Staging Helps Home Sellers Blossom this Spring
Whether it’s the need for more or less space, a desire to be in better neighborhood or to get away from an unpleasant neighbor, spring is the time many families consider moving. Warmer weather and blossoming gardens make homes more attractive than in the winter and families want to sell in the coming months so they can move before the new school year begins.
While spring is traditionally the busiest real estate market, this year brings special challenges because it’s a buyer’s real estate market. As the number of unsold homes on the market goes up:
- buyers can be pickier about what they choose to buy
- buyers have more room to negotiate price
- sellers are frustrated because their homes aren’t selling as fast as they like
- sellers are pressured by agents to drop their prices dramatically, since agents don’t get paid until a sale
How can a home stand out from the competition when there are several homes for sale at similar prices in the neighborhood, or worse on the same street? Rather than just slashing the selling price, home sellers should consider the less costly option of decorating the property to romance buyers and motivate them to make an offer.
In this market, it is going to take more than a fresh coat of paint and a new welcome mat. A buyer’s market raises the stakes, and sellers will need to do more work on the home to get the highest price possible. Home staging, real estate styling and house fluffing are many terms to describe the art of decorating a house to sell more quickly and for a higher price.
Often we are so used to our own homes that we cannot see them through the eyes of a critical buyer. A professional home stager brings the objectivity needed to showcase the best features of each room. This is often achieved with cosmetic changes and rearranging and editing the furnishings that are already there. In the case of a vacant home, a professional home stager will bring in the items needed to add that homey touch.
Here’s an example of the difference staging can make and how much less costly it is than dramatic price cuts.
A real estate agent wanted her client to drop his asking price $50,000 after the house had sat on the market for 6 months without a single offer. She was desperate to attract interest since it was costing her money to carry the listing and she wasn’t making anything for her time and effort. Instead of listening to his agent’s advice, the client called me in to stage his house. We spent a day together rearranging all the furniture and accessories in every room. Some things were moved to off-site storage, and I purchased a few new accessories which he could also use in his new home. The total cost for my staging advice, storage and the purchases came in at $1500. He never had to cut his asking price $50,000 and instead sold the following week for 98% of the original list price. Had he taken the step of calling a home stager at the start, he would have saved months of anguish.