Some sellers may think their home is as perfect as it is, but as many agents know, the staging is what helps set their home apart from similar online listings. Here’s how you can explain the value of staging to customers – and some tips that can bring them a significant return on investment.
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The toughest sale isn’t usually the home – it communicates with the sellers to spend money on their homes being staged. Sellers often think their home is perfect, and while each home is special in its own way, it is the realtor’s job to convince sellers to redesign the process as a business transaction.
With 47 percent of buyer agents reporting that home staging affects the buyer’s view of the home, curbing and managing the appeal of curbs immediately increases the likelihood of the home getting top deals from a wider buying audience. The art of customer communication is essential in preparing a home sale to look its best.
Buyers don’t want the “used” look
The house is for sale – not the seller’s lifestyle and circumstances. Communicate with customers that buyers want to introduce themselves and their families back home, and this is where their attention needs to be.
Potential buyers can be distracted from the features of the home by focusing on personal items like family pictures, tasteful artwork, collections, awards, and more.
Keeping the house clean and feeling tidy is important. To avoid the “used” feeling, advise customers to hire cleaners to do an initial thorough cleaning of the most important rooms in the house. According to Home Staging’s 2021 profile, The most Staged common rooms in a house are the living room (90 percent), the kitchen (80 percent), the master bedroom (78 percent) and the dining room (69 percent), as these are the most important for buyers to visualize themselves.
Add or upgrade lights to enhance the home feel and remove shadows in these areas. Add seasonal accent pillows on the couch, remove anything sitting on the kitchen counter, and remove any cabinetry to maximize attractiveness. Minimalist art and neutral colors lengthen halls and rooms and make them appear spacious.
In today’s highly sought-after sellers’ market where homes can be sold in a matter of days, asking sellers if they’d like to conveniently rent an Airbnb and temporary storage until the home is sold isn’t out of the question.
Remind shoppers that if they are home they will have to take a vacation during the demonstrations, which can prove disruptive – especially when so many people are working and studying remotely, and especially when there are 15-20 demonstrations take place per day.
Home stagers are not interior designers
Many salespeople shy away from the cost of hiring professional stageers and are often confused about what they are doing. While sellers believe stagers will renew the entire aesthetic of their home, this is not their job.
Make sure to share this point: Stagers are not interior designers. Stagers make a home feel more neutral, open and relaxed. If you want to maximize home sales, professional stageers understand the trends that are leading to the highest home sales prices. In fact, staged homes sell for as much as 20 percent more than the list price – an important statistic that should be shared with all home dealers.
Also, when you lease an investment property, professional stageers can maximize rental income. Potential tenants also want to feel a connection to their living spaces, and the staging helps them to imagine whether the space is large enough and tailored to their needs.
This is especially true for long term rentals that have not been on the market for years and may need significant updates.
Tips for extracting the maximum value
Salespeople value agents who speak honestly. They value experienced professionals who understand buyer trends that will maximize home sales, and who can manage negotiations and unexpected issues.
When realtors promote the need to invest in a home before selling, they will be more successful when provided with specific referrals. Below are five tips for limiting appeal and staging that can produce a significant return on investment (ROI) and help sell homes quickly.
1. Paint the exterior and / or interior of the house
Chipped and peeling paint leaves the impression that regular maintenance of the home has been ignored by the previous owner. A neutral exterior color that compliments neighboring homes can attract buyers looking for a ready to move home that doesn’t have too many upfront costs.
Within the house, neutral is the only color palette available to choose from. You want buyers to remember the river and the spaces in the house, not the “terrible turquoise color in the dining room.”
2. Replace kitchen utensils and paint dated kitchen cabinets white
Older kitchens encourage buyers to think about remodeling, which becomes a sticking point when they come up with offers below the market. Update the look of the kitchen to make it acceptable to a larger number of buyers.
3. Manage the curb appeal
Hire someone to repaint faded curb numbers. Use a garden service to trim overhanging trees and shrubs. Don’t be afraid to remove a few plants to let more light into the house.
4. Hire a car wash crew to clean the house
This includes the windows. Some homes may have decent exterior paint conditions covered in a decade of dirt, and a quick wash can bring back the colors and shine.
5. Consider new kitchen appliances
That is, if they improve otherwise good cuisine. When the entire kitchen is severely out of date, it is wiser to skip the appliances that could hamper a required remodel.
All in all, communicating with agents is key to keeping salespeople focused on getting more from the sale by staging. Shape these discussions with the buyer’s expectations in mind.
Explain how buyers are willing to spend more when a properly presented home meets or exceeds most of these expectations and why it benefits both sides of the equation.
Jenny Usaj is the employed realtor and owner of Usaj Realty, a real estate agent based in Denver, CO. Jenny is a member of the Denver Metro Association of REALTORSⓇMarket Trends Committee.