Sensei/Grasshopper Challenge - Vancouver Stager & S. Dakota Realtor®

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Home Stager with EXIT STAGE RIGHT

Sensei/Grasshopper Challenge - Vancouver Stager & S. Dakota Realtor®

As a Vancouver Home Stager, I'm always thrilled to have a great collaboration with a Realtor®.  Some partnerships are just magic, as we know we're on the same page, and striving for the same goal... to help a home owner sell their home quickly and receive the most money possible for their home. 

Vcr home staging before & after photos

Imagine my delight when I was contacted by Lee Alley, Realtor® in Rapid City, South Dakota, asking for a concise "Top 10 Tips for Staging a Property for Sale" that he could pass on to his clients.  I knew Lee through a group that SEO Guru Michael George has set up.  Lee is the guy who asks the really intelligent questions, or imparts information or adds his two bits to an indepth computer discussion.  A-way over my head, but then hey, Lee does have a Phd in Engineering, and... well, I have a "petite" degree in French language... 

I attacked this challenge with fervour and gusto.  One interesting tidbit Lee passed on to me was that he lives in a rural area, where there are lots of farms, animals and horse lovers.  People in his neck of the woods are wary of the term "stage", and seem to respond much better to the word "groom", as they often groom their horses.  My new title is now the House Whisperer or Groomer, rather than Stager, and I'm quite fine with that!  

In my enthusiasm to impart information, however, I became overly verbose.  My one page list of top 10 "grooming" tips soon rambled on to two pages.  I submitted the two-pager to Lee, and this is where the Sensei/Grasshopper relationship flip-flopped a bit.  Lee suggested that I condense the tips down to one page.  He felt that sellers would be more open to a quick, one page read, and Lee, as the Realtor®, could then use this list of staging tips as a spring board or opportunity to expand further and go into more detail on what needed to be done to the property in question.  I realized how right Lee was, and was grateful for the wisdom he imparted.

Here is the final result.  I hope these tips will be helpful and useful to other Realtors® also. 

 

TOP 10 TIPS TO GROOM YOUR HOME FOR SALE

 

1. LOVELY CURB APPEAL - An appealing home exterior will get homebuyers to stop and get out of their car to view your home.   Have a tidy, well-kept garden.  Make sure the front door and doorway are welcoming, with pots of fresh flowers. 

 

2. FIRST IMPRESSIONS - You only have one chance to make a great first impression.  When homebuyers walk into the Foyer, greet them with a warm vignette, such as welcoming art, a console table or chair.  Leave buyers intrigued and excited to see the rest of the house.

 

3. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN - A clean, “spic and span” home send the message to homebuyers that this home is well cared for and maintained.  Clean like you’ve never cleaned before, or hire cleaners.  Open windows to clear out stale air; let in fresh air.

 

4. PAINT - Paint is cheap, and nothing looks better than a fresh coat of paint.   Choose a light, neutral colour for the walls.  Don’t worry… you can add colour with cushions and art work .

 

5. FIX IT - All those little annoying things that you’ve been living with now need to be repaired, such as loose knobs or broken tile.  Homebuyers are notorious for overestimating how much it will cost for them to take on these repairs. 

 

6. LIGHT AND BRIGHT - Open drapes and add extra lighting.  Space and light sell homes.

 

7. EDIT - We all have too much “stuff”, so go through and donate, sell, recycle or store all the extra items that you can live without.  Buyers want space.

 

8. DEPERSONALIZE - Remove all personal family photos.  Buyers will have an easier time visualizing themselves living in the property.

 

9. HIGHLIGHT YOUR HOME’S BEST FEATURES - Arrange your furniture to show off the best architectural features in your house.   Emphasize focal points, such as a fireplace or a view.

 

10. ADD PIZAZZ - Add accessories, artwork and cushions for some interest and colour.  Homes need to convey warmth and personality.  Think about hiring a Room Groomer or Property Stylist to help add that last little bit of icing on the cake.  Pull at homebuyers’ heartstrings and speak to their emotions. 

© Sally Weatherley

Here's what Lee Alley had to say about staging in his area:  Top Ten Grooming Tips to Sell Your Home in Black Hills, SD

 

Comments (27)

Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Sharon - Thanks so much!

Malcolm - I agree; rural properties seem to be less motivated to stage, as if what's there is good enough.  That's too bad, because a staged property in a more rural area would really stand out against the competition.  You can lead a horse to water, but...

Mar 31, 2013 04:10 AM
Kim Gaston
RE/MAX Advantage Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

What a great grasshopper/sensei story, Sally. I've never liked the term "stager", always preferred Home Stylist or Property Stylist. Room Groomer explains what we do perfectly. 

Mar 31, 2013 10:02 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kim - I agree - the term "home stager" sounds a bit home spun.  I much prefer Property Stylist although my new favourite term has to be Room Groomer!  Too funny!

Mar 31, 2013 01:20 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Happy Easter Sally!

Mar 31, 2013 02:43 PM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Happy Easter to you and your family, Bob!

Apr 01, 2013 12:55 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

What a great team you and Lee make!  The list is great and very easy for sellers to follow and understand.  Well done!  I love the term "groomer" too....I totally understand the need to reterm our job description depending on location.

Apr 01, 2013 05:10 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Sharon - Lee was fun to work with - wish he lived here - he totally "gets" staging... uh... I mean grooming!

Apr 01, 2013 02:56 PM
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

I'm also your biggest fan, lol! Every buyer should have this check list and do everything on it if they want to sell quickly and for more money. Kudo on a great job working with Lee!

Apr 06, 2013 09:32 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kristine - Love your new vacant staging project - just gorgeous!  I agree, a check list is very helpful for sellers.  Lee was a pleasure to collaborate with!

Apr 06, 2013 12:03 PM
Kim Gaston
RE/MAX Advantage Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

Ahem...Miss Secretary would you please take a bow?

CONGRATULATIONS, Sally on your new appointment to the Board of Directors as the Secretary of RESA!!! So happy to read this last night and thrilled for you. I told Maureen the same, and want you to know we all love and support you here in the rain! :)

Apr 07, 2013 10:04 PM
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Sally congrats to you! You must be proud.  You are an amazing stager and make the ones who blog with you proud.

I am also your biggest fan!!

Apr 08, 2013 09:48 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kim - Thanks so much!  Very honoured to be the new Secretary for the RESA Boad of Directors.  They have a great team, and so happy that Maureen's a part of it, too. 

Wendy - You're so sweet.  Thanks!  Actually, I'm super excited to be the "Canadian" representative on the Board.  Canada has a lot of members in RESA, so I'll be a voice for the Great White North.

Apr 08, 2013 11:26 PM
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Sally, so good to see your reputation as A1  is spreading across borders! Your Staging basics are spot on for sure!

Apr 11, 2013 10:00 AM
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Hi Sally, I like Room Groomer term. I think you should register a Trade Mark on that. And your 10 tips are straight to the point and should be in every Realtor's package. Well done my friend.

May 18, 2013 02:13 PM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Janice - Thanks.  These staging tips are pretty universal!  

Anna - The "Room Groomer" is pretty catchy...

May 18, 2013 02:53 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Perfect list Sally. Straight to the point is always best even though we have so much more to say. LOL

May 18, 2013 11:44 PM
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Sally - I've never heard the word "groom" but I can understand why some people don't like the word "stage" - it does have  a fake connotation. This is an excellent list that every seller should adhere to and more homes would sell faster if they did. I'll reblog later this week! SUGGESTED!

Jun 05, 2013 04:28 AM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Hey Groomer Gal! Great list! So nice you have someone who is a team player & willing to impart wisdom! I have already been doing everything on your list, lol, & our house will be up for sale shortly! :)

Jun 16, 2013 11:59 PM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hi Sally-I just wanted to stop by and say hello. Hope you are well and having a great summer. Stop by and let me know how you are sometime!

Aug 08, 2013 07:52 PM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Good to hear from you, Marco.  Yes, having a great summer.  Our weather has been fantastic - almost like Florida, but without the palm trees!  Hope all is well with you and thanks for stopping by :)

Aug 08, 2013 11:42 PM