Thursday, January 24, 2008

Can You Stage Your Home Yourself?

What if you REALLY need to sell your house fast before the bank takes it back and you are flat broke. The $2000 budget (without labor of course) as seen on HDTV with such shows as Designed To Sell is unthinkable! Having professionals tell you they want to come in and stage your home just makes you throw your hands up and yell “You’re not listening…I am flat broke!”.

I know I know I know; been there, done that, lost the t-shirt.

This ‘What if’ scenario is not only real but it is happening in every neighborhood across America… stress levels are up through the roof and hope has all but disappeared! You are in a panic and cannot think straight.

  • You are behind on your mortgage
  • You have to sell your house before it forecloses and what is left of your good credit will be ruined
  • Homes are for sale all around you and yours is a mess.
  • You don’t have enough money to go around much less enough to hire a stager
  • You have no where to go

Is there anything you can do about it? YES! Grab the bull by the horns, as my father would say, and get it done…just do it yourself if you have to!

And that is exactly what I do when things get tough...and that is why I know you can do it too. I wrote Do-It-Yourself Home Staging Instructions just for this situation. It is a step by step instructional tutorial with a to do list and a checklist to stage your own home…as though I were right beside you.

Staging a property to sell is really nothing more than a watered down version of new construction model homes. Staging an occupied home (yours) takes much more effort and sacrifice but it can and must be done! You cannot take the chance of loosing everything when it is a fact that staged homes sell 50% quicker than the competition. You will increase your chances to get your asking price...this isn't just hype; these are current facts!

Who am I and how can I help?

My interior decorating career began in the model home industry…that was almost 27 years ago.
Where am I now and who am I? Currently I am on the board of the Real Estate Staging Association of North America; I am one of the top bloggers for professional home stagers in Active Rain, and help and support the staging industry as a whole through developing activities such as Stager Idol which is going on right now, I am most proud of my Internet business that offers Do It Yourself Home Staging Checklist and Instructions so you don’t have to loose your house. You too can take the necessary steps and increase your odds right now without waiting until it is too late.

I am not suggesting staging your own home in the good times, there is nothing like a professional stager or interior designer/decorator to come in and put the wow factor to work. But in these very hard times, you can do the basics your self! I invite you to visit and get started…increase your odds of selling right now!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Don't Kid Yourself...Home Staging is a lot of work

I was just reading a post about home staging as a career and the title led one to believe that home staging is the perfect career for the frustrated mid life person. My first thought was "are they in for a shocker!".

Staging homes is very hard work so don't kid yourself if you think you will be able to jump right in and begin satisfying your creative mid-life self. Creativity seldom comes into play in home staging and let me tell you why...
  • It is a business so the business needs to be set up and run like any other small business
  • You will be confronted with clutter and grime like you have never seen before. Stripping a home down to its basic essentials can be a real challenge for you and if you choose not to do it, then getting your clients to do it is another big challenge...why? If they lived like that in the first place, it will be difficult for them to clean it up to your satisfaction.
  • You will need inventory...sometimes a lot of inventory such as plants, art, accessories, bed dressings, towels, lamps, and often times large furniture pieces.
  • You will need good credit, a place to store your inventory...some have $80,000 worth of inventory and they outgrew their garages and spare bedrooms within a few months.
  • Hauling inventory is challenging as well.
  • Then you will need to go pick up your inventory when the house has sold or when the contract runs out.
  • You will have to keep track of your inventory and protect it with insurance.
So as you can see the fun decorating part is where???

What I am trying to point out here is home staging is not decorating, it is more like a furniture rental business than anything. Could you be looking for something else like maybe a 'one day makeover' business? I'm thinking this might be the case! One day makeovers (or two to three day makeovers) is much more like what you may be seeking because creativity plays the largest role here.

As an interior designer, my experience in preparing a home before the for sale sign goes up is more like re-design, using what the seller has, rearranging it and then making a shopping list, arranging for painting, repairs, etc., then finishing the house as beautifully as it can be. I have never provided the accessories or the furniture but I have purchased or rented pieces for the clients with their money.

I don't think the home staging business was originally intended in supplying furniture and accessories and I think it has gotten way out of hand. How can a creative person entering what is supposed to be a creative field, handle what is in store for them?

Be warned because the home staging career it is not what you think or what the home staging trainers want you to think.

However, I don't want to discourage you as long as you know what you are getting into. I just don't think providing the staging inventory is necessary. These home sellers most likely will love what you have done and want to keep your selections for their new home anyway. Don't even get me started with new home construction...that is a different post for sure.

Visit for information on how to stage your own house or stage for others for a lot less than you imagined.