How do you stage a home with pets? Professional dog trainer Will Nadeau answers.

How do you stage a home with pets? Professional dog trainer Will Nadeau answers.

By William R. Nadeau
Special Contributor

As a professional dog trainer, I am often asked for pet advice for all sorts of doggie dilemmas. One question frequently comes up among clients who are selling their homes: “What do I do with my pets if my home has a showing?”

Since moving to Dallas, in addition to my dog training business, I have been involved in real estate staging. I often think of home staging solutions for pet owners because you are, of course, trying to sell your house — but you love your pets and care about their well-being!

Here are a few options:

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You can’t stop stagers from staging! Table decor was off the charts. All photos courtesy John Bishop: Texas Hill Country Photography

Do you ever wonder what your real estate stager does in between consulting on occupied and vacant properties, writing reports, proposals and contracts, shopping for and selecting just the right furniture and accessories for vacant properties, re-arranging furniture in listed homes that need help, managing inventory systems, packing, unpacking, scheduling deliveries and pickups? Well, I mean, in their SPARE time? (more…)

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We all know staging works. However, convincing sellers to stage can sometimes be a challenge. Even though they realize their homes will look better and sell more quickly, some are reluctant to spend the money or take the time required to  properly prepare their homes for sale.  Consulting with a stager prior to putting an occupied home on the market offers information that allows a seller to prepare their own home. If they don’t have time, they have the option of using the stager to complete the work.

It’s common knowledge as well that an empty home holds no emotional appeal. It’s also hard for a potential buyer to to tell the function of an empty room in online photos, much less connect with it. In other words, they are much less likely to hop in the car and race right over to make an offer.  Even in our hot market there are plenty of vacant homes lingering — some for months. People need the visual connection and the spatial understanding that only furnishing a home can bring.

The bottom line for any seller or Realtor is return on investment. Why lower the price point on a home tens of thousands of dollars when you can spend a fraction of that by calling a professional stager who will make your home look like it belongs in a magazine?

The photos of a staged home will bring in buyers who are ready to make offers because they have already connected with that home. Everyone stands to make more money if a home looks great and that’s really the name of the game.  The Real Estate Staging Association has created a handy infographic Realtors can download to help break down the return on investment, which you can see after the jump.

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Photos: Shoot2Sell/Thomas Byers

Editor’s Note: This is Part Four of our five-part series breaking down our free team staging of 307 N. Waverly. Read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here.

While executive editor Joanna England and senior writer Leah Shafer write about homes every day, they had never staged one until the CandysDirt.com team descended upon 307 N. Waverly in North Oak Cliff’s historic L.O. Daniel neighborhood. To say it was a learning experience is quite the understatement.

After the de-staging, Leah and Joanna got together for a brief post-mortem chat to talk about what they learned from the experience, which rooms had the most dramatic before-and-after shots, and what they wish they could have done. Jump to read more and to see the dramatic photography!

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Photos: Shoot2Sell/Thomas Byers

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of our five-part series breaking down our free team staging of 307 N. Waverly. Read Part One and here.

Would you rather spend about $250 having a professional stager give you advice on how to prepare your home for sale or take a $10,000 (or more) price reduction? Seems like a huge no-brainer doesn’t it? Yet it happens constantly. So what is the problem?

It’s the lack of understanding about what staging is and what staging does.

Staging encompasses many service options, and the most overlooked — a consultation — is the most affordable. Armed with the information provided by a stager, any seller can put in a little elbow grease, borrow some items, and create a profound impact on the look of their home. They will also, most importantly, improve marketability and make more money.

That is the big takeaway from our CandysDirt.com team staging of 307 N. Waverly. The first price reduction on this home was $10,000. Professionally staging it was less than $2,500, or approximately 1 percent of the original list price. If the sellers had consulted with a stager, they could have done it for much less.

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Realtors face this every day. The RESA Staging to Sell class can help you solve these problems.

What is the going rate for a staging consultation? What does it cost to stage a vacant property? What updates will bring a seller the best return on investment? Should a Realtor stage their own properties?

Realtors, investors, and builders can learn a lot from the Staging to Sell: What Every Agent Should Know class offered by The Real Estate Staging Association through MetroTex Association of Realtors. It’s a three-hour, three-MCE-credit course that provides an enormous amount of information for $25. Talk about bang for your buck.

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The Real Estate Staging Association has an online directory of stagers in every state and Canada.

The course is taught at various MetroTex locations by one of only three accredited RESA-PRO teachers in the Metroplex — Amy Fedosky, Karen Otto, and Karen Eubank. Yep, that’s me. So here’s the inside skinny on why this is going to be one of the best classes you can ever take.

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Luxury Home Staging

This luxury home at 17615 Cedar Creek Canyon Drive was completely staged for the seller.  Photos: Lance Selgo/Unique Exposure Photography.

Home staging has been receiving some nice press lately. The New York Times ran two articles in January about the art and necessity of staging to bring top dollar for your property. Do you need to spend $45,000 and replace all of your furniture to get that longed-for list price?

No, not in general but there are instances when it happens. While staging is the norm on the West Coast, and certainly in the luxury market on the East Coast, the rest of the country falls somewhere in between, thinking either staging is a must or that it’s not imperative.  The issue lies largely in the perception of the term. What is staging?

It’s not an easy answer.

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Christine McKenny’s luxury listing on Woodland Drive benefits from having 11 extra photos on the listing, but not all homes need 36 photos. Photo: Courtesy Christine McKenny

Some buyers have the hardest time imagining how a home will work for their families, and in the digital age, Realtors are providing tools like virtual open houses and tours to help these buyers fall in love with their listings. So I wasn’t surprised when MetroTex Association of Realtors increased the number of  photos agents can upload for each listing from 25 to 36.

Of course, some Realtors and real estate professionals see this as a fantastic development. Others? Not so much.

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