The days of big staging budgets are over, at least for now. These days, few people are selling their homes because of dreams of fantastic profits and moving onto greener pastures. Now, if you are selling, it’s probably because you are relocating, looking to downsize and reduce expenses, a death, a divorce, or other less than cheerful reasons. If none of these are your reasons, then you may just be thinking you’ll dip your toe in the water to see what happens. Very few of these scenarios would make you think that staging is a luxury you can afford. Wrong.
Staging is not a luxury. Staging an occupied home, when you are selling while you are living in the home, is an absolute necessity. Plus, many stagers can accomplish a great deal for around $200 or less. Staging is just as vital, to help your home sell quickly, as a pre-inspection, appraisal, or photos. All of these services work together to create a well-presented, well-priced home that will draw more buyers to your house, make them stay longer, and help them easily take mental ownership (the first step towards making an offer).
A professional stager is much more than a decorator. She is not there to “fluff”. A stager can devise clever and low- or no- cost solutions to common issues that could be problematic to a buyer. For example, I recently staged a home in Littleton occupied by a single man. The home was a great family home, but the extra bedrooms were set up as offices or guest rooms. One room, a lavender room with one wall of Tinkerbell wallpaper, was just used for storage. The owner was sure that I was going to ask him to paint and remove the wallpaper, which can be a time consuming and potentially expensive project. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity. I suggested bringing in a bed (this one happens to be inflatable, on a metal stand – but there are other ways to accomplish this), and accessories that would help the room feel young, yet still sophisticated enough to appeal to an older child, or a couple without children.
So, for the cost of some rentals (this plus other items in the home worked out to be about $85 per month), and a little staging time, many problems were solved with one simple, low cost solution. The feedback has been great, and the little kids love this room.
A few more notes about how staging can help:
– Staging is tax deductible to the realtor (as a business expense) or to the seller as a selling expense.
– An un-staged home often sits on the market longer, costing you more in mortgage expenses.
– As a realtor, offering staging as part of your service will help you get the listing over a realtor who does not.
– One way to help a seller pay for staging services is to offer to reimburse them for the staging once the home sells.
– The forward momentum started by staging an occupied home will help the seller mentally “detach” from the home, so they remain motivated to sell, and won’t give up too soon.
Staging remains a fairly new concept, especially for those who have not sold a home recently. Don’t let the novelty of it negate its positive and proven results. Good photos, a fair price for the neighborhood, good condition, and careful staging still make a big difference. Don’t leave money on the table. Give us a call and find out how we can help you make the value of your home “abundantly clear”.
Abundantly Clear – 303.322.5327