By Erica Christoffer
In an effort to form a more perfect union between real estate practitioners, home stagers, and sellers, Matt Stigliano with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio is proposing a new business model. In his ActiveRain blog post, he suggests that practitioners and stagers pair up and charge a joint commission rate to offer their combined services to a seller.
This partnership, Stigliano says, would alleviate seller apprehension about paying for staging costs upfront. The commission would be higher, but it could be approached as a “no money down” option to have a team of professionals working to sell the home.
“The commission is a risk-based pay structure,” Stigliano says. “Maybe with a commission, the stagers would be willing to take that risk.”
The stager would be present at the listing presentation to share their ideas for the home. Instead of staging being a one-time service, having a commission may motivate a staging pro to come back and check on the home – even modify their initial decor ideas until the house is sold.
“It would create a team between the agent, stager, and seller,” Stigliano said. “Sellers like the idea [of staging], and they know it helps – maybe this is the trick to getting them over the cost hump.”
Stigliano has yet to try this business model himself, but says he would if he found a stager who is willing.
“It’s frustrating to me because I have homes I would love to have staged, but the sellers don’t have the cash,” says Stigliano.
In less than 24 hours, Stigliano had nearly 100 comments on his blog post, with opinions varying greatly on the topic. Even if his idea doesn’t come to fruition, Stigliano says it’s worth getting people talking and thinking of ideas outside the box.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
I recently learned a surprising statistic: Termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage a year in the United States, which makes these pesky creatures highly destructive. In fact, they cause more damage to wood-based structures than fire, flood, or wind, according to the National Pest Management Foundation.
That said, we should be talking about termites a lot more! For the article in this month’s REALTOR Magazine “Termites: The Silent Destroyers,” I spoke with Ron Harrison, an entomologist for Orkin Inc., who offered some insights into how home owners can avoid these insects from biting into their homes.
Also, take a look at this video from Termites101.org to learn more.
Do you find your buyers asking for special termite inspections before they purchase or is it even a concern? Do your state or lenders require a termite inspection before a purchase can be completed?
By Phyllis Harb, Dickson Podley REALTORS®
1. Trim shrubs and trees in the front yard; a homebuyer should be able to see your home’s architectural features (such as that beautiful picture window). Tidy up your yard; put away hoses, trash cans, etc.
2. Remove the screen door (if any), dress up the front porch with a plant (if there’s room), and wash your windows and your screens.
3. If the mailbox is visible from the curb, ensure that it is attractive.
4. Repaint any peeling trim or exterior paint. Continue reading »
Hint: Its decorative details — such as its patterned shingles — often make this architecture style standout. This architecture type often incorporate modern materials and combines it with 19th century details, such as curved towers and spindled porches.
By Christine Rae
Being an entrepreneur, home owner, wife, grandmother, etc., I barely have time to watch TV these days and when I do, I seem to hit the news. My own philosophy about keeping a positive mindset is to avoid the news like the plague. On those odd times I have not listened to my own advice I heard a review of President Obama’s first 100 days in office; and lately his second 100 days.
Boy, everyone loves to gripe–expecting miracles without lifting a finger!
So why is being a real estate agent like the Obama administration?
It seems to me that as a real estate professional you have to run an election to get the listing and work your tail off in the first 100 days to get the word out. No one is helping, they are just watching.
By that I mean sellers are not always willing to pitch in and help; they prefer the wait and see, the “prove to me” theory that 2007 pricing will not come back. They are, of course, in denial about their present financial situation, they don’t expect to be inconvenienced during the time the house is on the market (i.e. they want to have lots of notice for visits, expect offers to be flooding in, don’t want a sign on the lawn like everyone else, and they “heard” open houses don’t work).
After the first 100 days, they review your performance find you sadly lacking and then issue edicts like “if you don’t pick up the pace we will have to list with someone else!” Their loyalty and confidence in you starts to dwindle.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
A recent article from The San Francisco Chronicle (“Virtual Staging Sparks Sales of Vacant Homes” by Judy Richter) took a look at the growing trend of real estate professionals using virtual staging to move listings.
Virtual staging is where you take an empty room and then digitally enhance it with furniture to make the space more inviting. For example, a stager may digitally add some artwork, chairs, tables, and other items to liven up a vacant space, allowing buyers to see the potential of the home. The enhanced photos may then be used on the sales practitioner’s flyers, Web site, MLS and in advertisements for the listing.
But some are beginning to question whether the altered photos may deceive buyers.
Virtual staging can work in driving more buyer traffic. Many practitioners report an increase in buyer traffic after virtual staging photos are posted than if they just posted photos on the Web of the vacant rooms in the house.
Some in the business are attracted to virtual staging, particularly now, because of the huge cost savings of staging on the Web rather than paying for actual physical staging. For example, some real estate practitioners say they have saved thousands of dollars in staging costs by opting for virtual over physical staging.
But are these altered photos accurate renderings of the space? Or are they misrepresenting the property by sprucing them up digitally?
Real estate practitioner Kirk Lebowe, owner-broker of PreVue Properties in Los Angeles County, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he views virtual staging as a great way give buyers decorating ideas. Plus, he said, it’s not like you’re selling the home with the furniture.
What do you think? Do you think virtual staging is deceiving?