By Christine Rae
If you are one of the millions of YouTube watchers of the Susan Boyle video in “Britain Got Talent” show you will have witnessed the PERFECT metaphor for staging there ever was.
Treat yourself; watch it—even if you have seen it, go there again and experience the euphoria, then come back to this blog.
People will always pre-judge appearance. Apparently its human nature, so no matter how cute the house, how sweet the deal, people will write it off as a lost leader from the outset unless it projects at least the perception of success.
In real estate, business, the movies and singing you have to LOOK good first to generate value and interest then you have to back it up with sound believable facts.
FACT: 91 percent of people look at houses on the Internet first before contacting a real estate professional or house seller.
FACT: 91.3 percent of people surveyed by RISMedia said they believe staging to be a powerful tool when selling a property.
FACT: Buyers are busy, smart and circumspect; we know the majority base a decision to review property on location and price points; then after reviewing photos decide if the listing goes on their short list of 10.
FACT: More than 75 percent of those 91 percent will drive by the property BEFORE contacting an agent to view and half of them will do it after dark.
FACT: Drive by starts on the Internet.
FACT: Putting a property on the market without FULLY staging is a disservice to the owner and puts equity return in jeopardy. We are not talking partial or surface staging; we are talking a property that has been edited, cleaned, repaired, upgraded and then functionally showcased targeting the buyer most likely to purchase.
Function, flow, color and lighting are only some of the areas that often need to be corrected. For instance, color: if you know at least 40 percent of all the paint sold in the world is sold as a result of buying the wrong color first—you can better understand it’s not the color that matters, it’s the undertone and the reaction to color that matters. Somehow the staging industry got off to a bad start from people thinking a cleared off counter and clean bathroom was enough—maybe it was back then.
Here is another thing I bet you didn’t know… the staging industry started during a recessive time. Remember the 18 percent – 21 percent mortgage rate period? Well that’s when buyers said, “Enough, I am not trading my dirty carpet for your dirty carpet” and an industry was born.
To quote Malcom Gladwell “it was the Tipping Point.”
Don’t undervalue the impact of first impressions if what you know of staging is limited, find out more, if what you know about staging is old knowledge find out more. Find out how to make your listings SING!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christine Rae is the co-author of “Home Staging for Dummies” (Wiley, 2008), found of Decorating Solutions Inc., and an internationally recognized expert and trainer in the home staging industry. She is the editor of Staging Standard, an industry trade magazine on staging, and co-author of the e-book “Home Staging Business Guide.” In 2005, she launched an international staging certification program–the Canadian Certified Staging Professionals and Certified Staging Professionals in the USA and Australia.