In the debate over what priority prepping the house needs before being listed on the market one of the areas considered often is - home staging.
In pure terms - staging is the prepping of the home (whether vacant or occupied) to create a final product that generates great demand at the right market price. The interplay of the demand generated by the attractiveness quotient helps market homes better and gets the best offers in the shortest time.
Many real estate agents nowadays have a staging firm as a part of their 'go to market teams' so to speak. We are grateful as San Diego home stagers for being part of the go to market team of many talented real estate agents. The partnership approach has seen much success for the agent, home seller, buyer and stager.
The Product - Marketing - Purchase cycle impact of home staging:
Now, here is the question, how should one position the value of staging to the home seller?
Here are 5 reasons home sellers should absolutely be aware of and points real estate agents can help sellers understand:
1. Home Staging is part of your marketing strategy
Let’s face the simple facts as I mentioned in an early article on the ABC of home staging – the home is the product. Staging and setting it up for the customer is part of your promotion and marketing. The customer has choices, the need as well as the buying power.
Will customers drool over and buy the empty and cold meal, cluttered and unappetizing meal or the perfectly warm, tantalizing meal made by a chef de cuisine?.
Believe me, when it comes to home buyers across budgets they are looking for the Chef de cuisine meal!
Whether the house is a starter home or a high-end luxury beach house it needs to create the lifestyle buyers aspire for and love.
2. Staging overcomes one's potential home flaws
Each home has strengths and maybe some weak areas to overcome. Dark rooms, tiny bedrooms, layout issues, dated fixtures. While sellers are sensitive to these areas, home stagers in a subtle captivating manner motivate them to wear the buyers hat and understand these areas. The truth is - the higher the price of the home, the more perfection buyers expect! Subtle weaknesses become reasons to believe the home is overpriced or decide not to consider it.
Professional home staging companies will make a note of all these weak areas, address what can be addressed, simultaneously enhancing the strengths. Statistically in the NAR Home Staging profile 2015 survey by realtors it was found 28% buyers overlook weaker home flaws post staging.
3. Creating the buying psychology at your home is vital.
Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95 percent of our purchase decision making takes place in the subconscious mind. Create the right buying psychology = generating a willing and able buyer!
Staging helps establish emotional connections. Buyers buy on emotion, make them fall in love with the home you generate demand.
3. Staging helps sell a home faster
That’s the truth. However here are stats - Staged homes sell 78% faster than unstaged homes. The acclaimed staging association, RESA, shared the findings in a survey which covered staged and unstaged homes.
4. Competition - Are you keeping up with the Joneses?
If competing homes for sale are staged, your home will lose out as it will be in the consideration set of fewer buyers. Buyers will want to visit and consider the more beautiful, well prepared homes in the neighborhood. It is better to understand this in the beginning rather than after days of the home sitting on the market. See live pictures of competition and deciding which homes will you visit!
5. Staging is an investment, not a cost
You invest thousands on your home and all the upgrades you have within it. Quality staging is an investment because it delivers returns with the home selling better and faster. 32% of buyers agents see staging adding 1-5% to home value and 16% see it adding 6-10%. All that when you invest 1-2% (and sometimes surprisingly lesser!) on home staging! Further staging is a tax-deductible expense, which can be shown in closing costs.
To Stage or not to Stage? The decision is easier when one evaluates all the steps systematically and wears a critical "buyers hat" while assessing your home and no other hat so to speak!