See all our recent Staging projects on Google+

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

List Price versus STAGED List Price

List Price versus STAGED List Price
By Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier, SRS, REO
Owner, Sensational Home Staging
Denver's Premier Home Staging Resource

Do Sellers sell their houses to get SOME of the money possible from the sale?


Sellers want ALL the money possible from the sale – the BEST PRICE possible so they can maximize the profit from the sale of their house. Not just SOME of the money possible.

Realtors want to earn as much commission as possible from the sale of a house for all their hard work – at least the ones that are serious about having a successful real estate business. And the fact is a Realtor has a fiduciary responsibility to get their clients the MOST from the sale of their house – not just some of the potential money. ALL of it.

Imagine if Sellers understood the difference between List Price and STAGED List Price. Wouldn’t ALL of them want to Stage before Listing?

What is the List Price? That is the price the listing agent believes is a fair price for the house based on a comparative or competitive market analysis (CMA). They take a look at recent solds in the neighborhood that are comparable to the current house being listed for sale, and then they factor in the market. Is it going up? Is it a declining market? And they come up with a price RANGE for the house.

A Realtor does not want to price the house too high – because then they are “chasing” the market for the sale and Buyers always want “a good deal” on a house they buy.

That is where Staging comes in.

What is the STAGED List Price? That is the price the listing agent believes the house will sell based on the CMA, the marketed competition AND the fact that the house outshines 85-90% of the other listings. In a hot market, it is often a higher starting point that just the list price. Because the house outshines the competition, it becomes the “benchmark” for all other properties the buyer is looking at, and ultimately becomes the one they must have. Because Staged houses sell faster than their un-Staged competition, in a slower market they are less likely to experience a price reduction therefore they do sell at a better price than their competition.

A Staged house shows better than the competition and creates this feeling within that makes a Buyer want to buy THAT house. The Staged house feels more spacious, warm, inviting, clean, and easy for a Buyer to envision living inside – and it gets the offer. Statistics all over the country prove that a Staged house sells faster, and for MORE than the un-Staged competition. In a hot market, this can translate into possibly multiple offers.

Now, Staging is not a magic wand that would allow a Seller to demand ANY price for their house – they must still be reasonable and with their Realtor’s guidance price the house within the range of where it will sell. But they don’t have to be at the bottom of the range, or even in the middle when the Staging has included updating such as new carpeting, painting, fixtures, and flooring. They can be towards the top of the range which in many markets means thousands of dollars more for the sale of the house.

For certain a Seller needs to honestly assess their house compared to their competition – and take note of how their house looks compared to others – that might be Staged – because if they choose not to Stage, their house will be “used” to sell the Staged houses.

Did you know that in the Denver area only about 10-15% of the houses are Staged prior to coming on the market? This gives YOUR listing or house an immediate advantage over 85-90% of the marketed competition! Around the country some areas have 50% of the houses being Staged while others are hard pressed to find even 5%.

A Staging Consultation in the Denver area ranges between $125-$350 and the consultation should include a detailed plan for the Seller on what they can do to get their house Staged and show ready. This is a MINIMAL investment compared to the ability to position their house at a better price than the un-Staged competition. Nationwide, the consultations range from $125-$450 depending on where you live and it’s all relative to the market and median price for houses.

Dare I say that the Consultation by a trained Professional Stager one that every Realtor should be using as part of their listing process? Yes.

In fact, the Realtors I have worked with over the years that include Staging as a standard part of their listing process, paying for this service for their clients to ensure it gets done, are the TOP agents in the market. They understand that it’s not worth listing a house unless the house puts its best foot forward – and makes the right first impression.

If you are listing your house – you as the Seller need to take control and make sure your house is STAGED prior to coming on the market and pay for the consultation if your agent does not include it. Get a trained Professional Stager to advise you on what you need to do. Or list your house with a Realtor that includes a 3rd party Staging assessment as part of their listing and marketing services.

The STAGED List Price in some market can be $10,000-$50,000 MORE than just the “list price” – and buyers will make an offer on the house that is ready for them to move in, is clean, decluttered, does not smell bad, feels spacious, updated, looks fresh and inviting.

The alternative is to not Stage, and just price your house where you hope it sells, and then reduce the price if there is no activity. That price reduction is usually 10-20 TIMES the Staging investment. That leaves a LOT of money on the table!

You see, you don’t SAVE by not Staging – you either invest it up front or you lose it on the back end with a lower starting point or price reduction(s).

Why do you need a 3rd party to come and tell you what to do? Can’t you just watch one of those shows? The fact is, it’s hard to be objective in your own house – you live there, you have decorated it with your personal taste and it is hard to separate ourselves from our “home” when it comes time to sell. Selling is also stressful and Sellers are not always in an objective and receptive frame of mind. Realtors don’t want to be the ones to tell their client there is anything “wrong” with their house – whether it’s cleanliness, smells, objects in the house or other changes that have to be made to create the necessary buyer appeal. Investing a few hundred dollars to get an independent assessment from a trained Professional Stager is the key. You can find one in your market by going to the site and clicking on the ASP Directory to find a trained and qualified Stager near you.

If you are a Realtor serving this region or you live in the Denver area and need to sell your house, just pick up the phone and call me to help you get your house prepared for sale.  After 10 years and over 2,700 houses Staged, I have yet to meet a house that I could not properly prepare for sale. 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.