Home Staging – The Marketing Advantage

Whether doing it yourself or hiring a professional, staging can boost a listing’s chances of being sold more quickly in any kind of market. – See the complete article at The Residential Specialist.

The practice of staging has been around at least since the 1960s, but most people did not know about it then, says Shell Brodnax, CEO of the Real Estate Staging Association. It has only become more mainstream in real estate since the early 2000s when the housing boom and subsequent downturn created a more competitive real estate marketplace and agents turned to staging to help them sell their listings.

Initially, stagers and agents used lower-end furniture and accessories, but now they use the best pieces available, says Brodnax. “Staging is all about marketing and merchandising, just like for any other product. The home is competing with others on the market, so you want to present it perfectly like a model home with all the correct pieces of furniture and accent pieces positioned in the correct places,” Brodnax says.

A stager will offer different levels of services depending on the client’s needs. The average homeowners might require only a consultation in which the stager will tell them what they need to do and whether they want to do the work themselves or hire the stager to do it for them, says Brodnax. For vacant properties, staging is necessary because “it is rare for someone to walk into a vacant home and see its possibilities.”

The costs of staging can typically run between $1,800 and $5,000, depending on how much work needs to be done, the size of the home and how many rooms are staged, says Brodnax. “Most stagers will work within the seller’s budget and advise them how best to invest their dollars when preparing their home for sale,” she says.

How much staging is required depends on the price point of the listing, says Kelly Cobb, CRS, with Fonville Morisey, a Long and Foster Company, in Cary, North Carolina. For her listings, staging is more important for homes listed at $300,000 or higher because her market is more competitive at that price point. “Buyers don’t want to purchase a ‘project.’ They want a home that is move-in ready,” says Cobb.

Though she earned the ASP designation for stagers, Cobb offers all her clients a two-hour consultation at her own expense with another professional stager. “There are some things that a stager can discuss with my clients that I can’t bring up because it might be uncomfortable,” she explains. In those two hours, the client and stager work out a plan about what needs to be done to prepare the home for the market.

When clients are trying to decide whether to spend money on freshening up their home’s appearance, Cobb explains to them that the cost is usually much less than the first reduction in price if the home were to sit on the market. “Spending money upfront will net less time on the market, which in our area, translates into a higher net price,” she says.

For all its advantages, some sellers still need convincing to have their home staged. “Showing before and after photos can present a compelling case for staging,” Cobb says. “You can also invite them to view other listings online to see what competing properties look like. When they see that their home looks dated and old, it’s an easier sell.”

This information is coming from The Residential Specialist where you can read the complete article.