With many homes on the market and fewer home buyers, home staging has become more in demand than ever before. Several agents and home sellers have asked us lately – who should pay for home staging?
Home staging makes houses easier to market — they look and “feel” better in person and in the listing photos. A quick sale of course benefits the real estate agent. Should they pay for staging?
One example to consider: If a home seller had carpets that needed cleaning, would the real estate agent advise them to do so? Of course. But they normally wouldn’t consider paying for the cleaning. Likewise, home staging is an important part of home selling, and home sellers should pay for home staging.
Occasionally, sellers can’t afford to pay for home staging until after the home has sold. What then? We’ve brainstormed with agents and sellers and find affordable and win-win solutions to this situation. Real estate agents are cautious (and reasonably so) before investing in staging listings that may not sell quickly and need to develop their marketing plan prior to committing to paying for staging.
We’ve worked with many different scenarios, and find frequently when sellers pay for staging, we obtain the best results. Why? When sellers are invested financially, they usually value and implement the recommendations we give them.
While I do think it is the sellers responsibility to pay or share in the cost of home staging, I do believe it is the real estate agent’s responsibility to educate the seller on the value of home staging. I continue to be surprised at how unprepared many sellers are when entering the Oregon real estate market. Home sellers need to be informed of the statistics revealing:
- Staged homes sell quicker than unstaged homes
- Over 90% of home buyers look on the internet for homes
- Homes that look great online get more showings
- A 2009 study reveals staging is a necessary improvement that yields a high rate of return – over 500%
- Homes that linger on the market are targets for lowball offers and price reductions.
- Staging always costs less than a price reduction!
Also home sellers benefit greatly from:
- Understanding what buyers are looking for when visiting their home
- Knowing that sellers form a STRONG impression from the curb and within the first ten seconds of entering their home.
- How important lighting, room function and flow is to impressing buyers
- Learning how to declutter, clean and prep their homes for sale effectively.
Once sellers understand the competitive nature of home selling in 2010 they are more likely to be willing to invest their money in a staging consultation or to pay for vacant home staging. We work with a variety of payment situations, depending on the seller and agent. For example:
- Home Seller contact us directly for a consultation or staging services and pays for all staging expenses.
- Agent refers clients to a professional home stager and educates seller on the value of home staging
- Agent provides a staging consultation for their listings,
- Agent agrees to reimburse home seller for a staging consultation at closing
- Some agents pay for consultations and have a written agreement that if the listing is terminated, they will receive reimbursement for their expenses.
- We work with a few agents who refuse to list properties when home sellers are not willing to work with a home stager. They won’t spend their time, energy and marketing budget on homes that aren’t ready to compete.
- On existing listings that linger on the market, use a portion of a price reduction to invest into staging – improving the appearance and price at the same time.
Each listing and situation is different, but finding a way to obtain the competitive advantage home staging provides is important to both the real estate agent and home seller.
Need more ideas on how to incorporate staging into a new listing? Contact a professional home stager for other creative ideas and enter the 2010 real estate market knowing your home is making the best first impression possible.