Home Staging and Realtor's Opinions

By
Real Estate Services with James Frazier Personal Development Coach

I was reviewing some past blogs on Active Rain. They, are, admittedly, from the ancient past as blogging goes (Dec 7, 2006) when I read one of Sheron Cardin's fine postings titled Could Realtors who have heard of HOME STAGING please raise your hands!  and it started me thinking again....I know, I know that can be a problem but it is so cold here today (0'F) that I had to do something to warm up.

Anyway, what I would like is to hear from Realtors about their fears and objections concerning professional staging. I know there are many Realtors out there who have no objections to staging but it is the objections that I can learn from the most. Now perhaps many Realtors are too busy to share this, or do not want to get into debates with stagers, or, perhaps, have not examined their own feelings about it. I am asking for your honest objections- not to engage in a debate. I really want to hear from the Realtors side of the street. Sometimes I feel like we are preaching to the choir, so to speak, and so I would truly like to learn from Realtors what their thoughts, opinions, and objections are. This information would, no doubt, help our profession.

I doubt that there is a realtor in the country who, given a choice between showing a home that is average and one that is staged, would choose the former. I also doubt that many Realtors would object to the whole idea of proper home preparation. So, to many of us stagers, it would seem like a no brain deal. If their listing were improved by staging, we reason. "Why don't they all use a professional stager?" There must be reasons and if we could hear them perhaps we could improve what we are doing.

Sometimes it is, of course, not the Realtor who objects to the idea of staging but the seller. I just had a call with a Realtor who was initially excited about having me give an estimate for a listing she had. She just now  informed me that the seller did not want the estimate due to "having a bad experience with a home stager in the past." Now I suspect that this was not the actual reason that the seller declined the estimate due to the fact that staging is relatively new to this part of the world and unless she is selling a home that she bought less than 4 or 5  years ago it is unlikely she would have had a professional stager here but none the less it was the seller rather than the Realtor who objected to even a free estimate. Perhaps she had a fear of what we might tell her. Who knows?

Realtors we do want to hear those objections. It will help you examine you feelings about staging, help us to hear the resistance to our profession and perhaps stimulate ideas that will help us both overcome obstacles to what should be a win-win-win situation between Realtors, Home sellers, and Professional Stagers.
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Tags:
home staging
real estate
realtors
home enhancement
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Anonymous #13
Anonymous
Pamela Parker

Makes perfect sense. I think the realtors are confused by the verbage.   That's why I don't call my initial visits consultations anymore.  I call them "Home Assessments".  So basically, what I think I hear you saying is that if you are paid to do a consultation for a do-it-yourselfer you go ahead and "bid" for the job (in case they change their mind).  But, if they want you to come out to give them an estimate (for you to do the job), you are very careful not to give them any free information at all, but assess the property enough to provide a written estimate.  Does that take you very long.  Do you give yourself a time limit, knowing you are doing it for free?  Just curious.

Pam

January 26, 2007 12:54 AM
Rainer
1,857
susan cunningham
JPA

Hello all!

First-timer here.  Just discovered this site yesterday and I have really enjoyed reading the threads!  I am both a real estate agent and home stager.  I got into the real estate industry to work my way into home staging.  I really wanted to understand how the RE industry works, including the mindset of the buyers/sellers.  

I am fairly new in both industries.  I haven't even gotten accredited for staging yet!  (That's another subject I need to look into, because I do want the formal education.)  

Anyway, back to the subject at hand - I just finished staging a home that another realtor hired me to do.  When she first contacted me, she said her client has a "whatever it takes" to sell the property attitude.  Well, my first mistake is not to have had this clearly defined.  The agent, who almost always has $1M+ clients, and few below that mark, then said, well if we need to spend a couple hundred $ for decor items, that shouldn't be a problem - yikes!  So, in her mind, "whatever it takes" meant just moving stuff around the best it could be done - and producing outstanding results.  When I noted some items (very bare minimum) that would serve us well to purchase, she insisted on going and purchasing them.  I really didn't have control over this job.  She estimated that the job could be done in a couple afternoons (8 hours).  The property was in dire need of staging - it looked so dated and tired.  I did what I could, and it did turn out 100 times better than the initial condition.

So my surprise was that from an agent who does these high price point homes - she was quite off the mark with appreciation or understanding about the process of home staging.

Where as for myself, I understood from the very beginning of my career in the RE business the tremendous value of home presentation - because of personal experience.  My first home I sold - I did without a realtor, but did the homework and research to find out how to best prepare a home for the market.  Took about 3 months to sell it.  The next home we sold, I was up against model homes in the community, so I showcased ours (without putting a great deal of $$ into staging it) - the house sold to the first people who walked in the first day it was on the market  (we did use a realtor - so were on target with pricing).  The third home - staged again to the max - sold to the second couple who saw it (within 2 weeks) - and we rang the bell on our asking price and sold for top dollar!

That's when I knew I had a knack in the staging area - the rest is history.

So that's a couple of viewpoints from realtors.  Don't know if it adds much to this thread, but there it is. : )

Susan 

January 26, 2007 07:26 AM
Rainer
12,180
Dawn Selman-Schwieger
ASP, IAHSP, AARC, ids
Home Squad, LLC- Minnesota's Premier Home Staging Co.

Pam,

No, it doesn't take me a long time to do an estimate, it does take longer to do a consult.  It depends on the house size, but a typical bid takes about a half hour.  Unfortunately around here we have to do it free or you won't get any calls, not sure who started that.  I take a lot of pictures and notes, then give them the estimate within 24 hours.  Luckily I have only been getting estimate calls for vacants.  For an occupied stage they typically do want the consult, so that hasn't been a huge deal for me.

I like you wording better.  I might use it.  'Home assessment' sounds less confusing.  Do you charge for both services?

Susan,

I don't know if you do any vacant staging but you may want to check out my blog 'The price of vacant staging'.  I actually had a lot of Realtor comments on that one.

 Good luck with your business!

Have a great weekend!!

January 26, 2007 08:16 AM
Anonymous #16
Anonymous
Lena Glandon

Hi,

  I am a Realtor. And I totally recommend staging. I believe in it so much , that if a seller objects to spending the money ....I would go so far as to help them do it myself.

 We moved to Arkansas from Schaumburg ,IL a couple years ago. I staged my own condo before we sold it. It sold in 2 days to the first buyers that looked at it. And for full price. I know that this would not have happened if I had left our condo in it's "lived in condition." 

 

I do believe it is the money sellers object to , when staging is brought up. It is up to the Realtor to convince them how beneficial it is and how it would be the best money they could ever spend. 

If there are any stagers out in Hot Springs,AR. I want your contact info!

http:www.lenaglandon.crye-leikr.com

                                                 Thanks for the post. i hope more Realtors read it.
 

February 10, 2007 08:53 AM
Anonymous #17
Anonymous
Lena Glandon

oops that's

 http://lenaglandon.crye-leike.com/

 

 sorry! 

February 10, 2007 08:55 AM
Anonymous
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