selling real estate: Staging(r) Your Home for Sale: a Superior Real Estate Home Marketing Technique: Part 1


Every Realtor KNOWS that a home should be shown in its best light to help sell it faster and for more money! We also know that, properly done, it Is a lot more than putting fragrant pies, breads or cookies in the oven, opening the drapes and turning on all the lights; although even that helps greatly.

Setting the stage to obtain the highest value, fastest, for a home has recently evolved into a real estate specialty that can pay of grandly for the seller and help the buyer overcome the immense emotional strain of making a decision on which, of many similar properties, to purchase. For a few hundred or a few thousand dollars; a seller can increase the speed greatly and add several percentage points to the sales price, simultaneously!

For the buyer, purchasing a home is a daunting emotional progression. First the buyer determines price range, then probably a list of must haves, should haves, and hopefully included – features, advantages, benefits and of course possible locations. However, when they preview a home that really knocks their socks off aesthetically, that list and the priorities can be instantly and dramatically reorganized in their minds! I call it the WOW factor! Few homes have it, those that do – sell for greatly more money and much faster.

The greatest difficulty for any seller, me included, is that we tend to romanticize our own homes – seeing the great parts of our own home and being oblivious to the mess, shortcomings, clutter, needed repairs and incongruities. We can call it eclectic but to a buyer it’s often just a mess.

In any communication we must enhance, prioritize, observe, and promote more than anything else – what and how the recipient perceives our communication! Our opinion of our communication must be subservient to the opinion of the person or people that we want to convince! We as Realtors and we as sellers must convince the buyer or the home is not sold. This is an often difficult but always required priority in all parts of the marketing, promotion, advertising and sale of a property.

Staging elevates marketing and promotion. A well staged home looks far better in the marketing and advertising pictures, which predisposes a potential buyer to at least take a look. Once the buyer is in the home, the staging of the entire home, every nook and cranny, becomes part of the emotional data base, often subliminally installed, for getting the buyers to purchase the well staged property instead of the others on the market!

Most of us look right on past our usual surroundings, in all parts of life. We notice changes and differences but seldom the sameness. We as Realtors always give advice to our sellers, in hopes of getting them to better prepare, pose and present the home for sale. However, our all-consuming job is not rearranging furniture and moving pictures or putting stuff in storage de-kludging and cleaning out the garage and our advice is not usually fully adhered to. Our hours are best spent marketing, promoting and responding to inquiries on the property. Quality Staging can take hours and days.

Clutter is Killer! There are now accredited Staging Pros who get specialized training to recognize the importances, significances and small changes that put your property in its best and most flattering light. I call it similar to a Lady dressing for a grand ball – best dress, best hairdo, best makeup and best behavior and wonderful poise! All designed to hide any flaws and accentuate all the best!

Staging is an art, a science, a marketing philosophy and an applied promotional and sales tool of excellence and value beyond most other such tools and techniques of selling real estate and homes. There are accredited Staging Professionals that are trained and tested to recognize and handle the small changes and modifications that let your home glow its best in the eyes of potential buyers and the Realtors that may bring them.

Some things are difficult to overcome in today’s market; most difficult to overcome are lower than 9 foot ceilings and limited windows. Another grouping of deal killers are dated colors, dark, cluttered and unfinished looks.

A well staged home in our area can easily bring another 15% above what it will bring without proper staging. Some people can even make money through purchasing an un-Staged home, and while it is under contract, having it professionally and extensively staged – then selling their contract and making as much as 10% net profit… it could be more easily in some cases I’ve worked on.

The series of mental decisions that become a decision to purchase are comprised of a series of first impressions from outside the home to a series of impressions as the prospective purchaser tours the home.

Most importantly, sellers need to know that the first sale is to the Realtors who will bring your prospective buyers to your home and in your home is where the decision to purchase is made.

Copyright 2004; By Jody Hudson, Realtor.

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