By Barb Schwarz, Stagedhomes.com
Home sellers and REALTORS® have two priorities: sell the property fast and for as much money as possible. Market-sensitive pricing and a well-executed marketing plan to get the most attention in the marketplace are, of course, crucial. Equally important is to make sure a property makes a great first impression. These days, with more than 80 percent going online to begin their home search, it’s imperative that the first impression not only is made when visiting a home, but as important through pictures in Web listing.
Statistics gathered by Stagedhomes.com shows that 94.6 percent of homes staged by an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP®) sell within 33 days, compared to an average of 196 days for homes that are not staged. Homes staged by ASP®s stay on the market 83 percent less time than a home that has not been staged.
Completion of Home Staging: Thursday. Contract: Friday.
Too good to be true? Not at all. Just ask Carmen Wilber of DeLand in East Central, Florida.
Carmen, ASP®, and owner of Style Fusion Home Staging, recently got a call from the owners of a vacant home that had been on the market for two months with plenty of visitors yet no offers. Those who had seen the home, the REALTOR® representing the home shared, couldn’t easily visualize what it would like to live in the home. It was clear the property needed to be staged.
After an initial walk-through of the house, when Carmen described her staging process and the improvements she recommended, she went to work.
Using accessories and furniture, Carmen focused on staging the rather large open area in the house that visitors had mentioned was hard to see exactly how they would use. She carefully added a dining table set and a sofa group, together with table arrangements, rugs, dishes, flower and candle arrangements, even teddy bears and other items you would find in child’s room. Carmen created a welcoming atmosphere with just enough furniture and accessories to still make the areas feel airy and spacious. She carefully kept a balance between each section of the space – dining, living and sun rooms – by her selection of colors and created a playful and intimate spot for the little ones in the sun room.
By Thursday evening, the home was ready to be shown. By Friday, the REALTOR® sent a message to Carmen to let her know the home was under contract.
“This staging assignment really speaks to how effective home staging is, and the difference it makes,” said Carmen.
Stager and REALTOR® Partnership
Home stagers and real estate agents are teaming up more and more to give turnkey service to the seller. “The agent’s job is to get the property priced and to do the marketing to get it sold. My job as stager is to merchandize the property so that the marketing pays off,” Carmen says, adding that her partnership with the REALTOR® representing the home she staged is a true example of how important it is for both to work hand-in-hand with both shared and separate responsibilities.
“In the case of the Winter Park home, the home staging investment definitely paid off quickly,” added Carmen.
Win-Win for Agent and Stager
The home stager generates money for the agent because without the house staged it sits and in the end the agents either get little commission or none. Therefore, working together, the seller wins, the agent wins, and the stager wins.
Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, AB, IAHSP®
The Creator of Home Staging®
IAHSP® Founder and Chairwoman of The Board of The International Association of
Home Staging Professionals® and Foundation www.iahsp.com