At the recent RESA convention (Real Estate Staging Convention) in Las Vegas, Nevada, I along with over 300 other stagers and decorators had the privilege of listening to one of our amazing Canadian designers, Kimberley Seldon.  Kimberley is an interior design superstar, editor, keynote speaker and broadcast personality. She’s hosted three of her own TV series including HGTV’s “Design for Living with Kimberley Seldon”.  She’s also a regular on City TV’s Cityline. She’s Design Editor of Canada’s number one magazine, Chatelaine and Editor in Chief of Dabble Magazine as well as author of three books:  “Business of Design Part 1 and 2” and “500 Ideas for Small Spaces

Her topic at our convention was “When Stagers Take on Decorating Projects:  Pitfalls and Profits“.. and WOW did she give some valuable insights on what was necessary if Home Stagers wanted to be successful with any decorating projects they take on.   Reinforcing that systems and procedures, not only protect you the designer but the client as well which in the long run will mak the running of your business all that more profitable!  She used a great analogy that can be used in any business with regards to conveying your value to clients… you dont want to be known as low cost and low service business… As in Home Staging first impressions are everything… it will be hard to go back on that!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out any of Kimberley’s work … she can be found online here..     It was awesome to hear her speak and even better to meet her in person.. Her insights will change how we do business.. that’s for sure!

Nicole was in a bind. Her parents and older sister, along with two nephews, were visiting her for the weekend, and she had offered to have them spend two days at her home so they won’t have to spend for hotel accommodations. While Nicole had the space (she had a guest room, and her two children were going to share a bedroom to give way to their aunt and cousins), she was concerned that her house might not be ready for guests in time for the weekend.


It had been a while since Nicole had any family or friends spend the night at her home, but fortunately she was more used to having company over for dinners or occasional cocktails. Instead of panicking or getting stressed out thinking about getting everything prepared for her weekend of entertaining and playing host to her guests, she decided to list down some ideas that she already uses frequently for dinner parties, with a few enhancements for overnight guests.


  • First impressions last. Nicole knew that what guests see when they enter her home will likely stay with them all throughout prep9and also dictate their perspective of the rest of your home. She thought of some welcoming elements that go a long way in getting her home ready for guests, such as a fresh bouquet of flowers, hot tea, or comfortable indoor slippers.


  • Provide light and warmth. Guests will instantly feel comfortable and at-home if the temperature and lighting inside the home are set to cozy, relaxing levels. This is especially important because Nicole was having family or friends over during the winter months. It’s cold and dreary outside, so wanted to ensure that her home was as warm and toasty as possible. She planned on using a lot of artifical light and candles to substitute natural light.


  • prep10Basic toiletries are always appreciated. Since her family members were spending a few nights, Nicole prepared a couple baskets of toiletries and personal essentials such as soap, lotion, shampoo, face towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other items that would give a very hotel-chic elegance to her entertaining efforts.


  • Make sure it’s a multipurpose space. For her occasional dinner parties, Nicole would think ahead and plan for the different activities that guests will be doing, so she also did some planning for the weekend with guests. A table was set for card games, and a lazy chair situated close to the window for her mother whom she knew would want to read at night before bed. She also set out coffee and tea sets for easy accessibility; Nicole wanted to assure her guests that they can sit back and relax because everything was already planned for them.

Jean needed to sell her house quickly.

prep8She was being transferred, and the company wasn’t footing the bill. Instead, they offered her a higher salary. Now she had to sell quickly or risk paying two mortgages.

But Jean wasn’t sweating it. After all, her house was in a great neighborhood in one of the best parts of town. She hired a real estate agent, confident that once the “for sale” sign went up, the buyers would come knocking.

A couple of weeks went by, and there were zero offers. Jean had to move fairly soon and was getting nervous about those double mortgage payments….

Her real estate agent gives her a solution.. a PRICE REDUCTION. What did Jean do to get the offer of a price reduction so quickly….. Jean refused to make her house buyer-friendly, how did she do that?

Her Home didn’t Look Better Than Any Other House on Her Street

She was very emotionally “attached” to her possessions and took the idea of changing it personally.

Insisted Her Home Would Sell itself

Jean could not imagine her place looking any better than it already did.

She Didn’t Want to Spend Any Money on Updates

Jean thought that just putting up a sign was enough, she really didn’t believe that a coat of paint would make any difference

In the end Jean reduced the price of her home by $20,000 and received an offer, she took it because it was the only one she got.


S0 why do sellers think that a price reduction is their ONLY option and refuse to make their houses more attractive to buyers? In Jeans case her refusal to invest in sprucing up her home cost her time and money, not to mention some serious stress. Buyers today want to back up their moving truck, unload their stuff, and put their toothbrush in a cup by the sink.

If you want a Price Reduction to be the reason you sell your home, then follow everything that Jean did… if you don’t…. then we need to talk!