Do agents provide a disservice to their sellers if the agent also provides home staging? I suppose it could be true in some cases, but I also believe that it could very well compliment the agents existing service if property implemented. Tori has some good points to be considered, but the Realtor®/stager could also bring added value to the table.
A Realtor, who knows how important it is to prepare his or her listings, always goes above and beyond the competition to make a sale. Sometimes, it’s cleaning the dust bunnies off the furniture, putting away clutter before an open house or fixing a clogged drain. These tasks are added to the many others Realtors do to help get the house sold. Recently I was introduced to a Realtor as the Owner/Lead Designer of Stylish Stagers, Inc., she immediately said she stages her own listings. I thought to myself amazing she almost gets it!Home staging is a skill set that many Realtors nowadays say they’ve mastered, and why not? They’ve seen plenty of houses to know what’s keeping the home from selling. In many cases, Realtors have taken staging training classes and are certified as staging professionals. Like the forward thinking agent I was introduced to, some agents think if they offer staging services they’re giving their clients an amazing service. In reality it couldn’t be further from the truth.As a Realtor, do you own your own inventory? Do you fully understand color psychology? Do you understand furniture placement or Feng Shui? Do you have a truck to pick up and deliver the furniture? Do you have time to shop, pull inventory or pick-up last minute items?If the answer is no, then how can you say you’re giving clients an amazing staging service. Home stagers not only have a wide range of accessories to choose from for a project, but they can also spend days prior to a staging planning, researching and shopping to dial into what this potential buyer’s demographic and psychographics are to create a lifestyle this buyer wants to obtain. Adding items into a listing that are lying around your house, usually have your specific taste and not that of the buyer. For example, laying out a Persian rug that an agent finds rolled up in the back of their closet, won’t work in a contemporary home, as well as, a white shag rug. The agent’s rug may ultimately seem off putting to buyers and could jeopardize the sale. The same is true with any items the Realtor brings into the home.The infamous life coach, Tony Robbins, recently said, “style is important than substance initially. If you have lots of substance and no style, no one will hear you.” In our profession, we see this quote play out in life over and over again. The substance is the seller’s home and if it’s not appealing or stylish enough to attract buyers online to take action, no one will hear the seller’s offer. So, while a Realtor can go through the motions of home staging it takes an expert to style the space to leave a lasting impression.
Now, I’m not bashing Realtors who stage their own listings because they’re smart enough to understand the importance staging offers, but if you’re not making a living at staging, then you can’t give it 100-percent effort for maximum results. Staging is a full-time profession. As a Realtor you don’t write loans, conduct appraisals, inspect homes, so why waste your valuable time staging a home, when you could be obtaining another listing or showing an existing listing? What would be your client’s perception of you if you serve multiple roles when selling their property? Your client would probably see your effort, however may wonder if you can personally do it all. They may think you’re staging someone else’s property when you should be showing theirs? As we already know wondering clients can turn into unhappy clients, therefore, agents shouldn’t serve in multiple roles rather build a team.Top producers and true professionals have teams of other professionals that all work together to accomplish a common goal. A Realtor can’t be a professional at everything so they need to focus on what you do best, selling homes.The Realtor I was introduced to in this story told me her personal staging services are why her clients hire her, which has resulted in her becoming a top producing Realtor in a national real-estate company. I don’t believe it’s her staging talent at all rather it’s her passion, knowledge and commitment that has others acknowledging her accomplishments with a laundry list of awards. Imagine how much more she could accomplish if she had a home stager on her team. Home stagers can help prepare your clients homes through Do-It-Yourself Services, On-Site Staging Days, Choosing Rental Furniture, Project and Clutter Management, Color Consultations, Supplying Vendors and Accessories. Every home has its challenges, it’s a home stager’s job to think creatively and problem-solve to reduce the amount of stress the sale has on a home seller and Realtor. Do you have a home stager on your team, yet? It’s an invaluable tool that can save you time, while making you more money.
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By Tori Toth Owner/Lead Designer, Stylish Stagers, Inc. (NYC Metro, Central NJ, Columbia, SC, Miami and Phoenix) www.stylishstagers.com