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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why Every Realtor Needs A "Guido" On Their Team

The other night my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with a new friend, and real estate professional and manager of an office, and her husband. We had a great time. However, as is common, the conversation got around to what we both enjoy doing, and when we talked about my Staging business this friend shared something I thought was very insightful - and about which I agreed 1000%.

She said (I am paraphrasing) that she was encouraging agents in her office to add a Stager to their team so the agent did not have to tell clients things that could hurt their feelings or as I call it, "Be Guido."

"Being Guido" means you are the one that tells the client all the things they have to change in their house before putting it on the market. It's like you are the "bad guy" - hence the name I give it - "Guido."

Agents - Do you REALLY want to go there with your client? I know many of you have ideas and knowledge on how to prep a house for sale - and yet do you REALLY want to be the one that tells them their house is outdated, paint colors are wrong, they have too much stuff, their collection of Hummels, Lladros, thimbles, teapots, trolls, beer steins, hats, mugs, golf balls, sports pariphenalia, etc.- has to be packed. . . or their big moose head on the wall that they love so much - has to go?!!

Staging is an investment in getting the house sold - and the average Staging report is about $200-$300. That is a worthwhile investment to get the client to make changes - without the Realtor risking something that is worth far more than $200-$300: The RELATIONSHIP.

No matter how you couch it - that Seller will always remember that you told them things about their house and taste - and decor, furnishings, and things they love - that may hurt their feelings. Even when the seller says, "Oh go ahead and tell me - it won't hurt my feelings." That is not true.

I have heard them say that hundreds of times - and yet they almost always cross their arms at some point when I am working with them - which is a LOUD body signal that "I don't like what I am hearing." Now - because I have training in how to work with clients I don't just "press on" with my opnions. I stop and assure the client, I compliment them, and help them get past whatever emotional issue is happening to cause them to shut down - and I will compromise if needed so that I do NOT risk the client's feelings. That takes TRAINING and EXPERIENCE.

Can I caution you agents out there that are contemplating working with a Home Stager? Don't just pick someone because you like their website or photos. A lot of Stagers work with vacant houses - and don't have to interact with a client, their things, and the emotions. If you list houses that have stuff in them - including a family - you need to work with a Stager that KNOWS how to handle this combination - a possible stressful situation with the seller and why they are moving, family members that may not be 100% on board, and the "stuff" they love in their house that they need to move, pack, or change.

I think getting a trusted Home Stager to be part of your Real Estate Team is genius - of course I would think that - but from your perspective - it will help protect your relationship with your client, and not put you in that sticky situation at all. Leave that part up to those that can get the client on board, not risk your relatiionship (because I am there to make YOU look good too!) and get the Staging done.

Because that is the goal after all - to get the house Staged so YOU can SELL IT for the Seller in the shortest time and at the best price!

We can make a WINNING TEAM! "Bada bing! Trust me" - oh wait, that sorta sounds like "Guido."