Do you, or someone you know, have a vacant home to sell and are trying to determine if you should invest in this thing you've been hearing so much about, and seeing on HGTV called home staging? After all, who wants to put more money into a home you're not even going to be living in? And isn't it especially crazy since today's market is undeniably considered by everyone to be a "buyers market"? Hey, you're certainly not alone. I get it. I talk to people every day who, just like you, feel exactly the same way. But, call me crazy . . . I feel Home Staging is one of the BEST investments you can make if you fall into ANY of the following categories:
* you are planning on putting a house on the market
* have a house that has been on the market with little or no interest
* have had one or more price reductions only to see it still sitting
* or if there are a lot of homes for sale in your neighborhood
The following are just five of the top reasons why I am crazy enough to feel that you can't afford NOT to bring in the Home Staging professionals who have been trained to know how to give your home a competitive edge to get it sold. The latest national statistics have clearly shown that the average cost of Home Staging is considered to be a small investment with potentially very large returns . . . especially in today's "buyers market"!
1. Today's buyer is shopping the internet FIRST - Statistics have shown that 85% of buyers are starting the home buying process by surfing the net before even contacting a realtor. And because many of the photographs are so poor on the MLS listings, there are great homes that are not even being seen. Needless to say, a large number of the homes that fall into this category are vacant. How well do you think they compete with pictures of rooms that have been beautifully staged?
2. Today's buyer is no longer just searching for a place to live - they are searching for a home that will provide a lifestyle! They want to see themselves living there, raising their family and entertaining their friends there. You want them to make that very important emotional connection with the home that tells them, "this is it, this is the one!" It is difficult when what they are looking at are empty rooms which lack the warmth and personality of the homes that have been stylishly staged.
3. Only 10% of Home Buyers can actually visualize the potential of a home - which means nine out of every ten people that do come through the doors really cannot. They have not been given a frame of reference to show them the scale and size of the rooms. . . where they would put their sofa and entertainment center . . . if their king size bed would even fit in the Master Bedroom . . . and , how would they furnish that odd little room off the Kitchen. Is it supposed to be an office, another family room . . . guest room, what?! All they can see are bare walls. Most cannot imagine all of the wonderful possibilities of the home, and without answers to their questions, they walk away. This is something production homebuilders have known for many years, and P.S. - this is why they have elected to make the investment to show their model homes fully furnished!
4. When a home is vacant, buyers focus on the negatives. They have nothing else to look at so their eyes will zero in on the negatives i.e. the small crack in the wall, the tile that is chipped, the carpeting that needs to be replaced, or the wallcovering in the Master Bathroom that they really don't like. Home Staging is designed to accentuate the positive features of the home while de-emphasizing the negatives.
5. Vacant homes typically stay on the market longer than a home that has been staged, and will send out a distress signal . . . suggesting to buyers that you, the sellers, have moved on and are going to be desperate to sell. Invariably, this will result in receiving lower offers. It is certainly better to price your home attractively, and give the appearance of occupancy. Statistically, homes that have been staged sell more quickly, and for top dollar!