Charleston, SC Posts


Why do I have to rearrange my furniture?

As my stager, Melissa Marro always says, "Selling your house and living in your house are two separate things."  Unfortunately not all buyers can visualize how a floorplan will work for them.  When there is an awkward arrangement, buyers may automatically rule a house out.  Take this example of a 2 year old home in Goose Creek, SC.  There are a couple of issues.  This room is a rectangle and the couch and loveseat were positioned at an angle to view the television. This blocked the natural walkway in this room.  Second, it's hard to ingore the floral furniture, clutter of toys and books, etc.  Third, this room is about as 'vanilla' as it gets with white walls.

Goose Creek SC staging before photo

This room needed some help.  The owner was particularly opposed to the staging process but eventually came to love the new arrangement.  First Impressions was professional about dealing with a discontent owner and handled it well.  The owner did not want to paint but she used soft window treatments to warm the room.  This new furniture arrangement allowed a clear pathway from the door to the dining area.  The slipcovers were an inexpensive fix to neutralize the floral print. Decluttering this room made this space much more pleasing to the buyer's critical eye.  It's hard for a buyer to look beyond an owner's stuff.  It can be distracting and make a room feel smaller.  This simple change instantly made this space more useful to a broader group of buyers.  In fact, it sold 44 days after the transformation!  Furniture rearrangement and decluttering is one of the least expensive things you can do to improve your home's appeal.  See the difference! Are you ready to do what it takes to get your home sold? 

Goose Creek SC staging after photo

Michele Reneau - Military Relocation Specialist with Carolina One Real Estate in Charleston, SC.

Contact Michele Reneau, Real Estate Agent, North Charleston, SC Relocation Expert, CRS, GRI, ABR. Licensed Realtor® in South Carolina at 843-572-0518 to list your property for sale or to purchase real estate in Charleston, Goose Creek, Summerville, North Charleston, Hanahan, Mount Pleasant and the surrounding areas in Charleston County, Berkeley County or Dorchester County, South Carolina.  Featured on HGTV's House Hunters. Publisher/Author for Charleston Real Estate Update  including featured listings and sold properties, and monthly statistics on Charleston Real Estate Market.  RESA 2009 Staging Realtor of the Year Nominee. The Charleston Relocation Expert specializes in military relocation, first time homebuyers and creating marketing exposure to sell your home in the Charleston SC Real Estate market.  I can also be contacted by email at To view all Charleston Metro area houses for Sale Click Here and then click on Search for Homes.  With over 25 years of Lowcountry Living, I know the Charleston Metro area. I will help you get your home sold and/or help you buy your Charleston home or land.


Michele Reneau, ABR, GRI, CRS

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Comment balloon 15 commentsMichele Reneau • January 21 2009 05:33PM


I have not had any luck on getting my sellers to pay to have a home staged.  How do I keep hearing of all these sellers that have it done?  How do you get your clients to understand the importance?

Posted by Nate Rowe, Realtor, Homes in Richmond VA (Oakstone Properties, Homes in Richmond VA ) about 10 years ago

One suggestion, had some color, it looks blah.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) about 10 years ago

Nate-I pay for the initial consultation.  The stager is the "bad guy" and write a report with specific recommendations, including furniture placement.  If the owner doesn't have time or energy to do it, then they can hire the staging company.  Many of my clients are on a limited budgets since I deal mostly with military families so they are willing to take it on. My staging partner, leaves some great information and I prep the homeowner.  Many of my clients are competing with new construction so I ask them to visit the model home and see what it looks like from the furniture, floorplan to the cleared off bathroom sinks.  It's always better to show then tell. I think partnering with a great stager is key!

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) about 10 years ago

Angelia- The picture doesn't do it justice because of the lighting. The window treatments are beige with green pin strips and the blanket on the couch is also sage green.  As I mentioned in the post, the homeowner was resistant to painting.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) about 10 years ago

Wow, that's impressive!  I love before and after photos.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Michele - Thanks for the advertising and great description of why sellers need to stage!  I think the costs were only $150 plus labor, right?  I mean that's about as cheap as it gets to prepare a home!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 10 years ago

Dear Michelle,

Great illustration of the difference staging can make. It would have been far more dramatic if the paint had been kicked up, but your photos show how much improvement can be achieved with a bare minimum.

Thanks for sharing!


Posted by Barbara Delaney (Park Place REALTORS, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Margaret-It's amazing how simple changes make a big difference.

Melissa-I learned from the best!

Barbara-Sometimes just doing what you can will make all the difference. It doesn't have to be expensive.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) about 10 years ago

Nice job on this Michele. I do think a lot of sellers have a hard time seeing the value in staging and that's a shame. Giving sellers statistics on days on market for staged vs. non-staged homes is sometimes helpful to get them open to staging. Showing before and after photos also helps drive home how important and effective it is. Congrats on the sale.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 10 years ago

You said it -- living in a home ans selling it are two complete different things.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

Thanks for sharing how you get your clients to stage. I think you've hit on a nice solution to just pay for the initial report and then allow the seller to either do what's in the report or pay for the remaining work. Kudos to getting a resistant client to stage. It's good that you have trust in your stager's ability to work with the client.


Posted by Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling (Portland Oregon) about 10 years ago

I love to see posts like this. Once a stager and a Realtor work together as a team the results speak for themselves.

Great post Michele, stagers everywhere thank you!

Posted by Allegra Dioguardi, Home Staging & Training, Suffolk Co. Long Island (Styled and Sold Home Staging and Staging Training) about 10 years ago

The biggest part of my job is selling realtors and sellers on the idea of staging. it is a constant process i sometimes feel like a broken record.

Posted by Benita Gottfried (New Vision Interiors LLC) about 10 years ago

Benita - don't feel like a broken record.... understand that educating them IS the biggest and MOST IMPORTANT part of your job.  The great thing about Michele is that she understands the value so well that I barely have to do anything other than give the report now (and do the work when I'm hired to do it)... she does the rest!  Talk about an advocate! This is good business all the way around....

The agents get more leads and listings.  The listings sell faster and for more money.

The client is happy and refers more friends to the listing agent.

The stager keeps a constant string of business because the agent knows that they will get more leads and listings by using them!  see, back to the beginning... everyone wins!

Without educating the agents you'll never make it to the rest of the cycle!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 10 years ago

Dan & Amy-Sellers that don't get it aren't going to get the sale.

Bob & Carolin-Now if we can get the sellers to understand that!

Pangaea-It's definitely a partnership and it takes 2 to convince some of them.

Allegra-I don't keep my stager a secret.  I tell everyone when they need one who to call.

Benita-Ditto on what Melissa said.

Melissa-It's an amazing cycle and I'm glad to be part of it!

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) about 10 years ago

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