Don’t Buy or Sell a Home Without Reading This

The real estate market is really heating up in Nashville. My assistant is booking more home staging appointments than I can keep up with!


staging to sell

Real Estate is HOT in Nashville 


Many of those calls come from real estate agents who have come to rely on me for efficient and effective staging. I’ve worked with my share of great agents, the best of which care about one thing:  getting their clients what they want quickly. If they are really good, they’ll go the extra mile for you. 

staged living room

Staged Living Room


These are the things your real estate agent should have:

1.  A Successful Track Record

How many homes have they actually sold? Are they serious about it? It’s important to know if real estate is their livelihood, or if it is merely a hobby or a part-time job.

 staged bedroom

Staged Bedroom


2. Motivation

Do they really care? The agents I work with bend over backwards in regards to meeting their clients’ needs and negotiating contracts and all that legal mumbo-jumbo that can trip up novices.

 home staging


3.  Connections

Are they connected with the best home stagers, photographers, painters, landscapers, etc. that they can offer you? Many homeowners don’t have this list of folks just standing by, and they don’t have the time to do the proper research and reference-checking to find them all. I only work with the best real estate agents in my area because it’s not to my benefit to work with real estate professionals that don’t meet my standards – if they don’t get my staged listings sold quickly, it reflects poorly on me!  

staged bathroom Staged Bathroom


4.  Work Ethic

I offer a Speed Staging option for homeowners who have a lot of furnishings to work with already, and my Realtors often get in the trenches and literally move furniture like hired hands. They will do whatever it takes to help their clients!


it had to come out . . . 


How do you find the best real estate agent for you?  I’ve found an easy way to do just that.  Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey? Dave has helped millions of people across America get out of debt through his radio show, books such as The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace University and other programs. I’ve read all his books and have been listening to him on the radio for over a decade. His unique viewpoint has taught me to live within my means and start my own business without going into debt. Dave has a program called Endorsed Local Providers that connects you to the top real estate (as well as investing, insurance, & tax) professionals in your local area who have proven they are the best of the best–and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

dave ramsey elp real estate

SO, if you are ready to take advantage of the market, and if you want to find a real estate agent in your part of the country who has integrity, the heart of a teacher, and a successful track record, I highly recommend checking to see if there is a Dave Ramsey ELP in your area. OR if you are a top real estate agent in your area, you should consider applying to be an ELP for your market.

Tell us about your experience (good or bad) buying or selling a home. We’d love to hear about it!


  1. Sarah

    We put our home on the market in April, and 10 days later took if off again since it was under contract for the price we wanted–and it’s on a highway! I really wanted the Decorologist to do our staging but couldn’t wait for an opening, so I did the next best thing and scoured your website for staging guidance. Our house was neat as a pin and looked fab. Our agent is a true professional who is excellent at pricing well–I think that helped a lot. There were several other homes in our neighborhood for sale, and ours was the most aggressively priced. We close Wed. next week. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      Congratulations, Sarah! I’m so glad you found some tips on the blog to help you get your home sold – you obviously did an excellent job and had a top-notch agent 🙂

  2. Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips

    Excellent advice, and so concise. There’s no sense settling for an agent that doesn’t meet your expectations. It’s too important a decision. Doing the homework you’re suggesting before signing an agent makes great sense!

    One of the pieces of advice I pass along is that just because a broker works for one of the big real estate companies doesn’t mean you’ll get your money’s worth; often the little guy will give you more attention.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Very good advice, Barbara! Sometimes an agent who is a little “hungry” is the most motivated!

  3. MK

    I have been listening to Dave Ramsey for many years. When we moved two years ago, our church in Atlanta was offering Dave’s Financial Peace University. And now our church in WV is offering it as well. I have always loved his message & am so glad the word is getting our around the country.

    I could not agree with you more about agents. It is really a LOT of money they make on the sale of a home, and a seller has every right to have high expectations.

  4. Sharon Charboneau


    Another excellent article. I could not agree more with your words.

    I am a recently retired home stager from BC Canada relocating to Baja, Mexico. I lived in a more rural community which was only accessible by water from Vancouver. Tough market in past few years & so fed up with realtors who think they have done their job by putting the for sale sign up on lawn, and/or tell their clients their property is fine as is. The MLS photos tell the real story!

    From my perspective, it’s less about their commission, than about them doing everything possible to get the fastest sale at the best price for their client, which means there is upfront work to be done first. This is called their ‘fiduciary responsibility” in BC Realtors Code.

    I have re-posted your article on my FB page, with thanks.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you for your input, Sharon! And for sharing the article 🙂 Baja, Mexico? Sounds kinda fabulous!


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