Whether it's your home for sale or your client's home for sale, not every seller is confused right off the bat that staging the home is something as necessary as getting a home inspection or a pre-approved mortgage is for the buyer.
In another article, I addressed three common objections from both real estate agents and home sellers to staging a home when it's for sale:
- But, my home is in a great location / area / vicinity and I've priced it right. I do not need to stage.
- But, if it does not sell in 3 months, then I'll consider staging it OR Let's see if someone makes an offer after this weekend's open house.
- But, why bother with making the home look better when the new owners will change it anyway?
In another article, I addressed three more objections:
- But, similar homes in the neighborhood and / or building sold without staging.
- But, the home has already been decluttered and cleaned. That should be enough.
- But I do not have the time to stage.
So if you find yourself or your clients asking these questions, carefully consider these answers before you make that final decision not to stage.
But, why can not buyers just look past the decor and envision themselves living here?
Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a home. Most buyers can not look past a cluttered or unappealing room. And while most of them start out looking for a home based upon logical criteria, for example, 4 bedrooms, family room with a fireplace, they end up purchasing based upon an emotional connection that they feel when they're in the home. When a house feels like home, they will reprioritize their list. They may be willing to give up the fireplace because staging has transformed the property into a “dream” and they can envision themselves living there. It has to portray a lifestyle that they aspire to.
But, why would I want to be spending money when I can not afford to? I just need to sell my house / apartment.
The softer the market, the more you must differentiate the property from others crowding the market. Would not it be great to get a bidding war going because your property looks so much better than everyone else's? Remember, staging is an investment not an expense. A study by the Real Estate Staging Association showed that homes that were arrested after being on the market for a while, spent 78% less time on the market than before they were staged. Home staging can increase profit in two ways – by increasing value and by reducing expenses (mortgage, taxes, utilities) by decreasing the time the home is on the market. And according to the National Association of Realtors, the longer the home is on the market, the lower the selling price will be.
But, my home looks good. It does not need to be staged.
Every home that's for sale can benefit from the objective eye of a professional home stager. Most homeowners are so used to their home's flaws that they do not see them anymore. Also, you can not view your own home through a buyer's eyes. Once your home is on the market, it's a product that needs to be positioned just like any other product on the market. And it's not about your taste anymore!
But, why can not the real estate agent or homeowner figure out what needs to be done to stage the home and make it look better?
The real estate agent should be spending his or her time doing what he or she does best – marketing and showing the home to potential buyers and renters. Would not a homeowner rather know the real estate agent is doing this instead of spending hours rearranging furniture, shopping for accessories, and managing repairmen?
Owners can not stage their own homes because they've stopped seeing all of its flaws. Most homeowners do not have the “buyer's eyes” that a professional home stager will when walking through the home. The owners have gotten used to walking past the overgrown bushhes in the front yard blocking all of the light coming into the windows. The dated wallpaper and lighting fixtures have been in the bathroom so long that they seem to be part of the family. And homeowners may already be overwhelmed enough with the stress of finding a new home and moving that they will not have the time or energy to focus on making the home look appealing.
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