According to Lisa Poundstone PhD., ASP, owner of Design Smart Staging, “The investment in staging is always less than the first price reduction. People in today’s economy are concerned about their budget, understandably, so I offer options in every budget.”
Poundstone said, “Home staging sells homes faster and at a higher price because staging makes the home memorable. It enables buyers to see the actual proportions of the rooms and visualize living there.”
Statistics from stagedhomes.com show 94% of homes staged by an (ASP) Accredited Staging Professional, (Accredited ASP® Stagers and Real Estate Agents are true Professionals trained under strict guidelines using proven Staging techniques developed for over 35 years by Barb Schwarz, The Creator of Home Staging®), sell in 29 days or less as opposed to the homes not staged that were on the market an average of 145 days. The longer the home stays on the market the less the home will sell for.
Seller’s misconceptions of home staging are they think it is decorating, baking cookies to make the house smell good, and cleaning. “They don’t realize there is a psychology behind it,” Poundstone said. “There is a reason why we do certain things the way we do it, to draw attention to certain features of the home and to show proportional space.”
A few real estate agents have a mistaken belief that staging costs too much, the home shows better vacant, and the home doesn’t need to be staged. Unfortunately, an agent who does not recommend a staging consult is doing a dis-service to their client.
Some real estate agents list the homes first and only after the home has been on the market and not sold do they recommend their clients call for a staging consult. By this time, the height of the market for this home with the highest buyer traffic has already passed and likely the first price reduction has occurred.
Marketing a property for sale begins with two items, price and presentation. If the real estate professional is making a price recommendation and not recommending staging they are only handling half the equation. Agents are afraid of addressing staging with their clients because they are afraid of offending the sellers and losing the listing. Making the home look its best is a large part of marketing.
Since 90% of home buyers are searching for homes on the internet, according to the National Association of Realtors. It is particularly important to stage homes. The pictures of a vacant home bedroom typically show a corner of a room with two walls. This picture does not tell the buyer what type of room it is, it could be a home office or a bedroom and it also does not convey to the buyer the size of the room.
When a picture online includes a bed and a focal point of art above the bed, and perhaps a nightstand with a light it is a safe assumption this is a bedroom. A room with a desk, chair, and lamp is assumed to be an office. Staging defines the space.
A house marketed at $150,000 is worth staging. There are several homes available for this price staging will make this home stand out in the minds of the buyers.
One very important thing to do when preparing a home for sale is to take down all of the family photographs. When buyers are touring a home and there are pictures of family on the walls they get caught up in the photos. Another reason is identity theft and concern for the safety of the people living in the home.
Staging a home sends a message the seller is ready to move on and makes room for the buyer to see their family living in the home.
“It doesn’t cost anything to get a staging proposal or to have me tell them about the different staging options over the phone,” Poundstone said.
Photography by Lisa Poundstone