Charleston, SC Posts


My house was professionally decorated-It's already staged!

My house was professionally decorated-It's already staged! I hate to break the news, but just becausestaging is not decorating-Charleston, SC your home was professionally decorated does NOT mean your home has been staged for selling.  The point of interior decorating is to appeal to your personal tastes.  The point of home staging for selling is dress it up for someone we do not know. We do know not their style or tastes so proper home staging sets up a home so that it appeals to anyone or at least the broadest number of buyers.  That means curtains, wallpaper, paint, furniture and accessories are scaled back and neutralized so that any buyer that walks into a well staged home can visualize themselves there because the surroundings showcase the house, its space, and allows the buyer to look beyond the seller's "stuff" to visualize the buyer's family in the home. My husband and I recently noticed a house for sale that has been on the market for over a year that fit into our specifications.  My first impression was that it was priced too high. It's a lovely home with beautiful architectural features, great size and seems to have all the bells and whistles.  My husband noticed the same house for sale on the employee bulletin board and happened to meet the homeowner.  They were taking about houses for sale and how long his has been for sale.  The homeowner quickly mentioned how the real estate market was a drag on selling.  My husband has been unintentionally trained about real estate overpricing and home staging as being the two biggest culprits of non selling houses. He casually mentioned if he had thought about having his home staged. This seller promptly informed my husband his home was professionally decorated and there was no need for home staging.  My husband resolved that this seller really likes owning his home.  After looking at houses for 4 months, we have resolved to build because we can do it for the same price as this house and get the same square footage.  We won't have to worry about removing wallpaper or repainting and we'll even get to live in the same neighborhood. 

Lesson: Even as a realtor who works to help buyers overlook objections, when it comes to purchasing, I don't want to spend the time doing the improvements, try to convince my spouse of how one space will work as an office and how if we repaint this room, it will feel bigger.

Sellers of resale homes that do not prepare their home to SELL are pushing buyers to choose new construction.  There are pockets of Charleston where new construction accounts for up to 50% of closed sales.  As a resale home, your home must be able to compete with new construction.  That means it must be spotlessly clean, walls should be neutral, and sellers should consider upgrades to contend with new construction builder minimums.  Remember that builders have model homes and your home should look the same for showings.  For a free consultation, contact the Charleston Relocation Experts Team. 


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Contact Michele Reneau, Top Real Estate Listing Agent, North Charleston, SC Relocation Expert, CRS, GRI, ABR. 843-814-6680. We are approved by Boeing 3rd party relocation company as Charleston Boeing Relocation Specialists with Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, SC. Michele Reneau is a Certified Staging Professional Elite Instructor and teaches agents how to use staging to maximize their real estate business and Help Sellers Protect their Equity using Home Staging while earning the CSP Elite designation.  Michele is a Certified Residential Specialist with a top real estate team in Charleston, SC.  RESA  2010 Staging Realtor of the Year. The Charleston Relocation Experts Team specializes in military relocation, first time homebuyers and creating marketing exposure to sell your home in the Charleston SC Real Estate market.   View all homes for sale at

Michele Reneau, ABR, GRI, CRS

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Comment balloon 14 commentsMichele Reneau • January 01 2010 08:13PM


Interesting distinction.  I have been sitting on the fence with a vacant listing.  I think reading this blog somehow has pushed me off the edge and I will call the stager tomorrow to get a quote.

Posted by An Marshall, Your St Augustine Real Estate Consultant (Berkshire Hathaway - St. Augustine) almost 9 years ago

There truly is a difference....I've had the opportunity to stage homes for 2 decorators and each totally understood that they needed someone to provide the stagers vision.  Makes a BIG difference as you pointed out in this blog!!  THANKS for the perspective!

Posted by Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging (Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA) almost 9 years ago

An-Best wish on your vacant listing. I have lots of vacant before and after photos and the difference is amazing.  I always get more showings on my staged listings and they always sell faster as well.

Kathy-It's great that they understood that. I would guess decorators might be the hardest to come around.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) almost 9 years ago

Home staging and interior design are two completely different animals.  The purpose of home staging is to make the home attractive to the largest buyer audience.  How you live in a home is completely different that how a home looks "staged for sale."  Items that I would recommend for one of my decorating clients would never work for a staging client.  Interior design is personal and it is meant to satisy the needs of the home owner, while staging is meant to appeal to the masses.

Your blog really hit the nail on the head, a seller needs to have an open mind when selling and understand that their home is a product and they need to present it as such.  Most homes will need to be painted and to have furniture removed and re-arranged to appear larger and newer, this is just common sense.  Any home on the market for a year should definitely consider a professional home staging evaluation.  I am really glad to see a Realtors perspective on staging, we (Realtors and home stagers) all want the same thing - to sell the home quickly.  Great post.

Posted by Kate Talarico, RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager (Kates Home Staging and Interior Design) almost 9 years ago

Excellent points!

Decorating is personal; staging is not.


Posted by SHARON CHARBONEAU (UPSTAGING YOUR HOMES ) almost 9 years ago

Michele ~ You bring up so many good points for sellers to consider before listing their home.  Buyers need to feel like they could move right in ... but if the walls are the seller's color taste -- even if beautifully "decorated" -- their interest will diminish.  So good to see that you continue to be a strong supporter of staging!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 9 years ago

Kate-I wish all sellers (and realtors) could understand the marketing concept and that my job is to market a product, their house. If they want the most for the house, they have to package it properly.

Sharon-Such a simple concept, but not every gets it.

Maureen-Staging has worked for my clients better than price reductions and my job is to get my seller the most money for their home.  Staging is a MUST!


Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) almost 9 years ago

Presented beautifully, thanks for the post.

Posted by Laura Sampson, Principal Stylist, CEP Trainer (Happy Home Stager, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Good for you Michele!  Keep telling them... your professionalism is showing!  May 2010 be successful for you!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 9 years ago

Great blog on the difference between staging and design.  So many buyers believe that everyone will like their personal style when that's typically not the case.  Helping them understand that the way you personally like to live in a home is far different from how you should present it for sale.  Happy 2010!

Posted by David Peterson, Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon (Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging) almost 9 years ago

Laura-Thanks for stopping by.

Diane-I'll keep telling them until I'm blue in the face :) Hopefully, more will listen. It's funny that my husband telling people the same thing.

David-For sellers that are planning on moving up, sometimes, we just have to show them property so they can hear themselves making objections that buyers will make about their house.  Then they get it.


Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) almost 9 years ago

Michele  I have A, B and C.  The D's never get in it  :)  Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) almost 9 years ago


I just love the fact that you are one of the Realtors that "get it". Could I clone about 20 more of you in the Nashville area?

Posted by Anthea Click, Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly! (Fresh Perspectives - almost 9 years ago

Anthea-I'm in the process of cloning myself, but it'll be about 18 years before she's old enough to get her real estate license. :)

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) almost 9 years ago

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