Real Estate Agent with Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village DRE #01744774

 (I developed this informative insert to my listing presentation from a variety of sources. It helps open the door when discussing the "re-staging" of a home about to go on the market. I'd love to credit all the sources that went into this, but theyr'e all over the place! so please enjoy, knowing it's a composite piece!)

Questions about Home “Re-Staging”

Q: Does every home need staging to sell?

A: Almost every home, condo or apartment can benefit from staging, no matter what the size, even if it is well-decorated and maintained. Why? The way we live in our homes is very different from how we need to market them and make them appeal to buyers. Most interiors, even if professionally decorated, fit a specific taste, since we all tend to personalize our spaces quickly. The goal of staging is to create a mood that buyers emotionally respond to. To accomplish that, homes need to be cleaned, de-cluttered, de-personalized – all relatively easy to accomplish with the help of your REALTOR – Kathy Smiley.

When you list with Kathy Smiley, much of what she provides in the way of staging & helping you is FREE for you – an “added value” to her expert marketing and selling services!

Q: Don’t vacant homes sell fine without professional staging?

A: Actually, no. Vacant homes can look sterile and “cold”; many buyers can’t figure out where the furniture will go, how to deal with awkward angles or shapes, or what to do with rooms that are “too large” as well as “too small.” Staging works to resolve furniture placement issues to highlight the best features of a room and downplay the problems. Staging also resolves questions about how a room should be used.

Q: How much does staging really help sell homes?

A: According to stagedhomes.com, 95.6 % of ASP-staged homes sell on average in 37 days vs. 212 days for non-staged homes. RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association, surveyed 39 homes that were listed un-staged and spent an average of 233 days on market. After they were staged, they sold in an average of 53 days. That's 78% less time on the market! Of course, there’s no guarantee that a staged home will sell faster or for more money, since current market conditions, price and your agent’s marketing all determine the final outcome. But ensuring your home presents as well as possible will enhance curb appeal and increase the odds that buyers will make offers on it.

Q: Should I stage my home before I try to sell it, or wait and see what responses I get from potential buyers first?

A: Today, 90 % of buyers search the internet for homes before contacting an agent, so the photos posted of your home are vitally important: if buyers aren’t impressed by them, they will move on. Don’t take a chance on turning off potential buyers who will quickly form a negative impression of your home if it doesn’t present well right at the beginning. The first two weeks on the market are the most crucial time for marketing your home, since that’s when agents and buyers will view your home with the most interest. The “buzz” about your home will make or break its reputation early on, so it’s important to stage BEFORE you list your home and before its appeal wanes. Agents love to bring buyers to homes that show beautifully, and staging may very well help you avoid the price reduction trap.

Q: So is it too late to stage if my home has been sitting on the market for months?

A: No, it’s never too late. In fact, many owners finally decide to try staging after their homes have sat on the market for many months with little interest. Of course, earlier is better, both in terms of saving months of inconvenience and expenses, and usually in preventing price reductions as well.

Q: Can’t most people see past the stuff in my house or the way I’ve chosen to decorate it and visualize it as their own?

A: Unfortunately, no; studies show that only 10% of buyers have the vision to see things as they could be, instead of how they are. The majority of buyers will start subtracting dollars off the price they’re willing to pay for your home when they see even cosmetic issues that they don’t like. If they see even minor maintenance/repair problems or an out-dated appearance, their offer price may drop further.

Buyers today have higher expectations than they did years ago. We are all used to seeing beautiful homes on TV, or model homes in person. Thanks to HGTV in particular, more of us are aware of the latest decorating and design trends as well and are emotionally swayed - positively or negatively -- by appearances.

Q: Will I need to buy or rent a lot of accessories or furniture to make my home’s interior look great for selling?

A: The answer is generally no, unless your home is sparsely furnished or vacant. Usually, the items you already have can be displayed differently with a designer’s eye to entice the buyer to envision themselves living in your home. Sometimes slipcovers, throws, and pillows are excellent and inexpensive solutions that often work to disguise problems. In vacant homes, we work with local rental furniture companies.

Q: How much does staging cost?

A: Typically, anywhere from ZERO -  if you list with Kathy Smiley, as she makes the investment upfront for the 2-3 hour hands-on” consultation, to just a few hundred dollars for a lifting and moving help for a small property up to a few thousand for a vacant one in need of furniture rental as well as accessories. Well worth the investment!


For expert advise and guidance when listing your home in the Conejo Valley of Ventura County (Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Calabasas, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Moorpark, Simi Valley).

I provide a free staging consultation with a top area interior designer to EVERY LISTING I TAKE!

First impressions count!

Contact Kathy Smiley


"Results That Make YOU Smile!"



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1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

You make a very convincing presentation with good quotes.  An excellent resource as a handout to sellers.

Sep 09, 2014 11:14 PM #3
Jenna Dixon
DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate - Marietta, GA
Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience

Very nice, concise reasoning to support the need for staging BEFORE marketing begins.

Sep 09, 2014 11:20 PM #4
Kathy Smiley
Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village - Westlake Village, CA
Westlake Village, CA - "Making YOU Smile!"

Thanks, ladies. Here's the cool thing: not only does simple "re-staging" totally help the home sell quickly and for more, it's fun to do! I don't have the eye, but my friend Nancy Randak, interior designer, does! She's the brains and I'm the brawn. We can whip through and transform a home in 2 - 4 hours!

Sep 09, 2014 11:57 PM #5
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The woman lights up the place and her secret (one of them) is in her smile

Sep 10, 2014 12:55 AM #6
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Kathy, very nice piece. I like the partabout staged homes selling faster and for more $s.

Sep 10, 2014 01:45 AM #7
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Kathy Smiley ~ this is just awesome! I know for a fact that any and all sellers that read this post will benefit greatly... The biggest point that needs to be empathized "those that stage love the results"

Sep 10, 2014 01:52 AM #8
Kathy Smiley
Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village - Westlake Village, CA
Westlake Village, CA - "Making YOU Smile!"

Ohhh, Richie! You do have a way with words!! (blush blush!)

Adrian - thanks for commenting. I love the name: TheHOmeFunnel! Very inventive!

Jon - Oh so true. I've had sellers tell me their home never looked as good as it does right before we hit the market. and the cool thing is, my designer utilizes all the owner's stuff! Rarely do they have to buy anything more than some throw pillows, flowers and other inexpensive items! Thanks for commenting!

Sep 10, 2014 02:40 AM #9
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

It needs to be stressed that it's never too late to stage.  Also, it doesn't have to be extravagant, sometimes a few well placed pieces of furniture and a single wall hanging can still make the room appear much more than a vacant space.  

Sep 10, 2014 03:30 AM #10
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Great discussion on staging, I have seen people buy the home and the furniture used for staging...A

Sep 10, 2014 03:56 AM #11
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Excellent piece, Kathy. I particularly like: The goal of staging is to create a mood that buyers emotionally respond to. I often bring a designer in to stage my listings, and have found that the hardest part is walking that thin line of getting sellers to declutter without offending them.   They often find it difficult to put away the objects that have created a too-personal space, and don't understand that all buyers may not share their taste.

Sep 10, 2014 03:59 AM #12
Melissa Zimmerman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty - Huntersville, NC

Thanks for all the great tips!


Sep 10, 2014 04:17 AM #13
Kathy Smiley
Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village - Westlake Village, CA
Westlake Village, CA - "Making YOU Smile!"

Melissa - another "Berkshire Hathaway" agent!! YEA! Welcome to Active Rain! And thanks for commenting. :-)

Sep 10, 2014 04:20 AM #14
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This is a great post and I think you did an excellent job in answering the questions that many sellers have.

Sep 10, 2014 12:56 PM #15
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kathy Smiley - now I see the advantages of being an expert stager and real estate agent...lol!

And yes, I have seen first hand - staged homes sell quickly and at a higher price!

Sep 10, 2014 03:35 PM #16
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

Great idea to include a handout on staging.  The current statistics on www.stagedhomes.com have changed for the better!  95 percent sell on average in 11 days!!!

Sep 11, 2014 02:38 PM #17
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

One of my pet peeves is "let's wait to see the responses before we decide to stage" You're losing the interest of so many buyers when you do that! Show your home in it's best light right off the bat. 

Sep 12, 2014 12:57 AM #18
Glenn W. Small
Bayshore Group - Traverse City, MI
Full Time Realtor w/ 21 years of experience

What a great article or blog on staging.  I agree with youon this matter.  Staging is very important! Thanks for sharing!

Sep 14, 2014 12:46 PM #19
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

First impressions are priceless...and putting the myriad of collections away can be a challenge for some Sellers

Sep 19, 2014 11:59 PM #20
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Waiting to stage...to see if "anyone comments" is sales suicide

Sep 21, 2014 02:44 PM #21
Kull Realty Group
Wellington, FL
Your local experts

Thakns for the great information!

Sep 25, 2014 08:54 AM #22
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Kathy Smiley

Westlake Village, CA - "Making YOU Smile!"
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