Home staging is a real estate buzzword and a key marketing tool for home owners who want to sell their homes in the shortest time possible and for what the property is worth. Realtors who incorporate a home staging consultation into their listing services are consistently getting properties that are more marketable and saleable, making their clients happy and their business more successful. Why then are so many home owners and agents resistant to bringing in a professional stager?
Well, in some cases the agent offers their own staging tips and may even carry their own inventory to stage their client’s homes. We know of a few very successful realtors who do this like Melissa Marro is a dynamic professional who have won awards for both her home staging and real estate efforts. Most of the time however, it’s very difficult for an agent to wear both the hat of a stager and that of the realtor for many varied reasons. From not wanting to upset the client with difficult recommendations to not having the resources to effectively stage the home properly – not recommending professional home staging can be for varied reasons. Since home staging is a marketing tool, not interior decorating, it’s important to bring in a professional stager who will be able to effectively showcase a property and highlight both it’s selling features and the lifestyle the property offers to prospective buyers.
In other scenarios, the house is deemed not to need a staging consultation. Whether it is the home owner who makes this decision because they love their home and can’t see it objectively or an agent who doesn’t understand that home staging is property specific real estate marketing instead of fluff or decorating – homes are then listed for sale in ‘as is’ condition. Does every home need a staging consultation? The short answer is yes – every home can benefit from a visit with a staging professional who will view the property objectively and give the home owner a list of recommendations that will improve the home’s value and marketability.
In our experience, these are the top 5 reasons why EVERY property can benefit from a staging consultation:
1. Increase Objectivity: We touched on this above, but it’s the #1 reasons why every property can benefit from a staging consultation. Home owners – naturally – are too attached to their homes and they don’t see them in the same light as a prospective buyer. From rooms that serve a non-traditional purpose to overly personal decorating styles and clutter, there are many issues sellers are often blind to. Many home owners mistakenly believe that if they love their house, others will too. In some cases this is true but 99% of the time, a home needs both prep and showcasing work before buyers will appreciate it the way sellers want them to. A professional stager provides the guidance and expertise necessary for home owners to navigate the tricky process of preparing a property for sale.
2. Neutralize Personal Decorating: From wallpaper to pink carpets to dated furniture or focal features – we all like and live with a certain style of decorating. Since prospective buyers are younger than ever and statistically going to spend between 6 – 15% more on an updated and professionally staged property, how you live isn’t how you should sell. A staging consultation will address all these personal touches so that when a home is listed for sale, buyers admire each space without being distracted by personal decor and furnishings. Even if a home has been professionally decorated, a staging consultation will help home owners fine tune each space so that buyers aren’t overwhelmed by too much color, decor and furniture. With staging, less is definitely more!
3. Increased Appeal & Marketability: During a home staging consultation, your stager will give you a PLAN to both prep and stage your home for sale. Often we use the furnishings that are in the home, but may edit and/or move them from room to room. We give our clients many recommendations that cost virtually nothing to implement but which make a significant impact when it comes to pictures and how a home looks online and in marketing materials. Even if the home owner implements all our recommendations themselves, they get property specific advice that will improve their home’s appeal and overall value. For realtors, this is the primary reason to partner with a professional stager. Staging ensures that your marketing investment is maximized, capturing buyer interest and generating both property visits and offers that reflect the home’s market value. A portfolio with pictures of staged homes will attract more clients and referrals from happy home owners will increase and grow your business. Definitely a win-win situation!
4. Property Specific Recommendations: Often with generic staging lists and articles that are provided by well-meaning websites and realtors, home owners can be overwhelmed not just by the stuff they know they need to tackle but also by the knowledge that if they don’t get it right, they may miss the mark with potential buyers. We find that home owners often fall into 2 main groups: the ones who over-do it so that rooms are bland and forgettable or the ones who can’t decide what to do so they do nothing. A consultation with a pro stager will take the stress out of this process as their recommendations factor in the style of the home, the upgrades buyers will be looking at in the home’s price point, room & furniture set up using the seller’s furnishings (ideally) and a plan of what to pack away and what to keep out. Experienced and talented stagers can look past how home owners live to see the property’s true potential. It’s well worth the investment to get this property specific advice!
5. Additional Resources: Consulting with a professional stager gives them a PLAN and access to a multitude of resources to get their home prepped and staged for sale. We offer referrals to trades to get projects done by our trusted team, designer discounts on materials and access to our extensive inventory to add the polishing touch or the WOW factor to a property. Plus home owners get access to an experienced and talented professional who knows exactly what buyers are looking for and understands what is needed to effectively stage their property for maximum effect. When it comes time to sell your home, we give our clients all the options they need to get their home show-ready so that it sells fast and for what it’s worth!
Staging consultations typically require between a $200 – $300 investment from either the home owner or the realtor. This is a minimal investment which has significant and tangible results that range from getting record numbers of buyer visits to getting multiple offers and selling fast and for thousands of dollars over list price. As industry expert Audra Slinkey says in her article 3 Ways to Start a Bidding War through Staging in Realtor Magazine, a home’s price is not ‘set’ anymore – it is determined by what a buyer will pay for it and buyers will pay up to 10% more for a property with the model home appeal. Savvy sellers and agents who realize this and add professional staging to their home selling arsenal will reap the benefits it adds to the home selling process.
Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is the Waterloo Region’s premier home staging provider. Our award-winning stylists specialize in staging vacant properties and builder model homes; adding model home appeal to every space we showcase. For more information on the services we offer or to book a consultation, visit our website. To keep up with current projects, become our fan on our Facebook Business Page. To contact us directly, call us at (519) 804-STAGE.