Redesigned Spaces ~ Fun Stuff Blog


Dear Mr. Seller, I TRIED to Help You, but ...


This insightful post written by Active Rain's savvy staging professional Maureen Bray is applicable in today's market as it was when written in September 2009.

While my staging business Redesigned Spaces specializes in occupied homes the sentiment Maureen conveys is still the same. I've never forgotten her wise words written in this blog, I'm sure you won't either. As I see homes around me lowering their price and going into a short sale I know many could have been helped by staging advice or a bit of redesign.

Please leave your comments on Maureen's original blog, but you are more than welcome to let me know how you're doing today!




Dear Mr. Seller,

You contacted my company 3 months ago and requested a staging proposal for your home.  It's in a premier Portland neighborhood and you said you knew it needed some help before listing. You'd already bought another home and were packing up your things to move out in a few days.

When I arrived to view your home, it was surprising to see a huge pool table in your dining room!  We laughed together about that and also the long heavy dark velvet drapes!  Your home needed major cleaning and packing up of many small items.  I knew we could help you!

We'd be able to work with most of your furniture that you'd be leaving behind, and we'd provide the necessary missing pieces as well as accessories, art, trees & plants, etc. as needed.  We discussed that if we were going to work together, I'd give you a detailed list that would include which furniture pieces to leave behind as well as some easy cosmetic improvements that you could do yourself

You told me that your listing agent did not believe in home staging.  I was surprised to hear this, because I thought that your home was one of the better candidates for staging that I've seen this year, but I kept my opinion to myself.  I told you that our company keeps track of our staging statistics, and we're proud of them.  I knew we could help you!

Later that day I emailed you a very cost-effective proposal that included staging your home using your furniture and providing accessories and other items from our inventory.  We'd stage your home to make it appealing to your target buyer.  Our proposal also included quality digital photos for the online listing ... critical in today's challenging market.  I knew we could help you!

Later, I was disappointed that you decided not to stage your home.  Looking at the online listing, it was a shock to see the photos of your home!  They're dark, out of focus, crooked, and don't even show the best features of your home.  I won't show them here because that wouldn't be discreet, but I noticed the heavy velvet drapes are still there, and your furniture is not in the right position to showcase the space.  The photos are about the worst I've ever seen.   I knew we could have helped you!

After 6 weeks on the market I noticed that you took a $30,000 price reduction!  After another 4 weeks, I saw that your price had now dropped $50,000!   Hmmm ... your agent discouraged you from staging (even though you would have paid for it) but has no problem recommending that you drop your price by $50K?

Wow! Staging your home with a professional staging company would have cost a tiny fraction of your first price reduction -- but you decided to drop your price by $50,000 instead.   How does that make sense from a financial viewpoint?

The sad thing is, today I drove by your home again on my way to staging one of your neighbor's homes, and saw the new sign addition now hanging from your "For Sale" sign ...

portland home stagers

Mr. Seller ~ We really did try to help you!  I wish we could have.

     ***                        ***                        ***    

For help making sure your home shines for potential buyers, contact Room Solutions Staging in Portland OR to learn more about our home staging services.  We work with Homeowners, Banks, Realtors, and Investors to prepare homes to SELL.  Give us a call at 503-246-1800 for more information.  To see Before & After photos of both our Vacant and Occupied properties, view our updated Portland OR home staging photo gallery.

portland oregon home staging

Staging That Sells Portland Homes!

Room Solutions Staging was selected to do the design work for multiple episodes of HGTV's popular show "My First Place" 

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Comment balloon 24 commentsCynthia Bartch • July 07 2010 03:44PM


Great selling points for staging services. i wil share such when people ask me about staging in listig appointments. 

Posted by Stanley Stepak, Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake, (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH) over 10 years ago

Hi Cynthia! I really believe in staging and how it helps sell homes quickly! Tiffany

Posted by Tiffany Torgan, Featured on HGTV's New Show! How Close Can I Beach (Harcourts Prestige Properties of La Jolla) over 10 years ago

Cynthia- I'm glad you re-blogged this.  I remember it well and it shouldn't be forgotten.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 10 years ago

Cynthia, I also agree that staging is a very important facet of marketing a home.  The difference can be night and day...sold or...well you know!

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 10 years ago

Thanks Stan! Please share away.

Hi Tiffany, great to read another REA believes in staging, Woo-Hoo!!!

Hey there Kathy, I know there are many new people here on AR who haven't had the pleasure of reading Maureen's blog and glad you agree it was worth re-blogging!


Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Nick, we must have hit the button at the same time! Glad to hear another REA believes stagers are a valuable selling tool!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Thanks for the reblog. Perfect, it says it all.

Posted by Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M (Rooms With Style) over 10 years ago

Thanks so much for re-blog, I might have missed it otherwise.  I can hear the despair in Maureen's words, and recognize them from my own experience.  Recently after doing a free preview, offering a FEW small suggestions of what I might do, I did not get the callback. The homes NEW photos online reflect my "thoughts",  not recommendations, and seeing them in print, they are NOT what I would have ended up doing...sad, just sad...

Posted by c m over 10 years ago

Hi Cynthia, thank you for re-minding and re-blogging. Great reminder and sooo true.

Posted by Barbara Heil-Sonneck, Home Staging Atlanta (Design2Sell) over 10 years ago

The post is a great one, both then and now...great choice for a reblog.  How am I doing you ask?  I am doing great...had a staging consult and a color consult today.  I'm feeling quite productive!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 10 years ago

Excellent post to re-blog............sometimes sellers think they know more than we do.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 10 years ago


Thank you for the re-blog.  Great post by Maureen and a very interesting read.  It looks like Mr. Seller might have some regrets and lots of second thoughts. :)

Posted by Gerry Khatchikian, ASA, TRC, SFR over 10 years ago

Hi Cynthia ~ Thanks for reblogging my post ... it was a sad but true story -- the ending could have been so much different if the seller had decided to stage his home!  However, the good news is that there are so many other enlightened sellers who understand the powerful benefits of staging their homes.....

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 10 years ago

Shar, perfect that out Maureen :~)

Cheryl, I can feel your despair too, how awful for the sellers. Glad you didn't miss this good blog.

Barbara, thanks for the visit.

Sharon, happy to read your are busy in the business world!

Roger, Maureen's blog is a must read for me!

Gerry, This was sad tale she posted, she's a great stager & I know she would have saved the owner money & heartache!

Maureen, I've never forgotten this great blog of yours so I thank you letting me reblog this gem! I see Nick #4 left a comment on your original blog.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Hey Cynthia, thanks for sharing this, I missed it before and the sign tells a tale itself! Since you think "Maureen's blog is a must read" I am heading over to subscribe right after leaving this comment ;-)

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Great Reblog... this is all too true and still so sad... how many could we have helped?

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 10 years ago

What a great follow-up letter Cynthia. I don't know how they could have said no!

Posted by Adam Brett, The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest (The Adam and Eric Group) over 10 years ago

Hi Russell, Yep Maureen's blog is good one, I highly recommend subscribing!

Hi Melissa, I just couldn't get her blog outta my head.

Hi Adam, thanks for the kind word on the followup, I was left scratching my head on this one for Maureen!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Cynthia  Glad you reblogged it  - I missed it originally.  It is very effective and true too many times

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 10 years ago

This situation just boggles my mind Karen. Maureen posted this blog in September 2009 and I've never forgot it!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Hi Cynthia, It's a great reblog and a very sad tale!  I guess one can't help all of the people all of the time.

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) over 10 years ago

Hi Mary!!! Yep this is a sad tale and Maureen's blog is great, I just had to reblog.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

Cynthia, all someone has to do is open their eyes...staged vs non-staged I think it's a no brainer.  Of course there are times when there's simply no money in the budget for it and the seller has to go on the cheap.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 10 years ago

So sorry for the late response Nick, It's amazing what an inexpensive consult can do. I can make a huge difference in a home within two hours and not spend any money. Now if the seller has no money for a consult I'm sure their savy REA could help them out w/ a few key suggestions! Glad to read you think staging can make a positive impact in selling a property.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch over 10 years ago

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