HUNTERSVILLE – Design has been Nanette Robinson’s strong suit for as long as she can remember.
Robinson, the owner of Lake Norman Home Staging and Design, said it’s a good thing she stuck with the subject that got her a degree in Art and Design from Concord (W. Va.) College in 1988.
“I’m good with design, and color has always been a passion of mine,” she said.
Both skills have served Robinson well as a home stager – a person who prepares a home for the real estate market.
She’s worked with NASCAR drivers and other well-known, influential lake-area people since opening her business seven years ago.
Robinson’s work with – which has stager-seller relationships with regular homeowners as well as real estate agents – earned her the Best of Remodeling 2013 title by Houzz, a national online platform for staging and design.
She’s also been featured in “My First Sale,” a show on HGTV, in 2011. But Robinson said earning good marks from organizations like Houzz and making national television rank second to the satisfaction she receives when customers are pleased and homes are sold.
Robinson gives home sellers a quiz when she meets them, with questions ranging from the sellers’ interests to if they plan to use the house for social events.
“One of the best things about Nanette is that she likes to help sellers improve their property as affordably as possible,” Keller Williams Realty’s Mark Ramsey said.
“She cares about people and their needs. I can with full confidence tell my clients, ‘You can trust Nanette.’ She knows what she’s doing.”
Robinson said she doesn’t have a true secret to success, but it hasn’t stopped her from staging millions of dollars in homes and selling 90 percent of her clients’ homes within 30 days.
“I’ll have a vision when I go into a house and I’ll know what goes well with it, what paints work and what you need to stay away from,” she said. “I keep up with trends in the market. I’ve got about 20 subscriptions to design magazines.”
Robinson mentioned two rules she lives by as a stager and designer: keep it simple, and don’t use too many colors.
Her biggest challenge is working with older homes when the seller may want to keep the same flooring or maintain a certain color in one room of the house. However, in that's not much of a challenge, says Robinson, self-described as “eating, breathing and living design.”\ it’s
Ramsey said the demand for home stagers should grow in the future, as more home sellers identify the need to spruce up their homes before putting them on the market.
“A buyer isn’t going to want to come in and take on your problems (in addition to the house),” he said.
“You want to fall in love with a house and say, ‘This is it. This is the one I want,’ and good staging does that for a property.”
“There are so many houses on the market, you want to make sure yours is the best,” she said.