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Staging to Sell: The Secret to Selling Homes in a Down Market Paperback – June 9, 2009
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Staging To Sell
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"My success in real estate is a direct result of following Barb's systems! In a world of increased competition, economic challenges, and savvy consumers who demand transparency and authenticity, Barb's approach is more relevant than ever. Barb is a true professional and an outstanding model for anyone who desires lasting success in real estate. Read this book, follow the principles, and fasten your seat belt!"
—Judy Moses, 2007 National President, Women's Council of REALTORS®
"Barb Schwarz has been teaching our associates the art of 'Staging' homes for over twenty years and is the expert in preparing a home to sell. Her new book will surely become a 'must-read' for anyone involved in listing and selling homes."
—Ebby Halliday, Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dallas,Texas
"Staging to Sell unfolds a step-by-step process to successfully sell a home using the 'S' Factor. Barb's proven program works in any market. This is a must-read for real estate agents and homeowners!"
—Claudia Crowell, Director of Business Practices, Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS®
"Barb Schwarz knows how to get homes sold, and you will too when you read Staging to Sell. Never before has there been such a succinct and easy system for selling your home at a faster pace and at top dollar. Staging to Sell tells it like it is, and if you're a seller, you'd better take heed or your competition will."
—David Corbin, author of Illuminate: Creating Breakthrough Results Using the Positive Power of Negative Thinking
"Barb has championed the Staging process for over twenty years. She tested it as a top producer, taught it to top producers for two decades, and is fine-tuning it far beyond the drama on HGTV. Staging is a powerful skill set that should be included in every agent's training because it is a win-win for everyone involved in the listing and sales process."
—Carol Johnson, President, The Recruiting Network Inc.
"Staging to Sell is a must-read, just in time to soothe this dismal real estate market. Her new online courses (www.stagedhomes.com) and this book provide all that any seller or agent may need to be a Staging pro and battle this market fully armed!"
—Sabine Steinbrecher, CEO, Learning Library Inc.
"Barb Schwarz's classes have been an important and entertaining part of the Windermere curriculum for over a decade. You can always tell when Barb's in the room by the high energy and infectious laughter!"
—Kelly Hamill, Education Director, Windermere Real Estate
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Top customer reviews
The over-abundance of references (38 times) to the author as single-handedly inventing an entire industry reflect her exaggerated view of her personal influence and her lack of marketing wisdom, as are her bogus claims that the only people who can properly stage a home are people she personally trained - the majority of whom are realtors, not stagers. Oh really? One page claims she "invented" everything 4 times! And do we need to pay for 27 pages of testimonial filler and 4 more pages of self-promotion at the end of the book to push her seminars and speaking engagements? There are also 13 totally blank pages throughout the book (huh?) and a good deal of repetitious points, to the point of pointedly making you want to throw pointed darts at someone's pointy head. If you get my drift.
The target market of the book is too complex and ambitious. It will have little value to home sellers and the constant flipping from agents and then to stagers and back to agents again made for cumbersome reading. It does not bode well to be forced to wade through a huge amount of material that isn't even relevant to the reader, depending on which market you fall into. That's what happens when you can't choose your market so you just broadcast it as being for everyone.
While there are some good points and concepts discussed, they are pretty generic for starting any business in any industry at any point in time, such as: be service oriented, be friendly, have visual evidence of your accomplishments to share, price the house right, clean it, fix it, arrange it and so forth.
There could have been more specifics and actual examples (i.e. two chapters devoted to making and using a "career book" but not one photo of one). She wants you to spend another $79 instead. Less personal promotion for one's seminars and pitches for speaking engagements would make reading it much less irritating.
I managed to wade through it laboriously. I would NOT recommend it to sellers. I would also not recommend it if you have any training already in selling, presentation concepts, property pricing, decluttering, cleaning, decorating, advertising or promoting a business because this is pretty basic stuff for any business climate and you're likely to already know it. If you're a complete novice, you'll find it helpful if you can get passed being told every 7 pages that she created or invented everything.
Lastly, I found this most amusing. " . . . so you don't have to worry about bragging" (pg 217). "You are the key to the future. - B.S." (pg. xvii)
I bought Staging to Sell by Barb Schwarz because she coined the term staging and has been doing it forever. Basically, staging is getting rid of clutter, cleaning and depersonalizing.
So why did I give this book one star? To begin with, it was literally painful to read. Every other sentence you are reminded by this egomaniac that she "invented" staging. Worse, the book is like one long ad to get the seller to hire an ASP or ASPM Certified Stager--which is her so-called school.
Each chapter begins with a bit to the seller. The remaining part of the chapter is for the agent and stager. In it, she tries to convince the reader that only a certified agent or stager is qualified to sell your home.
So, if you are looking for a DIY book on how to sell your home, forget it. She tosses tidbits of information--not enough for the novice to stage their own home. This is the idea--Barb thinks anyone who hasn't trained with her is too feeble minded to get their own home ready to sell.
Here is an example of the drivel to be found in this book:
"Stagers can also place your home on [...] and they will do the work that is needed inside and out to make sure that your home is a Certified ASP Staged home. As the created of Home Staging and the Staging business model that is used today around the world, I say that it is really important that you are working with an ASP or ASPM Certified Stager!"
Finally, the book concludes with A brief history of staging and the stage trademark, and lists Barb's accomplishments, her information on her "university," and promotional information that is over the top--for example, Barb is "a performer, fascinating, lively, aware, and powerful on stage." None of this is even remotely appropriate in a book.
What irks me most, however, is the poor job Wiley--a publishing company in the business for over 100 years--did. Poor in terms of quality of photographs, terrible editing, and, most of all, for allowing most of the content to be printed at all. The book looks as if it were published by a subsidy press, in other words.
She can't decide whether she is writing a textbook for potential professional stagers or a how-to book for homeowners, and she fails on both counts. She repeatedly suggests homeowners hire a professional stager affiliated with ASP, so it makes the book seem like a long advertisement for that organization. One, I might add, that you pay for.
Further, the few pictures are black-and-white and have no explanatory cutlines detailing the dos-and-don'ts of the settings.
The one good tip: Buy emerald trees at Walmart to flank your front door.
Check this one out at the library. Don't waste your money.
The photos are poor quality (most are underexposed), and there is no explanation as to why furniture was changed, if it was purchased or moved in from another room, etc. It's just a book that talks about ASP stagers and how to push, cajole and pitch the sellers on hiring you as a stager. Tips on staging don't start until Chapter 10.
Most recent customer reviews
Barb has done it again! This timely book beautifully addresses what it takes to sell a home in any market...Read more