Staging Helps Sell Homes
Scrolling through multiple listing photos online it’s easy to see why buyers get discouraged or have a tough time choosing a new place to call home. A home buyer will base their decision on visiting the listing within seconds of viewing that image and if it’s not a show-worthy room they see on the screen, plan on kissing that lead good-bye.
There are only two major factors that matter at this point the listing’s price and condition. That’s where home staging comes in, we reached out to top home staging expert Tori Toth, who wrote the best-selling book “Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell” and is the founder of the Stage 2 Sell Strategy, the world’s first online home staging video course for home sellers to prepare their own homes for sale. Tori has helped sell homes 78% faster with home staging, so I thought why not have her explain how staging a home can help in the selling process, this is what she had to say.
“Bill thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge with your readers. Although home staging is not necessarily a new concept, many real estate agents and home sellers are misled that this powerful marketing tool is expensive and time consuming. Most agents use a stager when the home is vacant or has a complicated layout, but I believe every home could benefit from home staging.
I was amazed when the National Association of Realtor’s 2015 Profile of Home Staging Report revealed only 34-percent of seller’s agents stage all homes, however, 44-percent of agents surveyed do suggest to the seller de-clutter and fix property faults only and do not stage the home. This tells me there is a real disconnect between what agents believe home staging actually is because those suggestions are apart of the entire home staging process.
By definition home staging, according to the Real Estate Staging Association, is the act of preparing and showing a property for sale. It is a systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate, home renovations and creative design principles are applied to attract a buyer. Preparing the property involves all or part of cleaning, de-cluttering, updating and repairing while showcasing is the process of arranging furniture, accessories, art and light.
When selling a home it’s important for the homeowner to understand their home is a product, that must be marketed and merchandised properly. How would you sell your car? Or have your kid dress for school picture day? Or present yourself on a job interview? Most of you would pay close attention to the details to reap the rewards of more money for your car, a great photo to share with the world, or getting the call you’re hired. So, why should selling a home be any different? If you want to sell quickly at the highest price your priority should be paying attention to the home’s details.
Connect On An Emotional Level
The first and most important reason home staging can help sell a home is that it instantly connects the buyer to the home emotionally. Emotions are what drive a sale because the decision will affect the buyer’s family, lifestyle and reputation. When a home seller depersonalizes the house and ultimately thinks as a buyer would to instill moments in time that connect to the buyer’s lifestyle that increases the chances of a buyer getting emotionally attached and truly believing the house was made for them.
Think Like a Buyer
Let’s dive deeper into being able to empathize with a buyer. When I tell a seller puts themselves in the buyer’s shoes they begin to detach themselves from the home, which can be difficult for some. This hypothetical shoe swap also allows them to set their own feeling asides in the real estate transaction. Thinking like a buyer opens the seller’s eyes to the actual condition of the home and makes them more proactive to refresh their space and maintain the home while on the market. According to the NAR report, 81-percent of buyers find it easier to visualize the property as a future home when it’s staged.
Detailing Your Home
I recently mentioned that detailing your car helps in the sales process, the same holds true when detailing your home. Home staging gives sellers a plan of action to tackle clutter, dirt and repairs before putting their home on the market. These are easy, cost effective suggestions the seller can do to make their home stand out among neighborhood competition. By removing clutter from a home, the seller is reducing not only the amount of items in plain-sight, but beginning the actual packing process, so you’re ready on moving day. If you don’t plan on using an item in the next 90 days or so, pack it up! De-cluttering also makes the home cleaning process easier to handle. Dirty dishes, laundry and extreme dust must be taken care of on a regular basis so a buyer can visualize the lifestyle they can aspire to.
Deters Low Ball Offers
A major detail that will deter low-ball offers is making those necessary minor repairs. If you walked into a store and found an item that you loved on the shelf that had a crack or a dirt spot on it wouldn’t you try to get a discount at the register? Of course you would or it wouldn’t be worth the purchase. This is how a home buyer feels when they come across homes that are not staged. A home has to be worth the price you’re trying to sell it for and home staging cannot only deter offers, but in most cases the price has increased after staging. I’ve personally seen my client’s staged homes sell for up to $45,000 over asking price on bidding wars.
Less Time Showing Off
Home selling can be a grueling process for sellers when their lives become public display to strangers and their criticisms. If a homeowner is going to be living in their home when selling they have to willingly be inconvenienced not only emotionally, but physically. So what’s the best way to get out from under the microscope? Sell fast. By having a home properly prepared for sale, you don’t have to wait a long time for the right offer, which means you don’t have to sit on the market constantly trying to upkeep the space. As a home stager, I’ve had client’s homes sell in days not months after staging the space allowing for the seller to the start the next chapter in life.
That’s what home staging does best transition and transform a home seller and their most valuable asset, the home, to get to that next chapter with less stress quickly. It’s disappointing that NAR statistic mentioned above where only 34-percent of seller’s agents surveyed stage all homes. Home staging can benefit real estate agents too by beating out competition, growing business and attracting bigger payouts. I recently created a video on Why You Need a Home Stager on Your Real Estate Team that provides six reasons to embrace this powerful marketing tool.
Every home can benefit from home staging –from a quick checklist to a video course to one-on-one help, we can make a difference for a seller or agent to make sure you attract the most amount of buyers in the shortest period of time. There are 10-steps to make a house feel like a home to buyers, do you have a home missing one or more of these steps? Don’t risk losing the biggest return on your investment transform your home. Make it show-worthy. There you have it folks – there are many ways home staging can help sell a home!
About the author: Tori Toth is the Amazon best-selling author of “Feel At Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell.” She is also the founder of The Stage 2 Sell Strategy, the world’s first online home staging video course for home sellers. In 2009, Toth opened her staging company, Stylish Stagers, Inc. in New York City. Her book, how-to videos, newsletters, products and appearances now inspire hundreds of thousands of home owners and real estate experts worldwide.