While I applaud the shows desire to help home sellers who currently find themselves emotionally and financially burdened with a house that just won't sell... after watching it I felt the show sent a confusing and incomplete message to home seller's about what it takes to ready a house for its sale in a TOUGH buyer's market. The show chronicled the efforts of Oprah's design guru Nate Berkus as he helped a financially strapped couple, Yosef & Zigi Edmond of Redondo Beach CA, repair and prepare their house. The house was a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath townhouse listed for $609,999.
The show made it clear that in today's market buyers can be choosy. If a seller wants a buyer to choose to buy their house, then following staging tips like Nate's Top 10 tips to ready a house for its sale, is sound "staging" advice. With out a doubt, exploring and demonstrating these tips was where the show provided to be beneficial and helpful for struggling home sellers.
Unfortunately, my disappointment (#1) with the show has to do with fact that the staging budget for the Edmond's property was a whopping $10,000 for furniture, fixtures and finishes. I believe this "Hollywood" budget is totally unrealistic and fear it will end up discouraging the TYPICAL home sellers who CAN and WOULD benefit from less costly staging solutions. So while Nate's readied-for-market home looked GREAT... the show NEVER made it clear WHO was paying the $10,000 tab for all the merchandise that was bought for the project. All I know is the bio produced on the Edmonds said they were financially strapped and made it clear they had to sell their home because of grave financial problems.
So my first point of clarification to home sellers interested in staging their own properties is that it typically DOES NOT cost what was spent by Nate on the Oprah Show.
THAT being said it is also important to know and understand that a successful implementation of every "staging" is made up of 3 key dynamics...TIME, TALENT and TREASURE. And while we know the budget for the Edmond's staging included $10k worth of "treasure"... I believe it is unfair and inaccurate not to point out the key staging dynamics of TIME and TALENT were also important factors in achieving the overall beautiful solution. Therefore, regarding TIME & TALENT used in Edmund's staging, I have 2 questions:
- Who paid for the TIME to perform the physical labor of planting, painting, building, installing, removing old flooring & carpeting, installing new flooring & carpeting, and removing old appliances that was undertaken? (Note: The Edmond's were part of the labor force... but NOT all!)
- Who paid for the creative know-how/ TALENT of both Nate (Interior Decor) and landscaping master Jamie Durie?
My other major disappointment (#2) with the show has to do with the fact that it was NOT made clear that implementing effective and successful staging requires the seller need to know what to do, how to do it, and have skill and physical ability to do it. If they do not... those who do know how, need to be hired and paid for the skills and abilities they provide.
BUT... while the show for the typical home seller may have ended up sending a bit of an over simplified message regarding staging a home for its sale... it still exceeded my expectation in a way that only Oprah can do. (So I am NOT throwing the Oprah baby out with the bath water.)
For this show Oprah found a wonderful family that NEEDED a staging jumpstart (a prime "stage it forward" family for sure). Life for the Edmonds has been a very sad course of events. Yosef, who quit his job to pursue his dreams of success being self employed, has not been so... therefore the house MUST be sold for this family of 4 to stay financially afloat. Since January 2006 the family has been trying to sell their home. On top of all the other problems plaguing this family, Zigi is a suffering from a brain tumor. So they needed and see selling their home as an opportunity to get a fresh start.
The good news is as of today... a sale is pending for the Yosef and Zigi's home.
stage it forward...