Profile picture for jeffrocks

Professional home staging - comments?

We have a professional home stager coming to see us soon (paid for by the realtor) but if we want to employ her services to help us that is out of our pocket....Anyone know of a website that has a staging list of things to do for homeowners besides the obvious of packing away clutter & toys and cleaning.

  • January 24 2008 - US
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Answers (108)

You could go to the HGTV website and look at "Sell this House" and some of the other programs Its the same basic formula on most of them.

  • January 24 2008
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depends on what price bracket your are trying to sell in. Unless you are selling a upscale over priced box on the hillside staging is not worth spending the money, take the same amount and drop the price by that much

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for KD in Texas

Our Realtor was our informal "stager". She was firm about having a minimum of furniture in each room.  We never changed the walls from white so there weren't any loud colors to paint over.  I know from looking at homes that I hated rooms so filled with the owner's personality that I couldn't see past it.

  • January 24 2008
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I think the main thing about staging is to have neutral wall colors and minimize everything.  I love "lots" of things, but I packed up about 1/2 of the stuff we have around.  And NO family pictures.  I personally wouldn't pay someone to stage my house, but that's my opinion.  Another thing to do is to visit upscale new model homes.  See how they have those staged and kinda copy that.  I did go out and buy some new things that are trendy in this area, i.e., some wrought iron pieces, some neat candle holders, some new towels, etc.  If you shop though you can get those 1/2 price at Hobby Lobby, Kohl's or Kirklands.  Post some pics of your home and we'll help you out.  Won't cost you a dime!  And that's in your pocket!  Good luck.

  • January 24 2008
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I am a Realtor and had a home stager stage one of my listings.  It really was amazing the difference in just the "feel" of each room he did made.  Buying a home is an emotional process and you need to appeal to the buyers emotions, help them see their belongings in the home, that is why you take out your personal pics, etc.   If you have a vacant home you should definately stage it! 

 

don't forget a bowl of lemons in the kitchen.....people see lemons and think CLEAN!!!

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for CarmenB

I saw a house that was professionaly staged. (They had a display of their brochures and business cards on a side table;  to garner more business I suppose)  Yes the house looked great but the staging didn't take away from the cheaply re-done kitchen, and the backyard with the chain link fence that blocked off a parking lot for the professional building that was behind the house.  The house I bought was empty, dirty and smelled of mold, which it did have.  My house sold despite the pool table instead of dining table in the dining room, and foosball table instead of couches in the living room.  It was clean and decluttered but when we dropped the price another 50,000, that's when we finally had some offers.

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for dinydeek1

I am curious about "odors"

 

My whole family has allergies- so though I think my house smells okay- who knows?

 

I bleach, lemon oil, lysol, but now that we are going on the market- I want to make sure the first "smell" impressions are good.  Are those plugin air fresheners a good idea?  I use just plain vanilla- no florals...

 

I am always worry about offending- I know that I when I have looked at homes, smells like cooking spices, pets, stale and strong florals always annoy me...What does everyone else use?

 

 

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for Bette Defarm

I am curious about "odors"

 

I would just like to say for the record: I have no curiousity about odors. Pinks has completely cured me. Spouse was way ahead of me on this issue, he dabs a little Vick's vapor rub under his nose before a showing and he's good to go. Unless cat urine has seeped into the subflooring...the smells don't come with the house.

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for melanie777

jeffrocks:
I think if a house is in higher priced market, you can justify the expense of a home stager. For the standard single family home I wouldn't think it would be necessary. Maybe you could tour some open homes in your area and see what looks good to you about other homes, and well as what makes a home look unappealing.

 

mhuan:

"don't forget a bowl of lemons in the kitchen.....people see lemons and think CLEAN!!!"

 

When I see a bowl of lemons it makes me think "this house is staged." I mean, who uses an entire bowl full of lemons?!

 

  • January 24 2008
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oooooooooh...no vanilla scents please!!!! Just use netrualizing "scents"--

Dryer sheets in pillow cases and hidden around are nice.

I listed a town home where 4 on the block were for sale. I staged mine, and had an offer in two days- the others sat, and sat......

I'm surprized your realto didn't email you a "staging" guide. If you search the internet you should find one. Just keep it simple- couch, coffee table. maybe some flowers...no personal photos. nothing on the floor. no piles of anything.

I agree with touring homes. take pics if you want and compare to your home.

When I sold my condo, I borrowed a smaller two person table, because mine was really too big for the space. less is more.

set your table........clean sheets. I can't tell you how many times I go into a bathroom and you it smells like a boys room from college. HA--don't change their sheets and don't do laundry often enough!!!! yuck.

 

 

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for Luv2cook

I was going to hire a stager to just give us advice.  It was going to cost $200 I think for several hours of her time.  My dh and I ended up just putting our head together with what we've seen on HGTV (Designed to Sell) <<----- great ideas on that show!!

 

We de-cluttered some more - put more in our storage unit: packed away our yamaha clavinova piano; I bought a new 'puffy' bedding set that was lighter in color and matching window panels for the master bedroom;  Dh took more of his stereo stuff: speakers, DVD players, Piles of DVD's out of the tv room.  It looked much better (and bigger) when we were finished.  I think it cost us about $250 total on our own.

 

The idea is not to distract the buyer with clutter, personal stuff - walls of family photos, counters full of appliances, etc.  I think you could do it yourself.

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for . . .

Smell's?

 

As mentioned, Pinks had a sensitve looker; you do not want sented anything as it is believed to be masking something, and some people are sensitive.

 

Pet odors are different, and the area to watch is the carpet padding and baseboards.  If you think it may be an issue, you should look for any signs of potential problems, and if a section of carpet padding may be a problem, you should pull back the carpet and replace that piece of padding.  Also use an enzime cleaner on the carpet or other upholstery.

 

If you want to add a scent, it should be fresh baked cookies, fresh baked bread, or some greens for lunch/dinner.  People tend to have good emotional memories with those smells.  Remember that the olfactory sensor is right at the hypocamus - the entry point to the brain for memory storage.

 

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for Optoman

I'm trying to work out why your realtor sent you to his/her cousin for a future fee,   versus having the skills to make subtle staging recommendations his/herself.

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for Accuscribe

Okay I'm going to apologize in advance for  what is more than likely going to be the post that gets me bounced off of Zillow forever, however, I can't stand this anymore... if I hear about one more realtor who refers their client to a professional stager, or waxes poetic about how  THEIR listing sold after xyz many dates after it was staged while other places languished on the market I'm really going to do far more than just YAK all over my keyboard...  I have read post after post after post on here where quite frankly the only thing I've seen is a realtor trying to refer their client to a relative who happens to think they have a wicked talent to decorate, and as such are in each others' respective pockets. n I find this practice to be reprehensible at it's best, and unethical and frankly grounds to be booted off the realor train because you're trying to do far more than profit off of your client's desperation to sell you are enriching yourself by the kickback you are undoubtedly getting from couson Joe and his Stagers For Hire Crew of misfits.  HGTV has done an incredible disservice to sellers by creating unrealistic perceptions of what people expect to see in a given home.  YOU KNOW WHAT NOT EVERYONE HAS A CREW OF STUDIO PEOPLE, YES FOLKS, STUDIO PEOPLE, WHO CAN BUILD, LIGHT, AND TWEAK JUST ABOUT ANYTHING TO LOOK LIKE IT'S PERFECT WHEN IT'S NOT and it's actualy a POS dressed up to look all noice & shiny.

  • January 24 2008
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Nor does the common American have a crew of cleaning people, who swoop in and clean the damn bathroom & kitchen the minute the family is done in there, nor do we have professional cat box cleaners who come in and make sure Pussnboots Box is sparkling like the latest $200 kitty condo on sale at Petco. I have also read post after post from creatfalen sellers who have their life & most vulnerable parts exposed to all of creation, are selling what more than likely they watched their kids grow up in, or have gotten out of bad relationships, open their homes to people when the only thing they want to do is crawl under the bed with a frozen Sara Lee, aq bottle of Port and a Tequila Chaser, only to have some pretentious, selfserving, full of themself buyer walk through their home and turn up their nose at every conceivable imperfection (THANK YOU HGTV & YOU INANE SHOWS LIKE SLEEP ON IT!!!), & walk around thinking they are entiltled to travertine & granite & that every appliance beter be stainless, or you're just not worth their time, I have watched people I call friends on here tie themselves up in knots trying to make their perfectly respectable, beautiful homes better when frankly they don't need to because their homes are already BETTER, i.e., Pinks, who god love her finally sold to someone with vision, but the one that comes screaming to mind is SAS. SAS's house is freakin unbelievable, it's pristine, and yet some pusillanimousm, arrogant turd on this board got a wicked case of verbal trots & told her the place looked like a reception area. OKAY, WHAT PART OF THE FOLLWING DO YOU PEOPLE NOT GET:

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for Accuscribe

1. YOU are looking at homes that are occupied. THEY ARE NOT EMPTY, there are going to be smells, personal stuff, kids screaming, dogs barking and cats tossing hariballs all over the house, moreover, we are people who live in these homes you are being invited in to, and as such we are known to want to eat on occassion and therefore, need to cook, & you know what if the Lean Cuisine smell in the micro offends you, GET OVER YOURSELF, unless you can say you don't eat.

2. Unless you are buying an empty house, PEOPLE LIVE THERE, OKAY, WE LIVE HERE, and as such & given the almighty saw fit to create us with a variety of orifices when we eat we need to pee or poop, so unless you can say you don't do either, GET OVER YOURSELF. Some of ya'll have lost complete perspective about what you're doing, YOU ARE BUYING THE FREAKIN' STRUCTURE PEOPLE NOT THE STUFF INSIDE IT. If the bones are there get over the fact that Fido just peed on your leg & offer something respectable to the seller who has invited you into their home & laid their whole life out on the table for you to scrutinize. I forget which one of the posters on here, had someone actually demand the granite - where in the f**K does someone get off demanding granite????? GET OVER YOURSELF. Unless you can say you're perfect and you live in a house right outta the pages of Better Homes, which you don't because if you did you wouldn't be having the same problems the rest of us are having, GET OVER YOURSELF. I can understand keeping the place neat & what not, but when you're compulsively running around tying yourself up in knots over the fact it OHMYGOD smells like Vanilla in your living room, you've crossed the line from reasonable angst to complete, you belong in a rubber room, insanity.

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for Accuscribe

STAGING is one more thing very wrong with this market, you've got the media pushing show after inane show down the throats of most people on half a dozen channels because GUESS WHAT the writers strike has created a niche in TV where reality shows and home decoration and selling and flipping and cooking and who knows what else is filling CHEAP, and people are taking advantage of that, especially the unethical, and pushing stagers on their clients. THAT'S JUST SICK. Bottom line, we're selling our freakin' houses not the stuff in them, if you came to se the house LOOK AT THE GD HOUSE not at the stuff the stuff is not your business, the fact we like florals and you don't is not your business, you're not buyng our florals YOUR BUYING OUR HOUSE!! THE STRUCTURE NOT THE STUFF!!!! Easy concept, does nopt require a great deal of intellect to grasp I don't think. Having said that, as long as your house is clean, NORMALLY SO NOT OCD, you need a bottle of Valium and a Tequila chaser clean to unwind, neat again NORMALLY SO, and your house is not falling apart at the seams, rotting away, or beong condemned for mold issues, truly don't let yourself get tied up in a knot over what the "professional" has to say, you know what 5 years ago that profession didn't exist, and I don't recall seeing any of the major universities offering diplomas in Stage This House, which quite frankly if that ever does come to pass I will take my car and drive it off of Mulhullond because hell will have frozen over, pigs will be flying and the four horseman of the apocalypse have an any minute now ETA, so it won't matter anyway.

  • January 24 2008
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Stepping of of my soapbox, walking away from my rant & organizing a very wicked bad picket & protest session at the HGTV studios for perpetuating HEAD UP THE ARSE SYNDROME among a group of buyers who happen to believe they are entitled to every conceivable perk, and it better be new, and free. Get some freakin' perspective, people in Darfur would kill for any one of the houses being sold on this site, and they wouldn't care that the bathroom actually gets used to pee by the current on the rare occassion when the current ownder actually eats somethin'. Pfffft this whole subject makes me sick.

  • January 24 2008
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OH ONE LAST THING FOR ANY GLOOM & DOOMER who happens to on this side of the boards because they decided that slumming on the gloom and doom board was beneath them, I apologize for the typos, unlike the gloom & doom board we're OCD over here and don't run around playing spelling police... those that do promptly get told to have a stickectomy... yes I'm in a mood, my house has not yet shown, & now there is a Tornado warning in the greater Los Angeles area and Long Beach and surrounding areas, to add to the lets see torrential rain, bitter cold, flooding, mud slides, and hail... truly I'm just sitting here with my wine just waintin' on the locusts & the 4 Big Men for the Bigger Man to show up & tell me he's finally had it, is sufficiently tired of the mess humanity has created for itself & he's pullin' the plug...

  • January 24 2008
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That was extensive

  • January 24 2008
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I actually took the freaking class and had my ASP (accredited staging professional) designation. Those of us with a good eye can help you stage your home. After all shouldnt that be part of our service? I wouldnt never ask my sellers to spend money on staging. I might tell them certain things need to be attended to but they hired me for my expertise...why would I ask them to pay more for someone else? The only useful thing to the designation is marketing for my listings...I already new everything I was "taught" prior to taking the class.

 

my .2 worthless sense

  • January 24 2008
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Can you tell I've about had it with this whole scene...?  That demanding granite, I wish I could remember who that was that relayed that story, & I found it reading the boards, that just put me over the edge with this whole house vs. stuff debate.

  • January 24 2008
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All I can tell you is to let it go. I know its tough...I just sold my personal residence this past fall.

  • January 24 2008
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Carrie what you're doing is different you're offering it as part & parcel for the undoubtedly full service package you probably offer, it's the other stuff, maybe it's only here in California, where you have a realtor pushing a stager for an obscene amount of money (North of $500 just for a consult that last maybe 30 minutes & includes nothing in the way of actually doing anything) & you later find out said realtor & stager are related somehow, that's not right, I could be wrong, & not seeing something here, but it just does not feel right to me...

  • January 24 2008
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Profile picture for KD in Texas

Wow Suz!  Feel better?  :)

  • January 25 2008
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We have stagers here too. When I took the course they tried to network the agents with the stagers. I had to sign an agreement that I would not charge for my staging services....unless I wanted to pay another I think 1600 bucks or something. IMO....a good agent should be able to provide that service to their clients. Staging is not supposed to about spending a bunch of money...its supposed to be about taking what you have and making it work better. Its just gotten out of control with all these HGTV shows. The one with Roger whatever is the closest to staging...every other show they spend thousands on materials...and god only knows in labor.

  • January 25 2008
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Profile picture for daphnesmom

Carrie - you sound like a great realtor and I'm sure your help to clients is much appreciated.  I know the simple things our realtor did for us made our small house look better and like you, she didn't charge a thing (a couple items are actually hers).  

 

Suz - tornados?  In Long Beach?  Ok, seriously let us know if the pestilence does show up.  I am sorry your house hasn't shown, I do know how it feels and we aren't alone.   California, unfortunately, is just about the eye of the storm in this whole housing collapse.   You have a much more compelling reason to sell and I really wish if one house sells in California that it be yours.   And anyone taking advantage of sellers in this desperate market are despicable but not surprising - but there really is karma for those lowlifes.   

 

BTW, impressive job on the typing - not many mistakes for such a heated posting(s).....

  • January 25 2008
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I vote Suz and her rant the best frigging post on all of Zillow!!!!!

  • January 25 2008
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I'm with Carrie on this one.  I've been ridiculed several times on this site for my opinions about staging.  Unless you are selling a vacant multi-million dollar house , I think it's a waste of money.  I have yet to see a "normal" house sell faster because it is staged.

  • January 25 2008
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daphnesmom,

 

If you catch the news this morning they did in fact have a tornado overnight out there in Cal. I agree with Suz that it has gone way to far from entertainment to a sense of entitlement created by some of the HGTV shows. I think some lookers are forgetting that you are usually only buying the house (we're not talking about rockin or Carrie) and not the stuff in it so who cares what the stuff in it looks like. And Carrie makes a good point - if you are paying for a listing agent, that agent should be able to tell you how to "stage" your existing stuff to make your property show better. On this site, many sellers have come here and asked us to look at pix and tell them what they can do to make the place better. Pub took some of our advice and repainted and moved some stuff around and took new pictures and it made her place show so much better.

  • January 25 2008
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