Let us introduce you to our Mascot at StagedHomes.com. His name is, of course, "Stager". Everyone that meets him loves him. He also loves to receive fan mail from his fans. He is a very talented Mascot and has really great answers for your questions. Please feel free to email Stager and we will post your question and his answer. Happy Staging and many puppy hugs from Stager to you!
Dear Barb and Fellow ASP's®,
Thought you would enjoy this photo of my 5-month-old Junior-Stager-in-Training grand daughter.
That's her first hammer in her hand!
Dear Miss Barb,
My mother, Claire,( you might know her, she's a redhead) tells me that I have earned a pin because I have been on so many Staging jobs with her. She really likes what she does and I know she's pretty good at it because once she's done with a house, it's not too long before we have to schlep back there and get all the stuff out. She thinks that's great, but it seems strange to me. She puts all the stuff in and then takes it out. What's up with that? Don't the people like it?
Anyway, it's kind of fun for me because I get to explore lots of different houses in all kinds of neighborhoods. Some of them have lots of old stuff in them and some of them are brand new with nothing in them; those are the boring ones, I think. I like the ones with lots of smells. I can learn a lot about the people who used to live there that way 'cause my nose is really good.
So, I'm looking forward to getting that pin for my collar. Does it cost anything? I've got some good stuff buried in lots of places and I could give you some of it for the pin.
Lots of love 'n licks.
I have a question as how to handle a Realtor who wants to use her own things but have me rent the furniture! I tried to explain to her that useing my inventory is where I make my money, not with the rental furniture. Any advice?
Also I have a Seattle Realtor who is selling a house in Tacoma and doesn't want to spend more than $250.00. I live in Gig Harbor and have to cross the Narrows Bridge, rent the furniture (it is a very small house 950 sq feet.) and get only $250.00. I have not given him the bid yet and I believe it is going to be more than 250.00 . He wants furniture, kitchen accessories, vignette in bedroom.. I have found that Realtors do not want to spend any money to have a house Staged... they seem to always try and get it for much less. At this point in Staging I have had to lower my prices quit abit... .and I know this will change when I get busy. Thank you
Hi and thanks for your questions.
I would recommend that you not make the point about how you make your money on inventory rental. Instead, charge for Staging the home and use rental furniture to do it. You should never pay for the rental furniture, the homeowner pays for that, and pays you to coordinate the Staging and Stage the home.
As far as the Realtor not wanting to pay for a house to be Staged - Well most of them don't. Most of the homeowners pay for services. You should be presenting to the Realtors to get them on board with Staging, then do a presentation to the home owner. You need to teach the Realtor/Home Owner that an investment in Staging up front is less expensive then their first price reduction. As far as the 250.00 is concerned, if they want to pay only 250.00 then give them a consultation for 250.00, a written detailed report of everything the home owner can do to Stage the home and they do the work themselves. If they feel overwhelmed by your report and feel they cant do it all themselves then give them a bid for you to do it. Don't lower your prices!! You are worth it. Change your approach as that is not working. Have you listened to Barb's Marketing CDs? They are wonderful and cover all of your questions and much more. Let me know if you have any questions.
Can you help us? We love our Mommy Wanda, an ASP Stager, but... She has this new kind of Staging she's doing called Vacant House Staging with all this stuff called Inventory. It's everywhere! We can't find a quiet place to take a nap anywhere! We are Fergie and Angus, two beautiful rescued Border Collie mixes. Even though we are brother and sister and sometimes don't always agree, on this subject we do. Mom's got to find someplace for her "Inventory". We love her, but it's got to go. Do you have any suggestions about the best place to get to store inventory, so we can find comfy nap places again (the grandchildren's toy corner just doesn't make it!) We heard you are a pretty smart dog. Hellllpppp!
Doggie Kisses to You, Fergie and Angus
PS We are sending our pictures. Fergie has the long hair and Angus has the short hair.
Dear Fergie and Angus,
Good question. Many ASPs put their inventory in their garage or kick the dad out of his office and use that. HA! Just joking.
Many ASPs also rent storage units. They are inexpensive to rent and you can access it any time you like.
We wanted to write to you to let you know that we think our mom, Donna Tanfani is a wonderful ASP Stager. Her business is called Staging Networks in Folsom, California. She has been working very hard since she received her ASP designation in January to keep us in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.
Smudge (the black and white one!). I keep my mom company so she isn't feeling lonely when she is working late in her office taking care of her clients and doing her office work. I also wait patiently on the arm of the couch for her to take a break.
Mitsouko (the very special Bengal). Smudge doesn't like me so much because my mom paid so much money for me and he was a rescued cat so we just kind of stay out of each other's way. We both keep my mom company. In this picture I am perched high atop the hutch of my mom's desk making sure she keeps working hard!
This is our mom's Featured Page:
It was really fun writing to you, Stager. You're cute!
Smudge & 'Souki'
I am a big boy... my name is Rocky and I am an 18 month old Husky/Lab mix. I know I represent many like me who live in homes where our extra fur isn't always appreciated. My owner is an ASP, and she knows that there are other dogs like me out there. Pure Ayre is great for getting rid of my dogginess but the real question for you is... Are there any products to help manage the fly-aways that end up on the floor. I think if our house was on the market my owner would have me at the doggie hotel, but as an ASP, we know that not all owners would be thrilled with that suggestion. Any ideas other than 24/7 vacuuming?
p.s. this picture doesn't represent the real me, it is my baby picture, add 80 pounds of love and fur!
Great question . The bottom line is that dogs shed and to reduce shedding you have to be brushed every day!!! Brushing is the only way to get rid of loose hair on any pet. I would ask your owner to brush you every night outside. That is the only way to REDUCE shedding. There is nothing that will stop it. Other than that any owners would have to put a shedding dog up in a doggie hotel or with friends. Hope that helps!!
You sure are one cute dog! We're cute, too, aren't we? We have a problem that you don't really have, though. Our hair is everywhere. What will our mom and dad do when it's time to sell our home and there's dog hair everywhere? Any recommendations on handling this much hair?
Dear Pretty Six-y,
Are you Yorkies models? You're quite beautiful, especially that hair! I must say, though, you're right about there being hair everywhere. A Stager's got to watch out for this. Dog or (cough, cough) cat hair can end up anywhere - under tables and desks, in every edge and corner, stuck to lampshades and curtains. How to deal with it? The homeowner's got to hire a really good housecleaner. After the house is cleaned, if it's being Staged and you see some last-minute hair stuck to lampshades or curtains, use a lint roller, or scotch tape if you don't have a lint roller. Wrap the scotch tape backwards around your hand and wipe that hair away. Some tricky hidden spots to look for pet hair - the tops of refrigerators and inside saucer-type ceiling lights. Speaking of saucer-type lights, don't forget these collect bugs and dust too!
Take care and take care of that hair, my fellow Yorkies.
P.S. Since we got onto the subject of lights, reader, I wanted to pass on to you a good hint. If you have not tried using lamps on the counters of dark kitchens or laundry rooms, just try it! It works like a dream to add light and mood.
Keep those emails and pictures coming, my fans!
My mommy has had it with my stinky puppy area! She keeps it picked up,but odors still remain in this damp weather. It is a large cement pad that is about 20'x 25' in width and I have marked from one corner to the next. She has tried bleach and other disinfecting solutions. I thought she might try Pure Ayre, but she thinks she would have to use it by the gallons. Does it come by the gallon? I really don't think my stink is all that bad.
A more economic solution is called Simple Solution. It is great for kennels, yards etc. It smells really good and is about 14.00 a gallon I think and you can dilute it with water, Or pour a 1//4 cup on the cement then spray with hose and move it all around. My Auntie Shell uses this for her patio and she swears by it. You can get it at Petsmart or other fine Pet Retailers.
Have a non Stinky Day!!
Grrrrrrwoof! Arrrrf, bark, bark, bark, garrwowl, yap, wooooofer!!!
WHOO HOOO Shauni, you are totally Centerfold Material!!!! RUUUUUFFF RUUUUUUUFFF
Question: Dear Stager
Would you please ask your Mom how to answer someone (realtor) that wants to know what you charge to do vignettes? This sort of threw me... thank you.
Answer: Dear Thrown
Hi and thanks for writing!
Well it's best that you tell the client you need to see the space so you can get some ideas of vignettes. Then you can charge according to how much time it takes you to do the job. If you have your own inventory you can use that or you may have to rent some furniture.
Hope that answers your question!
I think you are one hot little pup! I like those dark sunglasses and all the different outfits you wear. My Dad is buying me some clothes too, but I really don't like wearing them and I hate those little hair bows he puts in my hair. He showed me your pictures and told me all about you and your Mommy. He says she is the best! Well, I just wanted to say hello and to introduce myself to you. Maybe you will ask me out sometime. Let's hook up and play sometime.
I'm a little Diva and my name is "Alexis Carrington Colby" but everyone calls me Alexis xoxo. My dad is Chuck Snipes, ASPTM.
Wow you are a cutie!!! I would love to have a play date with a hot Yorkie like yourself! Yeah, my mom is pretty great. I love her so much. Sometimes I don't know how she puts up with me because I get into a lot of stuff!! Well take care of yourself and don't go eating any bad bones!!
Things to do with Kids on a Rainy Day: Hi ASPsTM & ASPMsTM! I found this craft and really liked it.
From 365 Days of Creative Play
Colored rug yarn or think 8-ply knitting wool
Dog photos or pictures
Trace a good, clear picture of a dog, the larger the better (feel free to print one of mine if you like), onto the cardboard. Cut the yarn or wool into 1" or 2" strands. Use an egg carton to separate the colors and to make selecting or handling of yarn easier. The child then glues the yarn strands onto the dog outline to make hair and a tail. Draw a mouth and eyes and define the ears and the tail. Finally, invent an appropriate name for the new dog (Stager is always a good choice).
By Sheila Ellison and Judith Gray
Question: Dear Stager,
When Staging a completely vacant house, how detailed should I get? Do I consider the closets, refrigerator, basement or cupboards?
Answer: Dear Diane,
When Staging a vacant home a lot depends on the budget you have to work with. If the client wants a very heavy look then you may rent enough furniture to fill the home. If not then you can go with a lighter look and smaller vignettes. We don't see a need to add food to refrigerators etc. The basement could be Staged if you like.
Thanks for writing,
Question: Dear Stager,
I have noticed that none of your Staged homes have wallpaper and I haven't been able to locate any comments on retaining existing wallpaper. Are there any guidelines regarding the use of wallpaper?
Jack C. Moore
Answer: Dear Jack,
Wallpaper is a difficult thing to deal with. The desirable way to go would be to not have to remove it. Factors that affect ease or difficulty of removal include what type of paper it is, what type of adhesive was used, whether or not there is paint or more wallpaper underneath the wallpaper, how old it is, and what type of room it is in (damp or dry). The least expensive way to go would be to do what you can to de-emphasize the wallpaper rather than having to remove it, such as making a focal point on a wall that is not papered. If the wallpaper is really gaudy, loud, or just plain ugly, though, you might consider having it painted over. You would want to have a professional painter do this, as they have all had experience with it. They will make sure the wallpaper's seams don't show under the paint, and they may also recommend using one the of the new textured paints that are on the market. These will help cover up evidence of the wallpaper underneath. Good luck with this sticky situation, Jack!
Question: Dear Stager,
I am bidding on a job where the inside of the house needs so much Staging that the homeowner wants me to ignore the outside. How do I Stage® the outside of a house on a minimal budget?
Fearful of Frugality
Answer: Dear Fearful,
This is where the salesperson in you should come out. Explain to the
homeowner that a house won't be completely Staged unless you get the
outside too. That should be part of every job. There are some things you can do outside, however, if you really must keep your budget down.
Don't forget "beauty bark", or redwood bark, the "great equalizer". You can cover almost any bad looking area with this stuff and it will look great. If you use the larger bark pieces, rather than the shredded or the small bark, it will be easier for the next homeowner to remove if they don't want it. And besides, dogs LOVE to roll in bark. It feels good!
Flowers (plants and all) in pots are also easy, fast and cheap, and often
homeowners will have old pots in their garage that you can use. One of my favorite things I've seen done in winter is tall dried stems in large pots. Even though they are brown, they have a beautiful stark look against a winter background. I'd avoid using beautiful bright berries in this way, though, because many are poisonous and can be easily reached by children or pets when displayed this way.
Also, don't forget that pruning just a few scraggly stems here and there
can make a big difference in how shrubs and plants can look. Good Luck!
Advice: Dear Reader,
While attending several open houses over the holidays, I was reminded that "flow" is an important thing to remember when rearranging furniture. I walked into several houses where my entrance into the first room was virtually blocked by sofas or tables. If you look at things from my perspective (remember that I am only about 10 inches tall), that is where your feet will be moving; so, although something may look okay from up high, take another look from down low and also make sure you actually walk into the room to see how it feels. You'll be surprised at what perspective can do, in all areas of a house!
Thanks for listening, readers, and keep those emails, cards and letters coming!
Question: Dear Stager,
I just wanted to let you know that my mom is working very hard at developing her Staging business, and sometimes I get lonely. Do you ever get lonely when your mom is so busy?
Answer: Hey Kahlua
Thanks for writing!! I am including some pictures I thought you would enjoy. As for your question about being lonely when my mom is gone, actually its quite the opposite. See me in my Santa Suit below? And if you notice, I get to stand on the counters when my mom is gone. Keep reading..
One time she left I had too much Egg Nog and this was the result. FUN FUN FUN...
On this day when my mom was gone I went and played in the rain!! But shhhhhhh!! Don't tell her!!
This was one of the best!!! I had a Rockin' Party, you know, what's a dog to do when his parents are gone?? This is Punkin, the girl from across the street, she is one PARTY ANIMAL!!!
This is my big sister Sophie, she doesn't breathe a word of my escapades because I have stuff on her too. Who do you think arranged for all the cake?? She did it!!
Finally I am pooped!!! NO pun intended!!! Thanks for writing!!
Question: Dear Stager,
What about those messy refrigerators? Do you have any specific hints for
helping to declutter them?
Answer: Dear Reader,
Well, the first thing I have to say about refrigerators is that they
should be clean, clean, clean! Pack all personal items and fridge
magnets. If a family has calendars, schedules or notes that were on the
refrigerator that they need to keep handy, put them in a file folder to
be kept in a drawer nearby. Alternatively, if they REALLY need these
items out for daily use, they can be attached to a magnetic board which
can be hung out of site. If the garage, for instance, is right off of
the kitchen, the board can be hung there.
Magnetic boards are great for Staging a home for living. Train that
family to leave that refrigerator clean in their new home! The only
accessory that fridge should have is that ol' cookie box, anyway!
Until next time, dear Reader, Happy Staging!
Advice: Dear Reader,
Being rather short, I have to be very diligent in not missing the high spots when helping my mom Barb Stage® a home. This brings to mind an entire list of often-missed places that I want to remind you to NOT forget while you're Staging a home.
First of all, a place I don't often forget (because the cookie box is kept up there) is the top of the refrigerator. If nothing else, make SURE it gets dusted, because it is one of the favorite places for tall, hungry men to look when they are viewing a home.
Other oft-missed places include BEHIND open bedroom, bathroom and
entryway doors. When you Stage® a room, don't forget to close doors and
curtains or blinds for a moment to make sure you haven't missed anything
within or behind them.
Don't forget also the inside of wood-burning fireplaces (nothing looks
messier than ashes!) and the outside of mailboxes (oh, what the dust and
the rain can do!). Be ever-vigilant for those easy-to-miss places,
Question: Dear Stager,
What can I tell a homeowner to do about those nasty scuff marks that real estate agents and prospective buyers leave on their vinyl floors every day while viewing their homes?
Answer: Dear Floored,
It's easy! Ask your dog if you can borrow an old tennis ball of his. Cut a slit in the ball, put it on the end of a broomstick, and just sweep those scuff marks away without bending over! For more stubborn scuffs, try some paste toothpaste (not gel) on a damp rag.
Advice: Dear Reader,
I am often asked what to do to Stage® a doghouse. Well, dear reader, the answer is centerpieces. We'll get back to the doghouse issue in a minute, but I can't say enough about centerpieces. When used appropriately, a centerpiece can really make a room "pop". Use whatever you have on hand - multiples of just about anything in a pretty bowl or on a beautiful platter can look striking! Just make sure that if it's produce, your homeowner changes it often, and DON'T use onions, as pretty as they are. They stink and are poisonous to your pooch!
For a doghouse centerpiece, the best thing to do is give a bowl and a box of bones to your dog and let him decide what looks best! He oughta know, right?
Thanks for listening, readers, and keep those emails coming!
Question: Dear Stager,
Where do you get those cute scarves you are wearing in the pictures on the website?
Answer: Thanks for asking. I do look cute in them, don't I? Actually, they are part of a canine couture line that is hand-sewn in Paris. The material is pure Egyptian cotton, woven in the Andes only by left-handed elderly women. I'm hoping my Mom Barb will add them to her Heart-to-Heart Scarves line soon.
Question: Dear Stager,
What do I do to prevent paint from chipping when I'm hammering in nails
to hang pictures?
Answer: Simple - Place a piece of scotch tape (don't press on too hard!) over
the place where you want to place the nail, and then nail it in. Viola! No
Question: Dear Stager,
How do I safely move those heavy or bulky pieces of furniture while I'm Staging?
Answer: Easy! If you have a dog, place him on the far side of the piece of furniture, and place a bone in the place you want the furniture moved to. The dog will push the furniture to get at the bone, and your work is done! Now, if you don't have a dog, the "Moving Men" furniture sliders available from the Staging Shopping Center at StagedHomes.com work great too. You just place them under the furniture feet and slide the furniture!
Question: Hi Stager,
Can you tell me of a really good cleaning product? I would like one that I can use on all kinds of jobs so I don't have to buy 10 different types of cleaner. Thanks for the help!
Answer:Ruff! And Thanks for asking. Actually Krud Kutter is a great product. It is a Concentrated cleaner degreaser and stain remover, it cuts grease, grime, oil, tar, removes food, drink and pet stains, latex paint, tape residue, glue, acid rain, nail polish, smoke damage, tree sap, markers, crayons, drake dust, fireplace soot, lipstick, scuff marks, blood stains, sun tan oil, gum, soap scum, mildew stains shoe polish and bird droppings.
You can't get much better then that. In fact my mom Barb Schwarz LOVES Krud Kutter . For your convenience you can buy it from the Stagedhomes.com site. Just click on the Staging Shopping Center.
Question: I needed a table cloth for a house that I am Staging but couldn't run out to buy one when I was at the home. Any ideas?
Answer: Sheets!!! Take a queen sheet and drape over the table tucking the ends under the table, you can take a table runner and put on the top or another colored sheet going the opposite direction.
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