Many homeowners resist when their Realtor broaches the subject of staging the property. Why? Mainly because they don't fully understand what staging is, why it is done, or what the benefits are. I've put together some talking points for Realtors in order to more clearly explain what staging is, what is involved in staging a home, and why all homes should be staged.
Client: What is staging anyway?
Realtor: Staging is the process of preparing a house for sale by caring for all of the details, accentuating the positive attributes of the house, while minimizing any challenging areas, and creating a warm, inviting space in which buyers will feel welcome and "at home."
C: My house is fine. It doesn't need to be staged.
R: Every house can use some level of staging. Even if it's just some touch-ups, updates, or little details that will make buyers fall in love with your house. A staging consultation with Functional Home Designs is only $150 and you would get the professional advice on what are the most important changes to make in order to ask top dollar for your house.
C: Staging is expensive and I don't want to spend any money on a house I'm not going to live in.
R: When you sell your car, you clean it, maybe replace windshield wipers, tires, or other parts that may be worn or broken so you can sell it for the highest price possible. Otherwise your asking price must be lower to take into account any repairs needed. It's the same idea when you sell your house–but on a much larger scale. When your house is properly cared for, buyers will see it as being well maintained and move-in ready, and its perceived value will go up.
C: I'm going to clean my house, clear out the closets, and take all of my family pictures down, like everyone says to do.
R: That's a great start, but not the end. There are lots of other things you need to consider as well. A professional stager will be able to consult you on colors, lighting, furniture/traffic flow, updates/changes, repairs, etc.
C: I'm going to rip out my kitchen (or bathroom) and do a complete update. I'm also going to tear up all of the carpet and install hardwood floors. I know that making these changes will allow me to ask for much more than we originally agreed upon.
R: Taking into consideration the market, your competition, and your target buyer, a stager and I can work together to determine what update/changes make sense for your house. You want to be sure that you are making appropriate changes and that the investment you make will be returned properly with the sale.
C: My house will be vacant so buyers will be able to see how big it is.
R: Leaving a house vacant isn't always the best solution. With empty rooms, there is no frame of reference. What is this room used for? I can't tell if my furniture will fit in this space. The space feels so cold. When a buyer has unanswered questions or feels uncomfortable, they are likely to walk away. A professional stager can work with you to determine just the right touches for each space to make it the warm, inviting home that buyers are looking for.
As a Realtor, your job is difficult enough. Let me free up some of your time by taking the responsibility of working with clients to prepare their homes for sale. It's what I love to do