Barb Schwarz, The Creator of Home Staging® and Founder and CEO of Stagedhomes.com was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 by the Real Estate Staging Association.
Please click here to view Barb’s acceptance speech.
Home Staging: How it All Began
Below is Barb’s story on how it all began.
I am often asked what inspired me back in the early 1970s to create the concept of Home Staging. At that time I was in real estate in the Bellevue, WA, area and I had become increasingly shocked at how houses looked that came on the market for sale. I realized that design really was not what sellers needed nor would it help them sell their homes at all. My theater experiences came to my mind.
No one was talking about nor teaching how to get sellers to prepare their homes for sale and there was no training on the subject at all in those days either. So one day I simply asked a seller whose home I was listing, “Do you like the theater?” Not surprisingly, the answer was “yes, I love the theater but what does that have to do with selling my house?”
I shared with the seller that I believed that we needed to set the ‘scene’, or set the ‘Stage®’ in her home, for the buyers coming through.” Just as in the theater we would set each scene for each act of the musical or play, now I began to see that we needed to set the scene in each room of the house also for the buyer to mentally move into to get the house sold. One that day way back then all the way up today I have always said: the set is the house, the actors are the sellers, the buyers are the audience, the marketing director is the agent, the critics are the other agents and the set directors are the ASP® Stagers we have of today.
Years later, after I had become a top selling real estate broker in the Seattle, WA, area, my speaking and training career was born in 1985. It was then that I started sharing my invention of Home Staging. At first I was asked to speak to real estate offices about how I got sellers to prepare their homes for sale, to share the steps of how I got sellers to Stage® their homes and my Staged Homes Program. Then REALTOR® Associations began to ask me to share my Staging ideas all across the country. From 1985 to 1998 I gave my seminar ‘How to List and Sell Residential Real Estate Successfully” across North America with over one million real estate agents attending my listing seminar in cities across North America.
In 1999, I founded Stagedhomes.com® as the very first Home Staging website in the world. At that point I developed The Accredited Staging Professional® Course and the ASP® designation for real estate agents and Home Stagers to earn during my 2 or 3 day ASP® Courses. I also founded The Staging University® for ASP® graduates to have as a resource for continuing education after graduation, filled with marketing, educational, pricing, legal forms and almost endless valuable materials. Based upon educational requirements, ethical standards, and guidelines of excellence I founded ‘The International Association of Home Staging Professionals®’ to represent the Home Staging Industry as The Association where trained professionals can meet, network, and continue their education at the international, national, and local levels.
Staging is my life’s mission and passion. During this journey it’s been extremely rewarding to see the concept that came out of my love for the theater and real estate grow into the international business it is today as it continues to spread around the world!
Live in Joy, ASP® Stage with Joy and Enjoy the Magic of it all.
Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, IAHSP®, AB
The Creator of Home Staging®
Founder and CEO, Stagedhomes.com
Stage®, ASP®, ASPM®, IAHSP® and Stagedhomes.com® are Federally Registered Trademarks of StagedHomes.com®