I Just Don't Get It...

Mortgage and Lending with Liberty Bank of Arkansas

 Help me understand...

  • My staged homes are selling on average 90 DOM, when the average DOM for my area is 178 days.
  • I receive calls and emails from Realtors that show my staged homes with outstanding complements. But they never call me for their own listings?
  • Realtors that have used me more than once (with outstanding results) only use me every once in a while.

I realize that its hard to convince a seller to use a Home Stager when it's a new concept for our area. But I would think that the Realtors that have used me and the ones that have seen my work and take the time to call or email me would be trying really hard to convince their sellers of the benefits of Home Staging. Maybe they are...are the sellers the ones not getting it?

I just don't get it...am I doing something wrong?


Posted by

Donna Schoby

Mortgage Loan Officer




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Eric Bennett
Capitis Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA

Good point, and you have evidence to back it up.  I would educate agents to say the following to their sellers, "The market is still dropping so the sooner that you sell the better price you will likely get.  What can we do to sell the home faster other than drop the price - stage it.  Would you rather spend $XXX.00 staging and getting the house sold, or spending even more when you have to wait 6 months and sell at a lower price.  Let's get this house sold, let's stage it."

That's my 2 cents.  Good luck!

Aug 19, 2009 04:18 PM #4
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

I would think a listing agent, especially, gives a new listing a brochure, or packet.  If so, why wouldn't it include either a brochure, or at the very least a card.  That way the agent doesn't really have to broach the subject, if they feel uncomfortable about it.

Aug 19, 2009 04:21 PM #5
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Donna,

It's others who don't get it. When it comes to staging you're speaking to the choir as far as I'm concerned. I'm a true believe who has personally benefited from staging. 

We see selling who are doing $10,000+ price reductions all over the place, yet if they just considered staging for a fraction of that, it's a no brain-er.

When it comes to Realtors who've used you in the past, ask for testimonials. Also use, before and after photos in your marketing.  I hope you take them on each job, right? Then to follow up, I'd use your sales stats, after staging like how many days on the market? etc. etc.

If it's new to your neck-of-the-woods, go for it. Become the trail blazer, the trend setter and set your self apart as the go-to pro.

As an aside, I see your in Fayetteville, flown into there once myself years ago, I thought it was an absolutely beautiful area.

Aug 19, 2009 04:22 PM #6
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Yes, dito on Nameless #4

But keep in mind to keep your website going (you DO have a website, right!?)  Continue to update it with your before and after photos, links, etc....  You should be updating your website at LEAST every 3 months (I update mine every time I stage a new home - really!) "WHY?!" you ask - SEO & Google juice, baby. Right now 90% of my business is SELLERS calling me, not the Realtors.  Keep your website updated, fresh, not stale - send out your statistics in newsletters & on Localism.

Aug 19, 2009 05:18 PM #8
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Donna -- like Connie, most of my calls now come directly from Sellers -- whereas last year and the year before most came from Realtors.  Quite a shift!  Not only that, but sellers now contact me before they've selected a listing agent and often ask me for referrals to good agents who will aggressively market their property.  Keep blogging and keep your internet presence as a focus ... you'll get more calls from sellers that way.  Good luck!

Aug 19, 2009 06:04 PM #9
Benita Gottfried
New Vision Interiors LLC - Hopatcong, NJ

I don't get it either and I am honestly tired of trying to convince the world that staging is an effective form of marketing. The realtors in my area have not been supportive no matter my stats or the beautiful work that I have done for them. I have started a new business that has nothing to do with design and I am transitioning out of staging. I realize that this is the right move for me and I have no regrets. Good luck to all of you, keep fighting that uphill battle.

Aug 19, 2009 11:27 PM #10
Luci Terhune
Bungalow Home Staging & Redesign - Nutley, NJ
NJ Home Stager 973 896-6489

I can definitely relate to what post # 3 is saying, so, I agree with Cindy. An agent can really set themselves apart by including a staging consultation with EVERY listing. At the initial presentation they should be given the stager's business card and be told that a consultation is included in  EVERY one of their listings. This way the potential seller does not feel they are being targeted as having a home that is not good enough.

Aug 20, 2009 01:07 AM #11
Mary Fasnacht
Washington and Allegheny Counties and surrounding areas - McMurray, PA
Feels Like Home Interiors ~ Pittsburgh PA Home Staging

Donna, I feel your frustration in my area as well.  Most of my staging business these days comes directly from savvy sellers.  While realtors are delighted with the results they get when they luck into a listing I've already staged, they still aren't proactively embracing the idea of including staging consultations with their listings.

I suspect Fayetteville may be similar to Pittsburgh, a little slow to embrace new ways of doing things.  Just keep up with your internet presence and working to spread the good news about staging to anyone in your area who will listen.  It may take a bit more patience than in other locations, but if you keep at it, the results will come.

Aug 20, 2009 01:18 AM #12
Wendy Carroll
Coeur d'Alene, ID

Perhaps Realtors can tell their potential clients that they ALWAYS recommend staging so that it doesn't appear they've signled out that particular seller's home as "unsaleable as is".  Of course, then they'd have to actually do that - bonus for us!

Aug 20, 2009 02:36 AM #13
Linda Sticklin
Home Staging & Organizing - Berwyn, PA

I think most of us share your same frustration. The other thing to consider is how realtors have been affected by this buyer's market. Many are not taking on as many listings and are instead working with buyers. Unless you have a relationship with realtors that do a large volume of sales and lots of listings, it will affect your referrals. 

Aug 20, 2009 06:32 AM #14
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Been there, done that!  I feel your pain!  It is so frustrating.  I have to agree with the others...Nameless #4 has a great way with words!

Aug 20, 2009 10:02 AM #15
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Oh my goodness, what great comments.  I'm so glad to see Realtors commenting...Thank you so much! I appreciate all the advice and a few of you even emailed me.  Thanks!

I took some action today on this subject. I decieded to start calling some of these agents and see if I could get a few moments of their time to sit down with them. So far I have 3 appointments next week. I hope to find out what is keeping them from using my services, or what is keeping their sellers from using me.  I'm sure it will be a learning experince for me!

Again thank you all so much!

Aug 20, 2009 03:11 PM #16
Teresa Meyer
Cincinnati Home Stager - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati-OH.

Hey Donna...keep us posted on what you find out.  I'm curious to hear what they tell you!

Aug 20, 2009 04:01 PM #17
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Teresa, will do!

Aug 21, 2009 12:00 AM #18
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

Featured:  http://activerain.com/groups/RealWorldHomeStaging/page/1

You have created a great conversation here.  thx for putting this topic out there.

Aug 21, 2009 12:23 AM #19
Beth Lester
Beth Lester Designs - Torrance, CA
Home Staging & Interior Decorating

I've been working on a brochure that realtors can give as part of their listing package, but I got distracted.  Thanks for the reminder to keep at it.

Aug 21, 2009 05:32 AM #20
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

There are so many folks out there with no money when they are selling.  With no money it's hard to suggest they pay for a stager.  How much does staging cost anyhow?

I also thought of a question to ask you or other stagers.  What is the style of decorating today called?  We've been through Mediterranean, country, brass and glass, so what is the "in thing" today?

Aug 22, 2009 10:46 AM #21
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Karen, Glad you stopped back by. Lots of good info commented!

Beth, I'm working on a brochure also. I think this will help.

Barbara,  Hey I'm right there with everyone in not having any money. I understand! My consultations are $100.00 for owner occupied homes. The information they receive will bring thousands back to them. Most of what I can tell the homeowner in a consultation they can do themselves, saving even more money. I do recommend they have me come back after they have completed as much as they can. I will return for 2 hours for hands on staging and this also includes professional photos that are forwarded to the Realtor for marketing purposes. This fee is $300.00. I provide free estimates on vacant homes.

I do have a few Realtors that pay for consulations themsleves. They include this fee in their marketing plan. Then I have some that will reimburse their sellers at closing if they have a consult done.

I just don't understand why a homeowner would take a $5,000.00 (or more) price reduction over spending a few hundred dollars on home staging. I guess because the few hundred comes out of their pocket immediately. But I do accept credit cards that will help defer payment for them.

I list all my fees on my website with the exception of vacant homes. I do this beacuse I want Realtors and homeowners to see that staging is affordable in Northwest Arkansas.

To answer your question about the "in thing" today. What sells right now is a casual lifestyle and going green. 

Aug 22, 2009 02:34 PM #22
Debra Valentine
Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC - Bountiful, UT
Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas

Great post and comments Donna! I feel your pain too! Just so you know, your staging is fantastic and it's clear to me that the Realtors hesitation is NOT because your work is sub-standard!

It's so interesting that many stagers are saying the homeowner is contacting them directly and then asking for a Realtor referral. I'm seeing the same thing here.

It's refreshing to see so many Realtors offering advice to you - thank you to those who are willing to help us out.

Aug 26, 2009 06:41 AM #23
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Debra, Thanks for the kind words. I love seeing so many Realtors that are now commenting on the stagers post. It's great! I appreciate their time and advice. Understanding their concerns helps us provide a better service.


Aug 26, 2009 08:27 AM #24
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