Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Value of Value?


Hello my lovelies!  StagerLinda here and needing to vent a wee bit.

I recieved another rushed phone inquiry.  Before I could explain how I work, (touring the property, taking pictures, writing a report, blah, blah, blah) Mz.Hurry-Up interrupts, "what do you charge?"  When I try to explain my rates for the Consultation Report, Mz. Hurry-Up stops me again and says, "for STAGING! What do you charge for STAGING?"

I've been doing this for years, so I have my elevator pitch pretty much down.  I find it very annoying (if you have every heard any of the Kardashian family describe anything that gives them displeasure, all 8 always use the adjective "annoying" at every opportunity) trying to justify the way I work.  The is client price shopping.

In staging school, I was told to say, "I can do as little or as much as you want."  Tried it.  What a fiasco!  It doesn't serve the goal of getting the house SOLD.

Expensive?  Yep. I know I am considered expensive.  I figure I have paid my dues.  I've consulted on a gazillion houses and have staged a bazillion.  I have education, references and media coverage.  Most important,  I don't really have any more learning curve mistakes to make. Pretty important when someone is helping sell your biggest asset, no?

Here's the rub, I require my written evaluation first.  The seller's have to take care of their end (cleaning, painting, packing, repairs, etc.) before I will stage.  Lots-o-stagers do 'walk-n-talks' and the seller takes notes.  I prefer a document that they can refer back to and one that explains why I am asking them to make the required changes for selling.  There are also delicate situations that can be addressed in a written report without embarrassing the seller.

Once a realtor said, "You didn't give me a price for staging in your report."

I replied, "I am going to have to take a pass on staging that house.  Thank you very much for considering me. I hope the report is helpful... "

When I was further pressured, I explained to the realtor, "That house is in deplorable condition.  My nice furnishings are not going into that filthy house.  If the owners don't care enough to take care of their own belongings, they certainly aren't going to take care of mine."

My Happiness
Awww....I feel better now!  Thanks for letting me vent! 

How do you sell your expertise? 


  1. Vent away, my friend. The hardest part about being self-employed is learning that your time and expertise ARE worth something. Congratulations for understanding that - it's probably one of the reasons you are so successful.

    1. Thanks for letting me vent AND your support!

  2. Way to stick to your guns! I love this post and your process. Good for you to be so professional and thank you for passing on your knowledge Linda! Youre worth every penny and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! You go girl!
    xo Nancy

    1. Nancy, isn't it so strange that clients act insulted when I won't negotiate? (I'm too old and it takes too much energy to banter over price.) I am flattered by your compliment. I'm in such awe of Powell Brower Home!

  3. You got it right!
    You have a business! I don't think the average seller realizes it's a BUSINESS! They are looking for free advice!
    There a a lot of Realtors that need a little education about this situation!
    We were selling a home a few years back. One of the Realtors we interviewed was impressed with how our home looked. So much so she asked if I wouldn't mind showing the owners of her other listings how to "stage" their homes. I guess she felt she was complimenting me! Needless to say, we did not hire this Realtor!

    1. Sing it Patty! Maybe it is because the real estate business is so competitive that everything seems to be a bartering?

  4. What? You charge for your services? I assumed that you have some other way to pay your bills. I am being sarcastic, Linda. I hate it when people try to devalue the services of others. When you are having surgery do you question what the surgeon gets paid?

    1. There were many years when I gave lots of free advice. Now, I want to only work with nice people and get a fair price for my hard work. Thanks for weighing in, dear!

  5. Linda you are right on. SO smart to lay it all out in writing so the sellers can't cop out. And SO right on...it's their biggest asset! Why cheap out on staging, especially when staging (done right) works! Pay up people. Duh!

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