OK, I'm a born-again convert to staging!

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

When I'm working as a buyer broker, I try to help people look beyond great staging.  I've even written posts advising buyers to understand that when they walk into a well-staged house, they are more likely to wind up paying more because the property will be much more attractive to more buyers.   But when I'm the listing agent, I work very hard to convince the sellers that having their home professionally staged is really a wonderful idea.

Last week, I listed a renovated contemporary home in Crestwood, a wonderful neighborhood in DC.  It was an amazing place, with a huge, loft-like open room with vaulted ceilings, with combined space for cooking, eating and living.  And while it took my breath away the first time I saw it,  it was kind of difficult to wrap my arms around exactly how I would organize and use the space.

So my partner on this listing, Ed Schneider, contacted Red House Stagers.  Lyric Turner, owner and principal, met with us and the sellers to put together a plan and a proposal.  Several days later, her van pulled up by the front door, and within three hours the house was transformed and ready for it's photo shoot.

We were delighted with their finished product.  They did the upper level great room and master bedroom, and the lower level family room.  And especially in the great room, they made a great plan that works for living and entertaining.

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District of Columbia District of Columbia County Washington Crestwood
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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,069,173
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I think that stagging is a great tool.  The only thing one of my buyers commented on is that the photos were a lot nicer than the home... so one must be careful not to "over stage".  While it got her to see the home, it didn't result in an offer.

May 29, 2011 10:58 PM #1
Rainmaker
495,153
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

I'm a big fan of staging.  Most buyers lack the vision to see what can be done with the space and staging helps alleviate that problem.  Getting the seller to see the value in it is the challenge.

May 29, 2011 11:21 PM #2
Rainmaker
821,079
Paula McDonald
Chevaux Group, PLLC - The Woodlands, TX
CHEVAUX Group ~ The Woodlands, TX 936-203-0279

These are great pictures and yes, having something for people to be able to really see and envision themselves in is very helpful.

May 30, 2011 12:03 AM #3
Rainer
126,166
Brian Doubleday
Brian Doubleday - IML RealEstate - Orange County, CA Broker - Ladera Ranch, CA
Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo

I've become a big fan of staging on any level...even just adding a few touches of color or "life" to a house makes a big difference

May 30, 2011 01:17 AM #4
Rainmaker
667,577
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Hi Pat ~ Your listing looks great!  I'll bet your sellers were happy with the staging outcome too, because buyers will likely find this home very appealing and easy to live in.  I hope it sells quickly for you!

May 30, 2011 01:33 AM #5
Rainmaker
719,404
Jackie Connelly-Fornuff
Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY - Babylon, NY
"Moving at The Speed of YOU!"

Hi Pat, your new listing looks amazing! It's wonderful how staging can just transform a home. I hope you get it sold quickly!

May 30, 2011 08:06 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,869,391
Gabe Sanders
the BlueWater Realty team specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

It sure does look amazing Pat.  There's no way it that this can't help sell the home.  The big question is, does the cost justify the price?

May 30, 2011 08:34 AM #7
Ambassador
1,745,684
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate

That is money well spent! The place looks amazing Pat! I am sure it will be under contract quickly!

May 30, 2011 08:53 AM #8
Rainmaker
299,953
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

The transformation is incredible Pat! Lyric is the consummate staging professional and her work is fabulous. I'm so happy you have been "reborn" to staging! Best of luck with this listing!

May 30, 2011 09:59 AM #9
Rainmaker
420,595
Leslie Ebersole
Baird&Warner Fox Valley - Saint Charles, IL
REALTOR - Chicagonulls Western Suburbs

The home looks amazing, I hope your client is impressed. Professional photos of professionally staged rooms stand out amidst the clutter on the internet.

I was a little late to the staging bandwagon, but now I haven't listed a home in two years without professional staging. Craig Schiller is one of my favorite guys. He doesn't know yet that I'm calling him today with two more jobs that I signed listings for over the weekend.

May 30, 2011 10:22 AM #10
Rainer
253,132
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Your listing looks amazing and the staging shows off how to utilize these GREAT room with all the open space.  Without the staging I think it's so hard for potential buyers to determine how that might utilize all that "open space"....they all say they want but are challenged with out to use it.  So glad you found a great home stager!!!

May 30, 2011 11:14 AM #11
Rainmaker
436,552
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Looks like you have a great Stager here, in Lyric Turner.  The home looks fabulous.  It's great to define ambiguous areas for potential buyers, and hey, there's nothing wrong with putting on your "Sunday best" to sell your home.  Keep us posted on the sale!

May 30, 2011 11:58 AM #12
Rainmaker
326,712
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Good for all of you, Pat!  These open spaces can seem overwhelming if the different areas within are not well-defined, as Lyric has done.  Julie

May 30, 2011 01:28 PM #13
Rainmaker
238,471
Peggy Hughes
PHA/Peggy Hughes Associates - Professional Moving Organizer - San Francisco, CA
SF NYC LA

Lyric did a great job... let's hope you get offers quickly!

May 30, 2011 02:07 PM #14
Rainmaker
338,988
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Patricia, Thanks for helping spread the word with your fellow real estate agents on the value of home staging to transform a house into a home buyers can relate to and fall in love with.

I really like how Lyric used the space, didn't clutter it up with area rugs and struck that wonderful balance of open and inviting.

May 30, 2011 03:51 PM #15
Ambassador
850,738
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Pat, it certainly is a two-way street.  I don't like buyers to become enamored of a home simply because of the staging either.  But, when I am listing, I want them to feel "at home" and as if they are stepping into a Dwell photo spread.

Your stagers did a great job!  Best of luck.....although you probably won't need it!

May 30, 2011 04:32 PM #16
Ambassador
1,848,177
Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Pat

The place looks wonderful - you must be thrilled. I feel the same about the process - I want my sellers to reap the advantages, but counsel the buyers to beware. Same with touring model homes they fall in love with.

Jeff

May 30, 2011 08:30 PM #17
Rainer
66,311
Amy Bly
Great Impressions Home Staging/Interiors - Montville, NJ
Styling Homes for Selling and Staying

Nice to hear so many agents saying the positive things us stagers know to be true! #2, Leah, why don't you try telling sellers exactly what you said about buyers "lacking the vision to see what can be done with the space and that staging alleviates that problem"? Sounds pretty convincing to me! Gabe, the cost will justify the price IF the home is not over-priced! The two -- price and presentation -- always go hand-in-hand in this market. 

Jun 01, 2011 07:31 PM #18
Rainmaker
137,338
Beth Lester
Home Staging Designs of California - Torrance, CA
Home Staging & Interior Decorating

My husband is a big fan of "managing expectations," which I think also applies to house buying.  I admit that I get frustrated when I see some of the descriptions that realtors write up of the houses we stage.  Yes, they are vastly improved with the staging & the pictures look great; however, there is no mention that the kitchen & baths need serious updating, a modestly sized living room is described as "huge," or the house is genuinely old and hasn't been updated, etc, etc.  Don't buyers feel let down when the house looks great online and yet rather dumpy in person?  Would it be better to admit at least that "some minor updating will lead to instant equity-building?"

I'd love to hear agents take on this - just how honest should you be when writing up a listing?

Jun 02, 2011 07:31 AM #19
Ambassador
1,502,472
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Pat- this is a perfect example of how Staging can help  the seller and listing agent with the sale.  Large open rooms are great for the kind of living and entertaining most of us do, but we all need some assist in seeing just how to utilize the space. Good luck with the sale.

Jun 05, 2011 02:04 PM #20
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Patricia Kennedy

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