Hey, Listen To Me When I'm Giving A Staging Consult!

Home Stager with a fresh space :: home staging & thoughtful organizing

I had a client recently for a staging consult.  It was a nice little condo, vacant, that had been on the market for about a year.  The client's ex-wife actually called me in as he was a bit resistant.  In fact, when I met him on the property, he was on his Blackberry and starting pulling weeds in the front while I was talking. Definitely not that excited to be there.

I had two choices at this point: listening

a.  get annoyed or frustrated and just sort of work around him OR
b.  use my "teacher voice" and say HEY, listen to me because what I'm telling you will sell this place

I chose b.  I asked him politely but firmly to pay attention, leave the weeds for later, and focus because this was important.  As we worked our way through all of my points regarding exterior maintenance, he started getting a bit more involved.  Most of it was caulk & paint, freshening up the door & landscaping, and a new light fixture.  Once we got inside, that's where I really got his attention.  I pointed out peeling vinyl in the closet where the HVAC system was located - where it looked as if there was a leak at some point.  I indicated the focal point of the room and how it wasn't being highlighted.  The dingy paint in the walk in closet, the unfinished trim at the base of the kitchen cabinets, the dirty shelves in kitchen cupboards, the dated ceiling fan in the master bedroom, and more really caught his ear.  These were things he had not noticed but when I pointed out the perception of potential buyers to these things, he really started to GET IT. 

By the time we were done, he was totally on board and was making plans to make the necessary corrections.  We talked about bringing in furniture and accessories but it turned out that it wasn't necessary because once the maintenance and cleaning was done, the first people to look at it, bought it.  The consult more than paid for itself and I had a new convert to home staging.

Think of the minor investment in a staging consult - holding costs for a year vs. selling within a week. Actually paying attention, paid off.

So if you are lucky enough to work with a home stager - LISTEN!  



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Heidi Yeadon 09/27/2009 01:33 AM
Home Selling
Home Staging
Real Estate Staging Association
Stage It Forward...
home staging

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Cassi @ Knightyme Video Tours
Knightyme Video Tours - Lawrenceville, GA

There are so many tools available to people.

Knowledge is power.

Sep 25, 2009 08:16 AM #1
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Amen to that! Consider yourself flagged!


Sep 25, 2009 12:35 PM #2
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Great job!  Don't make me use my teacher voice either ;))) LOL

Sep 25, 2009 02:47 PM #3
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

Was this a paid consultation or a complimentary consultation?

Sep 25, 2009 03:10 PM #4
Wendy Carroll
Coeur d'Alene, ID

I'm wondering if he had the notion that home staging was just about moving furniture around.  Perhpas once you began identifying "man jobs" he realized he had a role to play in all of this.  I'm glad you posted.

Sep 26, 2009 03:00 AM #5
Liz Jenkins
a fresh space :: home staging & thoughtful organizing - Franklin, TN

Lori - I'm glad you know the "voice".  I used to be a teacher and it can come back 'just like that'.

Beverly - it was paid by the ex-wife (which may be part of the reason - he didn't have the $ invested).

Wendy - excellent point about the "man jobs".  I hadn't considered that but since a lot of what I talked about did have to do with those - I'm sure it played a big part in his attention. There wasn't any furniture to move around as it was vacant, so I'm guessing he just didn't have an idea of what we were even going to talk about.

I was just happy it sold so quickly after the consult, and so was he!

Sep 26, 2009 04:20 AM #6
David Peterson
Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging - Portland, OR
Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon

Great job on your approach and getting the client to come around.  In his situation it's easy to understand why he may have been apathetic, so your tips and delivery were a winning combination!

Sep 26, 2009 06:30 AM #7
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Excellent & timely post.  I just had this same conversation with a Home Owner whose home has been on the market for OVER 18 months with FOUR different Realtors!  The CURRENT Realtor, whom I have had the pleasure to work with before, wants to shake things up a bit - the house has NEVER been Staged and at this point she is skeptical....  I started to explain the why's and how's and how the small investment in Staging would be a fraction of the carrying costs they have already incured... she started to "get it"

Sep 26, 2009 04:27 PM #8
Cathy Brosius
Arranged Smartly LLC - Saint Louis, MO
Home Staging St. Louis region

I never thought of it as a "teacher's voice." I love that! Obviously, you did a great job motivating the homeowner. I really think in consultations that is the challenge--to share your knowledge and motivate at the same time. It's a testament to your skills that the house sold to the first buyer after it had been on the market for a year. Congrats!

Sep 27, 2009 04:33 AM #9
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

It does sound like the trick is getting their attention, as many home owners do not yet buy into the concept of paying to get staging advise. I think the future will show it was similar in the past for home inspectors. Now few homes are ever sold without one.

Sep 27, 2009 07:47 AM #10

Luv your post and how you handled the potential waste of your time.  Good for you for speaking up and gaining a convert.

Sep 28, 2009 02:49 PM #11
Liz Jenkins
a fresh space :: home staging & thoughtful organizing - Franklin, TN

Appreciate the comments very much - I find that even though I'm no longer a teacher, I still use the "voice" when organizing and staging.  Every job is a learning experience - just as each post is.  Thanks for reading & commenting on it!


Sep 28, 2009 03:13 PM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Liz- Now I wish I had some teaching background!  Great post and good use of skill from your previous life!.  People have different perceptions of what Staging is and what it takes to sell a house.  When you pointed out tasks that he could do that would make a difference you surely got his ear.  great job!

Oct 07, 2009 07:13 AM #13
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!

Amen to that, sister! I can just picture you geting the client's attention the way you did. Good job for truly being a teacher in this situation.

Dec 07, 2009 08:25 AM #14
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Liz Jenkins

Ask me a question

Additional Information