Friday, October 13, 2006

Interview with an Agent/Stager

Tina Hack is a successful real estate agent at Centoni Realty in Danville, CA. She is also a home stager and a mother of 2 children. I have showcased some of her before and after pictures on my web site as well as my newsletters and I thought it was time for her to share how she manages both roles

It comes to mind that many agents can't imagine how they can ask their customers if they can stage their home. So I thought Tina would have that answer and maybe could put a few other issues to rest for those of you who are interested in becomming an agent/stager but do not know where to begin.

Sheron Did you feel uncomfortable at first offering staging and charging your clients?

Tina When I would pull up to the curb, I just knew I had to do something! Now I would never show a home without staging it first!

So in my presentation, my added value service is how I can make their house marketable to the bulk of the buyers. I use the words of a home stager and not a real estate agent and they listen.

And no, I don't charge my clients. I could if I wanted to though. I include my staging services in all my listings. That way I make sure they are marketable and I feel very comfortable and proud when showing my properties. I would not feel this way if I did not take charge and do it myself.

Sheron What do you tell them?

Tina I say "To sell your home in this current market, you need to appeal to the public, a spacious home and a model home lifestyle is what the public is looking for and that is what I tell my sellers and buyers...I tell them merchandising is very important! That is why Crate and Barrell does so well.

Sheron How do you charge for other realtors listings and are the other agents afraid you are going to take their clients away from them?

Tina I offer a free consultation at their home...I charge based on what is in the house...type of furniture that I can much decluttering is required, and how much work needs to be done. I have at times dug right in and faux finished cabinets and added door pulls to take outdated cabinetry and turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture.

The minimum I have charged is $300 for a vacant house with just kitchen and bath accessories up to $2000 that would include window treatments. I have all this inventory and leave it there in the home until it sells and all contingencies are removed from the sale. People buy emotion and you cannot take the emotion out of the sale.

As far as other agents worrying about me, I don't even mention that I am a real estate agent. I am there to prepare their home for maximum value and that is it.

Sheron How do your sellers feel about you being a home stager?

Tina They love it! They know I care and that I will do my very best to get them the most money I can. We really get to know each other during the process too and that bonds us at a level that you cannot get just selling their house. My clients like the fact that I know them so well and they know me...paint all over my face and all. I always keep my clients.

Sheron Tina, you have been very helpful and I think you have answered my questions. Would you be available to answer questions from other agents and home sellers on my blog?

Tina Absolutely! I would be happy to.

Sheron I want to thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule and talking with me and my visitors/members today. I wish you great success. You are a great role model for agents and moms out there who want to increase their income and expand their business. Again, thank you very much!

Tina My pleasure and I look forward to answering any questions that your visitors have.
As an experienced home stager I can walk into a home and start visualizing the process. What was difficult in the beginning was translating my process in a way that the homeowner feels good about what I"m offering. By using my how2homestage instructions as reference material, I am able to give something that explains my process. It's a great service that you offer and my clients have benefited. Thank you!

Sheron Your very welcome!

1 comment:

Treasured Spaces said...

Really good tips. The more people know the right questions to ask, the better we can understand their needs and do our job.

Treasured Spaces