Make Sure to Give Sellers Their Homework! A Case Study…

Education & Training with PRES Staging Resource Centre

Make Sure to Give Sellers Their Homework! A Case Study…

Before we, as home stagers, decide on whether or not we want to take on a home staging job, I always advise going to see the property and meet the home seller and realtor whenever possible. There will be times in your career where you turn down a job because it’s not right for you. In this case I thought that it was very doable especially since I was bringing in some PRES graduates to assist the new students.

Over the years I have moved many desks – taken them apart and reconnected the computer quite easily. I did not give the client any homework (big mistake on my part) such as taking the desk apart and moving it up into the spare room that we would later make into an office. This home is fairly typical in our market of a family home in the suburbs. Even though it’s not a ‘showhome’ our job is to make it look at attractive as possible with what we have to use!

When I looked at this room it clearly was not what a buyer wanted to see as their ‘living room’. Pretty obvious to any home stager that this room needed to have living room furniture in it and not a big desk and one sofa, side table, lamp and small art pieces.


The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

So that is what we did. We disassembled the desk and computer took it upstairs. We then took the sofa and love seat from the existing family room shown below and switched it.


Never block a view to the outside for any reason!

Never block a view to the outside for any reason!

And moved it into the living room to make it more inviting to a potential buyer…


Buyers are invited into this 'now' living room and can see their furniture here!

Buyers are invited into this ‘now’ living room and can see their furniture here!

Easy peasy job most of the time! Well it took 5 of us to get the desk apart and about 3 hours in total to put everything back together including carrying it upstairs and reassembling the desk and the computer so everything was in working order! This was MY LESSON and from now on whenever I or you see a desk like this – ask the client to disassemble and reassemble before you arrive.

Our job as home stagers is to give the home that WOW! look as much as possible so that it appeals to the buyer’s target market. We are ‘stage designers’ and thrive on creating beautiful looks by using our design talents!

What I learned and want to pass on to you:

• When you do your next consultation for a staging job take extra time to see how heavy some of the furniture is and ask the client to do their homework’ of either moving it to where it will show best or if you are not going to use it in the staging job them have them remove it (‘prepack’, sell, give away, etc)
• If there is heavy work involved hire movers or extra help to do that work if the seller is not able to and be sure to charge the seller for that
• If you are new to home staging brush up on your ‘computer connecting’ skills as you may have to take apart a computer or two and put them back together
• Make sure you have lots of the right tools in your tool kit for any job you have to tackle (Tomboy Tools have some great ones)
• Be patient with yourself when something challenging comes your way – you have the skills and talent to deal with it – sometimes it’s best to step away and then come back to it!

This property is listed for $549,900 MLS# F1303791

Comments (5)

Merline D Pennant - New homes, Short Sales and Pre-foreclosures
Regal Realty of the Treasure Coast LLC - Port St Lucie, FL
New City, New Towns, New homes

Dana your link is broken to the book.  I would like to purchase it.  I liked what you did with the home.

Mar 15, 2013 02:52 AM
Dana Smithers
PRES Staging Resource Centre - Vancouver, BC
PRES Staging Training, Redesign Training & Busines

Thanks for that heads up Merline. I just fixed the link for you! And thank you for your compliment!

Mar 15, 2013 03:00 AM
Janelle Ancillotti
Seneca Home Staging - Syracuse, NY
HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY

Real World Staging: I Love It!

On another note: I seriously had to schedule an extra visit to my chiropractor this week because of moving things that should have been moved.

Mar 15, 2013 11:50 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Oh wow, love the t.v. in the window in the "before" photo!!!  Yikes.  How frustrating that the desk took so long to take apart and put back together.  Still, the end results are great and your students must have learned tons.

Mar 16, 2013 12:19 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Dana we never move heavy furniture and we don't touch computer connections, as the liability issues are too great.  So during the consultation process we always give homeowners a "To Do" list as you mentioned, to move or remove items that we don't want to handle.  We then return when they're ready, to make the home look fabulous for buyers!

Mar 16, 2013 03:14 AM