Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog

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Inconvenient Truths about Home Staging

 Last Friday, I happened to be contacted by the Chicago Tribune to discuss something that coincidentally had been on my mind for quite a few days.

For days now I could not stop thinking about the recent report published by the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA) entitled: "How to not get tricked by staging and potentially save $5,645 when you buy your home." But now it seemed that what had been on my mind had also attracted the attention of main stream media.

I had come to the conclusion that while I had thought some of the NAEBA report on staging was positive and accurate, most of it was a negative spin about staging and a sensationalized attempt to champion their position. In the report, the NAEBA warned buyers that "staging effects can make a home seem more appealing to the eye." How scandalous!

But upon further reflection I thought that while the NAEBA report was inaccurate, it does not take the Home Staging industry off the hook for some of the bad publicity.  I think there is a another rapidly growing problem in our industry... and this is what I also shared with the Tribune reporter.

I talked of how market conditions will bring out people (be they honest or dishonest) who are attracted to making money as home stagers. I voiced my concerns that today foundation training programs in home staging have sprung up that will "certify," "accredit" and graduate home staging "professionals" and "experts" in as little as ONE DAY.

In fact, just last week I learned of a foundation training program that advertises that for only $249.95, a person interested in becoming a home stager need only buy a training CD that was designed to get budding stagers started in their own business. Two of the benifits they see is that their program has low start up costs and low overhead. No previous experience is required. They even include their Certificate of Achievement at no extra costs right with the CD to prove that you were professionally trained. WOW, how generous to send a Certificate of Achievement right with it!

I went on to say that I believe that the HOME STAGING INDUSTRY had created the Frankenstein of "overnight & certifications in a box" we are seeing in foundation training programs

And ultimately I wanted the Tribune to know that not all home stagers know the home should always be the star... not the stuff in it. NOT understanding and practicing this WILL and does result in BAD home staging... and there are more and more stagers that DON'T get this... which only gives power to the nay-sayers who want to find ways to negate what is made available when staging is done right.

Now that the interview is done, I know the home staging industry is now being watched and scrutinized. Nothing less than the finest understanding of staging and implementation of it will help us all grow, anything else will not only degrade the industry, but also what staging makes available to the home seller.

Since I try to keep my Active Rain posts short and sweet... this is all I am going to write of here. If however you are intrested an MORE INFORMATION,  my lengthy and detailed discussion of these inconvenient truths can be found on my most recent post on my "pretty blog". Click Here to link to the story.

And even if you may not agree what I say, I still welcome your insight.

Stage It Forward...
Me

 

NOTE: At the request of the company that I originally referenced in this blog, I have removed their name and the link to their site. However my FINAL word on the subject can be found here.

Comment balloon 47 commentsCraig Schiller • August 27 2007 12:40PM

Comments

I think home staging is necessary for many people.  Some really great homes have rooms that are too large, too small or just shaped funny.  A stager can really help people see the different uses of this kind of space and be very helpful in the sale of that particular property.  Just my 2 cents.
Posted by Nora Adkins (Realty Executives) about 13 years ago
Thanks Craig, I appreciate your focus that "the home should always be the star... not the stuff in it.". Thanks for the reminder.

Christopher Johnston
FlexBox Mobile Storage
www.GoFlexBox.com
888 GoFlexBox (463-5392)
Posted by Christopher Johnston (FlexBox Mobile Storage) about 13 years ago

Craig,

Yes, I've also noticed all the companies (even our Board) which are sponsoring one day classes in Staging. Pays your money...and hope you learn something.

The referenced article was one-sided as those agents have an agenda to push.

However, a "properly" staged house just reveals the good things that the house offers. I think most of the problems today is that we have too much junk...just way too much. Books, magazines, newspapers all over the place; dirty dishes in the sink and smelly litter boxes will not help a home sell. It's common sense but I'm afraid that too many agents will not tell the seller what he/she needs to correct the problems. They're just too desperate for the listing. 

Posted by Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO (BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE) about 13 years ago
Home staging is an interesting concept...The trick is the ones that're well presented don't even look like anything was done.
Posted by Danielle V. Lewis, DDR Realty (DDR Realty) about 13 years ago

Staging is intended to highlight the positive feautures of a home. If the highlights are the fancy table and the nifty curtains, then buyers will certainly read right through this smokescreen and realize the flaws of the home. Result- no sale. From Connecticut- Mike

Posted by West Hartford CT Real Estate Agent | West Hartford Realtor | www.CTMike.com (ERA Broder Group) about 13 years ago

I agree totally with Danielle. I finely staged home doesn't look staged.

Staging has its place in the market.  Like everything else.  Just as I have no problem with discount brokers.

Will some be 'suckered' into using them - when the real issue may be a 'bad' Realtor?  Of course.  But ... accountability always falls on the person signing the contract.

 

Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 13 years ago
Craig: Great post-congrats on the interview. As with any evolving field, there will be some who jump in without training and leave quickly when they realize staging is not easy money. It is hard work and does take business savvy along with an understanding of the market demands of buyers. Not everyone can walk into a room and see the potential. As homeowners get busier and busier-the demand for stagers will grow. WE are here to stay!
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 13 years ago
Staging is important when done right. I have been to homes and they still have tags on the furniture, I find that very tacky.
J.
Posted by Jeff Kessler, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Austin Homes, Realtors www.OwnAustin.com) about 13 years ago

Thanks for this post Craig.  It is good to see that the Staging Industry is being watched carefully.  Positive press, negative press is better then no press.  Look out here we come.

Stage it Forward.

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) about 13 years ago

I agree with what you said about staging and the home is the star.

I think staging is important some buyers do not have any imagination, they seem to have opinions about someone's decorating skills or layout, but I have seen clients walk into a beautiful vacant home and there is just a plank look on there face and they seem to be lost. 

Posted by Chet Dilka about 13 years ago
thanks for the post. 
Posted by Joshua Talayka (Chase Internatinonal) about 13 years ago
I agree with Cheri Craig It is not EASY MONEY and if your are carrying your own furniture and accessories the start up costs are huge. Always with a new industry you are going to get bad press, but with like anything it becomes yesterdays news. As for anything with a accreditation i feel should be at the college  level. For interior design you have to go to college to get an accreditation. I went to west valley college in Saratoga CA it is a junior collage that offered a two year course in interior design.Witch was fader accredited the highest accreditation you can have for interior designer. I moved to Idaho before i could finish and then went into home staging. It would be nice to see if Jr collages would start staging course with certification after a year of two years.
Posted by Maria Lechner, Home Stager Boise ID (The Added Touch Home Staging) about 13 years ago

I agree with you Craig, but just like all other professions, there are those that can and those that can't.  Even being accredited, licensed, accomplished, etc. doesn't make someone good at what they do.  Getting a RA doesn't automatically make that person a good Realtor or a good buyers agent, neither does experience in all cases, some people don't learn from thier mistakes.  The reason I took a course was in case someone asked if I had formal training, and to get an idea of the business aspect of staging.  That is to say that if my reputation and portfolio isn't enough I can bring that to the table also.  So far I have only been asked what the HSR is at the end of my name is once (which will not be on my new business cards), and no one else has even made an inquiry as to my training, though one client did want to talk to the owners of one of the homes in my portfolio, which I was excited about since their home was only on the market for 4 days and was done beautifully.

  Do you ask your Doctor what medical school he attended and what his rank was in school,  was he in the upper or lower 50% of his graduating class?  He could have went to medical school and is terrible at taking tests and was the last rank in his class,  you know every graduating class of Doctors has one that was at the bottom of his class and do you know what they call him:  Doctor.  They are still Doctors and still practice medicine and make money though some of his patients may have suffered.  Have you seen how many online degrees you can get,  this is a problem that everyone faces whenever you hire a professional for anything.  Reputation, References and Word of Mouth is the best way to distinguish the good from the bad and ugly.

I love reading you stuff Craig....

Keep moving us Forward!!!

 Sherry

mundu = what I am doing; nothing on the first monday off in a while!

Posted by Sherry Woolever * Seller's Edge (Seller's Edge) about 13 years ago
Maria: I believe that in a few years, home staging will develop their own set of credentials and standards of practice. I also believes it hurts us as an industry to have many training classes but no standard accreditation. That said, in the counseling field (my other life), I had 8 years of college, 3000 supervised hours and jump through many hoops to keep my lcense-yet  personally know many BAD therapists-so a degree doesn't necessarily ensure quality. Anyone hiring a stager needs to get professional references and use a similar interview process to hiring the agent. Good stagers will not be afraid of the process. Wonder if they would let me teach a community college course?
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) about 13 years ago

The media has gotten bored with bashing agents so much that they need to find something new to box around. Looks like stagers are now the target, thanks to that pathetic article by the NAEBA.

I have seen some pretty bad staging, but some that was really awesome and made me want to buy the home. What I don't understand is how the NAEBA thinks it is bad to stage a home. How is staging any different than a homeowner painting the home, updating kitchens, etc? Both make the home look for appealing to buyers, and yes, usually fetch more for the home. If the home looked like doggie do-do, no one would buy it!

Posted by Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent (Kirby Fine Homes) about 13 years ago

Craig,

Is there any part of the real estate industry that isn't under scrutiny? 

Posted by Fran Gatti, Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity (RE/MAX Integrity) about 13 years ago

Staging does have its place in a home sale.

I agree with a previous comment about the fact that we just all have too much "stuff".

It is soooooooo true.

My "stuff" is "my stuff" and yours is "yours".

It is nearly impossible to bring a potential buyer into a home & have them envision living in someone else's space that is cluttered with other people's "stuff".

Client's unconsciously think, "where's my stuff supposed to go"?

In addition to this first obstacle, we need to get them past the dirty dishes, the unclean house and the various odors that the seller is not even aware of any more.

It is a tough market out there.  One we all face every day as realtors.

We are dealing with sellers who can't see the problems and the buyers who see them all too clearly.

Staging helps everyone in the circle of this crazy world of real estate.

Staging assists the seller in putting their best foot forward to present their domain to the outside world.

And staging assists the buyer to get them to envision the home as their own.

Staging is an important tool in our extensive bag of goodies to get the job done.

As we all know, it is to move everyone on to the next chapter of their lives.

Both sellers & buyers are ending chapters of their lives as well as both starting new ones.

So, let's do whatever it takes to move things along. ...and that can include Staging!

That way, we can move on to our next assignment as realtors.

Posted by Cheryl Needhammer (CENTURY 21 At The Shore Realty) about 13 years ago

Craig, so good to see you here again...perhaps I've missed a few of your posts. I do so enjoy them.

Yesterday, while previewing property for a new client, I came upon a house that was obviously staged and it was somewhat of a novelty...there were areas of disarray in order to lend itself more to someone actually living there...is this the new take on home staging?

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) about 13 years ago

Craig - cool PR once again, it appears.  You've got a model business there.

We don't have access to home staging here in Lancaster, PA as of yet.  I do see the ads online, however, and some of the claims seem a bit disturbing - promising X thousand more in sales prices, etc.  I wondered how such advertising would be received by buyers agency associations...

Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 13 years ago

Craig - Well, someone's gotta say it, right?  You are the best man for the job, I'd say.  Here's to more truth telling in the business!

 

Posted by Kimberly Wester about 13 years ago

As any good agent working for a buyer will know...nothing beats having a home inspection done....that will get down to the nitty-gritty and find any big prroblems the house may have!  No strategically placed flowers will cover up a defective furnace!

I don't use the figures they printed but I do tell my sellers that their home will show so much better than the competition and spend much less time on the market! That should be convincing enough for anyone in todays market!

Posted by Anonymous about 13 years ago
Craig: Wonderful post. I am a Realtor (in Illinois) that recently became an Accredited Staging Professional. Personally, I did it to have the designation so that my clients would take me seriously when I tell them that they need to move this or that. However, I must say that I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know, I had to swallow my design sensibilities during the class, and basically you can't teach something that must be a natural talent. Many staged homes just look tacky in my opinion. When I stage a client's house, it will be classy...no raffia tied around towels or pillows made out of sheets from the linen closet. I'm more a "stage your home like Nate Berkus would" kind of gal. Your photos are beautiful and classy. Love them! Do you work in the suburbs?
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) about 13 years ago

I need to find a way to say this in my style, so that I can say it to all the "yentas with flair" in this market who think they know something about staging:-

"While education is important, the home seller needs to know that in this market where a flood of baby stager's are just entering it, EXPERIENCE trumps all else and in fact is quintessential. For with experience comes an education and wisdom about home staging that can not be burned on to a CD or taught in a 1, 2 or 3 day work shop."

As to the medicine chest... I can't imagine what the "stager" was thinking.  Maybe the person has a quirky sense of humor and this is their signature touch of whimsy?

Cheers, Craig.  Great post... on the pretty blog.

Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) about 13 years ago

Craig,

Thanks for the post. Unfortunately, those looking for a quick buck will undermine the integrity of reputable companies and stages. Those who train must do a better job of educating the public and the would be stager about the value of credentials from reputable firms.

Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) about 13 years ago

Craig: I truly appreciate your emphasis on training. God help me if I recommend someone who truly does not have a grasp of what they are doing or what need to be done. I also believe that a really great designer/stager has a special taste gene that most of us do not possess.

 

 

Posted by Roberta Murphy, Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes (San Diego Previews Real Estate) about 13 years ago
Craig - congratulations on your being contacted by the Chicago Tribune.  Obviously, you are well known and respected enough for your opinion to count.  Was an article published with your comments?  If so, would you be able to provide a link as I would be very interested in how they interpreted your views.  Too often I have heard about professionals being interviewed by the press and then totally misquoted.  I would hate to see that happen here as your comments are important to what is happening in the industry.
Posted by Cheryl-Anne Priest, Inviting Spaces - Staging Calgary (Inviting Spaces - Home Staging Calgary) about 13 years ago

I left a comment on your pretty blog ;)

Cheers,

Cindy 

Posted by Cindy Lin, Host, The Home Staging Show podcast (Staged4more School of Home Staging) about 13 years ago

There are no home stagers, per se, that I know of in our area. I'm sure that it would help some homes looks their best if it were available.

Posted by Judi Barrett about 13 years ago

This is an issue we are hearing more and more about.  I am troubled by the lack of regulation in our industry.  Wish I had the answer!

Kim Dillon, Creative Eye Home Staging

Posted by Kim Dillon (Creative Eye Home Staging) about 13 years ago

Congrats on your interview with the Chicago Tribune.  Agree, agree, agree!  BTW, who is it that decides "either you have it or you don't"...isn't that what most of the 'certifying' training programs say? 

Jackie  

 

 

 

 

Posted by Jackie Peraza, Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts (Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC) about 13 years ago

Jackie...

I have NEVER heard of anyone NOT "graduating" and while the idea started with good intentions. I think it has devolved into something that is a joke.

Me

Posted by Craig Schiller about 13 years ago
Juliet, I agree with you about the importance of experience, but I think nothing trumps real talent. It doesn't matter how many classes you take, if you don't have the talent for it, you're not going to make it. I'm not saying you can't learn anything from a class but a class will not a stager make.
Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) about 13 years ago

Craig, excellent post.  A subject near and dear to my heart. The whole concept of staging certification is like the diploma mills of the 70's and 80's.  You just had to have enough money and you could instantly be handed a Masters degree in anything your little heart desired.  Of course you may not have known a thing about your new field of expertise.  In today's world you can pay your money, get your accreditation, copy the words of others onto your new web site or brochures and look and sound just like a pro.  What cannot be copied are results and happy clients.  One other thought, if I were to pick a spokesman to stand up for the industries hard working, talented people, it would be the same person that the Trib called.  Thanks as always...

Gary

Posted by Linda Barnett, Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana (Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana) about 13 years ago

Craig, it appears we are now living in a fishbowl as stagers. I recently posted the following log on my blog:

This month, the NAEBA (National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents) published a report warning home buyers to be careful of home that are staged. The report was apparently based on data collected by the Association through a survey of NAEBA agents and brokers. The essence of the report is summed up in a statement by Jon Boyd, President of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. It reads:

The whole intent of staging is to get the buyer emotionally involved with the home. Our member agents want home buyers to see things logically, to "see past" the staging," said Jon Boyd President of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. "When we surveyed our brokers and agents, 82% of the respondents stated that buyers were likely to get distracted from important issues when viewing a staged home. The most prevalent staging trick reported in the survey was sellers using small furniture to make a room look bigger than it actually is. In addition, a majority of our members have seen staging cover up real problems, such as rugs hiding damaged floors and designer curtains covering rotted window sills. Since staging doesn't increase the intrinsic value of a home, buyers need to be very careful. Remember, you are not buying the pretty furnishings, you are buying the house." he continued.

As stated in their introduction to the report, "The report outlines some of the common staging practices and how they might influence a buyer to purchase the wrong home, or a home that might be hiding serious defects. The report includes examples of staging and cautionary tales from real estate agents working directly with buyers."

As a member of the staging industry, I applaud the NAEBA not only for attempting to open-up people's eyes to deceptive staging practices that they have seen, but also to the importance of all parties involved in a Real Estate transaction to be cautious and attuned to details. With all of that said, I think it is important to understand how staging can work as a benefit to buyers as well as sellers. At the same time, I'd like to address some of the staging "tricks" the report refers to. Since the usage of the word "tricks" somehow always implies deception, I would rather refer to them as staging "methods."

Method #1 -  "using small furniture to make a room look bigger than it actually is"

OK, first of all, one of the numerous faults that I have is my inability to control my use of sarcasm, so please forgive me if I come off a bit too sarcastic at times. OK, this is one of those times.... Yes, we stagers do in fact have the ability to shrink furniture and make rooms magically grow and shrink on command. We learned this shortly after our pulling a rabbit out of a hat lesson. (Boy, I feel better, or at least indulged now.)

People, beds come in four basic sizes; twin, full, queen and king. If a room contains a king-sized bed and there isn't enough room to comfortably "live" in the room, stagers may decide to use a smaller sized bed that is available in the house instead. The purpose isn't deception, the purpose is education; i.e. for the space in the room to be best used, a queen size or full sized bed is more practical. What the buyers would see is a room that functions best with a queen or full sized bed as opposed to a room that looks cramped with a king-sized bed.

Staging is very much like the "serving suggestions" you see on food product packaging. The manufacturers have the food artistically photographed to enhance the product and present it in the most appealing way. I doubt that a product would sell if they showed ill-prepared, over-cooked, burnt product on the package. Ditto for home staging presentation. What would be the logic in showing a ill-prepared, over stuffed room to potential buyers?

Method #2 - "a majority of our members have seen staging cover up real problems, such as rugs hiding damaged floors and designer curtains covering rotted window sills."

We need to get one think straight here. "Staging" did not cover-up the problems the members of NAEBA have seen, PEOPLE attempted to cover-up the problems. The issue here isn't one that should be labeled as a "trick" that stagers use, but rather one of a lack of integrity for the stager involved. "Staging" as a method, can't be cited as a reason for the occurrence of these types of problems any more than the process of automobile repairing can be blamed for the unscrupulous mechanic who completes unnecessary repairs. It is the PEOPLE who are the root of the problem, not the industry itself.

Unlike the unfortunate "duped" car owner, in most cases, they are own their own and without representation when they are being deceived by an unethical mechanic. However that is not the case, in most circumstances, for home buyers being represented by a Realtor. The onus to identify structural, mechanical and maintenance problems rests on the shoulders of all of the transactions participants including the stagers, the buyers, the "professional" Realtors, the home inspectors as well as the homeowners themselves.

To cite "staging" as the culprit and to infer that the staging industry and its practitioners are single-handedly trying to deceive the public is irresponsible and bordering on McCatheyism. I am personally offended by having my personal and professional integrity so cavalierly criticized.

Just as a sidenote (p.s. - here comes the sarcasm), rugs can be looked under and curtains,"designer" or not, can be pulled aside.

Method Summary - "Since staging doesn't increase the intrinsic value of a home, buyers need to be very careful. Remember, you are not buying the pretty furnishings, you are buying the house."

Spot on Mr. Boyd, you are 100% correct. Staging isn't designed to increase the "intrinsic" value of a home. A house after all is but brick and mortar. Staging is designed to showcase the best qualities of a home. Staging is designed to offer the buyers an opportunity to understand the best use of the space contained in those intrinsic walls of brick and mortor. Staging is putting the property's best foot forward

When you go into a store's Christmas Decorations Department, you'll see a vast array of beautifully decorated trees. The staging (presentation) of those trees didn't make the tree itself any more valuable. However, it did stir the imagination of the buyer on how the could use it to showcase their own decorations. Staging does just that. It illustrates how space can be used.

In conclusion, Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for BUYER BEWARE. Buyers, understand that you need to carefully inspect any home that you are considering. Assure that thorough inspections are conducted by reputable inspectors. Make sure that your agent is working with you to insure that you are protected from those who would try to take advantage of you. After all, pointing fingers is much easier than taking responsibility.

Jim    

Posted by Jim Volk (RE/MAX Premier Properties) about 13 years ago
Jim - it is you who deserve the applause.  Well written and right on the mark.
Posted by Cheryl-Anne Priest, Inviting Spaces - Staging Calgary (Inviting Spaces - Home Staging Calgary) about 13 years ago

HI CRAIG:

IT IS SUCH A SAD DAY WHEN FELLOW HOME STAGERS (CRAIG) FEEL THE NEED TO "BASH" THEIR COMPETITORS! 

YOU SHOULD HAVE CONTACTED OUR COMPANY REGARDING OUR HOME STAGING TRAINING PROGRAM PRIOR TO ADDRESSING YOUR NEGATIVITY HERE ON YOUR FORUM.  WE WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE THAT HAPPY TO EXPLAIN OUR PROGRAM TO YOU. 

WE ARE NOT A "FLY BY NIGHT" FIRM AS YOU HAVE SUGGESTED IN YOU ARTICLE AND WE WILL LOOK INTO YOUR STATEMENTS FURTHER REGARDING AVENUES WE CAN TAKE ENSURE THAT YOU DO NOT SLANDER OUR COMPANY FURTHER.

SINCERELY,

TERI WOODS / CEO

 

Posted by HOME STAGES DESIGNS about 13 years ago

Teri, do you really get some type of Certificate of Achievement just by buying the CD?

Can you scan it and post it?  Just curious.

Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 13 years ago

This blog is so exciting to me because of the number of replies by Realtors who understand and support Home Staging - that is not happening yet in The Brainerd Lakes area of MN but I am actively working on it.

"It's common sense but I'm afraid that too many agents will not tell the seller what he/she needs to correct the problems. They're just too desperate for the listing. "  by Eileen Landau

That is precisely where routinely offering home staging services will allow agents to maintain that relationship with their clients and we stagers take on the hard things. 

Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) about 13 years ago

 

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

 

Craig Schiller

REAL ESTAGING / Concinnity Corporation

131 South Lincoln Avenue
 Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

 

Dear Craig Schiller,

 

Your comment on your blog (active rain) has recently been brought to my attention.  Let me start by saying, your libelous comments were unwarranted, unnecessary and absurd.

 

Not only that, but I'm going to start by being cordial, and ask for you to refrain from using our good name in any of your writings, since your now dealing with using our trade name for personal gain, I am DEMANDING a complete RETRACTION on all of your blogs and websites, that have libelous writings using our trade name, or our business practices.  This will be a one time only demand for you to take immediate action of retraction, the retraction offered to Barbara Schwartz is absolutely unacceptable for our matter.

 

We are well aware of your business practices, used on Homes Stages and Barbara Schwartz and are investigating others that may have been affected by these libelous statements.

 

Home Stages Designs does not practice using others trademarks or trade names for profit, and we will not allow in any way, for others to use ours for their personal and company's gain.

 

Damage to ones good name does not carry a monetary value that can be calculated easily in US Courts, they can be very extensive.  Once attacked, my first response is gentle and professional, but I ask you not to mistake our kindness for weakness.

 

Merriam Webster has a clear definition;

 

Main Entry: 1li·bel
Pronunciation: 'lI-b&l
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, written declaration, from Anglo-French, from Latin libellus, diminutive of liber book
1 a : a written statement in which a plaintiff in certain courts sets forth the cause of action or the relief sought b archaic : a handbill especially attacking or defaming someone
2 a : a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression b (1) : a statement or representation published without just cause and tending to expose another to public contempt (2) : defamation of a person by written or representational means (3) : the publication of blasphemous, treasonable, seditious, or obscene writings or pictures (4) : the act, tort, or crime of publishing such a libel

 

Let this letter also serve as our formal Cease and Desist letter to Real Estaging, Concinnity Corp, and personally Craig Schiller, of using our hyperlinks in any of your websites, our good name or trade name in any of your writings, or referring to us in any way.  We also demand complete deletion of any and all comments that involve in any way the good name of Home Stages Designs, within 24 hours of reception of our email Wednesday, September 05, 2007.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Hernandez

Executive Vice President

Home Stages Designs

 

Cc:

MEISELMAN DENLEA PACKMANCARTON & EBERZ PC ATTORNEY AT LAW
1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, New York 10605

 

 

Posted by HOME STAGES DESIGNS,INC. about 13 years ago

Craig,

I just want to thank you again for everything you do, to raise the bar in our industry. I find your sense of stlye impeccable and your integrity beyond reproach.

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) about 13 years ago
I second that! Craig-your the best! Thank you for everything you do each and every day to help move this industry forward!
Posted by Teresa Meyer, Home Staging Cincinnati-OH. (Cincinnati Home Stager) about 13 years ago

Does this mean I will not see the certificate?

Truly just curious.

AR is an interactive forum of "learning".   I assume there is no issue with sharing your product/service.

Thks,

 

Rob (just a Title Guy.... with no connections to any party)

Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 13 years ago
As a passer bye......is this a libel or slander charge (I think I read both)?  Again just curious as to why the bold "STOP" requests.
Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 13 years ago
I am so confused! What was that letter about and how does it involve Barb Schwarz. Geez.... I go away for a few days and things get crazy.
Posted by Kate Hart (Hart & Associates Staging and Design) about 13 years ago

Ya got me.  I'm just a curious guy that thinks Staging has its place.

I pop into a thread and people are 'quoting' attorneys, and apparently threatening people with....lawsuit?

 

Talk about making people like me wary of the industry.......I can't even see the so called "Certificate'.  What's the big deal if the truth is the truth? 

 

Maybe I'm just naive.

Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 13 years ago

Kate.... at this time of night , I am glad you are also nak.. errrrrrrrrrrrrrr..... nevermind  (oooooops...I just embarrassed myself).  :^)

Methinks you and I are 'on the same page'... meaning..... why the 'threats' if there is nothing to hide?

Truth is truth.

 

Posted by Rob Robinson- Lehigh Valley PA (Bertrum Settlements (Title & Abstract)) about 13 years ago

Rob and Kate- That makes three.  (and 2 of us are naked...)  I don't get it - well I kind of do, but... okay I really don't.

To the author of the above letter, you could have taken a totally different approach and earned yourself alot of fans here in the rain, but you just made it worse for yourself.  Not flattering.

Posted by Kimberly Wester about 13 years ago

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