Last month, Louisville Home Staging Expert and Interior Designer Amy Wagner talked about how her company, Reflections of You, by Amy, prepares a home to sell as part of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty’s ongoing Perspectives real estate series. You can listen to the full episode using the player above, or if you prefer, here is a short summary of her interview with Greg Fleischaker, an LSIR agent.

For home staging, they partner with Realtors and their clients. For interior design, they tend to work with a lot of builders and homeowners – everything from redesign to bring in a fresh look or new construction working from brick and mortar through the whole deal.

Specialized education is not mandated in the home staging industry, but it’s something Amy Wagner definitely encourages for people with a flair for design who want to build their credibility. “You can never know enough in this industry,” she says. Amy got started in home staging in 2008 after pursuing a career as a teacher and guidance counselor in the Jefferson County education system and spending seven years as a stay-at-home mom. She obtained professional certification from “Staging Diva” Deborah Gould in Canada and trained in “expert psychological staging” with Nashville’s Kristie Barnett. That training helped her understand the emotional connections to pull buyers in or the triggers that push buyers away that become so crucial in home sales.

Among her crowning achievements is her participation in the 2012 Homearama Showcase, where she staged and sold a house in three days. The buyer purchased every piece of furniture in the home, which is a true testimonial for the top-notch work that Amy does. If buyers choose to take the whole kit-and-kaboodle, they can save 10-20% off retail prices by opting to furnish their homes with all the staged pieces they see.

One of the more difficult aspects of the job is dealing with clients who are living in the space. It’s still their house and they need to go through the process of detachment while the home is being sold. It takes a tender approach to take certain items out of the home and bring other items in. They don’t want to put sellers on the defense or offend their sense of taste and style. Amy sometimes has to tell clients: “We want to bring in less taste-specific items, and we want to neutralize the space so that we can focus on the architectural features in the home, and we might even need to bring in more on-trend pieces.” It’s worth mentioning that Reflections of You, By Amy is the only local staging company with their own inventory of furniture accessories in stock.

For vacant homes, stagers seek to create “warmth” and help buyers visualize how furniture will fit. “An empty house is a stale house,” Amy explains. It’s not usually necessary to stage the entire property, but they’ll choose several key areas like bedrooms and living rooms where tasteful accessories can really make or break the sale.

You can listen to the podcast interview and read the transcript by visiting the Louisville Home Staging episode of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty’s Perspectives real estate series.