Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

Hi, Welcome to Our School of Home Staging!

After a successful, 11-year run as a home staging company in San Francisco Bay Area, STAGED/4MORE is now an online school that focuses on home staging education for home stagers, home sellers and real estate agents.

Please take some time and check out all the free resources and tips available on our blog & podcast, as well as our courses selections.

How to Stage to Sell While You’re Living in the Home with Top Home Stager Karen Otto | Season 4 Episode 9

How to Stage to Sell While You’re Living in the Home with Top Home Stager Karen Otto | Season 4 Episode 9

Hey guys, welcome back to season 4 episode 9!

Originally I had scheduled an interview last week for today’s show but the guest canceled last minute. Karen Otto and Michelle Finnamore, both had been on the show before, both powerhouse stagers had stepped in to help when I reached out to them to see if they have any guest suggestions. So you’ll be hearing from Karen Otto today and Michelle Finnamore next week about occupied or some call the redesign home staging. Both Karen are Michelle are given and asked exact same questions (except follow-up questions based on the answers they gave). Both of them are in very different markets, so it’ll be interesting for you to hear how these two top home stagers in their markets approach occupied home staging and how their process may be different from each other.

So you’ll be hearing from Karen Otto today and Michelle Finnamore next week about occupied or some call the redesign home staging. Both Karen are Michelle are given and asked exact same questions. Both of them are in very different markets, so it’ll be interesting for you to hear how these two home stagers approach occupied home staging and how their process may be different from each other.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Karen’s previous episode, Karen Otto’s love for all things “home” started when she was young and would rearrange her parent’s furniture when she got bored. She later found her niche in marketing and earned her degree at Florida International University in Miami, FL. In 2006 she cultivated her passion for “all things home and marketing” and channeled that energy into her company Home Star Staging, in Plano, TX. In that same year Karen earned her Accredited Staging Professional designation and is currently a RESA-Pro stager. In 2009 Karen became the Charter President of the RESA-Dallas Chapter served as the 2011-12 RESA-Texas State President and is currently the RESA’s Region 10 Vice President.

Karen’s passion has always been helping people and that translates whether working with clients, colleagues or peers within the industry. In 2008 her love for teaching and her expertise in home staging culminated in a Workforce Development Course she created for North Texas home sellers offered through Collin College in Plano, TX. The course is designed to help anyone understand the value and importance of staging a home for selling in any market. Karen believes an educated consumer is her best client.

An avid social networker, blogger, writer and speaker, Karen is a nationally recognized expert in the staging industry and is passionately committed to educating others about the power and benefits of home staging. Karen’s work, commentary, and writing has appeared on; HGTV’s “My First Sale”, FOX 4 Good Day Dallas!, the Dallas Morning News, North Dallas Gazette, “Do Your Own Home Staging” by Tina Parker, “Ready 2 Sell in 30 Days” by Karen Bernetti and Ann Anderson along with blog spots, Ezines and online publications around the globe.

Karen envisions herself as part of a contingent of home stagers around the country who are leading the way to make home staging an industry standard for every residential real estate transaction.


On Today’s Show, We Discussed:

  • Current market in Texas
  • Seller’s market
  • Upcoming trends for rest of 2016 and 2017
  • Some of the advantages to live in the home while you’re selling
  • Some of the common challenges of occupied homes
  • What Karen’s process like when she approaches occupied homes 
  • What are some of the things the homeowners should be aware of when they’re living in the home while the house is on the market
  • What Karen recommends these sellers do when they’re going to live in the home while they’re selling their house
  • What are some of Karen’s ideas to get the home ready for an open house quickly
  • What are some of the things buyers get put off by when they tour homes that are occupied by sellers
  • What can the sellers do to prevent that
  • The actual staging day for Karen
  • What does Karen do as a home stager when she’s staging an occupied house
  • What Karen wishes the homeowners know before she comes over to stage their homes
  • If a homeowner wants to put their home on the market while they’re living in it, how early should they start the prepping process
  • And what should they do to get started
  • What does Karen find challenging when it comes to occupied homes
  • Say a homeowner wants to stage the home themselves, what would Karen recommend them to do
  • How can the homeowners keep up the staging while their houses are on the market
  • How about if the sellers have kids or pets, here are some of the additional tips that Karen has for them
  • What are some of Karen’s favorite styling tips
  • Karen’s favorite props 
  • Karen’s one tip you’ll give to homeowners who’re going to live in the home while they’re selling


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  1. Leave a review and ratings in iTunes
  2. Share the show on social media!
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LISTEN TO TODAY'S SHOW

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Occupied Home Staging with Top Home Stager Michelle Finnamore | Season 4 Episode 10

Occupied Home Staging with Top Home Stager Michelle Finnamore | Season 4 Episode 10

How to Renovate Your Home with Interior Designer and Reno Expert Carmen Darwin | Season 4 Episode 8

How to Renovate Your Home with Interior Designer and Reno Expert Carmen Darwin | Season 4 Episode 8