Staging Without a PRO is just "Cleaning" or "Reorganizing"

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Northern Virginia Homes - FRANKLY REAL ESTATE Inc

With the rare exception of people with a design degree or experience staging multiple homes for a living, the customer needs to understand that "staging" on your own (or after buying a $25 book) isn't staging.

Instead I like to call it "cleaning" or "reorganizing."

 

EMAIL #1 after being asked to review a stale property listing. FROM FRANK>

> My #1 tip is it needs real staging.

> see http://blog.franklyrealty.com/2007/07/throw-up-listings.html
>
> People confuse "cleaning" with staging.
>
> Want some advice? Join ActiveRain.com and put a post under the group called
> Stage it Forward. Show them the photos and see what they say.
>
> Declutter declutter declutter.
>
> I'm not a stager, but I bet she would change all the bedroom colors and take
> out all the kids stuff. Bathroom would remove all the extras that aren't
> necessary.
>
> It is very hard to live in a place, while selling it

> You might have to pay $1,000 -$2,000 for a real
> stager, and maybe even $1,000 to repaint, but that is chump change vs
> dropping your price $10k-50k.
>
> Frank
>

REPLY FROM SELLER

Thank you very much for the advice!  

We've pretty much been constrained by the fact that we're still living in the house with a relatively small child, so we haven't wanted to disrupt _her_ life by doing anything drastic to her comfort zones (Yeah, pink walls aren't exactly fashionable).  I'm definitely willing to offer to re-paint the walls in the house to any interested buyer, but perhaps my agent hasn't been too forward in communicating that to them.  Will definitely have to sit down and have a talk with her about that....  :)

Your site's definitely been a fount of ideas, though:  After reading up on it, I found two immediate tunings that I think will help.  For  one, the kitchen is really cluttered by a microwave on the counter.  
Installing a new microwave/exhaust fan over the stove, and perhaps replacing the stove/oven as well, might help make the kitchen look a little bit more roomy, even if the cabinets and countertops are a little dated.  The other thing I noticed is that our living room looks *really* small with all of the furniture we have piled into it.  I'm hoping to address that by getting rid of a couple of the cabinets that are in there, moving the recliner downstairs, and spreading everything else out.  All Frankly™-inspired ideas, of course, so thank you VERY much once again!

 I'll see about taking some more pictures with my Canon after we re-stage things, and send those in for the listing...

Regards,
Derek

 

 FINAL REPLY FROM FRANK

Hey DEREK,
No need to bother offering the allowance for painting etc. It doesn't work that way.  People have no vision. They instead have this GUT reaction to a home that just "feels right." The proper staging (and don't call it staging unless you use a pro, otherwise calling it "cleaning or rearranging") is basically a manipulation of that "gut feeling."

A stager's mantra is "kitchen and bathrooms". They would probably spend the $2,000 on new counters (everyone wants what their parents have, and that is just expected now) but don't put in the cheapest black ones. And yep appliances help a ton too.

Is it an option to get your other place first and that way you can fix it up properly and sell it?

Don't you dare put in a new microwave with an old stove. Basically do all 3 (4) or nothing. You don't know how many times buyers laugh when they see two stainless steel appliances and 1 white newish fridge.

I just had my Mom's place redone for like $20k ($600k house) to sell it. I'll be showing the before and afters.

Frank 

 

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Rainer
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Jackie Peraza
Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC - Framingham, MA
Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts

Frank- oh my....excellent advice on the appliances and you were right on the money with the painting - allowances aren't working, buyers want to see it in action.  Lot's of folks are able to live in their staged home though as long as arrangements have been made for quick (as in within 5 minutes) pickup of toys and daily maintenance.  It's tough, but it definitely can be done.  I absolutely enjoy staging owner occupied's and many are not in positions to move prior to sale - we just work together to come up with plans to have that house show ready in 20 minutes or less. 

Jackie

Nov 29, 2007 04:03 AM #1
Rainer
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James Frazier
James Frazier Personal Development Coach - Rockford, IL
What a great post...again. I am going to refer some of my Realtor friends to this post in hopes that they will pass it along to their clients who say "Oh we have staged it ourselves" but can't figure out why the home isn't selling after being on the market for six months!
Nov 29, 2007 06:35 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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FRANK LL0SA Esq.- Northern Virginia Broker .:. FranklyRealty.com

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