Last Saturday I drove over an hour to a home planning to do a staging. I was initially called by the wife but all subsequent calls were conducted by the husband. I thought this was a bit odd as the husband was living out of town due to a job transfer and the wife was "preparing" the house for sale.
The husband told me that his wife was a collector and had some memorabilia. That was an understatement. Every flat surface was covered with collections, there were curio cabinets, shelves and if it could be hung it was! Both husband and wife had been watching staging shows and suspected that the collections would have to go into storage or what I like to call "prepack". But when I actually said, "We need to neutralize the great room so that prospective buyers can visualize their belongings here," I thought I might be a dead woman.
The husband understood and was very supportive, this of course just made his wife angrier. I was verbally abused, told my ideas were the most ridiculous things she had ever heard and that what I was planning to do to the great room would ruin the atmosphere that she had worked so hard to create. I kept my cool, finished the initial consultation phase of the staging and looked the husband directly in the eye and said, "It will take several hours to get this room ready to be staged. I don't feel that you should pay me to pack boxes. I can tell you how I would move the furniture and what accessories and wall art I would use, then when the room is ready you can stage it." The husband took the hint, accepted my reason for leaving without doing the staging, and paid me a bit more than my consultation fee. I felt incredibly relieved when I drove away and knew that I came close to meeting the same fate as the deer head they had mounted in the great room!