Wednesday, February 28, 2018

You Need a Stager Too!

I am a real estate stager.  I trained under Christine Rea at CSP.  Christine is a best selling author.  She has trained many of the top stagers in the United States and Canada.  I spend hours continually learning, ie what are the latest trends, design styles, color for selling a home.  I am a member of our trade organization RESA, as well as, the local chapter president.  Listening to an agent tell a prospective client of us both say "I am going to tell you what is wrong with your house."  I am confident that the agent will.  However, I know the agent will not spend two hours going over the house in fine detail.  I know the agent will not recommend paint colors, offer to shop for accessories,  or come back later to rearrange furniture and accessories to merchandise the property.
Think about going to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned.  Most likely you see a dental hygienist.  Why?  It is the specialty of the hygienist.  Hygienist train for years to clean teeth properly.  A dentist is able to clean teeth but trains only for a few hours to do this.  Furthermore, the dentist does not clean teeth everyday for 8 hours.  Now you do you want cleaning your teeth?
Then why when selling your home, probably the biggest asset you have, would you only contact an agent about what to do to improve your house and stage it or not?  Staging is merchandise your property to draw sellers in so that they are able to envision living there.  Some agents stage.  A handful are really very good.  Most are not.  I once saw an agent place a soccer ball as an accessory in a formal dining room.  Another agent placed an undersized sofa in the middle of a very large great room with nothing else.  The sofa looked to be floating.  Another agent called me to stage one of her listings.  However, she did not wish to spend the money or ask her client to invest in a proper staging.  Therefore, she attempted to stage herself.  The results were underwhelming, furniture not to scale and no accessories.  There is another agent at a very large firm the offers "free staging with her listings."  Curious I looked at what the agent did.  Results- vacant house were left vacant.  If you lived at the house, two wine glasses were placed on a counter top. 
Agents are busy people.  Any good agent is constantly working to prefect their skills.  They are licensed and are required by law to take continuing education classes.  In the state of Michigan this does not include learning how to effectively stage a property.
Staging is an investment that can earn you big returns.  Make sure it is done correctly.  Hire someone with training, knowledge, loves what they do and focus their time effort and energy on staging.

Before and after of little girl's room.  Before by agent.  After by staging Designs by Deborah LLC
 Before and after of the living room. Before done by agent after done by Staging Designs by Deborah LLC