10 Realtor Moves that Can Put Staging Into Waste

February 7, 2016

Working with the right real estate agent is important when it is time to sell. They are the experts who know your market inside out, someone who can point you in the right direction when it comes to marketing and showcasing your property.

Home staging is one of the marketing tools they employ to achieve great results, and because of its popularity and proven success, home staging has become a MUST when it is time to sell.  However, not everybody is seeing eye to eye on the need and effectiveness of staging.

Here common mistakes some real estate agents and homeowners are guilty of that can put staging into waste.

Toronto Home Staging

1. Choosing a staging company based on price

When looking for a staging company, it is important to consider more than just price. Basing it on price alone can jeopardize the full potential of the property. Showcasing your property to its best possible light is an investment that can give you a greater chance of a better ROI. For optimal results, invest in the highest quality stager you can find.   Look at the company’s portfolio, credentials, professionalism, and track record.

2. Not using or Not Uploading Staging Photos

Most buyers start online when looking for their next home, this is why it’s important to have a great online listing photo to spark interest to potential buyers. On-line photos make a big difference when buyers decide which house they want to actually see and which ones to skip. If they don’t like what they see online, buyers will click on to the next on-line listing.

Toronto Home Staging

3. Moving things around after it was set up

Stagers are trained to make the best of the spaces given to them. Once the house is staged and “showing ready”, moving things around or repositioning furniture pieces in the room can ruin the whole feel of the space. Each furniture piece, decor, artwork, etc. are placed in strategic spots for a reason.

4. Not trusting the stager

This is important, otherwise, the next days or weeks of the staging process can be stressful for all. A great way to avoid this is to check client testimonials before working with the stager. Check what other agents or previous clients say about them. See if they’ve done similar properties at the same price points. Ask questions before agreeing to anything. Otherwise, it may lead to

Toronto Home Staging

5. Micro Managing the stager

Every stager’s goal is to showcase the property at its best. However, lack of confidence with your stager can hamper creative juices which can ruin and delay the plan of action for the property. You will never appreciate the full impact of staging until every piece is placed and set up. Leave the property during set up and let the stagers do what they do best, then come back once everything is set up.

6. Unrealistic timelines

Getting a house ready for sale is not a simple process, it can be as short as five days, but can also last for months depending on the situation and condition of the property. Rushing everything and poor time management can lead to disastrous result.  Stagers cannot just magically make everything look beautiful in a flick of a finger.  Staging involves tedious planning, and executing all these plans won’t happen in 24 hours.


7. Telling homeowners staging is just decluttering and organizing

While it is true that staging and showcasing a home greatly involves decluttering and organizing, home staging goes far more than that. It also involves space planning, proper furniture placement, knowledge on the current design trends, accessorizing and more!

8. Advising the homeowners to stage the house themselves

Although some homeowners can pull it off, a vast majority cannot.  A great example is a staging consultation where owners are provided almost every detail on how to properly showcase their homes. But the end result is always a disaster (even after a detailed staging consultation) because the execution is always poor or simply because they lack the vision and the skill of a trained and an experienced stager.

Toronto Home Staging

9. Over Pricing the property

It is true that staging can increase the perceived value of a property. We have seen tremendous success with some projects selling up to $200,000 over asking. However, overpricing the house on the merit of staging alone is not a smart move in my opinion. The “magic” happens when the house is priced correctly, staged beautifully,  marketed properly, and listed at the right time.

10. Advising homeowners not to stage the house

Telling homeowners to sell the property as is or advising them to sell it vacant is a big mistake. Nowadays, buyers are more critical, spoiled with HGTV programs, buyers are expecting to see a beautiful, move in ready home for them. They want a better house than what they have, a better set up,  a better lifestyle. All this is not possible if you are showing a house with tacky wallpaper and dated furniture pieces and decor, worst, a confusing vacant space that they have no idea what to use for.

Big thanks to my fellow stager Heather Cook of Rooms in Bloom for the original article. This topic is so relevant and important that I thought of putting my take on it.

Red Barrinuevo

is a Canadian Certified Staging Professional. His professional affiliations include the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) and the CSP. He is the recipient of numerous home staging awards and was picked as RESA’s Top Professional Stager of Canada for 2016. He has worked with hundreds of Real Estate Brokers, Investors, Real Estate Agents, and has helped homeowners showcase their homes when it is time to sell.

As President and Principal Stager of REDESIGN4MORE, Red provides home staging and interior redecorating services for both small and large-scale residential projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Click here to learn more about Red and REDESIGN4MORE.

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