I want to talk to you all about my consultations.
When I talk to home owners, realtors and buyers they all love to see a home that is appealing, with pretty décor, colour and everything in order, with nice furnishings and lots of space. This is what most people think of when we talk about staging or showcasing, but this however, is just the icing on the cake so to speak and there are other ingredients that make the cake. Proper staging involves a three step process and each process is an important ingredient.
The techniques of staging focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product. Step one of the three part staging process is where the expertise of the stager can have the biggest return. Step one is the consultation, of which the importance of this cannot be overstated. This is when I identify the condition of the property and items that will break a sale. I prioritize the work necessary for the seller in order to eliminate any opportunities for buyers to offer less than the seller wants.
The size and location of the property are two factors that sell property but generally, those factors are beyond a seller’s control, however, the condition is within the seller’s control. The stager identifies the work that has to be done and makes sure it has been completed.
Leave it to the Stager
Getting properties ready to sell usually involves an investment of time and money. This is where we see the most resistance from agents who do not want to upset their sellers and sellers who cannot fathom putting money into a house they are leaving. It has been shown by research that at least 78% of sellers are willing to invest money to get their property ready and 55% are willing to move, store or rent furniture IF they knew the best way to maximize the impact of those dollars. This is where a stager comes in. When the stager provides guidance during the consultation, it provides a competitive edge for the property and yields the biggest return on investment.
Like a home inspection a consultation will range from $200 – $700 depending on the size of the property. Yes you can get them cheaper from people who are in the business to just secure the decorating part, but this is not recommended. When people offer cheap prices it is an indicator of what they believe they are worth. You get what you pay for and this is not the time to penny-pinch and risk your equity. Once the work and showcasing is complete, you can expect to add upward of 10% to your list price. Although there is no guarantee of the final sales price, completing all these processes gives your property the best advantage possible.
We as stagers are 100% focused on looking at the property through the eyes of the buyers’. We know about the condition of the market, the competition and what buyers’ are looking for and their wants. Through our knowledge we create and prioritize a list of MUST DO’s, even referrals to the trades to selecting paint colours , tips and checklists – all things that can increase the equity in a property and profit. Remember, wherever the eye rests, the sale begins! Working with a certified stager ensures the buyers’ eyes are being directed to what you are selling.
Being equipped with the prioritized plan from a qualified stager means the seller can address the issues before they affect the selling price. When it comes to updates and repairs, stagers like myself, know best. We know where the best return on investment will be. It is not always where sellers and agents think it is and it might not break the bank. We have resources and vast networks of experienced trades who have access to many less expensive and neutral options.
Selling is not about personal taste, but what will get buyers the best bang for their buck and the broadest appeal. My goal is to get the seller’s property ready so it appeals to the largest number of buyers – so it sells quickly and for the most money.
Putting the Icing on the Cake
Like real estate agents, stagers always strive to do the highest and best for their clients. We hope the seller will do everything recommended but sometimes compromises are made because time or the budget is in the way of doing a great job. In the end, whatever a seller decides is fine because the equity jeopardy is theirs. The tip for sellers is to start early – more than 40% of sellers actually contact stagers before agents! What that means to agents who are not working with a stager is you are missing out on an untapped market! Stagers refer sellers to agents! Regardless, the stager’s best efforts go hand-in hand with the seller’s and as the property is showcased, they know that between them they have made the property as competitive as it can be, with the budget and time frame they had.
Posted from CSP Home Staging Weblog.
(This has been adapted from an article by Christine Rae
President of CSP International Business Training Academy)