best practices: Not All Bananas in the Bunch are Ripe and Ready - 05/01/08 12:07 AM
So my home selling pets, would you like to pick a home stager to regularly work with, but are not sure which in the bunch to hire? Plus does it seem as if daily there are more and more staging bananas out there to pick from? Well, you are right; it can be a tough to know which stager you should bring to your seller, especially since staging is still a relatively new service offered in most parts of the USA. You are also right if you noticed that there are many new bananas rapidly joining the staging bunch.To make a wise and informed choice, … (36 comments)

best practices: Another new "TOY" for Stage It Forward Members - 08/04/07 04:19 AM
With Stage It Forward on the Go and on the Grow... I thought it might be good to have yet another new FREE "toy" for members to use to show their affiliation to one of the busiest groups on Active Rain.
This new "toy" is a custom widget... which is a little tool that you can add to any blog or website.
The Stage It Forward widget will continuously and automatically update and display the most current posts written and published in Stage It Forward... including yours!
The default widget color, dark blue, can be seen under my profile on the right side of this post. (This is a live working … (12 comments)

best practices: FEED ME SEYMOUR! Prop inventories can be a Shop of Horrors for Home Stagers - 08/01/07 05:41 AM
With more and more stagers entering the industry... I think it is important that they get a real understanding as to just what it takes to run a staging business.
Many stager's have been coached to stage with what the seller already has in the way of furnishings and decorative accessories (props). Which is all well and good, but what if what the property that needs to be staged is a vacant property? Or what if the property that needs to be staged is occupied but basically an empty home?  What does the stager do if a house needs more "bling" to bring some life and appeal to it?
Here at Real Estaging … (27 comments)

best practices: HOME SELLERS... I'm Not Popeye, So Don't You Be Wimpy! - 06/25/07 10:55 AM
When I was a kid I used to watch the Popeye cartoon on TV. (To be honest I don't even know if it is on anymore or if the strip even runs in news papers.)
Anyway, one of the cartoon's secondary characters was named Wimpy. While Wimpy was a sweet harmless loveable oaf, he also had a problem... he had a "jones" for hamburgers.
Hamburgers! Hamburgers! Hamburgers!
Wimpy just could not get enough of them! He craved them and would do ANYTHING for one, even if he didn't have the money to buy one, he would often hit up other characters for … (60 comments)

best practices: Are Model Homes Dying Dinosaurs? - 04/11/07 09:28 AM
Each year large builders and developers all across the nation invest millions of dollars to build, design and install lush & lovely model homes. Why? It is pretty simple. Models sell homes. As you'd expect, a model is a great tool to help a buyer understand just how to configure and fit furniture within a prospective home. More importantly, builders know a beautiful model interior will connect emotionally with the buyer... enticing them with a possible "lifestyle" to be enjoyed if they bought the home.
Until quite recently, only larger builders could justify, afford and benefit from investing substantial sums of money … (25 comments)

best practices: TAX MAN COMETH for Seller's... but NOT if I Can Help It! - 03/30/07 04:54 AM
Another POSTIVE reason why home sellers can benifit from Home Staging is because the fees for a staging services can be considered an advertising fee (See IRS Publication 523) and influence a seller's capitol gain or loss on a property that has been sold.
What is IRS Publication 523 and what does it say? IRS Publication 523 explains all tax rules that apply when a home seller sells their main home, including advertising expenses and how they influence the seller's capital gain or loss on the property.  It does not cover the sale of a rental property, second home or vacation home.
What does IRS Publication … (22 comments)

best practices: FAKE is OK, Just Don't be CONTRIVED - 03/28/07 07:07 PM
While home staging does require being visually creative, it really is a bit of marketing and merchandising "trickery" that gets the job done. Unlike the practices of interior design, decorating or re-design, staging is about creating an illusion of a possible lifestyle within a particular house that appeals to the largest home buying segment possible. But in order to create this REAL appeal within a house, a stager might have to resort to some "fakeness". One of the basic practices of staging (like decluttering or depersonalizing) is to bring the outside in. However, while some in our industry suggests its as simple … (60 comments)

best practices: STAGE IT FORWARD... by giving IT back - 03/10/07 10:59 PM
The importance and willingness to give back is basic to what the group of stagers in Stage it Forward are all about. Its so basic, that in the group's short description here on Active Rain, the words "share" or "sharing" is used in 3 separate places.
For me however, Stage It Forward is more than just helping other stagers grow their businesses... for me, Stage It Forward meant using my time, talent and treasure to benefit my community.  So at Real Estaging, our current Stage It Forward effort centers around the creation of a spectacular community wide fund raising event for Brickton Art Center... a WONDERFUL not-for profit organization (grounded in outreach) in Park Ridge Illinois.
This year we helped … (10 comments)

best practices: Active Rain created One Stage for an entirely new industry - 03/07/07 04:41 PM
                                                                                                                                                       The guys that created Active Rain might not realize it (and I KNOW they definitely did not intend it) but they have created something wonderful.
They have created a stage so that the voices of an entire industry, only in its infancy and struggling to be heard, could be heard. That industry is the Home Staging Industry. And today is going to be a VERY special day for all home stagers that utilize Active Rain as a resource for fresh and helpful industry information. We stagers here on Active Rain are welcoming our 500th stager... and THAT is a HUGE milestone for home staging! And … (32 comments)

best practices: Set Your Sites Low... to Raise Your Standards - 01/15/07 04:49 AM

The brilliance of Active Rain and Localism is that they can work together to everyone's benefit. As Active Rain provides a forum to share ideas and information amongst peers, Localism provides a place to apply this knowledge and better reach clients... immediately. Here is an example to make my point...
As a home stager I believe what a home buyer sees, regardless of where, when or how they see it, matters greatly. (I believe in the importance of this so much that I am ongoingly investing in and building an entire company devoted exclusively to improve what buyers see and visually exprience.)
So to keep … (42 comments)

best practices: Home Staging = Sweat Equity ON STEROIDS! - 01/09/07 11:25 AM
Realtors, with the spring selling season just around the corner I think now is the time to FLEX YOUR MINDS to make a very GOOD point! While home staging does not raise the appraised value of a property, IT STILL CAN BE A VERY PROFITABLE VENTURE!
Here's why... As every realtor knows, a home that goes to market has a possible low/high list price point range.  This low/high price is primarily based on location, condition, features, and finishes.
But you might not know is that if staging is done correctly, and at the right time, the asking price can be raised toward the high side … (33 comments)

best practices: Standing Out in the Rain... a Lesson to take to Localism. - 01/04/07 05:10 AM
Yesterday it was announced that of the 27,229 blog entries* posted on Active Rain since its début on June 25, 2006 my "very personal" post entitled "The Gift of Tears" was voted the Most Memorable post for the year. First, I have to say WOW and huge thank you to all who voted!
And while I am flattered and grateful, it got me to thinking... Why? Why THAT post? Did that post REALLY have anything to do with Real Estate?
As a professional in the Real Estate industry I know that working with people is at the core of what I … (40 comments)

best practices: For Crying Out Loud... it's CHRISTMAS! - 12/22/06 01:32 AM

Well I thought this picture really captured the essence of the last few post I created. 
In light of my recent post on Tears, and then all the boo-hooing and belly aching I was doing this past week... this seemed the perfect transition into Christmas.
Oh and NO... they are NOT my children! In case you are wondering! (They actually are the children of one of my associate's friends here at Real Estaging.)
Happy Holidays to all!
Cry it forward...
PS: Check out Santa's expression!

best practices: Joy to the Rain - 12/16/06 05:35 PM
To all my friends in the rain...
I would just like to take a moment to wish you the very best and hope you have a joyous time with family and friends during the Holiday Season.
It truly has been a gift to meet, learn and share with you here in the rain.
Stage it forward...
PS: This is my cyber gift to my cyber friends. Take it use it, post it, print it. Do what ever you like, where ever you like. And if you want a different format or a less blurry version of this wreath... just let me know.

best practices: Property Pricing advice can be hard for sellers to swallow - 11/09/06 04:13 AM

Being a stager can put us in a "funny spot" with sellers. After working in a seller's homes and transforming them in ways they never consider... sellers REALLY starts to TRUST us.
Stagers need to be very careful. While you may be asked... a stager should NEVER suggest what a property should be listed for or sold for.
Determining pricing is the Realtors job.
So, while it is not our job to advise a client on pricing of their homes... this information is good to know and understand. Basacilly, if asked, I ALWAYS advise a seller to listen to and trust in the professional advise of a Realtor.
Here are … (32 comments)

best practices: Stagers... are we red headed step children that get no respect? - 10/29/06 09:38 PM
Lately I have been getting a lot of email from stagers that are frustrated with the response they have been getting from the real estate community. Basically they are surprised that realtors are not flocking to them with open welcoming arms and lavishing them with clients. Compared to mortgage brokers or home inspectors we are "red headed step children that get no respect".The best advice I can give you is to "persevere".Staging is new and in many parts of the country untested. So it is up to us as a united industry to get the word out about staging and the … (40 comments)

best practices: Paint a HOME'S SALE into a corner... by not making repairs! - 10/18/06 12:30 AM
While many stagers talk a lot about cleaning, depersonalizing, decluttering and rearranging a home, which ARE important aspects of what we do, there is another area a GOOD stager will focus attention on and find solutions for... home repairs.
Much like a buyer, the moment a real estate stager steps into a house they are looking for problems. We have trained our eyes to look for those items and areas in a house that need tending and mending. Why? Because quite often a seller no longer sees the issues we see... the owner/seller has become so accustomed to and accepting of the property the way … (6 comments)

best practices: For the love of Pete... Give it a rest! - 10/15/06 12:10 PM
To all you sending me emails wondering why I shut my mouth... THANK you for your concern. When you have a type A personality it is hard to allow yourself time to get away. But this weekend I did.
I followed Eileen Landau's fine example and traveled over to Galena Illinios for a long weekend. (Actually I had planned this way back in July.) Galena is a little jewel of a community in the furthest NW corner of Illinois.
I slept WAY more than I expected... waking up on Satruday, having breakfast and then hitting the pillow for 2 more hours of Zzzzzzzzzz's. Then of course … (11 comments)

best practices: 2 Sides of the Real Estate Transaction - 10/01/06 06:22 AM
It is often said that buying a home is the biggest PURCHASE one will ever make in their lives.
But there are 2 sides to every story.
Does it NOT stand to reason that putting one's home on the market would then be a person's biggest SALE in their life?
I think sometimes that is forgotten... and that is where stagers go to work.
Plain and Simple... Stager's help maxmize the BIGGEST SALE in one's life.

best practices: BUDDING STAGERS... here are 7 tips to OPEN DOORS to business. - 09/28/06 12:09 PM
One of the delights of being on Active Rain is receiving emails like this...
"Hi craig, Im in the process of getting my staging business off the ground but so far no one seems interested! I live in a area that staging is very new. My business is the first of its kind within 100 miles! How do I convince homeowners about staging?                   Help in Southern Indiana!"
So here is SOME of MY ADVICE that might help new stagers get going.
To get to the seller... look to the realtor. Make connections with a realtor first. THEY are your initial gateways.Study study study about ... websites, … (7 comments)

These are the creative writings of Craig Schiller, a home staging professional, passionate real estate marketing professional and founder of the Real Estaging, one of the nation's leading home staging companies.




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