As a stager I am one of the 10% of individuals the can see the potential in a space. I can visualize what a room could look like with different furniture or furniture placement, new paint color and accessories. Unfortunately most buyers in the housing market are in the 90%. Unless a house is a perfect and welcoming space that tugs at their emotions, that property goes on the "I don't want to see it list." Also unfortunate for the sellers, usually their real estate agents are also in the 10% and can see all the potential the house has. Why is this unfortunate? Because many agents do not recommend staging to their clients! To avoid upsetting their clients they often do not address the truth that the property may need a stager's touch.
I recently contact an agent I know about one of her listings that has been on the market for over 120 days. The property is in a subdivision where houses move at lightening speed. I viewed the listing photos. Just like the agent I saw all the potential the home had to offer. But, unlike the agent I was viewing the house through a buyer's eyes. The agent told me the house was beautiful and was staged by the home owner who just happened to be an interior designer. What did I see that buyer's may object to? Beds that were simply mattresses laying on the floor. A brightly colored and pattern stair runner that drew your eyes right to it instead of the architectural details of the entry way and stair case. There was also a very tired looking sofa with out any pillows or throws. It had been placed in a poor configuration with two over sized chairs. There were little to no accessories. The exceptions were the 2 dolls in a bedroom, as well as, a very small piece of art over the fireplace. Also the art piece failed to draw attention to how fabulous the fireplace was. The kitchen breakfast area was completed with an outdoor wicker chair.
I attempted to explain to the agent the difference between staging and decorating but, it was to no avail. She explained to me that my job was to uplift people. Although I love encouraging people, I would not put that on a description of what a stager should do. My goal is to get the property sold as quickly as possible for the most money. So sometimes even when I speak to a client as gently as possible, unfortunately, once in a while I may inadvertently step on some toes. When the seller is offended by one of my comments it is usually because the client has an emotional attachment to whatever it is I am referencing. But the results are what matter. When a clients house sells quickly and for the money they wanted or sometimes even more, they will usually forget about what upset them.
As to the agent that seemed so upset about me suggesting her listing be staged, her pride is getting it the way to best service her client, as well as, herself. A fellow stager and former real estate agent told me many agent's idea for marketing a property is to simply keep lowering the price until it sells.
This is only leaving money on the table not only for the seller, but also, for themselves.
Keep in mind the 90 to 10% rule when selling your property. Hire a certified stager that can not only see the potential but will address any objections a buyer may have to buying your house.
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