Sometimes You Just Have to Move On

Home Stager with GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign

I have always enjoyed helping people and my careers have reflected that passion in me. For me, staging involves far more than good taste and an eye for design. I truly get deep satisfaction when my clients and I form a strong partnership and I help them succeed far beyond their expectations. Whether the outcome is a quick sale at a higher than expected price or just living more comfortably in their space, I get a real kick out of it all.

Emotionally invested - yes, I guess you can call it that, too. What fun would it be if I didn't get so excited and passionate about the possibilities that can be created? Some jobs you just know are going to be a success if you can get your hands on them.


I recently had a consultation with a homeowner on a vacant listing. Where do I begin? Over 430 days on the market, few showings, one comment and no offers. Perhaps it was the lime green kitchen. Maybe it was the deferred maintenance evident throughout the house. Possibly the poor workmanship evident from previous DIY projects around the home. Even with all of these issues, I began to feel excited with all of the positives that we could build upon. Miles of views, acreage, interesting architecture, outbuildings galore, infinity-edge pool, etc. etc. The new agent had made professional staging a contingent factor in taking the listing. I gave a great consultation, gave a very good bid and then received a note from the homeowner stating that due to all of the work needing to be done per the realtor's and my recommendations, they would be staging the home themselves to save money.


I graciously wrote a note wishing them luck and reaffirming my availability should they have second thoughts. Part of me is really sad, as I knew that I could help make a difference. The other part says move on, and looks for the next great thing, working with people who get it that professional staging works and that they nearly always will save lots of time, heartache and money by utilizing a stager.


Sometimes you just have to move on.....


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Teresa Meyer
Stage a Star Staging & Consulting Services - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati-OH.
Hi Kathy...
I think in this business that you're going to experience that often.  However, don't sell yourself short. Giving them an indepth consultation and plan probably helped them more than you know.  Sure you probably could have staged their house better than they will but sometimes we don't know their whole situation financally.   Meanwhile, if you are investing alot of time in the vacant proposal, start charging for least get paid something for your time.

It's all good...keeping giving and you'll always get it back. :)
Jul 12, 2007 05:21 AM #1
Linda Reynolds
Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds - Bradenton, FL
Bradenton Real Estate
This is true, you never know, they may be back once they realize it wasn't as easy as they thought.  But for now it is best to move on and locate the next customer.
Jul 12, 2007 06:10 AM #2
Margaret Ann Innis
Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging - Andover, MA
Real Estate Staging - MA & NH
Hi Kathy - Lovel your graphics!  Writing the note was a professional way to rise above the client's decision.  Kudos to you.  Move on...and leave the rest in the dust!  Welcome to Active Rain! 
Jul 12, 2007 08:44 AM #3
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

Kathy -- this is a good blog about real life and moving on.  I had a similar experience last week.  The homeowners called me to accept my proposal to stage their vacant.  Home had been on the market for 6 months with no offers.  While we were on the phone stting a time to meet the next day to do the paper work they got another call on the husbands cell, put me on hold and then came back to tell me it was their agent calling and they had an offer!  Turned out the offer was a little low, but at that point they took it, because they financially had to get out from under that mortgage!

As you -- I sent a thank you note and Congratulated them.  Then I asked them to keep me in mind for staging to live or any friends or family they knew of that could benefit from my services.

Ya never know -- what goes around comes around! 

This is also a good example as to why one should never do a free consultation!

Jul 12, 2007 09:22 AM #4
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Teresa - I agree that this happens often,however, it is sad that some properties just scream for help and this was one of them. This was a paid consultation, as I was felt that the scope of this project went far beyond just coming out for a quick bid. I also told them that there would be a portion of the consultation fee applied to future staging services.

Linda -  It really won't surprise me if I do get the call back! I think their agent may be upset when she learns that they have reneged on one of her conditions and I also believe that staging this particular home without professional guidance is going to prove futile.

Margaret - Thank you! Yes ma'am, that is me  - ridin' off into the sunset...

Edit: I am not sure how this giant space got in here, sorry!

Jul 12, 2007 09:39 AM #5
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA
Karen - Thanks for your comments. I agree about never doing a free consultation. I think it devalues the work that you do and sets in motion the thought that what you do isn't that hard or worth much. I do free bids, but I only spend a very short period of time and do not give out any free staging ideas or hints. Basically, the free bids are for vacants only.
Jul 12, 2007 03:37 PM #6
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona

You are right Kathy, it always pays to be polite and professional. Good for you. You are also correct for moving on.

Jul 12, 2007 06:11 PM #7
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Kathy, you did the best by your client and in those circumstances where your consultation results in only that, release the outcome.  I know what you're feeling!

You did your work, and the fact is, many people are budget conscious and it has nothing to do with your talents as a stager - of course you're worth it!  Now hopefully they will follow through but you know what, even if they don't ,you showed the other client, the Realtor, that you're a top notch professional! 

I honestly think one could build a business solely on consulations, they are invaluable to the client - both client's - the Realtor and the seller. It is a diagnostic report of the aesthectics of the home and it gives solutions to present it in the best possible condition.

Jul 12, 2007 06:20 PM #8
Val Allocco
Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island - Northport, NY
HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island


I 'feel' your pain - been there, done that!  Did you give the client a 'written consultation' where, at least, your ideas could be utilized?

Just remember, that you "can't win them all" and any help that we render, is a step in the right direction!

Hang in there, Kathy!


Jul 12, 2007 08:29 PM #9
Suzanne Bennett
Sold By Design - Saint Petersburg, FL
Sold By Design- St. Petersburg

ah yes, this sounds very familiar.  I've had the same thing happen a few times myself.  I did like you and sent out a thank you/good luck card.  I haven't had anyone change their mind and call me back yet, but you never know.........

A better opportunity awaits you as you ride off into that sunset!


Jul 12, 2007 09:17 PM #10
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Yvonne, Karen, Val and Suzanne - Thank you all for your comments. I am sure that every stager at some point has had this happen. I think we just have to accept that we did our best and move on to the next project.

Val, yes I did provide a written consultation. While I think it gives the owner a good starting point, I don't have much confidence in her ability to turn out a very polished product. The agent is planning a big catered all-weekend bash when the property is ready for the market again. I am hoping that if she isn't satisfied with the final outcome, I may get a call to come and tweak it just for that weekend.

Jul 13, 2007 12:38 AM #11
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Kathy - It is the worst when you do a bid or consult and don't get the job for one reason or another.  I did a vacant bid recently - the home sold 2 days before I was scheduled to do the job.  I had the entire thing done in my head - it was going to be beautiful.  You win some, you loose some.  Hopefully by the years end we win more of them!
Jul 24, 2007 08:52 PM #12
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA
Maureen~ It is such a coincidence that you posted this tonight! I bid on a vacant on Friday, got the job and was supposed to start tomorrow. This house had been on the market for months, had over 50 showings and not one offer. I just had a phone call that they received an offer tonight that looks good! Hopefully my point will still stick with them that if they had just staged professionally at the beginning, there probably would have been many other offers much sooner.
Jul 25, 2007 12:25 AM #13
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Kathy Alexander

Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

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