks for some very pointed tips on how to get the most out of staging.


December 16, 2009 08:55 PM
Ella Glover
Lubbock Homes
Perfect for me! Thanks I need that.
December 16, 2009 09:38 PM
Eastside Real Estate Blogger 425-200-4093
Keller Williams Realty - Bellevue

Great list with the Grade twist.  I cannot express how much needs to be done to encourage sellers to De-clutter.

December 16, 2009 11:04 PM
Lori Kim Polk
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services
You get an "A " for this post. Very creative and to the point!
December 16, 2009 11:37 PM
Liz Donaghy
Prudential Fox & Roach-Margate, New Jersey

One of my favorite session from the Atlantic City Triple Play Realtor Convention was the class on staging.  What I liked about that class, and now echoed in your post is how to language "staging" so a client understands it is in their best interest to do so, and that it is part of the strategic marketing plan.  Another key distinction I appreciated in your post that we do not have to be talking about carting out everything a seller owns and replacing it with a stagers "inventory"'s more about how to position the home so it shows at its best, and I love the phrase "tutoring the house"!  Thanks for your post.

December 17, 2009 06:33 AM
Brian Madigan
LL.B., Broker
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)
Julia, This is good advice. Anytime I have used a professional stager, I think it's paid off in dividends. I'm sure that the properties sell sooner. But, that could simply be the seller's motivation, because the seller who will have a house staged, usually has a better price and is more flexible in negotiations. Brian
December 17, 2009 07:38 AM
Mary Strang
Real Estate
Now this is a Really a cute post, I expected just the opposite when I saw the title!
December 17, 2009 09:08 AM
Kristi DeFazio
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468
RE/MAX Advantage
Super cute post! I will go for the D's and F's next time. I agree about having the home spotless! I wish every seller would understand this one.
December 17, 2009 10:12 AM
Amy Law
Alliance Properties
Thank you for this post. I have a house listed that is gettting lots of hits online, but no showings. It's the clutter in the photos. I have finially talked the family into packing up some things and having a re-shoot. It's a great house. It is clean. (they have a maid!!!), but they have small children with toys... I think when we restage and reshoot we will get it sold.
December 17, 2009 10:49 AM
Peggy Chirico
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate
Prudential CT Realty
I love the before and after pictures - what a difference. Thanks too for the suggestions - very helpful.
December 17, 2009 12:13 PM
Ginger Foust
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging
Certified Staging Professional
Julia, an A+ post. When I saw your title I just couldn't imagine where you were going but, well done!
December 17, 2009 12:13 PM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging

A++ post!!  I love it and your title is a real winner. You are so clever! So happy to see you back on here.

December 17, 2009 06:02 PM
Shirin Sarikhani
Seattle Staged To Sell

A wonderful and informative post. Love the pictures too.

December 17, 2009 09:08 PM
Birgit Anich
Connecticut Home Stager - Fairfield County, Westchester
Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, 203.807.4040
Julia, glad to see you back here with posts. Great post! Very smartly written!
December 17, 2009 10:32 PM
John Crosby
Real Property, Inc.
Julie, I love your alphabet soup! It's a terrific and simple way to convince a seller to use the expertise of a stager! BRAVO!
December 17, 2009 10:36 PM
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging
What a great twist! Very clever post--and so true!!
December 18, 2009 11:27 AM
Cindy Bryant
"Houston Home Staging Pro's"
Redesign Etc. Home Staging
Cute post, maybe we need to reformat our consulations and give sellers report cards!!
December 19, 2009 11:52 PM
Kathy Alexander
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign

Julie - very clever and well-written post. Those who refuse to work on their D's and F's will end up with an Incomplete!

December 20, 2009 12:17 AM
Virginia Tatseos

You said it better than any one else.

Let's hope the sellers and realtor hear you

December 20, 2009 08:17 AM
Betty & John Knowles
REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Vanguard -

Julie, Great post.  Incorporated it with right pricing and you will have a sell!  Merry Christmas from Team Knowles

December 22, 2009 08:13 PM
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Julia Maher

Connecticut Home Stager
How Can Staging Benefit You?
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