Twelve Years Later It's Still My Favorite Home Staging Project

Reblogger Roy Kelley
Education & Training with Realty Group Referrals 16766

Sweat equity is a seller's greatest resource.

Original content by Sharon Tara

 I shared this story of my first home staging transformation before. After all these years it  remains my favorite. I still get emotional thinking about it. 


One day a high school friend spontaneously dropped by for a visit. Luckily, I was home.

As we caught up over tea, she told me about her new career in real estate and how excited she was to have signed her first million dollar listing.

The listing was going to be a challenge... Donna's client was the soon to be ex-wife in a bitter divorce situation. Sherry had two teens, was financially strapped, battling depression and unable to cope with the task of preparing her house for sale. 


Donna told me that she had met with a stager for advice and added...


" I would have been better off calling you....

you would have been more helpful with the staging.


She thought I would be helpful? Honestly I had no idea what she was talking about.

I assumed staging  was something painters stood on.

For the life of me I had no idea how I could help, but I agreed to go with Donna that afternoon to see the house.


The house was huge... a beautiful, historic home with great features that were hard to appreciate because there was so much STUFF everywhere.



I met the seller, Sherry, and instantly felt compassion for her. She was not coping well and although she wasn't physically or emotionally able to help, she gave Donna free rein to do whatever needed to be done. Donna asked for my help.


I had no real estate experience and had never even heard the term "stager". 

I was completely overwhelmed by the condition of the house.


I can't explain it...

as I walked room by room, I instinctively knew what needed to be done, and I wanted to be part of the transformation.  


It took us three months to clean, organize and stage every single room. We used our own money for purchases. I came up with creative solutions whenever possible to keep the cost down.

It was a tremendous amount of work, but I loved every minute of it.


The sellers wanted to ask one million, but Donna's broker had originally said that was too high.

Donna held a Realtor Open. It was exciting for me to see the positive reaction of the agents, many of whom had seen it prior to our transformation.



After seeing the transformation, Donna's broker agreed

to the one million dollar listing price!

It ended up selling in 6 weeks for $950,000.  



To this day I believe that the three of us were brought together at a time in our lives when each of us most needed it.

Donna's husband had died and a real estate career would secure her future.

Sherry's marriage had ended and selling the house was the beginning of her new life.

I needed something in my life to fill a void I didn't know how to fill.

It was a fresh start for each of us.


Here's what I learned from this amazing experience:

I knew more about real estate marketing than I could have imagined.

There is always a background story, a personal issue that haunts most sellers.

Every seller should be treated with compassion and respect.

Every budget can benefit from staging. 

Sweat equity is a seller's greatest resource.

Staging isn't decorating, it's strategic marketing.


" Your greatest test is when you are able to bless someone else,

while going through your own storm.  "

Rafael Garcia


Written for:  It's February And Love Is In The Air






Creative & Unique Solutions... One Room at a Time 




Professional Home Staging in New Hampshire

Portsmouth   Rye   North Hampton   Dover   Durham   Barrington   Rochester 



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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for reblogging the post. I hope others will read it too  Sharon did a great staging job

Apr 16, 2018 02:39 AM #1
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Please be sure to leave comments at the original blog by Sharon Tara

Apr 16, 2018 03:05 AM #2
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Great story...we do believe that there is a reason that people come into your life...and value the lessons they teach yoo !

Apr 16, 2018 03:41 AM #4
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Expert

Roy, thanks for reblogging Sharon's post.  You can clearly see the difference between a well staged home and one that needs work. More often than not, a well staged home will have a positive impact on the sales price.

Apr 16, 2018 04:31 AM #5
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Roy Kelley,

Thank you for re-blogging this post from Sharon Tara. How did I ever miss this one? I'm off to read and comment on her post.

Apr 16, 2018 04:51 AM #7
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the re-blog, Roy.  Sharon did an amazing staging job with this home.

Apr 16, 2018 05:24 AM #9
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

We have a rainy Monday morning in Maryland after overnight thunderstorms and high winds. Flood warning are posted in the area.

Apr 16, 2018 05:49 AM #11
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Roy, this was an excellent post, and read it when Sharon posted originally.  Great choice!  

Apr 16, 2018 07:16 AM #12
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Your feedback is always welcome and is very much appreciated.

Apr 16, 2018 07:33 AM #13
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Thank you so much for sharing my post, Roy! I appreciate it!

Apr 16, 2018 05:45 PM #14
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
Latitude Observatory Volunteer Trainingobservatory
The Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory is an important part of the City's history. Observatory Park celebrates that history and tells the story of the stargazing work that went on there for nearly a century, helping with global latitude measurements. The Community Museum is seeking volunteers to staff events that are held at the Observatory throughout the year. Training will take place on Monday, April 30, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. SSL hours are available. Click here for details.
Apr 23, 2018 03:48 AM #15
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