Get More Money When You Sell

Sellers who invest even just a few hundred dollars in getting their homes staged and prepared for the market typically get back at least 4-5 times that investment in a higher sales price. As in most areas of life, it takes money to make money! Of course, repairs, deferred maintenance, and cleaning and painting must be done for staging to make sense. If there’s truly not enough money in the budget to do both, repairs and cleaning take precedence.
That being said, staging is “visual merchandising” of your home and you must emotionally detach from your home in order to prepare it as a product for sale that will appeal to the most buyers. I’m happy to explain to homeowners about WHY I move or remove furniture, change out artwork and accessories, update bedding and pillows, etc. — it’s not about how you live when it’s time to sell, it’s about how your home should look to help grab buyers’ attention in a positive way. The better your house looks, the more interest it will generate from buyers and agents, and the more offers it will bring in — as long as the price is in line with comparable properties. Your agent will do that research and can guide you to set the right price — in this market, setting a high price almost always backfires to your home sitting months, even years, on the market. It’s better to set the price right at market price — or even slightly lower — right at the start of listing in order to stir up huge interest and possibly a bidding war.
Presentation and price always go hand-in-hand in a down market.

Stage Before Listing!

A prospect asked me this week if staging before listing is better than the other way around — absolutely! There are at least 4 good reasons why:

1) Get your home looking its best before you invite the agents to tour your home and do their comparative market analysis (comps), and it is very likely they will come back with a higher listing price.

2)Agents will be more excited about listing and showing your home, because a well-presented home out-shines its competition and gets buyers excited about living there!

3) The photos your agent takes of your home will look much better once it is staged. For proof of this, take a look at random MLS photos of houses for sale in your area, and think about which houses YOU would want to see based on those photos. I’ve seen far too many terrible photos of rooms crowded with furniture, outdated wallpaper and paint colors, messy bathrooms and kitchen counters, rooms with the blinds and curtains closed, tons of family photos and toys scattered about, and unmade beds or tired-looking bedrooms that need that luxury “spa-like” touch to avoid turning off buyers. Between 80 and 90 percent of buyers look at MLS photos before contacting an agent, and if your home’s photos aren’t as beautiful as they could be, most buyers will move on to the next property without even asking to look at your home.

4) Stagers are the experts in knowing what to do; agents may know the bare-bone basics, but they aren’t going to spend hours “fixing” your home’s problems, and most don’t know just HOW to solve the problems anyway. Stagers have the design background or “eye” and a large inventory of accessories that will add the pizzazz most homes need — like jewelry adds the sparkle to an outfit — and we also can handle renting furniture for you when necessary.

5) ¬†Better late than never: If your home has already been on the market with no offers or only low-ball offers, it’s never too late to stage to renew interest and get those offers coming in! Remember, the cost of staging is always less than the cost of a price reduction!