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They moved everything!

Home Stager with Hawley Interiors & Staging

This business surprises me often and I thought I'd seen it all. However, this is a first for me...

I staged a home for a regular client of mine...Simple staging, you know move the furniture, edit, purge and add a few accessoires.  There was a tone of clutter and the furniture layout was a disaster.

I turned the living room/dining room combination into separate areas by bringing in the buffet from the kitchen...which was way to big for the kitchen anyway, adding artwork and accessories, furniture moved to the  basement etc, etc.

By the end of the day the house looked fabulous...I was very pleased.

The next day the realtor (who paid for all of the staging) sent me the photographer's pictures...I was shocked..Everything had been moved around. The buffet was back in the kitchen, the living room sofa was pushed into the dining room, lamps were moved..it was awful!

I just couldn't believe it...The funny thing about this is that I had staged the home owners counsin's house the week prior and it sold in 3 days...They had already witnessed the power of staging...It just doesn't make sense.

Luckily I had worked with the realtor many times before and he was familiar with my capabilities...Sent me on another job the next day...Whew :)

Todd McAllister
On Stage home staging and redesign co. Portland, OR. - Portland, OR

Kim:  We often find that homeowners/agents often find the "inner stager" in themselves.  They will give comments, and many times move accessories.  We may encounter a piece of furniture moved here or there, but never to that extent.  We have a clause in our contract the states that once furniture and accessories are places, they are not to be moved.  The end product reflects the stager and their abilities.  If things look out of place, then people may question your talents.  You can't be at all properties at all times, hopefully this is not a common occurence for you... 

Jun 23, 2009 08:18 AM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Kimberly, therein lies the problem when the agents pay...the seller's have no buy-in to your expertise.  NONSENSE is what it is, but at least this agent understood.  What was his reaction to what had occurred? 

Jun 23, 2009 09:44 AM
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

I have a similar clause to Todd's above regarding the moving (or RE-moving) of pieces once placed.  I agree that it reflects on the talent of the Stager and their company....or maybe the Realtor had the pictures taken before it was Staged????? That's happened to me as well (doesn't make sense, but it has happened)

Jun 23, 2009 10:57 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

I agree with Ginger.  When the Realtor pays for staging, even if your contract states not to move your accessories or staging furniture, the client is not invested in the staging. I am sorry this happen to you! 

Jun 23, 2009 03:00 PM
Kimberley Hawley
Hawley Interiors & Staging - Caledon, ON
Hawley Interiors & Staging

Hey Todd, I need to work on the wording in my contract...It's easy when you bring in the furniture and the accessories, but when it's the homeowners furnishings and I'm just providing accessories it's another story. How do you insist they don't move their own stuff. Thanks for your input.

Hi Ginger, You're right about that, the homeowner hasn't invested anything and doesn't understand the value. The agent is great, I've worked with him many times over the past few years and this is the first time anything like this has happened. He still thought the place looked wonderful just from the accessories and art I brought in. Thanks



Jun 23, 2009 03:01 PM
Kimberley Hawley
Hawley Interiors & Staging - Caledon, ON
Hawley Interiors & Staging

Connie, I know that the realtor didn't have pictures taken before as all of my accessories were in them. You and Todd are right about the contract clause...It's in the works...but how do you keep from turning your contract into a book? Thanks for your comments Connie.

Jun 23, 2009 03:03 PM
Kimberley Hawley
Hawley Interiors & Staging - Caledon, ON
Hawley Interiors & Staging

Cathy, I do agree that the homeowner  may need to invest to "get it". However, I feel very fortunate to work with a great group of Realtors who believe so much in the power of staging that they are willing to fit the bill in order to sell the house. What's a girl to do? Thanks for commenting.

Jun 23, 2009 03:05 PM
Todd McAllister
On Stage home staging and redesign co. Portland, OR. - Portland, OR

Kim:  I tell them that we place everything in the house (furnishings and accessories) in certain areas and positions for a reason.  I explain to them that eveything is placed to showcase the homes maximum square footage, features and traffic flow.  Even lighting and accessories are part of the package.  Lights are placed in certain areas for a reason.  Each little bit is part of the whole package.  Once I expalin this to the owner/agent, they understand the logic behind it....  Hope this helps....

Jun 26, 2009 09:57 AM
Hope Designs
Hope Designs - Bolton, ON
Hope Designs, Toronto’s Award Winning Home Staging

WOW Kim:  that would have been a shocker!  Sorry that happened to you, I guess its hard to argue when as you mentioned, it was their stuff in the first place?!?

I hear ya, as far as the contract / book thing ...maybe an AR member has some suggestions for us!!

Jul 08, 2009 02:46 AM