Home sellers, select a listing agent who enthusiastically endorses home staging and works with a professional stager. An agent who recommends home staging is an agent who also understands the benefit of posting high-quality photos and uses the Internet to generate traffic. That’s a web-savvy agent. That’s the kind of agent you need.
Professionally staged houses sell in less time
According to a 2009 survey of 1000 home sales by StagedHomes.com (November 2008 – May 2009), unstaged houses on average spent 182 days on the market vs 37 days for houses that had been professionally staged.
Surprised? More surprising is that, despite the overwhelming benefit to the home seller of professional staging, not all real estate agents recommend professional staging to their clients. Often, they are afraid that the work that ought to be done will slow down the marketing process, overlooking the fact that an offer will come only if a prospective buyer finds the house appealing. The evidence: Look around at the number of unsold houses in your area – no doubt all unstaged.
Role of the Internet
What accounts for the success of professional home staging in selling a home faster? Answer: More buyers are searching online: Over 90% of all home buyers use the Internet to search for homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. In today’s competitive market, buyers simply weed out houses that don’t look great in online photos. As a result, unstaged houses just don’t get the same traffic. Unstaged houses don’t show as well during visits either, so they draw fewer offers. Result: Unstaged houses spend longer — sometimes much longer — on the market.
When a house sits on the market unsold, it is overwhelmingly the seller’s loss through extra mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities. But the cost is not the seller’s alone. Both sellers and real estate agents benefit from a fast sale. In light of the survey results cited above, every agent should recommend a professional staging evaluation plus staging implementation to all their clients.
If your agent tells you that your home is “well-enough staged” or “you can do it yourself”, your agent is probably referring to decluttering rather than staging. Decluttering is essential but decluttering is not staging nor is decluttering alone what achieved the fast sales cited in the survey.
Why home staging is essential
A home staging evaluation is essential to a fast sale. You will also need to follow the staging advisor’s recommendations (some of which you can do yourself) and spring for staging implementation, and you will need to price your house competitively. But without staging advice your house is likely to remain unsold longer — perhaps much longer — and you are likely to get less when you sell.
Here’s our advice to a serious home seller:
- Hire a web-savvy agent who endorses home staging,
- Hire a professional home stager who knows your local area
- Don’t take photos for the web until your home has been staged
If you follow this advice and also price your home competitively, you can sell your home fast. Don’t let your house sit on the market waiting for a price cut. Select a web-savvy agent who recommends home staging.