Home Staging Stories From the Trenches: “Yes, we can work with your furniture!”

I often get calls from Realtors who say, “I have a family who is actually going to be living in their home while it’s on the market. They would like to use their own furniture. Do you do that?” It always amazes me that they have to ask whether afull service Home Staging company would be willing to work with (gasp) someone’s OWN THINGS?! But I know why they have to ask.

There are some Stagers out there who refuse to work with anything but a completely blank slate. I once did a consultation for a guy who had a beautiful view home and completely workable furniture. His place just needed some updating and new accessories to make it appeal more to today’s buyers. He told me that the last Stager he interviewed told him she’d only take the job if he removed ALL of his own belongings and let her start from scratch…to the tune of over $30,000 in Staging fees! No wonder there are agents and homeowners out there who have yet to hire a Stager to help them prepare their home for sale!

Not only is it bad business to waste someone’s money on unnecessary furniture rental, but in my opinion it’s just plain lazy for a designer to say that they won’t work with a homeowner’s own pieces. Of course it’s easier (and more lucrative) for us to start from scratch because we can pick every last piece down to the art, rugs and plants and know that it will all coordinate beautifully. But if a homeowner has furniture that’s in decent shape and is properly scaled for his home, why would we ask them to get rid of it?

Though my company does lots of vacant home Stagings and model homes, I work all the time with families who are living in their homes while they’re on the market. For these clients, we start with a Consultation. We spend 2-3 hours on site determining what needs to be done in order to get the property sold quickly and for the best price. Recommendations might include de-cluttering, rearranging, reconfiguring or repurposing some of the furniture, updating paint or light fixtures, replacing worn or filthy carpets, and reaccessorizing. After our meeting, the seller receives a written Consultation Report, which gives them a room-by-room check list of what needs to be done. Often the seller takes this list and runs with it and we never hear from them again (until they call to let us know how happy they are that the property SOLD)! Sometimes, however, the client hires us to bring in the recommended accessories or additional furniture pieces that we’ve noted in the report, and to put the finishing touches on the Staging transformation.

As an example, we were recently brought in by a Realtor to do a Consultation on her client’s 4-bedroom home in Tarzana, California. The client had a gorgeous home with beautiful furniture, but she had seen some Staged properties on the market and knew that her home had a couple of trouble spots that needed to be addressed before it could compete with those Staged homes. One of those trouble spots was her college-aged son’s bedroom. Since the son no longer lived in the home, the family used his room as a junk storage space. It was crowded, cluttered and awkwardly arranged with no unifying style to tie it in with the rest of the home.

BEFORE: Teenage Son's Room BEFORE: Teenage Son’s Room
BEFORE: Teenage Son's Room  BEFORE: Teenage Son’s Room

As you can see, this room needed some serious help. First, the layout was awkward with a TV that felt out of place and dominated the room. Second, there was just TOO MUCH STUFF in here. There were desks, bookcases, console tables, chairs and a bed. Too much clutter doesn’t allow buyers to see the potential in the space.

Now check out the After photos!

AFTER: Beautiful Guest Retreat AFTER: Beautiful Guest Retreat
AFTER: Beautiful Guest Retreat AFTER: Beautiful Guest Retreat

We were able to use the client’s bed (we brought in a headboard to give it a more finished look), their chest of drawers, nightstand, floor lamp and leather reading chair (which we moved in from another room). The client did the recommended work (cleaning the carpets, removing the TV and everything else except a few pieces of furniture). Then we brought in new bedding, art and accessories to complete the look. I think you’ll agree that the “AFTER” will be quite a bit more appealing to buyers!

The next trouble spot in this home was in the master bedroom. This was a large room with lots of potential. There were French doors to the yard and a large seating area with built-in bookshelves. Unfortunately that seating area was taken up by a treadmill.

BEFORE: Master Suite or Home Gym? BEFORE: Master Suite or Home Gym?

We simply replaced the treadmill with a cushy loveseat and placed a tray with mugs, a French press and a book on a leather ottoman to help buyers imagine themselves cuddling up with a good book and a cup of coffee.

AFTER: Now this is what I call a master suite! AFTER: Now this is what I call a master suite!

Now this home is ready to sell. And the best part is that the sellers don’t have to move out! They can actually live in and enjoy these new rooms while their home is on the market. And since we used mostly their own furniture, the Staging didn’t break the bank.

So to all of you who were afraid to call a Home Stager because you couldn’t afford to move your entire home into storage and pay someone else to bring in all new things, there is hope! We’ll be waiting for your call.

This is a copy of the original blog created at:http://stagetosell.biz/stsblog/home-staging-stories-from-the-trenches-yes-we-can-work-with-your-furniture/

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