"We dont have money for that!"

Home Stager with Prep This House Interiors Inc.

I had an very interesting conversation with a local REA this morning.. we were discussing our local market and how Home Staging is perceived here.

Home owners here often don't understand the importance of Home Staging and  would rather take a price reduction than Stage their home!  Most  home owners and REA in our local area consider Home Staging as an expense rather than an investment ...

The agent did bring up a good point though..when you have a homeowner who has to sell their property because they have no money.. how do you get a homeowner to Stage the listing when the whole reason they are selling is because they cannot make ends meet!

This and the continuing debate over the cost of monthly rentals for furniture and accessories is enough to drive you to the nearest Starbucks for a Venti Iced Quad-shot Skinny Vanilla Latte!

Thank goodness there are REA and Homeowners who do "get it", otherwise I probably would not still be in business.

This got me thinking... what of objections that you hear:

"Home Staging!  What the heck is that?"

"We dont have money for that!"

"Our house is fine, our neighbors sold last year and they didn't have to "Stage it"

Todays buyers need to see the value they are getting for their money.  That  value needs to equal or exceed a buyers expectations, especially when home sellers are competing with new construction at similar price points.

So what can you do?  What can you say? How do you present Home Staging when you hit a road block like the ones above?

It is easy to get caught up in our own challenges in educating owners and agents alike on Home Staging, so it was interesting listening to this REA's point of view..Our conversation ended with the understanding that we all need to work as a TEAM to help a homeowner achieve their goal.. getting their home SOLD for the most money and as quickly as possible!  Now that gives me the warm fuzzies!



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Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

Of course most will not want to spend money.  If we let them know they are going to make more than they spend they are all in.

Jan 04, 2011 05:57 PM #1
Wendy Betts
South Delta & S. Surrey Realtor

Staging is also a nice gift after the client moves in to thier new home - Professional advice on how to arrange furniture, artwork, and bring out the best features of thier new home is appreciated, too! 

Jan 04, 2011 05:58 PM #2
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

Tim: you are very right about that one!

Wendy:  yes it is, alot of my repeat business is from homeowners who have moved into their new homes and now need help getting their things looking just right in a different space!

Jan 04, 2011 06:03 PM #3
Anja Kerstens
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Morgan Hill, CA
GRI, CDPE, CHS, ASP, Selling Silicon Valley Real

Do you have statistics to proof the added value of staging? The simple things don't always cost that much and the added value is more then the actual expense.  Staging is so important that it is good to show before and after pictures in addition to statistics.  I think real estate professionals know the added benefit; it is convincing home sellers of it which is difficult.

Eagle Ridge real estate

Jan 04, 2011 06:08 PM #4
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

Hi Anja,  yes I have stats and before and afters, and share them with both homeowners and REA alike, the REA was asking me what to say to her clients when they say they dont have the money for Home Staging..it certainly can be a challenge to convince home sellers when they are in a bind already.

Jan 04, 2011 06:33 PM #5
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Home staging still seems to be perceived as a luxury rather than a necessity.


Jan 05, 2011 12:06 AM #6
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Good topic Kym! there are many items in terms of staging a home that cost little or no money! That's where a home staging consultation can come in and help identify those areas.  From what to pack to deep cleaning and painting themselves - a good home stager can actually SAVE and MAKE them more money in these types of situations! many Realtors are now paying for this service as part of their listing presentations. What better way to show your value and committment to your sellers than helping them get more and identify where to focus their hard earned dollars?

Jan 05, 2011 01:29 AM #7
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Isn't the homeowner who is most desperate to sell the one who needs to stage the most?  Not staging costs more in the long run and that doesn't even factor in the stress of constantly having the property shown when the homeowner is already under duress.  I like RESA's Staging Calculator to help clients understand what it costs to NOT stage.  Like Karen, I have also heard of realtors covering some of the cost of staging or recovering it at closing (because I do assume our work will sell it).  Good luck.  Still a tough market out there.

Jan 05, 2011 12:18 PM #8
Joanne Bechhoff
Home Staging by SPC, SPC Associates of NY, Inc. - Manorville, NY

Staging is a powerful tool for marketing any house.  The homeowners and Real Estate Agents that get it will benefit tremendously.  I think sometimes we try too hard to convince some people the value of staging and forget one of the basic principals of busness; not everyone will want to use our service so we need to know when to move on to the next prospect.  Great Post Kym, thanks.    

Jan 05, 2011 02:02 PM #9

Karen: yes.. consultations are great for that.. I had a client who we did a consult for.. they implemented the changes recommended, purchased some small items and Sold in one week after being on the market for a year!

Janet:  thanks for the reminder of RESA's Staging Calculator.. it is an important tool :)

Joanne: your right, there is a right fit for everyone and that does not in anyway mean that we are not good at what we do!

Jan 05, 2011 02:27 PM #10
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Ask the realtor how money will he/she loose over a 6 month period of a listing.  What's the advertising budget?  Open houses?  Realtor Tours?

How much commission will they loose with a $20,000 price reduction?

Isn't it better to pay for a consultation fee upfront and sell it faster?

Jan 05, 2011 03:35 PM #11
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Excellent post Kym. I know how you feel. Clients with no money seems to be a recurring theme in our area. I try to convince REAs and clients to invest in a walk through consultation which is under $100.00. Many times that is more than they will spend. It is a frustrating situation for all concerned.

Jan 05, 2011 05:16 PM #12
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

Joanne is right, there are those who will never be interested or use our service, especially if they have the wrong impressions on cost. Most of my business is direct from homeowners who do get that the relatively low cost of a consultation is better than doing nothing and will benefit them at the end. 

It has been my experience more resistance comes from agents who assume or use the excuse their client will not or cannot afford any "extras" such as staging.  I think if more agents looked at staging consultations as part of the marketing package they offer a client everyone benefits. 

Agent makes quicker better sale, homeowner makes quicker better sale, everyone happy.  Make that consultation a priority part of a marketing strategy over some print options that  cost twice as much and doesn't really show a property effectively if it is not staged properly.  It's a wastef of money and the mls system is full of photos that show how much some don't get it.

Make a reputable stager a part of the marketing team.  Don't view stagers as outsiders out to make a buck .  One agent I work with loves to call me and say..."you talk to them, they're not hearing me."  It's a constant bang the drum which I am sure is true of any service business, value must be demonstrated repeatedly

Jan 07, 2011 07:14 AM #13
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

Ana:  well I think you summed it all up in a nutshell!  I too get agents who do the very same to me... getting me to explain to homeowners what value there is in Staging their property, which is no problem, it is part of what we do.

I also agree with you that value must be demonstrated repeatedly, I was having this exact conversation with another local stager this morning!  Thanks for your insight...

Jan 07, 2011 08:26 AM #14
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Kym Tarr

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