Home Staging for Real Estate Sales is not a new concept in most of the United States; however it is a bit of new tool in some part of the country. Home Staging is the process of preparing your property for sale by setting the scene through the house to create immediate buyer interest in your property. It is also a proven way to increase the opportunities of your property selling in a timely manner. It has been around since the late 1970's when the real estate market on the west coast took a dive into the deep end of the pool. Staging helped sell listings that had previously been on the market for a lengthy time.
The latest statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) indicates that employed homes not previously staged were on the market for around 57 days, but when discontinued were only on the market on average for 6 days, a significant reduction. Vacant homes not previously stagnated were on the market for around 190 days, but when stopped were only on the market on average for 28 days.
Home owner's have previously been left to their own devices in preparing their homes for the real estate market. Sometimes Realtors will stage a home or make suggestions, but most of the time the owners choose to ignore their suggestions. Some home owner's think it is the job of the Realtor to Stage their home. It's not the Realtor's job, their job is to MARK the home to potential buyers and other Realtors in an effort to secure the sale. Many times I am told by Realtors in the New Orleans region that they are really afraid to tell the home owner to do certain things to improve the chances for a sale. They are afraid of offending or hurting the client's feelings because of fear they will loose the listing. That is exactly when a Stager can come in handy. A Stager can perform an assessment of the home that will inform the owner and the Realtor of all the things that need to be done to the home prior to listing. Now the Realtor is off the hook and does not come off as the bad guy to the home owner.
First impressions are everything in real estate sales. A seller has four opportunities to assist a buyer's attention; when they drive up to the home, as they walk toward the front door, at the front door and in the entry. If you have not gotten their attention by the entrance to the home they probably will have little interest for the reminder. Buyers are more attracted to homes they have to do very little to in order to be at home in them. Today's buyers are more savvy than ever before and the choices in the New Orleans region are significant. Realtors and home owners can no longer afford to do business as in the past, it's a new day in New Orleans and business practices have to change to accommodate the situations we are currently in.
The cost of Staging an employed home can be as little as $ 400 and range into the thousands for vacant homes where furniture rental is involved. A little known benefit is that Staging is considered tax deductible as an expense to sell the home. It is tax deductible for both the home owner and the realtor, so either one could Stage the home and it would be an expense to sell the home, it is considered marketing fees for the home owner and a cost of doing business or advertising fees for the Realtor. For additional information, check IRS Publication 523 and talk with your accountant.
There are a number of ways to locate a Stager in your area. There are website online directories you can check and the Interior Redesign Directory is just one of them. Each of these websites has a directory for you to locate a Stager. You can also perform a web search for Home Staging and then further refine your search for your area.
The next most important tool is to properly price your home. We are all emotionally invested in our homes and a lot of times we think they are worth a lot more than they really are. Trust your Realtor when they suggest that the home should be priced lower than you want. Selling real estate is what they do as a profession and they have access to a lot more information and experience in that arena than we as home owners.
If you are thinking about Staging your property remember that you, your Realtor and the Stager are a team. The team is like a three legged stool, if one member fails then the stool can not stand upright. You are all working toward the same goal, to post that SOLD sign.