Staging 101.......I just graduated from staging school

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Shoreline New Hampshire & Maine

Today was graduation day........I graduated with the class of Thursday-Friday, March 2-3 staging school.

My diploma says I'm now qualified to "consult real estate clients and make recommendations in preparing the property for sale."

Great class taught by master stager Jackie Riggins, a former trainer for the First Lady of staging, Barb Schwarz.

The best and most fun part of the class was an actual, hands on staging of a real home that's currently on the market in our area.

Here are the before and after pictures of the 2 rooms my group did; we had the living room and the dining room.

The living room had too many pieces and too much personal stuff on the bookcases flanking the fireplace.

living room before jim lee knoxville tn realtorliving room after

On the right is after we move lamps and two end tables out and depersonalized the shelving. It really opened up the room and improved traffic flow to all areas of the main level.

Below are the before and after pictures of the dining room. Nice room but way too small for a large dining table, 6 chairs, a china cabinet and some pieces in the corner along with an area rug in the center.


dining room beforedining room after









On the right is the same dining room with the rug removed, china cabinet that was overpowering the room gone, and some photos from other rooms hung where the china cabinet was setting.

We had the listing agent come in at 5:00 pm on Friday afternoon after we had finished. It was fun to watch her eyes get wider & wider, her mouth drop open as she exclaimed "Wow".........OH WOW, THIS iS BEAUTIFUL!".

The owner came along soon after and his stunned reaction (after he could talk) was "INCREDIBLE, the house looks twice as big and so clean and uncluttered."

The class was fun and Jackie did a great job of teaching; you know after listening to her that this lady knows her stuff.

I'm especially glad we got to to do the actual "hand on" staging of a real home; that really brought all the classwork home and tied it all together.

Two days well spent and I now feel better qualified to serve and advise my seller clients.

My wife however says we're not moving her favorite library table from in front of our living room windows no matter what I have a diploma in. ;-)

Jim's Blog & real estate website

Posted by

Jim Lee , REALTOR®, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)  RE/MAX Shoreline

100 Market St., Suite #200, , Portsmouth, NH 03801 Phone: (603) 431-1111 x3801

Visit New Hampshire Maine Real to search homes, get Seacoast area information, and find out how great living on the New Hampshire and southern Maine Seacoast really is.


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Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Wow..Jim that looks like it was fun. Congrats on graduating! I bet your itching to stage your it while your wife is out for the day :)
Mar 02, 2007 01:12 PM #1
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Congrats Jim, I'll bet you just want to stage all your listings right away.
Mar 02, 2007 01:37 PM #2
Laurie Manny
Long Beach CA Real Estate - Long Beach, CA

Congrats Jim, what a difference in the presentation of that home.  Now you have so much more value to offer your clients.


Featured by Laurie, because it is a good representation of a well staged home.  Stagers take note, it is also the only staging post I found today.  We do look to feature a variety of subjects.   


Mar 02, 2007 04:05 PM #3
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA
I'm impressed.. I've been threatening to take one of the classes just for general information..I would leave the actual staging to the pros..
Mar 02, 2007 05:41 PM #4
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
Congratulations Jim. I have wanted to take the class.
Mar 02, 2007 08:18 PM #5
Sarah Cooper
Real Estate Shows - Hurricane, WV
Yay, Jim!!  I took this class in Charlotte, NC and LOVED it!  It was a fun class but getting to actually stage a home with your teacher right there was really the best.  It was great to hear all the opinions about how it should all be done -- my class had a LOT of creative people.  Thanks for sharing your pictures!
Mar 02, 2007 09:46 PM #6
Cynthia Sloop
Community Association Manager - Indianapolis, IN
Wow Jim - I too am impressed!  Taking a staging class is something I've wanted to do.  Hopefully this year, I can make that happen.  Thanks for sharing your pictures.
Mar 02, 2007 11:12 PM #7
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jim, Congratulations on your graduation and on being featured. Where's the party?

Would love to take this class for realtors. Know of any in the Baltimore,Md area?


Mar 03, 2007 12:19 AM #8
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

It is fun isn't it.    Welcome fellow stager & congrats.

Kathleen Lordbock

President - Re$ale Design

Brainerd, MN 

Mar 03, 2007 01:30 AM #9
Sheron Cardin
California Moods Inc - Selma, CA
ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend!
Hey Jim - you got the lingo down; "pulled it all together". Now you are really one of us!!! Welcome and congratulations on taking the plunge.
Mar 03, 2007 02:12 AM #10
Jim Lee
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH

Thanks for the kind words guys.

Margaret, if you'll visit the two link above both those ladies teach staging for Realtors which is the class I took. 2 days including the 'hands on' afternoon in an actual home.

Jackie Riggins was my instructor and she used to be a trainer for the first lady of staging Barb Schwarz. I would think both their courses are similar since they're former associates. There is a list of locations for classes on both their websites.

I even got a nifty pin saying I'm now a "PIC" (Property Image Consultant). ;-)

Not quite as our NAJ (National Association of JIMs) decoder rings will be if they ever come in but a nice touch nevertheless.

Mar 03, 2007 03:21 AM #11
Betsy Locke
Cash Now Realty - Charlotte, NC
From looking at what your accomplished, it really does make a difference.   Well done.
Mar 03, 2007 03:22 AM #12
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate
Better listen to your wife Jim!  It is a smart thing to keep peace in the family! LOL  Congratulations on graduating and good luck to you.
Mar 03, 2007 03:53 AM #13
Calie Waterhouse
Chandler, AZ
Community Builder
Congratulations, Jim. It's great to hear from a Realtor's perspective!  Wishing you all the best -
Mar 03, 2007 03:58 AM #14
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369
Congratulations Jim, the house looks great! Our little 'burg just announced it's first staging realtors. I would love to take the course myself. I know I could fit in two days somewhere. Thanks for the post and the link!
Mar 03, 2007 04:23 AM #15
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL

Congratulations, Jim. Another designation (and education) to better serve your clients!

The rooms do look so much better.

Courses that have a "hands on" component have a leg up on those that don't. 

Mar 03, 2007 04:56 AM #16
Kelli Fronabarger
Bend River Realty Inc. - Bend, OR
Realtor - Bend Oregon
What a difference. Congrats on your new designation: ) I think this could be especially valuable when listing a builder spec. I often run into the question of what to put where? Good Luck.
Mar 03, 2007 09:00 AM #17
Cheryl Middleton
I really enjoyed taking a staging class taught by Barb Shwarz.  She is really fun, and I hope that she gets the recognition that she deserves.  Good Luck to You!
Mar 04, 2007 04:52 PM #18
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jim, Your calling into the radio show was really appreciated.  Glad that we could mention your staging. Just another exaple of how members are supportive of each other and of Active Rain.


Mar 04, 2007 10:23 PM #19
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

Jim... congrats and welcome to the DARK SIDE.

Stage It Forward...

Me (Darth Vader)

Mar 05, 2007 11:16 PM #20
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Jim Lee

Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH
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