How to have the home staging conversation with your sellers

7 pointers for broaching the subject with your clients

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Listing agents have to work through a plethora of situations and have many uncomfortable conversations with a variety of homesellers. Ideally, sellers rely on their agent's advice to update and declutter their homes before they go on the market. Agents can provide lists of home and garden fix-ups along with articles outlining things buyers hate, maintenance checklists and simple cosmetic fixes. Onerous as some of these to-do list items may be, most sellers will comply, albeit some more cheerfully than others. But what's an agent to do when a potential listing has issues that only interior designers with proven experience in staging (the decorating equivalent of merchandising) can satisfactorily resolve? Staging-savvy designers can work wonders with dark rooms, spaces that are too small or too large, furniture that's out-of-scale for the setting, too much furniture, strange floor plans, poor color choices and dowdy design features. Yet, exactly how does an agent have "the t...