Meet Your Client’s Opposition to Staging Head-on

By Charlene Storozuk

Recently, I had the pleasure of exhibiting at the REALTORS® Without BORDERS Convention & Trade Show, Southern Ontario’s largest annual conference on real estate.

I must say that I was very impressed by the number of REALTORS® who are advocates of home staging.  There are still a few sitting on the fence about its merits, but in time, as home staging grows in popularity, I’m confident that even more will become believers.

ontario trade showIn speaking with REALTORS® at the show, I learned that the apprehension voiced by some was out of fear of offending their clients.  They felt that the suggestion of bringing in a home stager would be met with resistance.  Admittedly, this is a legitimate concern, but one that can be overcome.  For that reason, I decided to touch on it in this blog post.

Undoubtedly, you have come across many home owners who feel their home is perfect just the way it is.  How do you tactfully tell them that the life-size portrait of dear old Aunt Edna in the front hall is downright frightening or that the beer fridge in the bathroom has to go?  Offering your client a complimentary staging consultation alleviates that problem for you since you don’t have to be the bearer of bad news.  Don’t worry though; a professional home stager will be very diplomatic.

Once you make the decision to offer your clients a staging consultation and drop the “S-word” – staging that is – most will be absolutely thrilled that you are giving them this opportunity.  There will, however, be a small number that will meet your offer with opposition.  Now what?  This is where how you deliver the message comes into play.  Explain that as a part of your business model you offer a complimentary staging consultation to all of your clients.  If they hear that everyone receives a consultation, they won’t feel like you are finding fault with their home and will be less likely to resist.  In fact, once they learn that you offer this service to everyone else, my guess is that they will insist on the same.  After all, no one wants to feel like they are missing out on an opportunity – its human nature.

Why not try this approach; it just might work for you.  I’d love to hear your success stories on how you have overcome this issue.  Please bring them on!


Charlene Storozuk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of Dezigner Digz, a professional home staging and interior decorating company based in Burlington, Ontario.  Her work is featured in the book FabJob Guide To Become A Home Stager, 2009 edition. She serves as regional vice-president, Canada for the Real Estate Staging Association and is a past recipient of the North American Leadership Award for her work as founder and president of the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth RESA Chapter.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. Wonderful blog entry – I’m going to forward this to our Realtor database! Thank you Charlene!

  2. Thank you Ashley!

  3. Great topic Charlene, I’m sure Realtors feel that is an obstacle especially with some clients. You’ve given them a great solution of offering consultations as a value-added benefit for their clients.

  4. Charlene,

    When your Realtors recommend you for staging, do they pay for your service or suggest that the homeowner p[ays? The complimentary staging- is that a phone consult or an in-home consult? I just wanted to get a feel for what an experienced Stager does!
    Thanks, Kathy

  5. Cindy – Thank you! I hope that many realtors will find this approach useful.

    Kathy – I apologize for the delay in responding. The realtors I work with pay me for the consultation. They offer this complimentary service to their clients as part of their listing package. If the homeowner decides to have me carry out the suggestions in the consultation report, then the homeowner pays me directly for the staging. These consultations are done in person at the property.

  6. Cindy,
    My business model is as yours. It seems to be catching on more and more as Realtors attend Brokers Open, see the property and meet me.

  7. Great article. I’ve tweeted this posting. I’m a new professional home stager in Indianapolis, IN and find this post very useful in building realtor relationships.

  8. How many times have I had to convince a homeowner to get rid of the life sized portrait of old aunt Edna? I laughed out loud when I read that. Thanks for writing the article. It’s good to see I’m on the right track.