Wearing Two Hats as a Stager and Real Estate Professional

Christine Rae, my awesome mentor, and founder of Certified Staging Professional (CSP) designation has compared the current staging industry as the “wild west.” There are no rules, regulations, standard guidelines or methodologies. Basically, anyone can call themselves a stager when they really do not understand the psychology and methodology behind the true process.

I wanted to share this post from Kelly Williams, a fellow CSP alumnus regarding being a licensed realtors and a CSP. Her insight is quite interesting and thought provoking…

In today’s busy world, we all wear many hats. I am no exception. Two of the many hats I wear work very well together to sell property: one of a Professional Stager and the other a licensed real estate professional.

I have been staging properties since 2003. When I started my company, the staging industry was in its infancy. Only a select few realtors staged their properties and believed in the staging process. Over time other agent commented on how great the properties always looked and inquired as to the secret. Fast forward to 2018: Staging is now well established and expected by property sellers and buyers. Even so it still amazes me there are Realtors who don’t incorporate staging into their marketing plan.

A consultation by a professionally trained Stager shows the Seller that this Realtor, who wants to list their property, really has their best interest at heart. A professionally staged property not only shows better than the competition, it is proven to make a difference in days on market and how much the property will receive at the offer table.

In the old days, before staging, houses were mostly shown “as is”.

Now savvy Sellers know the better their property shows, the more money in their pocket and isn’t that what the Seller wants in the end? I have worked with Sellers who had bought an unstaged property for a lot less than market rates (since no preparation was done to go to market).

So much work needed to be done on the property. They loved getting a “deal” as they said. However, when they were going to list their property, they wanted it staged so that they would get top dollar. So the question is who do you want to attract to your client listings? A buyer looking for a home or an investor looking for a deal!

The intention of staging property is not to “hide” or “misinform” the Buyer. It is to showcase the property in its best light. Staging a property is no different than preparing yourself for a job interview or detailing a car before selling it.

Why would you want to sell your most valuable asset in poor condition?  In order to maximize the return, sellers need to prepare their greatest asset like they would prepare themselves or their car. In my opinion real estate professionals need to learn how to present the benefits of staging to their clients. Click here for more on that.

When representing a seller, it is the professional integrity of an agent and their marketing ability “on display” Realtors need to put the needs of the Seller as their top priority and not have it be just another sign on the lawn.

Why in this day are listings going to market unstaged? 96% of buyers view properties online before they contact an agent or a seller. Unflattering pictures and pictures of vacant properties don’t entice buyers to see the property. Buyers buy on emotion. How does it make them feel? Will my furniture fit? Does it feel like home? First impressions are lasting impressions. Buyers shop first online and if they don’t like what they see, they move on.

As a Realtor®, I fully believe in ensuring all my listings are staged before they go to market. I have a team of professional stagers that I rely on to work the magic needed. It is in the best interest not only to my Seller but to the Buyer as well.

As a real estate professional I know the best use of my time is marketing the listing to find a buyer. – which is what I was hired to do!