Upcoming Home Staging Expert® Workshops in Colorado & Wyoming – Earn 14 Continuing Ed Credits


1-day workshops also coming to Georgia (CLICK HERE) and Mississippi (CLICK HERE) for 7 Continuing Ed Credits!



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Before and After: Long Island Realtor® Ricky Janotha Stages Listings for His Clients

A life-long Long Island resident, Real Estate Agent Ricky Janotha of S.A.S. Real Estate, New York knows how to sell a house!  Staging is part of his formula.  He knows that your home is the biggest investment of your lifetime, and wants to ensure you get the best possible price when you sell.  And a big part of selling is ensuring potential buyers see the beauty and function of your home from the moment they walk through the door.

Ricky proves his expert staging skills here by showing buyers exactly what they want to see!  A big, beautiful entry that makes sense and pulls the buyers eye directly to the positive features.  Editing the space by removing the table and chairs, area rug, and excess proved key.  Now the gorgeous staircase, wood floors, fireplace, and glass doors to the back come directly into focus and there will be no doubt in the buyer’s mind how they can utilize this space!

First impressions count, as Ricky shows us here.  You never get a second chance to make a good impression, and this entryway makes the kind of positive first impression potential buyers want to see!

Ricky Janotha earned his Home Staging Expert® Certification and offers full real estate services in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties, New York.  If you are looking for an agent to list your property and help you make that positive first impression and get the best possible price, please contact Ricky at rjanotha@verizon.net or 516-426-8372.

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Learn to Stage Your Own Listings – Realtors Earn Continuing Ed Credits in Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, and Wyoming


It’s all about the buyer’s first impression!  How they perceive the space from the entry point of the room.  How much visual square footage you can show them.  And making that space so inviting, they’ll want to step right in, take a look around, and see more!

The master bedroom pictured above was staged in our last Mississippi 1-Day Home Staging Expert® Workshop with HSE Certified Trainer Krista Golightly.  Look at how much more open, spacious, and functional this room feels!  Buyers will notice that, too.  Which version do you think they would find more appealing?

Learn how to create buyer-friendly rooms in our 1-Day Home Staging Expert® Workshop with Krista in Mississippi.  Imagine how empowered you will feel working with your clients and having the ability to advise them with confidence!

Following our guidelines, you will learn how to approach every listing you sign, exactly what to say and how to say it to get your sellers on board, and even how to use your new skills to sign more listings!

Get certified by Home Staging Expert® and earn 7 Continuing Education Credits for attending our workshop in Southaven, Mississippi on December 2, 2020 or Jackson, Mississippi on January 13, 2021.  You also receive a lifetime profile listing and designation at www.homestagingexpert.com.   Sign up here or contact Krista directly for details.

Not in Mississippi?  Check out our other upcoming workshops with CE Credits including our 2-Day Workshops open to Colorado and Wyoming agents worth 14 CE Credits with HSE Certified Trainer Joanna Gyrath, and our 1-Day Workshops in Georgia for 7 CE Credits with HSE Certified Trainer Rachel Armstrong.

These are the skills today’s Realtor needs to succeed.  We guarantee, you’ll never look at your listings the same way again…and neither will potential buyers!

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I’ve received so many questions about the home staging business over the past few months, many from individuals who have their own staging company and/or would like to, so I thought it would be worth sharing those most frequently asked.  Please note that my answers are based on my own experiences and opinions.  But I’m hoping it will be helpful to address some of the most common questions in one big Q & A for our readers.

As more Realtors start offering their own staging services, do you think the market for professional stagers is shrinking?

No, I don’t.  I still get just as many calls for staging.  And other stagers I know are still just as busy.  I think Realtors who offer their own staging services were probably already doing so on some level prior to making it official.  But there are still a lot of agents out there who really have no desire to get involved in the staging process and prefer to call in a third party.  It really just depends on the individual agent.

When you work on a listing through a Realtor, who pays for your services?  The agent or the homeowner?

It all depends.  Most agents I work with will pay for a consultation.  If they decide they would like me to come in and physically stage the property beyond the initial consultation and/or I’m called in to stage a vacant property, they still sometimes pay for it.  But more often than not, the agent will either split the cost with their client or their client will be responsible for the entire bill.  I’ve learned from experience to find out upfront who will be paying for the service so there’s no confusion or misunderstanding, after the fact.

Do you get more calls for staging from the homeowners or Realtors?  Men or women?

In both instances, I would say it’s about 50-50.  Just as many homeowners contact me directly as Realtors now, and just as many men contact me as women.

Do you prefer staging a vacant property or an occupied property?

I don’t really have a preference.  They’re both fun for me!  But they do each come with their own unique set of challenges.  Staging a vacant is much more physical since you have to procure the furnishings and accessories, pack it up, load it up, haul it in, unpack it, then stage the property.  And when the house sells, you have to go back in, pack it up, load it up, haul it away, then unload it, and unpack it, again.  Occupied homes are a little more limited in the furnishings and accessories you have to work with and often require more creative solutions since what you have to work with might not always fit what you envision.

Is there anything you see with other stagers or within the industry that bothers you?

I pretty much keep my eyes on my own paper and just concentrate on what I’m doing, myself.  But I have been asked to come in a few times to ‘re-stage’ a vacant property that another stager has already furnished and staged.  For the record, I’ve never taken those jobs on because I think it crosses a professional line.  In those particular instances however, I can see where the client might have been unhappy with the staging job.  So with that in mind, my only critique would be for stagers to make sure they are actually staging and not designing.  I think sometimes those two get confused.  It’s always important to remember, you’re not setting up the house to live in, you’re staging it to sell.

What do you like the least about owning your own Home Staging business?

Probably the marketing.  I’m not real big on trying to convince someone what’s best for them.  IMHO – They either get it or they don’t, which is probably why I use so many before and after photos in my marketing materials.  I think if they can see it, they’ll understand.  But marketing is part of owning a business.  Any business.  If no one knows about you, if you don’t get your name out there and start building your brand, you’ll be out of business in no time.  On the upside, once you do start getting clients, word of mouth grows too and you’ll soon be able to reap the rewards, which makes all the effort worthwhile.

What do you like the most about owning your own Home Staging business?

The actual staging process…vacant or occupied…from start to finish.  I absolutely love every single aspect of staging a property for market!  Our company tagline is WE LOVE STAGING HOMES and that’s not just a marketing ploy, it’s an absolute fact!  When I’m staging a property, I’m totally in my zone.  It’s a major rush for me.  I love being able to use my creativity to transform a listing for my client.  And when I can help them achieve their goals and that house sells so quickly, for more than the original list price, or both, that just makes it twice the thrill!  I’m very proud of my work as a stager and very passionate about it.

If there is one thing you could go back and do differently with your business, what would it be?

I would have definitely started much sooner, but I had never heard of home staging before, so not sure how that would have even been possible.  I was a home organizer and without realizing it, was actually doing some staging, as well.  So when a chance meeting with a Realtor exposed me to the concept, I was quite literally soliciting agents online the very next day!  There was absolutely nothing about home staging on the internet back then, so I had to kind of feel my way through as I went along.  But I really didn’t think about it too much before taking the leap.  It was such an amazing idea that resonated so strongly within me, I just closed my eyes and jumped!


Lori Matzke is the Founder and President of the Home Staging Expert® brand.  She has been professionally staging homes in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro since 1999 and offering Home Staging Training Workshops nationwide since 2003.  For a complete list of upcoming workshops, please visit our training calendar.


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“Ask the Home Staging Expert®” – Should We Update Our Fireplace Before Selling?


Dear Home Staging Expert,

My girlfriend and I were planning to put our townhouse on the market next week, but now she is insisting we update the fireplace with stone veneer.  This is something that will likely set us back a couple of weeks at least since I am not very handy and we would need to line up a contractor to install it. 

We’ve already done a lot of upgrades including new wood flooring throughout, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a new deck we added earlier this summer.  We just signed with an agent and she says our house will be listed on the higher-end for this neighborhood already due to the upgrades and additional 200 square feet.

Personally, I don’t think we need to do any more.  I haven’t seen any other nearby or recently sold listings with a stone surround.  I don’t think it’s something we need to do now or even have the time to do now.  We are planning to make a contingent offer on another house, so time really is of the essence.  What do you think?  

We Don’t Have the Time in Virginia

Dear WDHTT in Virginia,

Thank you for your question.  I’m going to agree with you on this one.  If your goal is to get your townhouse on the market as soon as possible and you have another house in mind, I would get it on the market immediately, if not sooner.

It sounds like you’ve already made a lot of updates, have done your homework, checked out your competition, and know where you stand in the marketplace.  If this were a case of ‘keeping up with the Jones’, my advice might be different.  But it’s not.  And if it’s not an update other listings already have and you’re trying to stay competitive, potential buyers won’t miss it.

Hope this helps and wishing you the best!

If you have a question for “ASK THE HOME STAGING EXPERT®”, please contact lori@homestagingexpert.com.

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Our Upcoming August 2020 Workshop Calendar with Continuing Ed Credits for Realtors!


In case you were wondering…NO!  All Home Staging training IS NOT alike!

We teach you everything you need to know based on experience!  From signing more listings, to assessing a home quickly and efficiently, to effectively working with your client to get a home staged fast, and how to place a monetary value on your services.

Learn guidelines to help you with every listing, turn reluctant homeowners into active participants, stage a vacant listing without breaking the bank, and more!

The lifetime techniques you will learn in our workshop can even help you turn a dungy old basement into an inviting lower level.  (See above before and after as proof.)

But don’t just take my word for it.  Register today and see for yourself.

Click on the dates below for more info!

August 19, 2020 – Atlanta, Georgia – 7 CE Credits

August 20 – Holland, Michigan – 8 CE Credits

August 21 & 28 – Colorado & Wyoming Virtual Workshop – 14 CE Credits

August 26 – Hernando, Mississippi – 7 CE Credits

August 27 & 28 – Denver Metro, Colorado – 14 CE Credits 


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