Over the weekend, I read a blog post at a site that sells software to real estate agents. In it, the author states that “Finding agents that also perform staging for their clients is a bit like looking for Sasquatch. We have a feeling it exists but it’s a challenge to find.”
Now, this is from a blog post written in 2014. But, you know what? Three years later, we (real estate agent/stagers) are still hard to find. I don’t know if I’d liken myself to Sasquatch, but you know what I mean.
I’ve been staging my client’s homes for sale for years. It’s a free service and I do it for several reasons. First, I love doing it. But, really, it helps sell homes and when one of my listings sells, my client gets paid, and I do too.
But there’s a lot more to the story than that.
Large rooms sell homes
Real estate professionals are quick to tell their listing clients that “kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.” But there’s something else that’s even more important to buyers: Large rooms.
They want to envision having enough space to not only live comfortably but to store and display all their “stuff.” This is why buyers who are seriously considering a particular home will wonder, out loud, if their furniture will fit in a room. I hear it all the time.
So, even if your home has dinky rooms, creating the illusion that they’re spacious is something that staging can accomplish.
Clutter distracts buyers
I’ve read blog posts on other real estate sites that claim the de-cluttering process should be done to help the buyer see him or herself living in the home. Actually, de-cluttering the home helps the buyer focus on the home, not the “stuff.” As an added bonus, a home free of clutter appears cleaner and better maintained.
You must be ruthless when you de-clutter; be nitpicky, down to the smallest tchotchke. Pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathroom. Buyers love lots of counter space, so clear the counters of anything that isn’t decorative.
Clean homes sell faster
Clutter distracts buyers and filth repels them. I’ve had clients walk into a dirty home and turn around and walk out without ever viewing the home past the front door.
I read a study a couple of years ago from Maritz, a research firm, that found more than 60 percent of homebuyers are willing to pay more money for a home that is move-in ready. Now, I don’t know about you, but a dirty home, to me, isn’t move-in ready. A home that needs painting isn’t either.
So, clean the home and paint the walls if you hope to get the home sold quickly and, possibly, for more money. Studies performed by stagers prove that spending $550 on cleaning and painting (or other staging activities) brings in an additional $2,000 on the sale of a home. Not a bad return on investment, right?
Staging a home that is for sale is marketing on steroids
“Plastic surgery might improve one’s looks. But so might a little makeup,” claims Daniel Goldstein of Market Watch. Plastic surgery, when it comes to houses, is a renovation. Makeup, on the other hand, is www. It’s far less expensive and time-consuming and it definitely improves the way the home appears to buyers.
And that appearance begins long before a buyer actually visits the home. Since most of them search online first, the photographs of a home can make or break its popularity among buyers. What they see online will inform their decision as to whether or not to visit the home in person. In fact, a National Association of REALTORS® poll finds that 46 percent of the real estate agents they polled say buyers are more willing to visit a staged home they saw online than those that hadn’t been staged for the listing photos.
I am such a firm believer in the power of staging that I offer it as a free service to my listing clients. I have an entire storage unit full of staging accessories that I’ve collected over the years as well as a deep knowledge of buyer psychology to assist me in this service.
If you’re considering selling your Billings home, let’s get together to discuss how we can get it done for you.