I just spoke with a homeowner yesterday who contacted me to schedule a consultation. Her home has been sitting on the market since January without even a nibble, and they have already dropped the price $30K. She said she didn’t call me in sooner because her husband told her, “Staging doesn’t matter.”
After a little research, her significant other had concluded that pricing, location, and features were all a potential buyer was really concerned about. And while I do agree that all of those definitely do play a factor, what about the first impression a house makes on that potential buyer? Or how the home feels? Is that first step in the front door inviting, or is it one big, ugly turn off? And when there is so much to look at in a home that has not been staged to sell, can that buyer even see the updates and positive features beyond that menagerie of chaos and clutter?
There is a realtor I have worked for the past decade. I get a lot of business from him and we get along famously. Unfortunately, in all this time, only once has he called me in to stage a listing for him prior to it going on the market. Otherwise, I am always what might otherwise be considered, a ‘last resort’…you know, the person he calls in to work a miracle just before he’s about to lose the listing. And do you want to know something? Every single listing I have ever staged for him has sold in 30-days or less. Many of them within days or weeks. But in his mind, “Staging doesn’t matter.” Unless, of course, he is about to lose the listing.
I am including photos of a recent home that was staged in one of my latest workshops in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This place had wonderful features and was being shown as the homeowner lived in it, not staged to sell. My students did a fantastic job using what the homeowner’s already had on hand along with some amazing editing, re-arranging, and accessorizing skills.
If anyone out there can look at these Before and After photos and honestly tell me, “Staging doesn’t matter,” I’m gonna hang it all up tomorrow and take an early retirement in the Bahama’s! I’m definitely in the wrong business.
PS – GREAT JOB, CEDAR RAPIDS WORKSHOP STUDENTS!