home staging: In the Race to Sell, Sometimes a Stager Has to Shift Gears - 08/24/08 11:23 AM
Yesterday morning, I was scheduled to perform consulting duties for one of my favorite RE agents.  The particular client I was scheduled to meet with is notably motivated to sell their home as their new custom home is near completion (it will be move in ready in approximately 2 weeks).  Because of these circumstances, the agent went against the usual stage-list-show schedule by placing the listing on the MLS without photos before I had been there to steer the seller in the right direction as to how to prepare their house for the market.
Generally, I try to arrive 5-10 minutes … (14 comments)

home staging: 2353 Horizon View Ct. Valparaiso, In - 06/30/08 08:41 AM

Located in picturesque Harrison West, this home offers more than just your average construction.  Expansive wood floors accent beatiful tile work, cabinetry and craftsmanship.  Architectural detail abounds in this well planned, family friendly abode.
Amenities include:
Large master suitePrivate office Private office Sunny breakfast nook Main level laundry Stately fireplace Large Deck perfect for summer entertaining Upper level guest rooms with Jack and Jill bath Rambling finished basement with ample storage space 4 bedrooms 3.5 baths 3 Car garage 2308 sq. ft not including basement $399,900
Come see your future home!  Contact Amy Redman of Seramur Properties, LLC at 219-617-6700.

home staging: Today.... I Became .... an 'Angler' - 06/18/08 11:18 AM
I have seen it done many times.  I have very rarely thought it made sense.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes it does, but I have seen it done so many times and so seldom needed to do it that I figured it was something I would never be. 
You know, an 'Angler'.   Stagers who put furniture and beds and area rugs on an angle.  Seriously, in the 3 years I have been staging, I have only put a bed on an angle twice.  Truth be told, the first time I was helping another stager with a job and she insisted on it.  … (31 comments)

home staging: An Agent's Unreasonable Demand - And What I Learned From It - 06/04/08 01:12 PM
It has been quite some time since I have been able to write a blog about my adventures in staging.  Not because I have not had anything to write about, but because I have not had time to write at all.  But summer is here, school is out and I finally have a day off, so I wanted to share this story with all of you because I learned so many valuable lessons from the situation.
A few months ago I was summoned to an investment property by a real estate agent whom I had never worked with before.  She had … (56 comments)

home staging: A HOME is Where You Live. A HOUSE is What You Sell. A PRODUCT is What People Buy. - 04/24/08 09:18 AM
In today's market, it is important for sellers and RE agents alike to realize that standard marketing techniques are no longer sufficient when selling any property. In days past, an MLS listing and a few marketing avenues would do the trick to get buyers in the door.  However, with so much competition on the market, that just isn't enough anymore.
Today's buyer is much more savvy than in days past.  With the onslaught of staging and real estate shows, buyers are learning they should have certain expectations when searching for a future home.  Should those expectations not be met, they will move … (20 comments)

home staging: Does Staging Really Make That Much Difference in NW Indiana? - 03/26/08 12:16 PM
In the midwest, new concepts and services are slow to catch on.  We are a 'watch and wait' breed, preferring to watch things crash and burn - or succeed as it may - in other parts of the country while we plod along in the tried and true until something else tried and true comes along.
This is definitely true in the world of staging, as I am still told by resistant agents that it is not necessary stage in NW Indiana.  They still think it will not make any difference and that buyers do not care what a house looks like.  Many … (10 comments)

home staging: Staging May be a New Industry, but None of Us Were Born Yesterday (rant warning) - 02/26/08 07:37 AM
I got that phone call AGAIN today.  This time it was a builder rather an agent, but the context of the phone call was the same.
You know that phone call- the one where the person on the other end who has never met you, seen your portfolio, visited your website, or read your blog, but wants to help you grow your business through the incredible amount of exposure they can offer you - if you will stage their property for FREE.  Really, it would be funny if they were kidding, but they never are.  Sometimes they will not even come out and say it, which … (56 comments)

home staging: Why You Cannot Be a Stager For 'Fun' - 02/07/08 04:05 AM
This post was actually written for and posted on my other blog, but I thought all of you would like to add your 2 cents in the comments.  I only posted 5 reasons, though there are many, many more I'm sure.  This is a subject that has been coming up a lot lately and will probably be discussed more in the future, but I just had to get it off my chest.  Please add whatever reasons you feel pertinent.
I was recently featured in an articlein one of our local newspapers.  It is not the first time this has occurred, … (50 comments)

home staging: NW Indiana Home Stager Featured in Local Paper - 02/03/08 03:17 AM
Many of you read in my last blog that part of my hectic week was interviewing for a newspaper article for the one of our local papers - The Times.
The article ran Saturday February 2 in the Biz News section.  Here is the link:
I'd like to thank Sue Erler, the writer, for shifting gears and turning my 'quote' into a full scale article and John, the photographer, for tolerating my hatred of my photo being taken and allowing me to act like he wasn't taking photos at all.  It wasn't as awful as I had been dreading (you were right, John!  … (12 comments)

home staging: Cold, Snow, Broken Bones and the Spec House That is Taking FOREVER - 02/01/08 03:27 AM
I am a rather ordered person when it comes to staging spec homes.  I have a system and it has never failed me.  Furniture and accessories are delivered in the evening.  I take advantage of the strong backs present at delivery to have the furniture placed in the general area where I want them and I return the next day to place all of the accessories, hang artwork and take photos.  It is a two day process at most.
I was recently contracted to complete one of those spec houses and am very excited about it. The builder - thank goodness - … (13 comments)

home staging: Purdue Now Offering Home Staging Class - 01/08/08 01:29 AM
It was recently brought to my attention by Steve Dalton, NWI builder and Blogger extraordinaire, that Purdue North Central, Porter county and Main campuses, is now promoting a home staging class.  He sent me a link to this article in one of our local newspapers.
Intrigued by a staging class being offered for a fee of $59, lasting 2 hours, I decided to do some research and see what I could find out.  Here is all of the information I could come up with:
1. This class is listed under the 'Leisure Learning and Personal Discovery' department (in the Art and Music section), so it … (14 comments)

home staging: Agents: Can You Go All the Way? - 11/26/07 11:07 AM
It seems in the midwest, we all seem to think that it is better to do things ourselves than to pay anyone to do them for us and even in the real estate industry it seems no different.  Why would an agent hire a stager when they can make the same marketing suggestions that a stager would make, but do it for free?  
Well, before you start thinking this is true consider this:
You may go as far as to tell your seller they need to paint, but can you go so far as to tell them what color and why?
You may go as far as to tell them they need … (10 comments)

home staging: Relocation Companies Are Making HUGE Marketing Mistakes - 10/23/07 06:16 AM
A few weeks ago, I prepared a bid and short report for a relocation company.  The house was a very nice two story, very well built, nice layout and in a good neighborhood.  It did have some minor issues, but none that couldn't be easily remedied, hence the short report.  So short, I didn't even charge them for it.
The house had just a few drawbacks - lack of any outdoor living space in the backyard (all other homes within eyesight of this house had stamped concrete patios), an open concept layout that confused buyers as far as furniture placement and it … (33 comments)

home staging: The Most Important Step You Can Take When Showing Your House - 10/21/07 11:48 AM
Recently, I received a phone call from a fellow stager in a different part of the state.  She was flustered over the fact that she was dealing for the first time with a home at a higher price point and a very intimidating top producing Realtor.It seems the property in question could do with a good cleaning - several children and cats also occupy the home - and she made haste in letting them know that the home would have to be cleaned (and kept clean) if she were to stage the listing.  The Realtor was very offended that she would … (21 comments)

home staging: You Could Use a Stager - Even if You're Not a Listing Agent - 10/10/07 08:53 AM
It occurred to me today as I was catching up on my blog reading that a large amount of stagers blogs are focused on educating listing agents about the benefits of staging their listings.  That is a GOOD THING and definitely should be something that we all work on as staging to sell is the core of what we do. However, I started thinking that this focus eliminates a large number of other professionals in the real estate industry from utilizing our services to their own benefit.
Here are a few thoughts:
1 Buyer's Agents.  Every new home owner runs into the same problems - what … (18 comments)

home staging: Should Stagers Use Smaller Furniture to Make a Room Appear Larger? You Betcha! - 09/26/07 10:29 AM
In the now infamous NAEBA article siting home stagers as deceivers, a reference was made to the use of smaller sized furniture to make a room appear larger.  Is that a common practice?  Yes - and it should be! 
Every designer worth their fee will tell you that scale is imperative in a properly designed room. Using over-sized pieces in a small area will only make it appear cramped - or even smaller than it really is.  What is the solution?  Pieces that suit the scale of the room. This is not deception, it is proper use of space.
The concept behind scaling down … (28 comments)

home staging: Not Checking Your Vacant Properties? Somebody Should. - 09/15/07 03:22 AM
In the world of vacant staging, there seem to be those stagers who stage and leave, never to see the property again until it is time to retrieve their inventory and then there are the stagers who are running out to their properties every few days to make sure beds are still inflated, etc.  It also seems that it is either/or, with no in between.
It certainly would be understandable to forgo property checks due to distance - I am doing a consult over an hour away on Monday, don't know if property checks are going to be included in the deal … (24 comments)

home staging: SOOOO FRUSTRATED!!! - 09/13/07 11:33 AM
I know this stuff happens, but I am so frustrated I could scream! 
I have been talking to a builder about staging one of his listings for about a month now. He has been easy to deal with, but other factors have slowed down the process and we finally worked out a deal.  The contract is signed, the check is deposited (and cleared) and I was scheduled to deliver the inventory this evening. The trailer is packed and I have the skinned knuckles to prove I loaded it myself.
Two hours before I was scheduled to arrive, the builder calls and asks if we … (23 comments)

home staging: Staging is All About Making the Right Connections - 08/13/07 01:22 PM
The Professional Stagers of Active Rain have been posed the question - Why and When do you stage your house? There are many technical answers I could give here and do an adequate job of it, but I want you the reader to think past the nuts and bolts of the staging process and view it from a more basic level.
Anyone who has bought or sold their first place can attest to the fact that it is so much more than an impersonal business transaction. Home buying decisions are not made based on numbers on a piece of paper, or MLS listing, they are made in the heart.  Your … (23 comments)

home staging: I'm not a Home Stager Anymore - 08/02/07 03:34 AM
For several months now, I have been cringing every time I have to explain to people what a home stager is and exactly what it is that I do.  I came to realize that the term 'stager' is confusing to most people and unless they have heard the term used in the proper context, they can't imaging what it might mean.
I have also been finding it difficult to market myself in the vacant and builders model arena using that moniker as most people associate staging with occupied homes.  In light of these things, I decided to start calling myself anything but … (53 comments)

Kimberly Wester's experiences, views and tutorials on staging in the real estate industry, with a focus on educating the RE industry on the benefits of home staging and bringing the staging community together under a united message.
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