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Don’t Fall for Staging

Posted by Johnine Larsen on December 13, 2016
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Staging sells. If you’re listing a home, find someone who can professionally stage and arrange your house. Your bank account will thank you.

If you’re buying a home: don’t get fooled! Staging looks great, but none of that furniture stays in the house. Staging means jack diddly when it homes to a home’s actual investment potential.

Take this story, for instance. The other day, one of my clients put in an offer on a two-bed, one-bath house that was listed at $785,000. It was a cute home with an unfinished basement, but the kitchen wasn’t redone, and it was in the Central District, between Cherry and Yeller. Not a hot area. Even so, I knew that house would escalate well past its $785,000 listing price.

Why? Staging.

The house looked great on the inside, and in this market, buyers are desperate, and desperation means people make hasty, emotional decisions.

That house ended up selling for more than $856,000 with no contingencies. A cute home, sure, but a $856k cute home? No way. And the fancy staging, of course, didn’t even stay.

The solution to superficial staging appeal like that is an honest, experienced real estate agent. We can look past the top layers and the first impressions to discover a house’s true worth. How’s the location? How’s the structural value? How much investment potential does this home really have? Those are the questions you need to ask, and those are the questions I’ve been answering for twenty-five years.

I keep my clients from making bad investments, because there’s nothing worse than wasting the biggest investment of your life and getting stuck in a house you can’t sell.


As for the listing side of things… I handle staging for all my clients (I do it free), because after twenty-five years of this, I can tell you: Staging works. 

  • Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
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