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Myth #2: This is a HOT market – I don’t need to Stage.

Fact: In a hot market, Staged houses can sell for even more! Have you ever sold a house for too much money? Sellers want every penny from a sale, especially when they are buying in the same market. Don’t leave money on the table. Staged houses sell for more than the unstaged competition. Are YOU leaving money on the table?

Staging is a critical marketing tool! Statistics show that 95% of all ASP Staged properties sell in 11 or fewer days and for 17% or more than the unstaged home[1]  and these statistics are even more dramatic in a hot market and when housing inventories are low, as is the case here in the great Northeast.

When prospective buyers know they want to live in that neighborhood, long for the promise of those schools, delighted by the thought of living in that great neighborhood they tend to be ready to outbid the competitors, especially when there is so little to choose from.

When they become emotionally attached by your sparkling clean property, your updated and balanced color scheme, your space that is inviting and evokes a sense of calm and your landscaping that is trim and neat and well cared, they are even more likely to put in a much higher offer on your property as opposed to the another similar property on the market and with full knowledge that others are looking at you property, too. Let’s be real – many of these homeowners have been in the market for a while and have been outbid before. In general, they know instantly how your property compares to the others.

Deferred maintenance, outdated paint colors and clutter (aka visual noise) all blow a powerful punch to the bottom line offers. And what’s worse, these items are typically what causes a property to languish on the market for months or from selling at all. Even in this “hot” market there are properties that people are just not willing to bid on. No one can afford to take this chance – even in a hot market.

Like many things in life, it’s all in the details.
On a subconscious level you want the prospective buyer to see your property and instantly breathe lightly and feel welcomed and calm. This provides them with time to mentally move in and see themselves living in that space. On a conscious level, the distraction of clutter, dirt, deferred maintenance, an unkempt landscaping keep the buyer from that sense of calm by turning attentions inward to calculate and figure out time and energy and money necessary to bring the property up to their standards which, in turn, whittles down the price.

Have you ever had a house sell for too much money?

I had this very conversation with a Realtor just a few weeks ago. This Realtor was excited to tell me that a property that she Staged using borrowed furniture and accessories sold for 15% above asking. When I looked at the marketing pictures, I instantly recognized that this Realtor, like many these days, was looking to avoid the investment in professionally staging this property by placing items in the unit herself. In my professionally trained opinion, hers had the opposite effect of highlighting the property’s light, space and architecture. Instead of beautiful bow windows and sunlight streaming into the unit, my eye focused on the teeny tiny couch with stripped pillows. Instead of an inviting bedroom with end tables and room for my clock and books and artwork and a bureau like the one I would need in  this room, all I saw was a series of flat surfaces. There was no depth to anything because there was basically nothing in the room and there was nothing on the walls. I had no way of knowing how big any room was. And throughout the rest of the house I saw artwork that was too low or not centered and then I found myself worried that the artwork that was leaning precariously on a table might fall. I was worried. I spent time struggling to see the space. And I have a trained eye! I was not calmed and soothed. And yet, she still received 15% over asking! I am certain my efforts would have fetched well more than that. But does that matter to her? Does that matter to you?

She never did answer my question about whether she was concerned that she was easily leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table for her client.

By working with an Accredited Staging Professional, ASP, you, the homeowner, learn how to make the best decisions for your property in your market. When I come to your home, we take time to talk about your objectives, your timing and your budget. I provide you with facts surrounding the reactions you can expect by paying attention to specific details. We discuss how much work you wish to take on yourself, with others and/or with me. You make the decisions as to how much or how little we do together and when we are done, we will be certain that your property will prompt that critical emotional hook to garner that offer.

This is fun stuff!

[1] http://www.stagedhomes.com/mediacenter/stagingstatistics.php – statistics are based on Today’s Market. The survey was conducted by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals and StagedHomes.com.