Question:  You talk a lot about staging a home.  My home would not need staging as I have an excellent designer and I see no reason to spend money on staging. What is your response?

Answer: We have our stager/designer look at every home we sell as a service to the client. There is no charge for staging your home. That cost is part of our costs to sell your home. Most Realtors provide that service at no cost to you. There is a difference between a well-designed home that you live in and a home staged for selling. We tell our clients that it isn't about how you live it is about how you sell. When you live in the home you enjoy your family photos on the walls and all your collectibles out for your family and friends to enjoy. That is just how we all live in our homes. When you sell the objective is to de-personalize the home and de-clutter the home by removing many of the things that make your home feel like your home. The objective of the staging is to help the prospective buyer feel like it could be their home. When there are personal items all around the buyer can become absorbed in looking at those items or pictures and miss seeing your home. "Have you ever seen a better collection of baseball memorabilia?" "My, what a beautiful family and look at all those old photos. I wonder which one is the great grandfather on the wife's side?" I would rather here quotes like, "I like the size of this family room. I can see where our piano would fit beautifully." "These bedrooms are spacious and would work for our family." I think you are getting the idea. If you go into model homes, they decorate to sell and to promote the upgrades that you will want as well when you buy. That is a similar goal when selling your home. The furnishings are there to emphasize the quality of the home and the usable nature of all the rooms. Staging can add warmth and feel but does not overwhelm the home. We have sold many homes that were beautifully decorated and already looked like a model home and our staging did little to change the home. But in the majority of the homes we sell, we do an extensive staging process to enhance the salability of the home. Often our clients wonder why they never thought to put that chair where the stager places it or loves the new configuration of family room. Some clients even hire our stager/designer to help them with their next home. In most cases staging will get a higher offer in a quicker time. The other advantage of staging is it prepares you, the seller, to move on to the next home. Your home will not feel as much like your home after staging since many of the personal items will be removed. Staging makes for an excellent transition in your life.