A New Spin On It
by Donna Shryer
Staging may not be news, although you can certainly put a new spin on this tried-and-true service, explains Wanda Fears, CRS Realtor with Treehouse Realty Va, a Long and Foster group, serving Richmond, Virginia. Fears markets her staging expertise as an executive-style, turnkey concierge service, which begins when the listing is signed and ends after the property is sold.
To provide such an all-encompassing solution, Fears developed trusted relationships with local experts ready to improve, repair and stage a client’s home. “I oversee everything,” Fears says. “I meet vendors at the client’s home, explain what’s needed, collect prices, check as the work is being done and double-check after everything’s done.
Many major brands are also on Fears’ path to concierge service. Think Nordstrom, which debuted Nordstrom Local, 3,000-square-foot storefronts with no merchandise. Personal shoppers have everything waiting for clients, who try on and buy.
Then there’s Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, two of many services that deliver ingredients and recipes to your front door. Look closer and these businesses have actually put a fresh spin on an old idea—ordering in!
In a similar fashion, Fears doesn’t market staging; she markets the fact that her concierge service takes care of everything. “Many sellers get discouraged just thinking about preparing their home for sale. They’re overwhelmed before even beginning,” Fears explains. “Most of the time we don’t talk about staging, since the very word can increase stress. We talk about a turnkey solution that helps sell a home more quickly and for top dollar,” Fears says.
Tweak It! If a concierge staging service isn’t in your wheelhouse, team up with a professional interior designer who has vendor connections and on-the-job knowledge. This may bump up staging costs, Fears says, but it’s money well-spent. “Ninety percent of the time, clients get every penny back—if not more—and the home sells faster.
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