Couple Helps Distressed Homeowners

Home Stager with Showhomes

Carla and Jonathan Cheifetz recently opened a Showhomes franchise in Princeton, NJ after both lost their jobs and became frustrated with the lackluster job market. Jonathan, a former Wall Street executive and Carla, previously the director of a non-profit, both lost their jobs during the economic downturn of 2008. Both looked for new jobs for months before deciding to take their careers in a new direction.

“I was very impressed that Showhomes has been around for 23 years,” Carla says. “It’s an especially effective solution in our Northeast housing market, where many homeowners are incredibly frustrated because their properties have lingered on the market for so long. You see vacant homes for sale on every street – the opportunity for this business in this region is huge.”

Jonathan Cheifetz agrees. “We are working with one client whose home has been on the market for six years,” Jonathan says. “She sat down and cried when she found us.”

As the economy sputters into the final quarter of 2009, the high-end real estate market is still in the dumps. While sales of lower end, entry-level homes have increased, sales of homes over $500,000 are moving at a glacial pace – if at all.

Here's some of Carla and Johnathon's work on a contemporary home that was difficult to show when vacant with marble floors and echo filled spaces and now looks uber - modern:


Great home staging work!

What do you think?

Comments (7)

Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Thomas... great of you to promote these people. I feel bad for them to be in this economy.  Sorry but (you put it out there) I do not feel that they have staged this property. If you want specifics, I will do e-mail.

Sep 28, 2009 04:23 PM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

Lori, love to have your feedback - my email is I think the best way we all learn is to put it all out there.

At Showhomes, our focus is on the successful sale of the home. We are a unique home staging company and work in a niche that rarely overlaps with other home stagers. 100% of our homes are vacant to start with and most are already distressed and have been on the market for some time. The way we set the house up is one component of what we do, the way we add life to the home and keep it in show condition so it is prepped for every showing the other.

One of the best compliments a Realtor (or home stager) can give us is to say our homes don't look staged -we want the buyer to think the homeowner lives in the home and loves living in the home.

If you are curous, tune in to Alice Chan's weekly Home Staging blog talk radio show - I am the guest speaker this week and I'm going to be talking about this very issue, why our approach to staging higher end homes is working, how it differs from the convential wisdom in our industry and some unconventional ideas about home staging we've learned from 3 decades in the business.

The info on her Thursday show is here:

Sep 28, 2009 11:01 PM
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Hey there Thomas. Thanks for not squashing me ;), but I just had to say something.  I think the whole concept of showhomes is great though.  I will email you with my thoughts.  I will also check out the radio show... best to you.

Sep 29, 2009 03:41 PM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

No problem, Lori - we've often posted some difficult to stage homes and asked for feedback and it is always a learning experience. This home is a truly difficult one and the photos don't tell all of the story; you'd have to see it to beleive it.

I'm looking forward to your comments and perhaps we can make a blog post out it that helps others.

Happy home staging!


Sep 29, 2009 11:05 PM
Liz Gallagher
LG Home Harmony - Home Stagers & Organizers - Montreal, QC
Montreal Quebec RESA member

Just lovely ... bold, colourful, hip ... it's got it all. 

Nice work ... I bet they will do very well.

Oct 03, 2009 02:49 PM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

Glad to say the owner of this home accepted an offer yesterday! Congrats!

Oct 10, 2009 12:52 AM
Carla Cheifetz Showhomes of Princeton Owner

Had a Brokers Open House on Oct 6th over 60 realtors attended.  The response was so positive.  Everyone just loved the house.  Most of them had seen the home when it was vacant and were shocked at how well it showed with our Home Managers furniture in it.  It was an extremly difficult home to stage because of all the marble/granite, the bedrooms are even granite  Plus every room is painted either a yellow, blue or green.  A sure challenge but it all works beautifully.

Oct 12, 2009 02:50 PM