A little while ago, I received an alert about a seller question from one of the real estate advice sites that I monitor. The question was from a local home seller who hadn’t gotten much interest in their home. After a recent price reduction, she felt it was now priced competitively, and was considering hosting a brokers’ open to help drive traffic, and was asking if it was a good idea.
Several real estate agents, both local and far-flung, offered all kinds of advice. One suggested having a twilight wine & cheese reception, since the seller’s home has a view of a nearby lake. Another suggested sending flyers to all of the local real estate offices to get a good turnout. Someone also suggested lowering the list price even more. Someone else was more concerned about who would pay for the event—the realtor or the seller. But my favorite advice came from the realtor who suggested offering a home warranty, paying for closing costs, creating a kick-ass video, or giving away an iPad as an enticement to get more showings.
Not one realtor advised consulting with a home stager.
I have to admit, I was kind of shocked. Advising the seller to make sure that her home looks its absolute best online, in print, and in person should have been a no-brainer. All of the suggestions the real estate agents made would have cost more than a one-hour consultation with a professional stager, and none of them addressed what may well be the root of the problem—the house does not look fresh, bright, uncluttered, and updated inside and out. None of those other suggestions will work if the house doesn’t look move-in ready.
What this experience made painfully obvious is that the concept of professional staging has not yet penetrated the consciousness of the average real estate agent, and we stagers have a lot of educating to do before it becomes ingrained in agents’ minds as an integral part of preparing a home for sale. So keep doing your office presentations, webinars, demonstrations, and whatever you need to do to drive the message home; we’ve got a long way to go.
Copyright 2011 Happily Better After Room Redesign & Home Staging