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Staging Oregon: Being the best house when only the best will sell

Week after week in the Republic, I hammer away on the idea that the only homes that will sell in this market are the ones that are priced right, prepared right and presented right. It goes for us, too, obviously, so we made a visual record of the process of preparing a home for the real estate market for a home we listed last week.

This is fun for me, because one of the things I tell sellers is, “You know what’s wrong with this house. You know exactly what you would frown over — or your mother-in-law would frown over — if you were seeing this home for the first time. Those are the issues we need to address before we can try to sell this house.” This gives us one extra way to show-don’t-tell the ideas we are trying to communicate.

Staging is all the rage right now, but staging is a wasted effort if the home is dirty or in palpable disrepair. This slide show illustrates a more robust idea of home staging.

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17 comments

17 Comments so far

  1. Dave Barnes August 27th, 2007 10:25 am

    I visited the website for the house and downloaded the flyer.

    You should not use Flyer.pdf for for filename. What if I visit more than one website and download two fliers?
    What if I have a bunch of these and can remember which filename goes with which property?

    A better filename would be 718WestCulerAve_Phoenix.pdf

    Also, I don’t care for the bright blue screws used for the house number plaque. Brass would have been better. (“God is in the details.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Speaking about restraint in design, the New York Herald Tribune, 28 Jun 1959.)

  2. Jeff Brown August 27th, 2007 10:29 am

    It’s always a surprise to me what can be done with some labor and a truckload of expertise. Talk about transforming an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. Wow!

  3. Greg Swann August 27th, 2007 11:28 am

    Dave: We’ll get the sable brush after those blue screws.

    Jeff: All credit to Cathleen and to the Deermers for this transformation. I took most of the photos, but they did the Fairy Godmother stuff.

  4. Lani August 27th, 2007 12:33 pm

    Cathy & Greg- great work on this one! This goes way beyond elbow grease!!

    My questions: what was the project budget and what slideshow program did you use? Thanks for sharing- you guys are obviously on top of your game!

  5. Greg Swann August 27th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Budget: Around $2,000.

    The slide shows are done by SlideShowMarge.

  6. Chris August 27th, 2007 4:24 pm

    I wish more people would do this. Its amazing what some fresh paint, and some nice furniture can do.

  7. Joe Strummer August 27th, 2007 5:04 pm

    Here’s what my girlfriend says about Oregon, a home we rented out (much to our misfortune) in the last year and was returned to us on August 16 in that horrible condition detailed in Greg’s before pictures: “it’s really amazing what [Cathleen and Greg] did.”

  8. Bob Fortner August 27th, 2007 5:15 pm

    Muuuuch better! Can you share the dollar and time costs? The market here in Raleigh is pretty good right now but poorly prepared homes can still hang around for 90 plus days and they get hammered on price. A little paint, carpet and Lysol can typically turn the same home into a 2-3 week sale at full market value. Great job on this one!

  9. J. Ferris August 27th, 2007 5:46 pm

    I would have gone with a headboard for the master bedroom bed but overall it’s an outstanding staging/renovation.

  10. Lani Anglin August 27th, 2007 6:01 pm

    This project you’ve shared with us is a testament to your work ethic and serves as an excellent model- not only is the laborious work excellent but the photography is thorough and there could be no doubt in anyone’s mind how dedicated you and your team are to getting that house sold!

    Isn’t it amazing how clients may still choose someone who puts ONE sideways photo on the MLS and never answers their phone again all the while blindly tripping over a dollar so they can pick up a penny.

  11. Dennis Pease August 27th, 2007 9:26 pm

    I like the way you teach people what they need to do to sell their homes at top dollar and usually in a shorter period of time and again usually with less hassles because any issues with the home have been addressed. Many times the problem is sellers just can’t afford or are not willing to spend the money. I wish more people could be convinced to stage their homes, at least to some degree.

  12. Eric August 28th, 2007 11:45 am

    You guys do great work :)

  13. Rachel - Staged Makeovers September 11th, 2007 6:29 pm

    Homeowners do not see their own homes objectively because they are either emotionally attached to it’s contents and their own style or because they have been living with and overlooking the issues for years. That is why it is key to hire an outsider (a stager) to come in and point out what they see through the buyers’ eyes.

  14. […] So Thursday night, Husband Greg was perplexed. First, he surprised himself by doing physical labor. This is against his credo — the human mind is supposed to engineer methods to circumvent physical toil. But it was time for me to unstage Oregon. It closed yesterday and I had to get all my stuff out. When I buy staging inventory, I’m always careful to limit the heft of each item to something I can move in and out of the house without (Greg’s) help. However, I’m just recently recovered from pneumonia — a solid month of complete bed-rest. So there was Greg, huffing and puffing with the grunt work as I daintily packed my pashminas and platters. […]

  15. […] Setting the stage for staging. Cathleen Collins will go though the house with a fine-tooth comb, often taking many photos. She will make lists of repairs, touch-ups and redecorating she wants to do, and she will plan her staging strategy. […]

  16. […] Setting the stage for staging. Cathleen Collins will go though the house with a fine-tooth comb, often taking many photos. She will make lists of repairs, touch-ups and redecorating she wants to do, and she will plan her staging strategy. […]

  17. […] Setting the stage for staging. Cathleen Collins will go though the house with a fine-tooth comb, often taking many photos. She will make lists of repairs, touch-ups and redecorating she wants to do, and she will plan her staging strategy. […]