Tuesday Truths- Do you really trust other Real Estate Professionals?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CELLing Realty CalBRE #01445865

Blogging helps us to let others know who we are, and what we have to offer, whether it's hard core skills, or inspirational messages.  But do you really trust the person you are reading?  We can learn so much if we are open to new ideas, and take the time to see who is behind a blog. Staging was a term I had never heard of until I joined Active Rain.  This Real Estate Network has so many different fields of expertise.

I read some Staging and Feng Shui articles but it wasn't until I looked on my County Dashboard that I saw there was a Stager near me.  Janice Sutton of 1st Stage Property Transformation lives and works in Murrieta/Temecula

 I read her blogs, liked what I saw, and made contact.  The first time last year that we attempted to stage a very needy house didn't work out.  But a few weeks ago, I gave her a call again.  One of my listings wasn't getting any activity and I was running out of options.  Wanting a fresh perspective I called Janice.  We set up an appointment for her FREE Consultation, and she gave me her opinions.......


Before Pic with Window Coverings

Oh you should have heard me....

  • "Oh no" I don't think my Seller would want to do that !" 
  •  "But I like that Turquoise carpet"
  • "What ? You want to take down all those expensive window coverings?" 

 Oh my I sounded like it was my house.  This lasted about 10 minutes before I caught myself, and realized I called a Stager for Advice....so why was I being resistant? So I shut up and listened!!! 

 I still wasn't sure how I was going to approach my Seller to paint and re-carpet, and I couldn't give his name and number out without his permission. 


 But first I had to believe in  what Janice was saying......and I did, as Staging is her area of Expertise.

Don't get me wrong....I was pretty protective of my client, and I wanted to save him as much money as possible, while getting help with the listing.  I figure this wasn't going to be an easy task, but I would give it my best shot, and that's exactly what I told Janice.

I did call the Seller, and explained about staging, why I thought it would be in his interest to do as the Stager recommended, and the cost involved.  I really thought he was going to refuse to relist, and just send me on my way.  Not only had we not gotten the House Sold in 6 months, but now here I was asking him to pay out even more money.  But actually he wouldn't be paying more money in the long run, just the first upfront fee for Staging, and paint and carpet.  He said he'd think about it and let me know......and it didn't sound encouraging.

 Before Picture of Staged Home


A week went by, and I got an email.....he decided to Stage his home. 

I let Janice know and it didn't take long before she had the painter out there, and the carpet guy. 

 It was the same day the carpet guy finished that Janice was out there setting things up. 

 I was amazed at the energy that she had, and the way things were already starting to look when I got there.  Furniture, plants, taking down the window coverings to let in more light; Staging.....she obviously knew what she was doing, and that's what I wanted. 



Master Retreat after Paint and Carpet

 Staging After Shot


 Now that all her work is done, it's time for me to do mine :) 

I did say this was a transaction with 3 Active Rain Members......


Professional Respect and Working Together for the common goal of helping the client......Yes 3 Active Rain Members Working together. 


I just love what Janice did with this home........and of course I thank Melinda for the Referral.

Staged Kitchen by Janice Sutton of 1st Stage Property Transformation 

How about you, do you trust other Real Estate Professionals, or people that work in fields that are associated with Real Estate?



By: Kathy McGraw- CELLing Realty in Riverside County and Authoring the Blog California Real Estate and Life

Comments (81)

Jennifer Mallory
Keller Williams Hudson Valley Realty - Nyack, NY
Nyack NY Real Estate Broker Associate

I've used a stager many times. It makes a huge difference not only in how the house looks on showings, but how the house looks in those all important online photos...


Sep 02, 2008 10:51 PM
Obeoman Glade Jones
www.obeo.com - Salt Lake City, UT


Sometimes listening is the greatest act of trust.

Blog 0n!



Sep 03, 2008 12:04 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Kathy, this is great.  Congratulations to the 3 of you.

I do trust some people in other fields, and then again, there are others that I don't trust.
I definitely would work with a lot of people I've 'met' here on Active Rain.

Others, I probably would have to get to know better, before I worked with them - probably not so much because of them, but more because of me. I'm very protective of my clients, and would want to make absolute sure that the person I chose to do whatever, would treat them as I do, and would be ethical, etc.  As you say, we need to make sure they are who they say they are.

Sep 03, 2008 01:39 AM
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Beautifully written and wonderful photos!
I trust the people I work with in this industry....this is a small area and word gets out fast, so the majority of business people here are honest and good at what they do or they wouldn't last very long.

Congratulations to Janice on a beautiful job and to you for getting your client onboard with staging....best wishes for a quick sale!


Sep 03, 2008 01:53 AM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Kathy - what a great testimony to active/rain, blogging and staging ... I always find it amazing what brings us together.

Sep 03, 2008 01:55 AM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Jennifer- Your point is one that I noticed right away.   It took me hours to go everywhere online and change pictures....but they do make a difference :)  Thanks for that insight...it's an important one.

Why hello Steve- Yes....too many of us forget how to listen sometimes.  If we don't listen we might miss something very important, even something that's not really said.......Thanks for coming by Steve, and I hope all is well with you.

Sylvie- Forgive me for laughing but I can hear the wheels of thinking going on in your head :)  The yes, I trust this one, but I don't know that one, well maybe these guys........:)  Loved your comment....thanks for that.  I'm going to have to point Janice and Melinda to this Post....we don't always play in the same playground around here, and that's what's nice is we moved to Step 2 from our initial Blogs to Personal Interactions.

Jo-Ann- She did do a good job, and boy I really feel the pressure to get this sold now... LOL :)  I don't trust everyone at all, but I try to trust everyone. Don't know if that makes sense but I believe trust is earned.  I read someones Blog, but more importantly is their comments on others blogs.....I have learned more about people that way than by the Articles they write.   Thanks Jo-Anne... I hope Janice comes by and reads it soon :)

Hi Kathy- Yes, isn't it amazing.  Who would have thought when we signed up for this Social Networking site that we would actually make real friends, real business associations, and experience so much here.  Who would have known that Active Rain would fulfill so many different needs all in one place?

Sep 03, 2008 04:58 AM
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

Congratulations Kathy! I was so excited to wake up and see this FEATURED POST.  It is so nice to see all these wonderful comments from Realtor's that are expressing the benefits of Home Staging!  It would be great to one day see home stagers as a part of the REALTORS TEAM.  It would be a win-win for all!

Thank you for trusting me and spreading the word to help educate the Real Estate Professionals about Home Staging and how creating alliances can be successful

It was my pleasure to work with you. I believe Professional Home Stagers and Real Estate Professionals have the same common goal........to help clients SELL their properties fast and for a profit! 

PS - Yes, I would be honored to be called "My Home Stager!"  :)  It has been my vision to be able to partner with Great Professional Realtor's.

Sep 03, 2008 05:15 AM
Monica McNamara
MonicaC@Ocean-CitySales.com Ocean City Maryland - Ocean City, MD

I have some pretty strong opinions about "Professionalism in Real Estate". If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the two blog postings I have made in the past.



Sep 03, 2008 05:21 AM
Brenda Tressler
Crye-Leike Realtors - Clarksville, TN

Thank youThis is a GREAT win/win/win story... ActiveRain has so much to give. I am new (2 months now) and still can not beleive how many giving people and how much knowlege is here for all to share. Thanks for the wonderful post! Brenda :)

Sep 03, 2008 01:04 PM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

What an amazing story and how often do we argue with appraisers, inspectors and yet we invite them in to give us their professional opinion. This is a great post and you deserved that star in the corner! Sometime doing what is needed isn't comfortable.

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home - www.IFoundYourNewHome.com

Sep 03, 2008 06:25 PM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Janice-  I am so glad you found this Post, although I'm not so sure I like you knowing my inner thoughts of my initial resistance just kidding :)  But like I said....I called you because I trusted you......so the only thing to do was let you do your work so I could do mine.  As you can see from my comments....I love what you did to the House......and my pictures are so much better now for my Marketing.....Thank you for doing such a nice Professional Job for my client, OUR client now :)

Monica- thank you for sharing those.

Brenda-I remember back to when I started....I had no idea what Social Networking was, and had no idea how to Blog.  You're so right the thing I like about this forum is that people are giving, and you can get help with just about anything on here.  If you ever need any help let me know....and thanks for the comment :)

Todd-Yes we seem to do it to all the other Professionals....it's nice when we can read their Blogs and get a feeling for who they are, and work on that Trust :)  Thank you....I was surprised when Carole told me this was Featured :)

Sep 03, 2008 08:05 PM
Tracy Santrock
Santrock Realty Group Inc. , - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Broker

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.  It's tricky.  I'm working on a partnership but I'm not sold yet.

Sep 04, 2008 02:22 PM
Edie Lomason
Michael Saunders & Company - Venice, FL

Staging will always help sell a home.  It helps people visualize the space and also detracts from cosmetic blemishes. 


Sep 04, 2008 02:34 PM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Tracy- I think we have to follow our gut....and you're right it can be tricky.  If you're working on a partnership you'll know if it feels right.  I had a partner for awhile, and although I liked the person very much I seemed to have put in 100% effort and my partner only about 50.....just make sure everything is clear up front....and also in writing.

Edie- After this experience I am sure I believe you :)


Sep 04, 2008 03:02 PM
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Kathy, it's human nature for us women to be adverse to change...it just is. You, as a team, did a fantastic job! Has it sold yet or did one of you jump out and take it? I wouldn't blame you with it looking like that! Thanks for the treat.

Later in the rain~Deb

Sep 04, 2008 03:26 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Nice post. I agree we should trust the experts. I wish I can convince a seller to stage.

Sep 04, 2008 10:29 PM
Sun Lakes Realty Banning, CA
Sun Lakes Realty, Inc. - Banning, CA

Great pictures Kathy!  Do have more "Before" photos to share?


Sep 08, 2008 06:18 AM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Deb- I think you're right....we do need tow question it's our nature :)  I really would love to have this house....it feels right, has a bunch of upgrades and the yard is nice too.....we've had calls but no contract as yet.

Gita-thank you....and as for convincing the Seller....I really think that if they aren't backed into a corner, and have time....that most should be able to see the benefits :)

Cheri- I have a ton of before shots...and the first 2 pictures on here are Before.....those dark window coverings are gone as is the turquoise walls and carpet.  It took me hours to change all my Marketing stuff with the new photos....:)  Thanks for coming by, and thanks for the Referral :)  Hey did you tell anyone about the Broker with 2 different shoes LOL :)

Sep 08, 2008 06:27 AM
Lori Stratford
John Hall & Associates - Scottsdale, AZ

Just wondering if it has sold?
If not, have you noticed an increase in interest / showings?

I am a Certified Home Marketing Specialist and well-versed in what staging does for a property. However, even I have a seller who - no matter what I've said and done to try to convince - is adamant vacant property looks more appealing.

Sep 12, 2008 11:32 AM
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Hi Lori- Not yet...but I have been getting calls which is a good thing, as before we didn't even get any calls.  You have a very valid point....everyone is different and some people are adamant about their opinion.  But for everyone that doesn't listen there is someone that does...:)

Sep 12, 2008 12:01 PM