GOT STAGING? Part 1 of 2

When buyers tour a property, do they see a house…or a home?  Do they see an empty box where they can’t imagine their own furnishings?     They won’t buy.    Do they see a series of cluttered rooms and not the generous space the clutter dwarfs?     They won’t buy.   To make your house feel like a home, you might consider the services of a home staging professional.

Sellers, beware:   Today’s real estate market is not only full of inventory but also favors the buyer.     Traditional marketing efforts are great, but in this tight market, they tend to fall short.   Today’s market demands the most creative marketing ideas to set your home apart from a house.

Would you buy a home without being able to picture yourself and your furnishings inside?     Some   buyers are more imaginative and able to look beyond what they see (or don’t see).     An open space might not be seen as barren but full of possibilities.   That creative buyer tends to make up about 10% of your traffic, says professional   home stager Heather Cook of Rooms in Bloom.     Using Heather’s statistic, you would alienate about 90% of potential buyers:     Those who see what is.   And what is in your living room may be a whole lot of space masked by decades’ worth of clutter.

Home staging can move your home faster and for more money.   Realtor, author and speaker Ralph Roberts is a firm believer in home staging as a new built-in cost to sell your home in a challenging market.   Think of a home stager as a seller’s home inspector for aesthetics versus a buyer’s home inspector for mechanicals.

Home stagers are better known as Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP).     ASPs not only provide a detailed analysis of your home to tell you what you can do to make your space more attractive and marketable, but they will also provide a thorough written report of their findings.     Realtors are beginning to partner with ASPs and offer free home staging consultations to their seller clients, which according to Roberts, has roughly a $250 value.     The services of ASPs run the gamut from a one-time consultation to advise you on changes you will implement (e.g. clear clutter) to the ASP doing the entire project, which often includes rented furnishings and accessories that are aesthetically appealing.

Two great reasons to work with an ASP, says Ralph Roberts:

  1. Your home stager, not your realtor, advises you on how to spruce things up.     Sometimes the advice of a neutral third party is better, and the ASP is the expert of staging.
  2. Your home will have a much higher likelihood of selling faster and for more money if the changes are implemented.

Reluctant to work with an ASP?       Think of it as a creative real estate marketing expense that goes along with hiring professionals to get your house sold for more.     Ralph Roberts knows an ASP who helped a family transform their home, which had been on the market for 1 year.   Four weeks after the ASP’s advice was taken, the home was in escrow with a full-price offer.

Be sure to return to my site this week to learn specific staging ideas directly from the home staging pros.

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