Sheron Cardin's Input...: It Takes A Lot To Upset Me So What Has Pushed Me Over The Edge?

I have been an interior designer for over 27 years and I have always taught my clients the principles I used while decorating their home so they may enjoy decorating too. The home staging trend in residential real estate is a great way to reach more people every day and what I enjoy the most is they are learning the basics of good design through staging. It is my dream for every person to know the joy and pride of living in a decorated home.

It Takes A Lot To Upset Me So What Has Pushed Me Over The Edge?

I am so upset that I had to put my hat back on!

Do you know people who BAIT conversations with wrong information or incomplete sentences? I HATE that and I hate this survey that everyone is talking about for similar reasons. Anyone who 'Google alerts' home staging or home stagers has read it.

Based on the results they have gathered, I am trying to imagine the questions they asked, aren't you? With all the real estate agents out there, why are they satisfied with the answers of so few? What kind of question would get this answer: “When we surveyed our brokers and agents, 82% of the respondents stated that buyers were likely to get distracted from important issues when viewing a staged home. WHAT important issues could they be talking about? 

Let's see, the questions had to go something like this...

hole in the wall

  • Would you be able to tell if there was violence in a home if large pictures were hung over gapping holes in the wall  by a home stager? Don't the authors of this survey know that professional stagers prepare a to-do list for sellers and at the top of that list would be REPAIR HOLES IN WALLS! Stagers would never cover holes but the home sellers might.
dirty dishes
  • If the kitchen were clean and decorated, would you know that the dishwasher was unusable? Getting our clients to follow through on their to do lists and maintenance lists tell them to keep their kitchens clean. It is the listing agents responsibility to inform potential buyers about the dishwasher. As a matter of fact, a good stager would recommend the dishwasher be in working condition.
high ceilings
  • You walk into a home that is staged and you see the high ceilings and beautiful crown moldings instead of the fact there isn't a fireplace in the living room? SO? Better than buyers asking themselves what the room is used for...living room or dining room. Stagers identify spaces for their purpose or function removing any doubt. Is this the TRICK they are talking about?
messy closet
  • You open closet doors only to find real space and fresh smells instead of how many coats can you cram in there? Do you think that is lying to your buyers?
frightened faces old pizza
  • Would your clients feel deceived by a home that is staged or would they rather hold their noses and step over last weeks pizza?

I could just go on and on but maybe you would like to add what questions you think was in that survey. I for one would like to see this survey!!!

THEN...these fictitious real estate professionals went on to say that "The purpose of staging is to draw attention to the decorating and away from the actual structure". Can we get their name please! This whole article is full of lies and deception and to what end? The buyer's agent is a hero and coming to the rescue of unsuspecting buyers? Are they trying to convey "We love you and we will protect you from these perpetrators" kind of image? OH PLEASE! 

What are they suggesting a buyer's agent do...reject any homes in the MLS that look good? When calling for an appointment be sure and ask the seller's agent if the home has been staged? Accidentally walk into a home and if it is clean, organized, and presented to your buyers a merchandise, turn around quickly and run back to your car? 

I will add, however, that in the beginning, staging students who caught the wave of the sellers market, did experience heightened excitement over price increases to their staged properties, and their clients profited from their staging investments, but in the buyer's market a staged home helps the seller get their asking price. Beauty is just better than ugly any day of the week. 

I commented on the Home Buyer Beware post and it probably won't be published. As in my title of this post, it takes a lot for me to shift from supportive to defending a position. The release of this survey has done just that and I hope that those that read the survey results can see through it. If they can't, then I hope they stumble upon our posts. 

I suggest that stagers unite and reach out to buyer's agents to make sure they are not buying into this negative spin on a positive movement that benefits everyone. I am requesting a copy of the survey and if we all request it, maybe we will get it.

Namaste

Comment balloon 80 commentsSheron Cardin • August 17 2007 01:34PM

Comments

Wow, sounds like you are fired up about this and you should be.  Good luck with obtaining a copy of the survey. 
Posted by Joe Bartolotta Florida's Upfront Mortgage Broker (Fidelity Mortgage Services) about 12 years ago
Ya know, I came across this today and did not get a chance to read about it.  Thanks for posting this as i'll bookmark it and catch it later.
Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 12 years ago

Sheron, I agree whole heartedly.  I will request a copy of the study as well.  Their claims are really ridiculous! 

A staged home also saves the owner time.  Time on the market.  A better looking home sells faster!, and time is money any way you slice it.

Posted by No Longer Available about 12 years ago

Staging can be a problem if you don't have the correct professional looking at your new home.  

When buying a new home, a well experienced home inspector can uncover these issues.  Like the dishwasher you commented on being unusable.  A good home inspector would know to check out ALL appliances, etc. for proper functioning. 

I do have to mention that the inspector is not there to point out cosmetic issues though, but is fully available for any questions that his client may have about the home.  That is what he is there for.  The inspector is able to point out all hazardous and potential problem areas in the home and any other questions that may arise should be asked.  It he can't answer them, his job is to refer you to someone who can.

Go the safe route.  Have the home inspected for good, strong and sound surroundings and the cosmetics are fixable.

Posted by Joseph Ayscue (Examiner Home Inspections, LLC) about 12 years ago

Hey, thanks for the mention ;) It's just strange a national association would basically diss an entire sector of the industry. Moreover, any transactions, all of us work together to get the job done, which includes seller's agents, sellers and home inspectors. There are a lot of check and balances. Especially with such severe lawsuits that happen in California, you would think people would be more careful about disclosures.

Cheers,

Cindy 

Posted by Cindy Lin (Staged4more Home Staging & Designs // EcoJoe) about 12 years ago

OK, admittedly I know about enough about this to be dangerous. But that has never deterred me in the past, so, I'll give my input. It seems to me that if these folks are positioning themselves as exclusive buyer agents then that means that they will not be concerned with what happens down the road and their "buyer" client now turning into " a seller"..will they still advise against staging..if so, then that will be, at the very least, hypocritical in the extreme and, at the worst,doing a serious disservice to their client.

Perhaps they do not care about that or simply ignore it  but if I were a Realtor today I would be thinking of the long term rather than just what is happening now. For me I want a Realtor who can do both sides of the process-represent me when I buy and when I sell. This may sound like they are trying to help the buyer by exposing all theose evil home stagers out there but I think this is non defendable position and as such easily critised. Hopefully, few clients will fall for this trick.

"okra" Oprah's cousin

Posted by James Frazier (James Frazier Personal Development Coach) about 12 years ago

James - isn't short sightedness directly related to hind sight? Thank you for your wisdom and insight. What a way to come back, eh?

Cindy Lin - it is very strange for that type of self defecation unless they just don't understand what staging property is. Time will tell.  

Joseph - good points. I have had experience with inspectors and they stick very closely to the rules and are not influenced to any great degree by the appearance of a property but they (you) can be a great source of referrals to stagers just because you inspect every home out there. We would like to see more inspectors input here.

Joelle - yes and it also gets them packed and prepared for the move as well as helps them detach with also moves a listing faster. So many benefits. 

Rob - thanks and will see you down the road.

Joe - thank you. I am still reserved in this post because I don't like ranting. Thanks for listening. Hopefully we can nip this in the bud. 

 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Cindy,

 I can understand your anger at this dribble.  i would like to point out a few things that should make you feel a little bit better.  first, a buyer's agent is a gimmick.  The agent is still paid by the seller through a co-broked commission.  The only difference is that a buyer's agent makes thier customers sign a contract that they are due a commision, they state that they represent the buyer and therefore are implying that they will be on your side many times the buyer's not realizing what they sign can get into trouble if they buy through another agent, or even a FSBO.  Any real estate professional can represent the buyer with proper disclosure.  A buyer's agent is no more qualified to assist a buyer than any other licensed agent.  I would also like to point out that the laws of real estate agency are changing rapidly and those that advertise themselves as buyer's agents are quickly losing thier niche, hence the desperation of this rediculous article.

Insinuating that all stagers are somehow unethical and trying to cover up material defects is sad and again very desparate attempt at convincing  a buyer that they will not make any mistakes when buying a home if they use them.  Sounds like some of these Buyer's agents were not doing thier jobs and are looking to play the blame game on why they did not represent thier customer and they claimed they would.  I love the one about the stains in the carpet under the beds.  How many homes have stained carpets and scuffed walls that are covered by furniture?  This is not a result of staging...very humerous.  And, the part about structural and foundation problems...wow, you must be a magician not a stager to cover up those defects.  Where are the inspectors in this equation and are these buyer's agents walking the property with thier clients prior to closing?  Again blame game and a marketing tool that the National Association of Buyer's Agents are using to convince unsuspecting customers that by using them, they are protected from the evil sellers of the world and thier even more evil agents.

I actually laughed when I read this article because it is very bizarre.  Who in thier right mind would prefer to walk into a home strewn with clutter, dog poop, baby toys, dirty dishes, scraped up walls and inappropriate furnishings.  Personally as a property investor, I love these homes, because no one else wants them and I can pick them up at a significant discount. A first time buyer or person just looking for a home to call thier own are not as interested in picking up a steal as much as they are looking for a place they feel comfortable in, a place to call home.  Also, a buyer may pass on the perfect home for themselves because they could not see themselves living their...based on wall color, furniture placement, clutter etc. Plus, why is it somehow wrong or deceitful for a homeowner to make thier home as inviting and attractive as possible to potential buyers.  Would you let your kids run around in dirty stained clothing when they go to school or church...no...you dress them up in thier best. 

 I am not a homestager, but I am a Realtor and a marketing professional that understands and realizes that staging helps both sellers and buyers.  It is quite disturbing that the National association of Buyers Agents would stoop this low...again a desparate move by an organization whose usefulness is dissapearing in a changing real estate world.

 You have to laugh!!!!

 

Posted by Kristi Lynn about 12 years ago
Kristy - I don't know if you meant to address Cindy or myself but thank you for your input...it is very useful. I am sooooooo curious who the agents were (if they are real) and who wrote the survey. I really do hope we can find out.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
Sheron, I like the hat!  But seriously, I think this validates my opinion of real estate agents.  They are so full of self importance, heaven forbid there might be someone out there that can trump them when it comes to preparing a house for sale.  Lets face it, real estate agents, not all but most, list the house and move on.  I drive by houses everyday that have weeks of newspapers in the driveway, grass two feet tall, broken blinds in the window, you name it.  If the real estate agents cared or were savvy, they would have the owners address these issues.  The result of allowing these houses to "sit" is no sale.  In the dead market we have here in central Florida I would think it would behoove an agent to do whatever it takes to get their listings sold. NOT!  By the way, keep an eye out for a special mail the next few days!
Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) about 12 years ago

Here was my response to request the data:

Hello: I would like a copy of the study quoted in your article :How not to get tricked by Staging - and potentially save $5,645 when you buy your home. I would also like the information on the size of the study and how your results were tabulated. As a mental health professional, I am curious if your data is skewed. Your article makes broad, negative statements concerning the Hoem Staging industry and I would be interested in your supporting data. Since your article represents this as a scientific study, you know that all studies making this claim must have the original data available for other scientists to validate and replicate the study.

 

Thank you,

Cheri Dueker, MA, NCC, LPC

Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago
Perhaps those buyers concerned by "trickery" should do their research, and realize that they too should stage their home which is probably for sale since they're buying (unless, of course, they're a first time buyer).  Sounds like an educational opportunity to me.
Posted by Susan Smith (Rooms That Work LLC) about 12 years ago

Terri - what I love about you is you are on top of everything. Seriously, I think if staging was free, every agent would do it...stage I mean.

Cheri - Great letter. Mine is not so formal but the demand is still the same. If anyone is going to form their opinion based on a study, that study needs to be available to everyone. The problem with studies is what quantum physics states; the results of an experiment is changed with each experimenter (or something to that effect) and another one is; "Seek and ye shall find". Asking specific questions will get you specific answers based on what you are looking for. If you want a way out...you will find it. Thank you.

Susan -  an opportunity indeed and it all starts right here. Thanks Susan.

My word is koorkup. Is this someones sick joke? :) 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Howdy Sheron

You have done a good reading post here I am going to bookmark it. Lots of fine info.

Have a good one

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) about 12 years ago

Sheron, 

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's much easier to see flaws and potential structural issues when a home is clean and not cluttered up with furniture, stuff and crap on the floors.  The argument that staging is meant to "trick" buyers into buying a defective house in a bad location is utterly ridiculous!  What is this -- a NAEBA witch hunt?  Yep, I'll just bet you stagers are casting a magical spell on buyers so that they can't see that the house they are buying is a craphole in a lousy location, oh yeah, and the listing agent's in on it too.  I have no desire to be sued.  There is no way that I'm going to help cover up any defect in a home!  And there's also going to be a home inspection by a well-qualified home inspector on any house that I sell, even if I have to pay for it.  What about seller's that have an un-staged, well maintained, overly attractive house?  Are they trying to "trick" buyers too?

This is just a ploy to drum up more business for their members by saying that listing agents and stagers are dishonest, and that if you're a buyer you better use one of their members so that you don't get "tricked" into buying a house that's overpriced, defective or whatever.

P.S.  At the end of the report, it says tha NAEBA has 500 members worldwide and they've been in existence since 1995!  That's not a very large membership considering how many agents are out there and the fact that they've been around for 12 years.  They claim that the survey was conducted with their members, so the sample couldn't be very large. 

P.S.S.  From looking at their website, the reason they may be trying to drum up more business is because they have a referral service which generates $$$$ for them in the form of referral fees from agents.

Posted by Michelle Ewing, Riverside, CA (Trademark Realtors) about 12 years ago

So here's what that article is suggesting, make sure the kitchen is dirty and messy, dont repair any holes, cram your closets as full as you can and and leave big signs that say "FIRE PLACE HERE" "LARGE VAULTED CEILING HERE."

Talk about misinformation, people should really check their facts, if you ask me, staging is a NESSECITY when selling your home. And I'm sure the statistics of which sells faster (a staged home or unstaged home) prooves that.

Posted by Carolyn Hollier about 12 years ago

Dale - thank you Sir.

Michelle - do you think they are just stirring up some dust for recognition? Could be...and that would make me mad too because it can disrupt livelihoods. 

Carolyn - staging IS a necessity to market product in a competitive business unless you do not want to compete. That is possible. They could very well be drumming up business this way...poor tactics I would say.

Thanks for all your input... 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron,

This report is a great way for them to get recognition and exposure on the internet now.  Staging is a hot topic on TV, in print, and on the internet.  It makes sense that they would want to capitalize on it even if they hurt others in the process. 

Posted by Michelle Ewing, Riverside, CA (Trademark Realtors) about 12 years ago
Sheron -  I went to the how not to get tricked blog.  There is a message at the bottom that reads COMMENTS ARE CLOSED.  Pretty funny. 
Posted by Maureen Maureen about 12 years ago

Michelle - thank you for your insight. I would like to have a rebuttal so I hope I hear from them soon.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

You have every right to be fired up on this one. Like Kristi said,it is sad insinuating that home stagers are somewhat unethical and trying to cover up major defects. I am also curious to find out the real estate agents who said that buyers will likely be distracted from important issues when viewing a staged home.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 12 years ago
I wonder if controversy like this helps the Buyer's Agent cause in general?  Aren't they subject to the big commission divorce debate?  Maybe, in preparation for asking buyers to pay them directly, they're getting ready to prove their value.  Too bad they've picked something that just makes them look dumb and gives us all an even more public platform to speak from!
Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) about 12 years ago
This is the first I have heard of the survey.  Very interesting. 
Posted by Susan Buchanan (harvey & associates realty) about 12 years ago
Sheron, I don't think most people will take this survey seriously.  I mean, how can you?  The things they have stated are ridiculous and anyone with an ounce of intelligence will have a good laugh.  The people who want to sell their homes and have heard about staging will still stage.  They are the people that realize the  value of a staged home.  Buyers, prefer to look at a clean, well-kept house and I don't think this will change because of this article.  That said, I too am darn mad about this ridiculous and deceitful article.  Betty 
Posted by Betty Haney (Haney Consulting) about 12 years ago

Maureen - hi there...you slipped in without me seeing you. That IS very interesting. We can all use the Contact Us link at the bottom. Do your thing Maureen!

Lanre - what an unusual name...I like it. Thank you for seeing it the same way I do. I never know!

Juliet - it will make them look bad in the long run too. What are they going to do when the public is used to us? They will have some back peddling to do if there is anything left to peddle.

Susan - welcome and thanks for stopping and reading. 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
Sheron: You can telll it ticked me off-I hardley ever use my credentials on the rain! And never when I stage....
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago

Sheron,

On the last page of "How Not to be Tricked..." it says there are 500 worldwide members of NAEBA. There are about 40,000 agents on Active Rain!

Even if every single NAEBA member (I highly doubt it) participated in this survey they speak of, there's still no statistical significance due to the size of the group.

Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) about 12 years ago
Cheri - no I didn't and that is a lot of spaghetti...what does it all mean?
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
Hi Sheron: All that means Masters of Arts in Counseling, Nationally Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor (mIssouri)-I use it when I want  folks to think I'm smart-thanks for asking:)
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago

Woohoo Cheri, I think we have a new niche for you...us! :)

Get this! Here is another bashing of stagers in the news today. They are referring to stagers as using snake oil to sell their ugly run down houses. They must be thinking that a bargain is the only way a house is going to sell these days. Geez Louise! Any before and after pictures will tell the tale and if any of them are reading this blog, I invite you to visit our Before and After group and see real evidence for yourself...and then stop by Staging Works and Staging Successes.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
Sheron, this fella from Tampa sounds like one frustrated agent to me!!
Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) about 12 years ago
Sheron: It amazes me to see folks in the business giving so little credit to the intelligence of the buyers! Glad I'm no their clients.....So the agent's life sucks and rather than dealing with the issues-this guy is trying to make himself feel better by dumping on everyone else in the industry-really nice!! Wanna bet he's never even seen a professionally staged home?
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago

Hi fellow Carnies! Jeez! Sholdn't you always (regardless of staging or not) use your due diligence when buying a home?

Thanks Sheron for venting!

Posted by Cari Pilon, RE:STYLE Home Staging (RE:STYLE Home Staging) about 12 years ago
Great post and NOT all Realtors feel this way.  I look at houses that are listed (even the ones that aren't staged) and compare it to going on a first date.  You want to look your best, smell your best, put your best foot forward.  And I definitely think washing and putting away dishes, cleaning, and getting rid of garbage (aka old pizza) are just part of making yourself a candidate for a second date (aka offer/contract).  If someone is looking for high ceilings or a fireplace, they aren't going to be distracted from that.  If it is important enough to the client, they will seek out these things. 
Posted by Lori Hakeem Oxley (Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.) about 12 years ago
Hello Sheron....I agree with Cari's response above mine....YES, DUE DILIGENCE on the part of the BUYER!  I have mentioned this before, I renovate homes and also do staging as my career.  My meticulous review of every potential purchase (aside from the home inspector) makes the difference!!  Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the buyer to use their eagle eye....ask important questions.....like a detective of sorts!!  Society has a bad habit of passing the buck onto anyone else besides the very person who should be adult enough to take responsibility.  Thanks Sheron....Regards-Kathleen
Posted by Kathleen Garvey, Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales (HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver) about 12 years ago

You can save money by staging yourself.

you can save money by going fsbo.

you can save money by doing your own seo.

you can save money by avoiding the broker and going direct to the lender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

in the short run......

 

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) about 12 years ago
Tom-I guess thats true (in the short term) but how many sellers/buyers do you really think have the skill level to do all of these things without some guidance?  That is the point....if you are selling your biggest asset/investment-hire expert advice-the best you can afford....the same is true on the buying end. But be professional enough to not attack an industry that is part of the professional team to assist sellers!!! Sad attempt to deflect their own shortcomings or they are showing ignorance of the staging industry.Either way-pretty sad.
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago

Sue - he really does but I doubt if his rant did any good. 

Cheri - thanks for adding me as an associate. For me, sometimes I am so trusting that I blindly listen to the experts. Anyone who is buying anything needs to start with their lists and then stick to them. 

Cari - thanks for letting me share my venting with you.

Lori - if Realtors in general felt this way, the staging industry would not be growing...so true.

Kathleen - I couldn't agree more!

Tom - until I read Cheri's comment, I didn't get yours but now I do. Very clever way to get your point across. Thanks!!!

Cheri - I do know quite a few people who can do it all but they are very special people...not the norm. I will be reading my alerts this week a bit closer than usual to see if there is a pattern here. 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron, thank you for your post!  Your services as a stager are tremendously valuable to the client and the rest of the REALTOR® community. 

Preparation is key to success.  I stage my friends' listings when I post them on AR (a lender posting a listing that won't pay him a dime? Long Realty has its own internal lender.)  I stage my blog posts.  I even staged this comment. (No link necessary)

You wouldn't be National VP of RESA if you didn't value what you do. Illegitimi Non Carborundum!  Teriffic post!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 12 years ago

Hey Sharon, I really liked your post.  Could I get your permission to print it and share your wonderful scenarios with prospective clients if I need.

I just love the pictures too. 

Posted by Karen Hubert, Home Stager (Center Stage Design-real estate staging, Ancaster/Hamilton) about 12 years ago

Mike - thank you for your support. I checked out your profile and it looks like you were raised right! Love it and thank you for adding me to your esteemed associate list.

Karen - you may use whatever I blog about...glad you can use it. If you visit RESA, you will find very helpful articles you can use.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron, great post.  You're fired up Girl!  I don't know a single real estate agent who feels the way this survey says.  I look upon stagers as part of the team required to get the job done.  If I can convince my sellers to use a stager, I am one happy camper.  The survey is hokey.  Pull-eeeze!

And if I may direct a comment to Terry, that is one awfully broad brush you are using to classify all of us real estate agents.   "I think this validates my opinion of real estate agents.  They are so full of self importance, heaven forbid there might be someone out there that can trump them when it comes to preparing a house for sale."  hmmmm...

Posted by Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 305.81.HOUSE (46873), GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay | (eXp Realty LLC) about 12 years ago
Thanks for post, Sheron.  I can understand how you feel. This survey got me a bit upset.  I would never, ever try to deceive anybody.  It just shocks me to think anyone would think that is what home stagers do!  Bottom line - All I want to do is help people.
Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) about 12 years ago
Sheron & all who have commented, well said! We are a part of the industry there to provide a service that is needed. We do our part, the inspectors do theirs, the sellers agents and buyers agents should be working together to help each other survive and grow. Can anyone say DISCLOSURE statement? Ethics aside, in the age of litagation WHY would anybody in the industry involve themselves in a "coverup"? 
Posted by Penny White about 12 years ago
Come to think of it...maybe they are referring to interior decorators and not home stagers. I have covered up flaws on many occasion for the homeowners...hmmm, I wonder? I hope we hear from them so we can clear this up.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron,

I wonder how many of those megar 500 members are here on AR??  And how do we crash that newsletter to give those poor misguided folks a dose of reality. Or maybe that author should have his house on the market for 6 months to a year and hear him cry the tale of woe and call his local stager!!! 

From the bungelow listed at 164,000 for 6 months with no action to the homes that lack any imagination and personality at over 2 Million Dollars.. They all need staging in some way or another. And they all sell for less.

I think the VP should set the charming person from the NAEBA straight...

There is nothing better than a lady with her dander up!!!  Go Get'em.

Kathy

Posted by Kathleen "Kathy" Holbrook (Waterfront Realty Group Inc & SW Florida Realty Staging) about 12 years ago
I did a google search for this organization and Boyd guy and this article came up many times.  From my information found, the NAEBA is just another organizaiton for the home buyer, not the seller, and used us (home stagers) to market his organization.  Pretty rude.  It also lists the competitors of NAEBA and many organizations came up that support us.  Maybe Jon's wife is an interior decorator?  If anyone wants to write him it's jon@buyersagentannarbor.com and the number listed is 800.786.1570 which said is direct to his cell phone. 

Thanks Sheron, very good post!


Posted by Diane Concialdi DC Redesign about 12 years ago
Kathleen - well put and I will use your words if you don't mind. And I haven't heard "dander up" in a very long time...I had a chuckle...thanks.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
Diane - a big thank you! What a good detective you are. I have not delved into it yet so I thank you for doing the leg work. I hope we all send him a loud message that could save him a lot of time at the Circus!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron,

There are many times our Company has been asked to hide a flaw in a home. We, of course, refuse. We explain that our job is to help buyers fall in love before they notice the problems (not unlike a great outfit on a date) but not to hide anything. A good agent knows about disclosures anyway. This whole article sounds like sour grapes from someone. Good Stagers will rise above such nonsense.

Marsha Carlton

Posted by Marsha Carlton (Project: Staging) about 12 years ago
he"s from Ann Arbor? Great another blow to Michigan! Haha. Ann Arbor is only 15 minutes from me. I should pay him a visit - haha.
Posted by Cari Pilon, RE:STYLE Home Staging (RE:STYLE Home Staging) about 12 years ago

Cari - I say go for it. He needs some real help.

Marsha - sour grapes with the funny face! 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron,

 This came accross my desk on Friday and I have drafted a letter to Jon Boyd, I am waiting for some feedback from his so called "enemies" before I send it. I will post it as soon as I can.

Posted by Shell Brodnax, CEO- RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) about 12 years ago
Jon Boyd

 2007 President

 National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents

RE: http://www.naeba.org/staging/200708142151StagingReport.pdf

Dear Mr. Boyd:

I am writing to you in response to your report, "How to not get tricked by staging, and potentially save $5,645 when you buy your home."  Your report found its way to my office this morning and after reading it I am a bit shocked on your viewpoint of staging and I wanted to take the opportunity to set the record straight and educate you on why staging is not only good for sellers but just as good for home buyers.  In addition I hope to build a bridge between buyers agents, yourself and staging.

Throughout your report you suggest that professional stagers use "trickery" to "hide" flaws or defects in the property by using rugs to cover defects or drapery to cover up broken windows.  This could not be further from the truth. 

Staging is "preparing the home for sale". While this includes removing clutter, keeping it clean and arranging furniture to highlight the properties features it also includes, making all necessary repairs including but not limited to: broken windows, light switches, scratched cabinets, broken tiles, running toilets, leaky faucets, jammed doors, carpet stains being professionally cleaned and even replaced when needed.  Basically stagers address any and all needed repairs and improvements that can be made to the property before listing it. In fact, the #1 reason that professional stagers don't get hired by a homeowner is because they are strongly recommending carpet being fully replaced or other repairs that should be addressed before going to market. The homeowners often refuse this due to finances.  I know for a fact that professional stagers often refuse projects because the homeowner will not clean and repair and professional stagers will not put their own inventory in a home in filth and disrepair. In addition staging will do nothing to benefit those properties and those stagers do not want their name on projects that are shown in this manner.

The fact is that staged homes are the homes that have had all the issues repaired and addressed, fresh paint, clean and move in ready.  While I agree that staging does not increase the square footage of a home, its location or structural value, an unkempt property does nothing positive for the property and buyers can not see past the clutter, the dirt, the broken items etc. 

The staging concept was pioneered by of your so called "enemies" Barb Schwarz. Barb was a Broker for over 30 yrs and is certainly qualified to not only understand the needs of agents, buyers and sellers but also has invested 30 years of her life educating agents on how to better serve their clients by using staging.  Again, staging is not smoke and mirrors, Barb's program pioneered this industry and others have followed suite and they all train their students on the importance of repairs first. 

In your laundry list of "enemies" I know for a fact that each one of these people and organizations stress the fact of repairs and or upgrades.

Here is some interesting information from each person you deem an "enemy"

Debra Gould:

Recommending wall colors, repairs and de-cluttering, arrangement of furniture, art and accessories; a professional Home Stager knows what changes yield the greatest return on investment. From Debra's Website

 Barb Schwarz:

She is the author of the best seller "How To List And Sell Residential Real Estate Successfully". Her video "How To Prepare Your Home For Sale...So It Sells" won the Consumer Education Product of the Year Award from the Real Estate Educators of America. Her newest Home Staging video entitled "How To Stage Your Home So It Sells For Top Dollar" is receiving rave reviews. Barb's most recent book, "Home Staging: The Winning Way to Sell Your House for More Money" ALL of Barb's books speak about repairs and replacement. In addition her courses teach the same thing! Trust me I know, I have taken it many times and is the reason why in my personal home being sold, everything was updated, floors counter tops and other repairs.

Mary McDonald

Mary is a Real Estate Broker, an Accredited Buyer's Represntative and member of REBAC, Real Estate Buyer's Agency Council, and certainly understands that staging is not about hiding. In addition she could be held liable if she were not to disclose a defect in the homes she lists and have staged. Here is an examples from her website's FAQ's

Q. I know my house needs a few repairs. Should I fix them or sell the house "as is"?

Generally buyers are interested in homes in which they feel they can move in easily without doing extensive work. The work they are willing to do is that which makes it their own (their own décor, color preferences, etc.)  Again, hardly hiding.

Audra Slinkey

Audra's program includes a walk through action plan which includes making repairs.

Calie Waterhouse

Calie refers people to these tips on staging:

Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.

Patch holes in walls.

Fix leaky faucets.

Fix doors that don't close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.

Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.

Replace burned-out light bulbs.

 My favorite reference of yours is the 20 Tricks Staging Tricks to Sell Your Home

#1 That is not the title of the article the correct title is"Setting the stage for a sale" so I truly think this is misleading to your readers.

11 of the Tips Specifically address repairs, replacing and cleaning, the others are common sense so people can see their own furnishings in the home.

      #9 advises to get a home inspection FIRST so issues can be addressed, on a side note I just listed my property last week and my Realtor was trained by Barb Schwarz and MADE me get a home inspection before listing. All the issues were addressed that were found in the report.

I also want to address the fact of "disclosure". Your examples of disappointed buyers of staged homes I think would be extremely rare or no higher than the exact same rate of disappointed buyers of non-staged homes. Disclosure is very important in RE sales. I can't imagine a home inspector or agent not finding a cracked window or giant hole. Further more to place blame the stager and the staging process is irresponsible and careless. Home inspectors and agents are the ones that find those issues, in addition homeowners when signing a listing agreement must state any defects they area aware of.

I truly hope you can see that staging is not hocus pocus and understand that staging not only helps the seller but helps the buyer because these issues HAVE been addressed. 

I have to be very honest with you and address the fact that you are a leader in your niche of the real estate industry and as a leader you have published a report that attacks other leaders in the real estate industry and an entire industry of 15 to 20 thousand staging professionals.  I don't see how that can be received in a positive manner.

I know the report is already out, however your alleged "enemies" are professionals in this industry and each have staging directories and the ability to refer your buyers agents to qualified stagers that can lead your buyers to homes that have been correctly prepared for sale not only in repairs and upgrades but also making it a much more pleasant experience to walk through a house that is not cluttered with dirty litter boxes, smoke filled walls and dirty clothes on the floor.

While I hope to change your views on staging and how professional stagers really work I also hope that if nothing else you change your verbiage on your marketing piece to reflect a more positive viewpoint on staging or at the very minimum remove your "enemy" list as it is non-productive.

The RESA website also has PDF downloads for agents that touch on the benefits of staging and benefits of agents showing staged homes and your agents are free to use these. I will now be developing a piece on the benefits of viewing and buying a staged home for the consumer.  I will also make these available to you.

Further more I encourage you to work WITH all of these professionals and allow them to help your buyers agents find great properties that have had issues addressed.  You will not only look like a professional leader by banding together with other professional leaders but your agents will be viewed as professionals to their clients by showing staged properties.  They close a sale and your buyers will be happy!

John, I would also be more than willing to answer any questions or work with your organization in any positive mutually beneficial way. I really think you are missing a HUGE opportunity by not working with stagers. Maybe your next report can be "The Benefits of buying a staged home and your can SAVE hundreds if not thousands in repairs because they have already been done." 

With Respect,

Shell Brodnax

President/CEO

Real Estate Staging Association

Posted by Shell Brodnax, CEO- RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) about 12 years ago
Wow Shell. You addressed everything.  He has to "get it" after reading this.....
Posted by Lori Kim Polk, Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento ( Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services) about 12 years ago

Shell... Speaking of Dander!!!!  You rock!!! I can just imagine what the responses will be from the orther Ladies of Home Staging. Jon had no reason to professionally or personally attach professionals he knew nothing about.

Staging is growing in strength and popularity every week and having advocates like you and Sheron make our jobs easier..

Kathy... www.crealtystaging.com

Posted by Kathleen "Kathy" Holbrook (Waterfront Realty Group Inc & SW Florida Realty Staging) about 12 years ago
Shell - well said. I am anxious to see what comes of all this.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago

Sheron thanks for taking up the cause.  I'm "pasting" here part of what I put on Cindy's post and I think it echos what James was saying as well.  When will the RE industry see staging as a standard part of the transaction?  I see here by reading these reports.... very soon.. - Lead the charge Ms. Cardin!

My previous response to Cindy,

"This article was aimed at a buyer and their agents who at some point are going to be sellers (if they already are not) wouldn't these same "buyers" want the same result for their listing?

These kinds of articles make me smile - while I understand the premise of it and "protecting the buyers from paying too much" it just means more stagers are out there doing their job and doing it well!

A Jaguar will always fetch more than a Honda.... (by the way, we own a Honda...)"

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) about 12 years ago

I think  for now I am reserving judgment on Mr. Boyd. This is obviously a marketing piece and his intentions I am sure were to help buyers have trust in buyers agents and it appears he was trying to show buyers agents have knowledge.

I am hoping that he will make a new piece and accomplish the exact same goal by saying how smart buyers agents are because they works with stagers and love to show staged homes because they are confident that repairs have been made and issues addressed.  Think of what an opprotunity he has before him to turn this around and WORK WITH professional stagers and he should be contacting training companies and RESA to get referrals to professional stagers and match them up with buyers agents.

WIN WIN WIN by everyone working together. TEAM WORK.

I can see how at first glance people can get the opinion about staging that its a trick or you will pay more etc. When I first started  in the industry I asked similar questions.

Knowing what I know now I can't imagine how a homeowner wouldn't stage.  I have been house hunting lately and I am shocked how people show their property, dishes piled everyplace, ZERO attempt to clean or even pick up. Dirty clothes etc.

Well hopefully Mr. Boyd will realize that he just had his info wrong and he will partner up with us all. I am sure the buyers agents clients will thank him for doing so. it's much more comfortable to view a nice, clean staged listing then have to walk over piles to get to the next room.

Posted by Shell Brodnax, CEO- RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) about 12 years ago

Shell: I am also willing to withhold judgement unitl we see if or how he responds. However, I think the response to this blog shows the power of words and how carefully we all need to choose what is published on paper, using the internet or on blogs. Now we wait.......

Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago
Sheron -- I just wanted you to know I have been watching this post and comments daily.  You are a great hero for drawing us all in.  I will also take action, whether you receive a response or not.  Just kinda waiting to see what transpires.  But be assured I continue to read the comments daily. Thx for taking the leadership, I am a follower.
Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) about 12 years ago

There is no need to judge anyone...business is business.  The fact that "the other side" has launched what many here are seeing as an attack just means that we, as professional stagers, are making an impact in the real estate field.  That's a good thing.  There will always be self-declared enemies who will challenge the integrity of staging, but they don't have the final word.  Perhaps we're viewed as an easy target because we are not officially regulated.  Each and every one of us behaving professionally and ethically will be the final voice heard on the matter.  There, I'm off my soap box now. :)  Have a great day everyone!

Posted by Susan Smith (Rooms That Work LLC) about 12 years ago

Karen - I read your response in Cindy's post and I am so happy you added it here.  Thank you!

Shell - wow! what can I say...if this poster doesn't get back to at lease one of us then we are going to have to ask Cari Pilon to pay a visit. (She says she is only 15 minutes away)

Cheri - yes, I was reading another post today written by Kathy McGraw that sheds light on words you will enjoy Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.........or do they?

Karen D - I am no hero...but thank you just the same. I was just one of the first to take offense and write about it but please do stay tuned. We are all learning how to address REAL slander and not just our fears or lack of education on the part of real estate professionals.

Susan - I am with you. This profession may never be able to be regulated and I am not a person who has blind respect due to someones ability to follow the rules. This gentleman made up lies about us to make him look good. That is wrong any way you look at it and maybe an apology is in order.

 

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
Thanks Sheron-great article...Wish I had written it:)
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 12 years ago
Cheri - Kathy is a very sweet person and well worth the time to read her blog. She doesn't know me yet but she will because I have become a big fan.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) about 12 years ago
HMM I like the idea of Cari Pilon being our "enforcer" LOL I could market that
Posted by Shell Brodnax, CEO- RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) almost 12 years ago
Shell - you could market purring instructions to cats! ;-)
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago
Do I get to wear my boxing shorts?
Posted by Cari Pilon, RE:STYLE Home Staging (RE:STYLE Home Staging) almost 12 years ago
Cari - get it on tape...wear whatever will get you in the door...purrrrrrr
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago
I second that emotion Nora and Susan...we just have to keep refining what we do until it can be said in one word or less: SOLD
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago
This "report" is so full of mistakes and holes that it's almost not even worth complaining about...First off, I don't believe that any of these people are real. My guess is that whoever wrote these "articles" bought a home themselves and "fell in love" with the furniture and such, then failed to have a home inspection AS SUGGESTED BY THEIR REALTOR, which would have exposed the crumby foundation or whatever. BTW, no one stages a foundation, that's where "caveat emptor" comes in. I love your rendition of the "questions" that were supposedly asked to the "agents". And what's wrong with giving the idea of a romantic evening by the fireplace...how dare someone be romantic in their new home!!! And how dare someone put nice curtains in a bedroom? If a window was cracked, again something that would come out in a home inspection, not to mention the fact that it would probably be something you would notice as you're WALKING UP TO THE HOUSE FOR THE SHOWING!! No one says you can't pull a curtain back to inspect the windows. What's happened to common sense in the NAEBA? And it that even a real organization? Sounds fishy to me...
Posted by Jennifer Wardle (Center Stage Home Staging, LLC) almost 12 years ago
One more thing...any topic that can be discussed will have negative articles on the internet...just put in "Jesus" in a Google search and you will get negative articles and sites...does that mean Jesus is bad? I do believe in the freedom of speech and that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but those few of us left that actually have common sense know the truth about what we do and we're not going anywhere anytime soon.
Posted by Jennifer Wardle (Center Stage Home Staging, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Jennifer - you tickle me. That 'ruffled dander' gets around! The squeaky wheel gets the grease and this guy sure knows how to squeal. I just makes us stronger and more united.

How funny...my word sounds like what we are saying: Purpurea! I guess we have to add the Rain gods words to their own dictionary. Love it!

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago
I think that is the MOST crazy thing I have heard in a long time. So what happened in those homes (few and far between) that we DON'T stage b/c the people that live there truly have it  looking perfect? Seriously? Apparently those home-owners should suffer too. Are we really telling buyers to turn their cheek at staged properties??? I agree that the probelm sounds MUCH more like an inspection issue! 
Posted by Amber Langston (HOME BRANDERS / DIXIELAND HOME DESIGN) almost 12 years ago
You know what? Someone should do a survery of buyers who recently purchased a "staged home" and get it straight from the source....instead of these boneheads. 
Posted by Amber Langston (HOME BRANDERS / DIXIELAND HOME DESIGN) almost 12 years ago
Amber - now there is a good idea! I will look into it...Shell has a survey program we can use and make the questions for buyers. Really good idea.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago
You know it's funny. I am currenly working on a survey for the buyers of homes I stage to get feedback from them on our work and how much of an impact it made in their decision. I was inspired after a buyer of one of my staged homes called me up and said "I have no style whatsoever and your staging helped me so much in our furniture placement when we moved in." Hmmm...that buyer sounded SOOOOO deceived and upset b/c they bought a staged home. :) We should really do that survey and get it out there for the public somehow!!!! Let me know if I can help.
Posted by Amber Langston (HOME BRANDERS / DIXIELAND HOME DESIGN) almost 12 years ago
You can not only help Amber but it sounds like you can take the lead. Let me know how I can help you.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago
Well- I can do a rough draft of a survey we all can use as a jumping off point. This survery would be given to the buyers or left at the home after it's sold...whatever works best. Maybe we could set up another group dedicated to all of our survey findings...where people give reports on what they find, buyer's comments. That way we have an arsenol of sorts to refer people to when/if this sort of thing pops up AND we'll all have our own surveys to use in our marketing efforts/in our own defense if we are approached with this hoopla on a local level. What do you think??  If this is good - I will set up a new post re: the survey to pull ideas from everyone on questions to ask.   :)
Posted by Amber Langston (HOME BRANDERS / DIXIELAND HOME DESIGN) almost 12 years ago
Amber , I smell a new group coming on. Post it and they will follow. Thank you! :)
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago

Participate