Monday, January 10, 2011

When should you bring in a Stager?

"When should I bring in a Stager?"

I get asked this question a lot and it is an easy one to answer:  "Bring in a professional Stager when you want to Sell your house (or listing)."

My recommendation is to get that person in to your house (or listing) BEFORE the house is coming on the market so it truly has the best foot forward.  If you are planning on selling your house come spring - get the Staging assessment done NOW so you have time to get the work done.  

To me it's not a matter of picking or choosing to bring an outside expert in or not - it's a standard protocol for those that want to sell their house versus having it sit on the market.

Getting a 3rd party opinion is good - I have done it for my own house.  Why?  Well we often don't "see" our house the way a Buyer sees it.  When someone comes to your house for the first time they notice EVERYTHING - all your decor, your photos, your stuff.  Meanwhile, because we LIVE in the house we filter out the excess and the things we are used to seeing.  I call it "selective vision."

Buyers don't have Selective Vision - they have "TOTAL Vision" - meaning they take it all in and form an opinion based on what they see.

They ask: 
  • "Could we live here?"
  • They notice if the rooms feel crowded or cluttered.
  • They notice if the house is clean or not.
  • The notice the condition of the yard and home.
  • They wonder how much work it will take to fix up to their standards.
  • They calculate the effort it will take to make it "their home."
And then they weigh all this against the asking price and the competition and decide whether or not to make an offer.

So as a Seller - don't give them a reason NOT to make an offer on YOUR house.  You may love your stuff, but let's face it - our taste is subjective - and we cannot be mistaken in our thinking that just because we paid a lot of money to have our house decorated, or paid a lot of money for some custom piece of furniture - that everyone is going to love it the way WE do.  That is not reality.

And it's hard to be OBJECTIVE in our own houses - so get that 3rd party objective opinion from your expert Home Stager.  They are trained to know what to keep and what to put away or pack, and what to paint out - the changes that will help you make money and the ones you don't have to do.

Some things you should know:  Not all Stagers are created equal so ASK for credentials and ask to see a portfolio.  Ask for references.  Ask for statistics.  Any Stager worth their salt will be tracking their business success and have proof to show you that their Staging suggestions work!  Ask about any added value services, discounts, and exposure they can give you . . .

And then make your selection based on rapport and relatability - the person you feel will do the best job for you.  Then sit back and watch how your house (or listing) SELLS because it is prepped right for the market.

Check out my other blog posts on how much this should cost or what the fees are relative to Staging!