Fellow home stagers, has this ever happened to you?
Your client (the homeowner), who has moved out, contacts you and says, "My listing agent offered 'free' staging as part of their services .... but the staging isn't at all what I expected. Can you come look at the house to see if you can help? I feel we need a professional stager."
First, I looked at the online photos ... this Vacant home had been on the market for several months, and wasn't getting the showings that it should have. I was shocked when I saw how dated the furnishings were that the listing agent provided ... obviously a hodge-podge of leftover furniture from somewhere else, art that didn't coordinate with anything, and furniture that was the wrong scale and much too dated for this newly-remodeled home.
It's one thing for an agent to help their client with the staging ... it's wonderful if they pay for a staging consultation or share in the cost of a vacant home staging; but when someone reperesents themselves as a "Staging Realtor" then you have certain expectations of the quality of their work. There are some Realtors on Active Rain who know how to stage ... they are rare, but they do exist, and a few of them are incredible stagers! Most agents, however, recognize that their time is better spent doing what they do best -- helping their buyer and seller clients with their real estate transactions.
I met the homeowner and viewed the house in person; the seller said the agent was a friend of hers, and that she didn't want to hurt this agent's feelings, but that she "couldn't stand that her home now looked like an elderly grandmother lived there" to potential buyers. She asked me, "can you help?" Without saying anything detrimental about the existing 'staging' provided by her listing agent, I assured her that my staging plan for the home would make the home look more modern and appealing to the target buyer. Here are some comparisons of the Realtor Staging vs professional staging ...
This home sold a month after professional staging. Sellers shouldn't take chances when your home is on the market .. consult with a professional home stager ... the investment in staging will pay for itself when your home sells quickly.