I Want To Sell This Home Fast. Can't You Just Make it Look "Nice?"

Home Stager with Perfect Transformations Home Staging

When I walk into a home that I've been asked to look at for staging, it's always a new and exciting challenge.  My mind starts coming up with scenarios about all the stuff that could be done to make it look fabulous!  So, I put my report together and recommend changes that could put this home out ahead of the market.  Then the shoe drops and what was once a possiblity is now just a matter of what is the least we can do to get this house sold?

It's so frustrating when sellers won't do what needs to be done to make their house the best it can be.  One that I've been working on is in an upscale neighborhood but is an older home.  The owners have never painted the white walls.  They re-did the flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms - with a blue-patterned vinyl stick-on tiles!  It desparately needs the countertops upgraded and some of the cabinets could use a facelift.

Now, I understand that all of this will cost them a little bit of money.  But, they want to know: can you just make it look nice so we can get it sold?  Oh, and we want the going price for this market!  I can certainly come in and make it look better with plants, artwork and some furniture.  But the fact remains that people will notice that this home hasn't been upgraded and other ones in the area have. 

A little bit of staging goes a long way to improve the emotional appeal of a home, but nothing will hide the fact about what the home really has to offer.  Upgrades are important and a good home stager should recommend these.  If the seller can't or won't do these then they will have to settle for less when the home finally does sell.  Our job is to keep letting seller know from our experience what it takes for a house to sell quickly and for a good price!

For more information on what it takes to stage a home well, get my new ebook: Stage Your Home Yourself-Insiders Secrets That Will Get It SOLD!  http://www.bit.ly/JmeYp

Or if you'd like a sample that includes the introduction and the table of contents, download it here: http://bit.ly/79ggbs

Let me know what you think!


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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

[But, they want to know: can you just make it look nice so we can get it sold?  Oh, and we want the going price for this market!]

Argh. Yeah, that's always a challenge. They don't get that staging also may include upgrading. It's more than just placing furniture. Good points!

Dec 25, 2009 07:01 AM #1
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Debbie, Always interesting when the seller wants the going price but doesn't have the features to warrant it - and doesn't want to do anything to it.  Good luck.

Dec 25, 2009 08:01 AM #2
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Human nature. They want the most for the least. These are the same people who  want to negotiate their commission down to the nub, rationalizing that an agent should be happy to get whatever they can get. Really paying that generosity forward, these people. 

Dec 25, 2009 09:58 AM #3
Shirin Sarikhani
Seattle Staged To Sell www.seattlestagedtosell.com - Seattle, WA

I have seen that as well Debbie. It is frustrating. Being penny wise and pound foolish is not the best way to go through life, especially when it comes to real estate, when homes are one of our biggest investments. I've learned to be very patient with these type of clients. It pays off.

Dec 25, 2009 10:08 AM #4
Suzanne Metz
Design to Appeal - Medicine Hat, AB

Hi Debbie, yes, this is frustrating! I was in a home once that needed so much work done. Walls needed to be painted, floors needed to be redone, kitchen countertops etcetra. I wouldn't even think of staging the house with furnishings and accessories until the updates were completed. I feel it would have been a total waste of my time and their money, which should have been spent on updating.

Dec 25, 2009 10:40 AM #5
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

I can see how that is frustrating. We don't get very many homes being staged around here, but the ones I've seen really made a good impression on my buyers.

Dec 25, 2009 11:09 AM #6
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

"We want top dollar for doing nothing..... "

People don't get it....

Dec 25, 2009 11:24 AM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Unfortunately, as we all know. just lookling nice doesn't cut the mustard.Too bad so many folks don't seem to understand, or perhaps don't want to admit. And certainly having a real mess won't be helpful either.


Dec 25, 2009 11:27 AM #8
Wendy Rich-Soto Realtor,Real Estate Coach & Consultant
Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor - San Pedro, CA
"Bridging Your Way Home"

Unless your home is the only one on the market, you better be willing to do what it takes to set yours apart from others and price isn't the only factor!  Sellers need to be aware.  Staging helps tremendously!

Dec 25, 2009 11:49 AM #9
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Some people just don't get it!!  All you can do is tell it like it is and recommend to the seller things that will help shoe the house at it's best.


Dec 25, 2009 12:17 PM #10
Nick Zappa
Eagles Wings Realty - Montrose, CO
Professional treatment of our clients, brings awes

I will consider staging a home but the seller always backs out when I tell them it will be out of there pocket. We really do spend a lot of money on marketing. I also realize the stager needs to earn a living as well and the few homes here that are staged do look nice.

Dec 25, 2009 12:52 PM #11
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Debbie, I hate when you can just lead the horse to water and it all stops...
Dec 25, 2009 01:01 PM #12
Frank Castaldini
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

Every seller want top dollar.  The agent is in the best position to offer reality check.  I'm an expert in my field and I hope that my sellers can be guided to the best solution within their situation as soon as possible, since the sooner they get there the sooner we can take the best action and the faster their home will sell for the most the market will offer.  It's about trust, education and proper persuasion.

Dec 25, 2009 01:05 PM #13
Aaron Vaughn | Builder | Investor
Conifer Homes - Buda, TX
If the deal makes sense, the cash will follow.

This blog makes an excellent point -- staging can make a pig look pretty, but a pig with lipstick is still just a pig.

Dec 25, 2009 02:09 PM #14
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

I think most people want to spend the least amount of money and the least amount of time to sell the house.

Dec 25, 2009 02:32 PM #15
Keith Elliott Jr
KEIRE Realty Group - Manassas, VA
Principal Broker/Owner

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best for 2010!


Dec 25, 2009 03:46 PM #16
Andrew Monaghan
Your Phoenix Home Source - Glendale, AZ
CRS, GRI, EPro Associate Broker

Sellers have to assist in selling their home, a  bad / unmaintained / dated home will sell for considerably less than its competition. less than 

Dec 25, 2009 10:47 PM #17
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease

Debbie,  It's just more of the folks who want everything - 2007 sales price for their tired, not updated house for no skin off their backs.  Do you sometimes pass on clients who just are not realistic?  I'm also amazed at bad choices folks make or won't part with.  Blue is a real tough color in any main part of the house.  You are so right on the updates that are needed.  No, they probably wont' get as much money as they want, but it could be the difference between selling and not selling at all!!!  All the best, Michelle

Dec 26, 2009 01:47 AM #18
Adam Malachi
A 2 Z Realty LLC - Castle Rock, CO

Excellent post Debbie!

Thank you very much for sharing.

Mar 11, 2010 03:56 AM #19
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Debbie Fiskum

Perfect Home Staging - The Home Decor Genie
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