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Why is My Client’s House Not Selling? A Lesson in Staging

Posted by: Karen Conrad
Updated: January 15, 2019

This is the first in a series of articles on staging. They are written by Karen Conrad, owner of Karen Conrad Home, a professional home staging, interior design, and custom home decor company. Karen is also a licensed real estate agent with Equity ELITE in Colorado Springs, and author of the home staging book, The First 7 Seconds. In this article, Karen details the two big questions to honestly ask yourself when your client’s home won’t sell.

One of my most rewarding opportunities as a home stager is when I am called in to help agents sell a listing that has been on the market for months or years with no offers. Why? Because I believe I have learned the “secret sauce” to move buyers into taking action. As a result, I have helped sell house after house in this situation quickly and at a solid price.

The Scenario Looks Something Like This...

You have a listing that has been on the market for several months. You feel it is priced right, and you are doing all you can to market the property, but with no success. You know the solution selling drill: you have shown it to potential buyers because you felt it was perfect for them, but their feeedback has been lukewarm. Or, they've pointed to an improvement or modification to the home that is unrealistic and too costly for the seller. It’s almost as though the potential buyers are making up excuses to not buy your listing.

You cringe at the thought of suggesting another price reduction, and you have already invested significant time and money in marketing the home. You are at a crossroad with your listing. Sound familiar? Don’t give up!

Ask yourself these two questions to look at your listing with a fresh perspective:

  1. What is the potential buyer seeing in the first 7 seconds? Are you giving them something to love at first sight so they are emotionally connecting right way? If you do not grab them in that initial time frame, the opportunity to connect with them is gone.
  2. Are there rooms where the function is not clear? If the buyer cannot see themselves in the home and understand the purpose for each room, it leaves them with questions about how to live in the home that need to be answered. If you have a room that lacks purpose, that is a good place to start your staging efforts.

Your answers to these two questions will provide you with the foundation to build a staging plan for homes that have been on the market for a long time.

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Staging in Action: A Real Life Example

I recently staged a home that had been on the market for 124 days. The seller had already purchased another home, and things were getting stressful. The real estate agent felt the home was priced right, and the feedback included an outdated kitchen, a master bathroom with a bad layout, and so on. I knew there had to be more to it, so I answered the two previous questions to lay the foundation for my staging plan. Next, I created a detailed staging plan for each room based on the answers to these two questions.

We uploaded the new photos of the staged home on Saturday evening. We had two showings scheduled the next morning, and the first potential buyer to see the home after it was staged made an offer. It closed the next month.

In this series of articles, I will take you room by room with this redesign so that you can apply what I learned to your listing and position you and your seller for success! As a sneak peak, I have included before and after pictures of the master bathroom from this home. We overcame the objections from previous potential buyers with some simple staging techniques.

Master Bath Before Staging

Master Bath Before Staging
















Master Bath After Staging

Master Bath After Staging