Sometimes having been in this industry so long that I have become jaded to some of the fades that have come and gone, remember the recipe cards sent every month?
Staging is the latest in (I won't call it a fad) classes that I have to question. As an agent I always spoke with my clients, and taught my agents to do the same, about pre-packing and removing clutter and de-personalizing the property before selling. I have seen some really bad properties and always ask a very HARD question to the seller ... "If you walked into your house like it currently is would you pay TOP dollar?" If the answer to the question was "yes" than I told them to find another agent.
This technique has worked for me for years and I have never lost a listing because someone answered "yes" ... they always changed their mind when they realized I was willing to walk away from the chance to sell their home. Honesty has always been a great tool.
I have always staged homes and have never taken a class. Sure they don't look like model homes but they look good and they sell. Do you need a course to tell you to; clean the house ... and keep it clean, to de-personalize, to remove clutter, to make sure everything works, to pack away things that are not necessary?
What are your thought about paying up to $3,000 to learn to stage? ... Yes I almost gagged when I saw the price of one two-day course.