May 2015, The Real Estate Staging Association released it’s “Real Estate Staging Pricing Report“. A survey was given to RESA Members who conduct staging business within the United States and Canada. This compiled report will help answer the questions, “What are the staging fees for staging services in my area?” and “What is an estimate to stage my vacant home?”. The informative report includes important pricing data (from those surveyed) for staging services including: the cost of a written consultation, the price of a walk and talk consultation and staging fees for both an occupied home and a vacant home. [Read more…]
Hi Christine, This year everyone is saying that to sell real estate you have to think outside the box. What does that mean to me as a realtor? What exactly is it that I am to be thinking about to make myself stand out from my competitors?
– James, Canada
Well, James in Canada, that is a good question which deserves a clear answer.
There are many things you can do to make yourself stand out from the competition. One thing is staging every listing. I teach graduates to use a specific comprehensive Room Ready Handbook(TM) to compile a plan to prepare the house for sale. Budgets are taken into consideration and the recommendations enable sellers to maximize ROI. Staging is a three-step process, so those recommendations need to be completed, followed by the “showcasing” of all rooms plus outside – all three steps need to be completed to maximize results. Showcasing is the crucial step; it takes it from a tidied-up house to “WOW”.
The next step is to have the property professionally photographed by someone who has a background in shooting products, as the house is now a product for sale. Ninety-one percent of buyers start their search on the Internet. Buyers today make decisions more quickly and see fewer houses. Traditional buyers see 15 properties; Internet buyers make decisions after seeing six and decide which properties to see by looking at photos on the Internet.
Professional listing photos will attract traffic to your listing by creating desire in the buyer to put the listing on their “must-see-list”. Once the buyer is there, the staging will market the highlights and focal points of the property and initiate action on the part of the buyer to make an offer. Because the recommendations have been completed, there are no lowball offers.
When you work with a CSP, they can offer you a service through their connections called Obeo, which gives amazing photo service, a virtual tour if you want it, and an amazing social network marketing privilege. (If you are not using social networks to drive traffic to your listings, you are missing another out-of-the-box marketing opportunity. Call me; we have a work-at-home training program to help you.) You might be interested to know that Internet buyers are more loyal to their agents; 97 percent say they would use the same agent again compared with only 50 percent of traditional buyers.
Once the property is listed, many CSPs also make a post to their personal blog and social media sites (such as Active Rain, Twitter, Facebook) to increase their reach to the public. This linking to the listing and the realtor generates more Google juice for the property. The realtor is encouraged to have a blog that talks about their area of service and their listings.
James, I hope you find these ideas useful and will put them to work in your community. Raise your profile and become the realtor who brings fresh, new ideas to the listing proposal, allowing you to stand out from the competition every time. You might want to get started by earning the prestigious CSP affiliate designation, which will teach you all you need to know about marketing with stagings. Check out class dates near you at www.cspelite.com or call us and we will do a private session for you and your colleagues: 1-888-STAGING.
It is freezing out there and you want to sell your home… crazy or what? Who is going to come out in this weather and look at your home?
There has always been a misconception that winter is the worst time to sell your home.
Naturally, many homeowners hear this news and decide to hold out…
I am a real estate agent in Iowa. Staging isn’t really done out here yet. If there are any stagers, I don’t know of them. What I want to know about is the yard aspect of staging. We usually have pretty big pieces of frontage and acres in the back. All the material I have read about curb appeal references itty bitty flower gardens; what about the rest of it?
—Betty S., Iowa
A: Betty, you are right on the nail.
I would imagine at this time of year there really isn’t much drive by with all the snow out there. It’s true that anything you read will have a focus on staging from a town or suburban perspective, because it is the most prevalent out there; however, I am sure staging principles can be adapted anywhere in the world. A CSP will target the staging recommendations to the person who is most likely to purchase the property. That’s where you start, Betty. Knowing is one thing, and application is another. If the acreage is large with pasture, then it has to look like the best pasture in the world; if the property has a stream, then a tour with your prospect will include that stream (perhaps on horseback to enjoy the acreage); a working ranch will need to be staged with an entirely different feel. Get the picture? Feel free to send me photos if you need more specific help.
I have been in real estate for thirty-five years. During that time, trends have come and gone and are on their way back again. Is all this hoopla about staging and renovating property just hype to get the seller to spend more money? Agents have a tough enough time securing listings without having to get sellers to spend more money. I think it’s crazy.
—Wayne D., Niagara Falls, Canada
A: Well, Wayne, staging is really about your clients’ return on investment and how appealing the property is to a prospective buyer. The statistics and results prove over and over that staging property before any marketing (including agent tours) provides huge returns. In today’s market, to give the very best service to your client you do need to know more about staging so you can introduce it well during the listing process. I would also say you need to know more about how the service affects you, the seller, and the buyer. You would be a good candidate for the CSP Elite Agent Program as it teaches you how to protect your clients’ equity with staging. Check out the program online at www.stagingtraining.com/csp-elite, and then contact me or the professional on the front of this magazine for more information. Remember, we are really here to help you be the best real estate agent you can be.
I always stage my properties; well, nearly always as it depends on the value of the property, location, and how the property looks. Lots of my clients have “nice” homes. They are neat, clean, and show well; I use a staging service for the ones that don’t.
I was discussing my strategy with a colleague recently and he was shocked I did this. He said I was discriminating against some of my clients and that’s not good. It was my turn to be shocked. I am mortified to think someone might think this of me. So my question is this: Am I right that not every property needs a staging service? What is your opinion? I know you always want agents to work with stagers, and I do that, but I just don’t think they all need a stager. I thought I was helping my clients by not referring staging services in particular cases, but now I am just confused.
– Carole K., Ohio
Thanks for asking, Carole.
This question is often asked in the workshops I teach. A good stager will tell you that every property can benefit from staging – by a good stager. Carole, the problem emanates from the industry itself.
From its inception, staging grew as a cottage industry with a philosophy of clear the clutter, clear the counters, and clean. People started to think this is what a staged property looked like. The message was drilled into agents that staging really was “just” a word to encourage sellers to pack up early. It did make a difference back then, but today we have the internet and TV showing a very different view of staging. Sellers and buyers are greatly influenced by this. In fact, 96% of buyers now start their home search on the internet! Everyone expects more for their dollar; sellers want to sell quickly and for the most money, while buyers expect to find move-in ready homes.
We know more than 63% of buyers are willing to pay more money for a move-in ready property. If you don’t recommend how to properly prepare homes for sale, you may be inadvertently preventing those property owners from securing the most equity possible.
What does it mean to have a property “show well”? It’s not just about having nice stuff – it includes where everything is placed. Today staging is really emphasizing condition, maintenance, feelings, flow, placement, color-mapping strategies, function, space, and so much more. I hope this helps, Carole.
PS. I think you are really smart to not stage your listings yourself, as your time is better spent marketing the listing.
– originally published in Volume 8, Issue 4 of Staging Standard Magazine
With the popularity of HGTV “do-it-yourself” (DIY) shows on the rise, many crafty home owners feel they can tackle the task of preparing their home for sale and save a few dollars by staging their homes on their own.
If a home owner makes mistakes in judgment, invest their dollars in areas that will not give a great return, they will end up spending more money than anticipated and may still have to call in a professional home stager in the long run to make corrections. These errors can cost dollars and time that a home owner may not have.
The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) recommends a home owner take this short quiz to determine if DIY is the best solution or, if hiring a professional real estate stager will ultimately save them time and money. [Read more…]
Maximize Your Results When Selling Your Home by Following These Easy Home Staging Tips.
Easy Home Staging Tips:
- Obtain feedback from a friend, relative or neighbor – Your objective is to get the most honest feedback as possible. Start with the exterior and work your way through the entire house. If your home has a garage, basement and/or attic – make sure you address those places as well.
- Check out your competition – Even if it means driving around and writing down the addresses to view them online, you need to understand how your home compares to the others on the market in your area.
- Create a list, plan and prioritize – Preparing a home for the market can be a bit overwhelming; this is where a well thought out plan will help reduce the stress. As items are completed, check it out the list. Repairs should top your list. Buyers don’t want to own fixing problems in their newly purchased home.
- Think like a buyer, not a seller – Viewing your home as a buyers versus a seller can help reduce the emotional connection you may have with your home. This may be difficult for some sellers as the bond can be quite strong. However, you need to remember that homebuyers come into your home with an entirely different perspective.
How to Ensure Your Home Appeals to a Broad Base of Prospective Buyers
If you’ve ever toured a model home, it’s likely that you’ve noticed that the secondary bedrooms are typically staged as a boys’ room and the other as a girls’ room. The third bedroom, assuming there is one, is typically done as an office. There’s a reason for that. The developer, by design, is positioning the home to appeal to all types of buyers. Smart? You bet.
As a home seller, you have the same opportunities. Here are a few tips:
- Avoid “labeling” the room – Typical labels are “children’s names.” For example “Johnny’s Bedroom.” When buyers enter “Johnny’s Bedroom” the subliminal message being conveyed is that it’s Johnny’s, not theirs. You want buyers to envision it being their home. Another example, and one I see quite often as a home stager in Atlanta (although, I’m sure this happens everywhere) is to see diplomas on walls. While you have every reason to be proud of that accomplishment, it’s another label reminding the buyers that the home is yours.
- Don’t make assumptions – Just because you may be using one of the secondary bedrooms as a storage room, don’t assume that the buyer will want to do the same. In addition, it screams that your home lacks storage. Your best bet is to set the room up as a bedroom.
- Use props – Buyers are motivated by their emotions. “Nice things” evoke “nice emotions.” Props can range from white fluffy towels to new bedding and no, they don’t have to be expensive.
The following blog entry is part of our series: What Home Buyers Want and How You Can Make It Happen, where Interiority Complex is taking a deeper look at a recent study on home buyer preferences. If you’re just joining us, click here to get up to speed on the study. Item # 1 on the list of what buyers want to see in a new home is Large Kitchens and Kitchen Islands.
Don’t fret if you’re selling or staging a home and don’t have the budget to do a major kitchen remodel. Much of the time, it’s not necessary. You can spruce up a kitchen and make it feel more spacious by taking cues from the pro’s: [Read more…]
During this amazing tele-summit, you and the people on your list will learn:
- how to balance and improve the energies in your property and make it more appealing to buyers
- which improvements would add the most value to your home when renovating or remodeling
- how to leverage social media marketing to get your house SOLD quicker than you can imagine [Read more…]