7 Valuable Reasons Realtors & Home Stagers Make a Great Team

Home Stager with Epic Empire Designs

I've learned a lot about the perception of home staging since launching my Empire. I've met with and spoken with literally hundreds of realtors and have heard every imaginable opinion on home staging ranging from "I'm a huge advocate of your services!" to "Home staging is ridiculous; I can sell my listings regardless of how they show". I'm not here to sell you on home staging, the statistics speak for themselves. Home staging is quickly becoming an industry standard and a powerful marketing tool that make homes sell faster & for higher prices. So, why, as a realtor, should you partner with a home stager?

1. Value added service - By including a home staging consultation with each of your listings, you are automatically adding value to your clients' experience. Stay a step ahead of your competition; if you don't include staging as part of your services, your competitors will!

2. Exceed expectations - Home staging is becoming more and more well known by home owners and is considered quite trendy. Believe me, home owners love home staging and it gets them talking. Overheard on many occasions while working with a client "Oh Hi Susan, can I call you back? I'm with my home stager. I know! I feel like I should be on HGTV. It IS cool. I'll call you later" Get your clients talking - and get referrals coming your way!

3. Generate immediate interest on MLS - More than 80% of buyers begin their search online. Staged properties shine among the listings and automatically generate lots of interest. Take a look through MLS and you'll see exactly what I mean. Don't be a "what not to do" example!

4. Prevent price reductions - When properties don't move, the first step is likely a price reduction which is usually a minimum of $10K. The cost of staging is a fraction of a price reduction; home staging actually saves the home owner money!

5. Avoid awkward conversations - Let your home stager have the delicate conversation with your client about packing up their porcelain doll collection. People are very proud of their homes & collections; home stagers specialize in having these conversations without offending the home owner. As an outsider coming in as an expert on showcasing properties, we offer objective advice and do the dirty work for you. 

6. Maintain & build your image and reputation - Staged properties photograph beautifully and practically market themselves online. Ensure each of your listings shine on MLS; potential clients will surely notice your listings are pristine, sell quickly and will be the first to call you when they want to sell.

7. Understand EXACTLY what home staging is - I can't emphasize this enough! HGTV has been an excellent promoter of home staging, however, many people are under the impression that staging involves a team of contractors, a truck full of rental furniture and the lives of the home owners turned upside down. Home staging can be elaborate, complete with renovations, rental items and contractors, however, 99% of the time, that's not the case. Home stagers can work their magic with the existing belongings of the home owner, often just re-arranging furniture and accessories and pre-packing items to be stored while the home is on the market.

Comments (17)

Mannie Ferguson
The Staging Fashionista - Alexandria, VA

Excellent points - thanx for sharing.

Mar 09, 2010 10:58 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

It's true that homeowners are becoming much more aware of the concept of staging and they are looking for a realtor who believes in it too.  I used to rely on realtors for my business, and now I'm receiving most of my business from sellers who searched for a stager online.

Mar 09, 2010 11:35 AM
Donna Ross
Room Remedy Interiors, Sydney, Australia - Salton City, CA
Home Decorating, House Staging, Sydney


Love your post. Point number 7 is so very important.

Just lately I've talking to a number of local, Aussie agents about staging and all had incorrectly assumed that staging was suited only to homes with million dollar asking prices. This was the only way they figured, any home owner could justify spending the many thousands of dollars needed for staging.

Wow, had they got it wrong! I managed to explain what staging really was, and what the costs are really like "99% of the time."

Once of the reasons they get this impressions is from an Australian TV show called 'Selling Houses Australia' where the host takes stale property listings, then with the help of a professional designer and a landscaper, gets them prepared for the market. Not only are there large teams of people and big jobs (new kitchens are not unusual along with a house full of rental furniture), but the smallest staging budget is $8000 and the largest is $30,000.

The agents I talked to were pleasantly surprised and once they realised what staging was really all about, and the costs, they happily agreed to include my information in with their own, when they do appraisals/presentations.

I've since taken all the info that I ended up explaining to them, and turned it into a colour brochure aimed spefically at a real estate agent audience. It's with the printer as I write.

Mar 09, 2010 12:10 PM
Wanda Richards
Shows Great Home Staging and Web Solutions - Roanoke, VA
Shows Great Home Staging

Great information.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

Mar 09, 2010 12:13 PM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Great list....and it is wonderful when it is a TEAM.....stager/seller/agent!!

Mar 09, 2010 01:27 PM
Mary Lou Teague
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN

Heather, grat list and thanks for sharing..I have to agree with Sharon, most of my clients are from those who googled HOME STAGER and got me....I have not had as many Realtors to come to me as sellers...either way I am thankful for the business.

Mar 09, 2010 01:57 PM
Heather Kleim
Epic Empire Designs - Vancouver, BC

Thank you for all of your comments! As a 7 month old business, I am finding that nearly all of my business comes from realtors. It's very interesting to me that there is still so much misconception out there around what home staging actually is. Home staging seems to be a love/hate topic with realtors, they are rarely indifferent about it.

I appreciate your feedback very much, thank you all for reading!

Mar 09, 2010 02:54 PM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

About 30% of our business comes from investors who know what needs to be done to market their properties.  Another 20% find us before they find their agents and the other 50% comes from agents.  We find agents that wouldn't have dreamed of using a stager a few years ago now are softening after seeing consistent excellent staging.  Great staging that isn't gimicky or cheesy is persuasive - as are the results!

Mar 09, 2010 03:22 PM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Heather, team is the right word. I make sure my realtor partners know I have their interests in mind as well as the home seller, especially if I am contacted first by the REA. I keep them posted on every step of the process and try to support what they are doing, whether its an open house or knowing  they can count on me  to follow through.

I am very much aware that Realtors talk to each other and I consider it high praise when they refer me. Working as a team is SO much easier than doing it on your own!

Mar 10, 2010 01:25 AM
Margret Nyfors
One Percent Realty Ltd - Vancouver, BC

Heather!!!  What an excellent blog post!  And it is sooooo true.  Working with lots of buyers I can't stress enough how important the first impression makes.   So many sellers lose good potential buyers by not staging their house in order to save money or because they are not objective in how their home presents.  Then the house sits on the market and they have to reduce the price etc etc in order to make a sale.  

Often times, I can see a property is a good one...it just needs a touch of paint or a good cleaning but my buyers cannot envision it.  They are turned off by the mess or the smell or the look of the place...It is frustrating all around!

Keep up the great work!!  And keep staging those properties.  It makes my job as a buyer's agent so much easier!!  Marg  :-)

Mar 11, 2010 05:36 PM
Heather Kleim
Epic Empire Designs - Vancouver, BC

Thank you all for your comments and input!

Margaret, interesting breakdown of where your business comes from. How long have you been in business? I'd be interested to know when it started to branch out and how you made that happen!

Tessa, I couldn't agree more about keeping REA's posted throughout the process. It's a great way to show our dedication and really builds the whole team feeling. Well said!

Marg, great insight from a buyer's agent perspective! The vast majority of people can't see past clutter, messes etc which is a shame as it's such an easy fix. Most staging can be done in under a day for a fraction of the cost of a price reduction. Your input is always valued and welcomed - thank you!

Mar 12, 2010 03:14 PM
Robin North
Dramatic Spaces Home Staging and Design - Cambridge, ON

Excellent post Heather - I like that you used the word "team" as that is how I view our role in the whole scenario of helping homeowners.  I hope some day most real estate agents can see that we can make their job so much easier.

Mar 18, 2010 03:51 PM
Heather Kleim
Epic Empire Designs - Vancouver, BC

I agree completely, Robin. It is a team effort 100% and it's all about the homeowner. Many realtors get this and leverage our skills and those who don't are missing out on a great way to provide an outstanding experience for their clients!

Mar 19, 2010 11:05 AM
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

It's a good breakdown of what needs to be said during a realtor meeting. I have my first meeting with a realtor tomorrow and plan on using this information to my advantage. Thanks!

Mar 22, 2010 02:32 AM
Heather Kleim
Epic Empire Designs - Vancouver, BC

I'm glad you found the information useful, Tori. Good luck with your meeting!

Mar 22, 2010 04:22 AM
Jana Uselton
Founder- Model My Home & Home Staging and ReDesign Association
Home Staging and ReDesign

love the post!  this is such great information to be able to share with the Realtors that are skeptical of staging!  Thanks so much!

Mar 22, 2010 04:34 AM
Heather Kleim
Epic Empire Designs - Vancouver, BC

Thanks, Jana! I'd love to hear how other stagers present the benefits of staging to realtors, perhaps that's inspiration for another post. Stay tuned!

Mar 22, 2010 05:45 AM