I TRULY BELIEVE that EVERY single home can benefit from having a Home Stager go through to make recommendations since we never see the our own home objectively. Staging is so different than decorating and we look at it with a different perspective. In almost 12 years there hasn’t been one house that I haven’t been able to produce a sellable product when given a chance. HOWEVER, it’s not always what I believe that counts. It’s what the homeowner believes. Let me explain…
I recently had to tell a new Realtor that it wasn’t worth hiring me to stage his listing! That killed me since I saw photos of the home and I could instantly see the huge potential in the property and I instantly visualized exactly how it could look with furniture and accessories. The reason I said it wasn’t worth it to hire me was because the homeowner wasn’t willing to do anything. They thought it was just fine the way it was. Everyone has different standards and I can respect that. The hardest part of my job is managing expectations of what can happen. If the homeowner isn’t willing to do the work and they are not willing to pay to get the work done, my hands are tied – and I hate that!!! I would love to do it all for free since I am so passionate about what I do, but I also need to get paid to stay in business!
In this case the walls were in desperate need of a paint job, the wooden floors were very warn and the carpet was even worse. These three things might be overlooked if the house had been staged because buyers would be able to see the full potential. This house was basically empty with a few pieces of furniture but not enough to even create one room. When the house is empty and you aren’t willing to put furniture in it, then you need to make sure things like the walls, floors, light fixtures etc. are in great shape since there is nothing else for the buyers to look at. Buyers want a move-in ready house or a really good deal for a fixer-upper. I thought everyone could visualize the way I do but apparently not. Otherwise Staging wouldn’t be such a HUGE industry.
I tell Realtors to save their money and not hire me if the homeowners are not on board with the staging process. There is no point in me going in and writing a detailed report if they have no intention whatsoever in doing ANY of it. It only gets the clients upset and the Realtors could risk losing the listing. I can always turn clients around by building their trust by explaining why I’m making my recommendations and not offending them. However, if the money, desire or ability isn’t’ there – it simply isn’t there. I would rather the Realtor spend their money on another listing and have a great end product to sell.
When a client calls me for a decorating consult it is very different since they are inviting me into their home. When I go to a Staging, it’s because the Realtor wants me there, not necessarily the homeowner, so I have to be extremely sensitive to that.