Agents That Stage Sell Themselves Short

Reblogger Charita Cadenhead
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Do agents provide a disservice to their sellers if the agent also provides home staging?  I suppose it could be true in some cases, but I also believe that it could very well compliment the agents existing service if property implemented. Tori has some good points to be considered, but the Realtor®/stager could also bring added value to the table.

Original content by Tori Toth


A Realtor, who knows how important it is to prepare his or her listings, always goes above and beyond the competition to make a sale. Sometimes, it’s cleaning the dust bunnies off the furniture, putting away clutter before an open house or fixing a clogged drain. These tasks are added to the many others Realtors do to help get the house sold. Recently I was introduced to a Realtor as the Owner/Lead Designer of Stylish Stagers, Inc., she immediately said she stages her own listings. I thought to myself amazing she almost gets it!

Home staging is a skill set that many Realtors nowadays say they’ve mastered, and why not? They’ve seen plenty of houses to know what’s keeping the home from selling. In many cases, Realtors have taken staging training classes and are certified as staging professionals. Like the forward thinking agent I was introduced to, some agents think if they offer staging services they’re giving their clients an amazing service. In reality it couldn’t be further from the truth.As a Realtor, do you own your own inventory? Do you fully understand color psychology? Do you understand furniture placement or Feng Shui? Do you have a truck to pick up and deliver the furniture? Do you have time to shop, pull inventory or pick-up last minute items?If the answer is no, then how can you say you’re giving clients an amazing staging service. Home stagers not only have a wide range of accessories to choose from for a project, but they can also spend days prior to a staging planning, researching and shopping to dial into what this potential buyer’s demographic and psychographics are to create a lifestyle this buyer wants to obtain. Adding items into a listing that are lying around your house, usually have your specific taste and not that of the buyer. For example, laying out a Persian rug that an agent finds rolled up in the back of their closet, won’t work in a contemporary home, as well as, a white shag rug. The agent’s rug may ultimately seem off putting to buyers and could jeopardize the sale. The same is true with any items the Realtor brings into the home.The infamous life coach, Tony Robbins, recently said, “style is important than substance initially. If you have lots of substance and no style, no one will hear you.”  In our profession, we see this quote play out in life over and over again. The substance is the seller’s home and if it’s not appealing or stylish enough to attract buyers online to take action, no one will hear the seller’s offer. So, while a Realtor can go through the motions of home staging it takes an expert to style the space to leave a lasting impression.


Now, I’m not bashing Realtors who stage their own listings because they’re smart enough to understand the importance staging offers, but if you’re not making a living at staging, then you can’t give it 100-percent effort for maximum results. Staging is a full-time profession. As a Realtor you don’t write loans, conduct appraisals, inspect homes, so why waste your valuable time staging a home, when you could be obtaining another listing or showing an existing listing? What would be your client’s perception of you if you serve multiple roles when selling their property? Your client would probably see your effort, however may wonder if you can personally do it all. They may think you’re staging someone else’s property when you should be showing theirs? As we already know wondering clients can turn into unhappy clients, therefore, agents shouldn’t serve in multiple roles rather build a team.

home staging nyc
Top producers and true professionals have teams of other professionals that all work together to accomplish a common goal. A Realtor can’t be a professional at everything so they need to focus on what you do best, selling homes.The Realtor I was introduced to in this story told me her personal staging services are why her clients hire her, which has resulted in her becoming a top producing Realtor in a national real-estate company. I don’t believe it’s her staging talent at all rather it’s her passion, knowledge and commitment that has others acknowledging her accomplishments with a laundry list of awards. Imagine how much more she could accomplish if she had a home stager on her team. Home stagers can help prepare your clients homes through Do-It-Yourself Services, On-Site Staging Days, Choosing Rental Furniture, Project and Clutter Management, Color Consultations, Supplying Vendors and Accessories. Every home has its challenges, it’s a home stager’s job to think creatively and problem-solve to reduce the amount of stress the sale has on a home seller and Realtor. Do you have a home stager on your team, yet? It’s an invaluable tool that can save you time, while making you more money.

© Copyright 2010 Stylish Stagers, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

By Tori Toth Owner/Lead Designer, Stylish Stagers, Inc. (NYC Metro, Central NJ, Columbia, SC, Miami and Phoenix)



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Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes

I recently bought a book on staging.  While I do not see the need to become an expert, i do think that having a few tricks in my pocket would be a good idea.  I at least want to be able to talk the talk, when necessary.

Jun 19, 2012 01:29 AM #1
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

I'm not an expert at staging but I have an agent that definately has a nack for it, I believe it is a good skill to have but sometimes the pro is best.

Jun 19, 2012 01:34 AM #2
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Charita - I wouldn't agrue that staging is a full-time profession, but a stager would have a tough time making a living from staging just our listings - and Mary has the talent, plus we have a basement full of staging furniture and accessories, to do it right. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but it sure works for us.

Jun 19, 2012 02:15 AM #3
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Laura I think that buying that book probably helped you to understand the work of a stager (perhaps in ways that you may not have realized) and that's beneficial in itself.

Diane I am all for leaving it to the pros, but just because an agent chose to do home staging too, does not mean that they are not the pros particularly if they have had the training.  In the same way as if a home stager decided to get his/her real estate license and practice real estate as well.

Dick without question, I agree that it isn't for every agent (and I am definitely one that it wouldn't apply to).  I don't mean to imply  that staging is something that anyone can do, but certainly an agent that is willing to invest the time and education, should by all should feel free to incorporate it into their services.  You and Mary are the pefect example of doing the right way and being equipped to do so.

Jun 19, 2012 02:22 AM #4
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

The only house I would even consider adding a little "staging" to would be a vacant home where I could add to the bathroom, fireplace or kitchen.  That's it, no more!  ha ha, I have a small arsenol of supplies, but leave it to the experts when I can.

Jun 19, 2012 08:15 AM #5
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Charita very interesting point. I know of some agents who stage their listings. I do not have the time, energy or supplies, hence I recommend the pros who do this for a living. I have to say very few homes were staged in my listings. The fact that I have a phenomenal photographer he fills the void of staging....

Jun 19, 2012 08:22 AM #6
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Hi Charita-I think that a Realtor® who is also a stager probably brings some extra to the table.  I have thought about taking a few classes :)!  I think that anytime a Realtor brings a bit extra, brings more value to her (his) clients.  Great reblog

Jun 19, 2012 11:38 AM #7
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Charita Cadenhead

Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
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