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Friday, February 21, 2014

In a HOT Market Does it Make Sense to Stage? by Jennie Norris, ASPM, IAHSP- Owner of Sensational Home Staging

In a HOT Market Does it Make Sense to Stage?


By Jennie Norris, ASPM®, IAHSP-Premier®, ASP-SRS®, ASP-REO®

Owner, Sensational Home Staging

Denver Region’s Premier Home Staging Resource

The resale market is tight out there.  In some markets there is little inventory for sale so that creates a Buyer demand that can cause prices to rise quickly.  This causes Sellers to believe that a house can just be put on the market and it will sell to a desperate buyer.  This begs the question:  In a Market where the house is “probably going to sell anyway” does it make sense to Stage before listing?

The Wall Street Journal published an article recently that included information on a recent study conducted that discussed the impact Staging had on Buyers.  In the study, Buyers were shown photos of four different types of rooms from un-staged to Staged and asked what they would pay for the properties based on the photos.  It is a pretty basic approach to assessing the impact of Staging but the bottom line was that a Buyer would offer LESS for an un-staged house and offer MORE for the Staged one.  The differential in their study was 6% of the list price on a $200,000 property.  Do the math.  That is $12,000 MORE for a Seller that has their property Staged.

People that mistakenly believe that Staging won’t make a difference in a HOT market are leaving a LOT of MONEY ON THE TABLE!  Don’t be that Seller.  And if you are a Realtor, dare I say don’t make the decision for your Seller based on the fact that the house will sell? Yes, your personal net gain might only be a few hundred dollars in extra commission but that seller is losing out on thousands more they would keep in their pocket.  Just because the house will sell and you will get your commission faster does not mean it is the best service for the Seller. 

When the house is “going to sell anyway” it does not mean it is going to sell at list price.  Statistics prove that a Staged house will sell for MORE than the un-staged product often resulting in bidding wars for a house that really looks great and becomes the “one” that all buyers want.

How much more?  5-20% MORE based on statistics gathered for the past 10 years.  On a $250,000 house that could be $12,500 MORE to $50,000 MORE for the Seller with either multiple offers, or not getting low offers, or having to reduce the price.

Realtors – does your Seller want “SOME” of the money out of their house or do they want every possible penny?  When a house sells for just $5,000 MORE – that Seller is going to net about $4700 MORE in their pocket.   If they have invested $1,000 in the Staging (for a vacant property) – they still come out $3,700 ahead. When a house sells for $10,000 MORE – the Seller gets $9,400 MORE less the Staging investment than they thought they would.  When a Seller puts updates or improvements in to the property, that impacts the initial list price where they can recoup that investment to get the house sold.  There is no reason NOT to prepare the house and Stage from a fiscal standpoint because that combination helps the seller net the very BEST sale price.

Sellers need to be educated about the potential income for THEM from the sale.  When they are buying in the same market having more money to purchase is a good thing because it might help them afford the next property or make a stronger offer than another buyer.

When you as their Realtor can turn around and promote the fact that you helped your Seller net even MORE from the sale of their house – do you think that might translate into Referrals and MORE money for you?  Absolutely. Think long term.  Think about your Sellers and who they know that need to sell for the MOST possible.  Having that focus will reap rewards with more business versus the agent that just puts the house up for sale, vacant or visually unappealing, and says a prayer that the house will sell fast because of low inventory.

Staging in a hot market does make sense – it makes Dollars and Cents!
For help getting your house or listing Staged to sell - call Jennie at (303)717-7918.
Over 2,700 houses and over $1Billion in real estate Staged since 2002!