I know, some of you will think that the world must be coming to an end... Two blogs in one week, what the heck is ole Gary doing. Well, I woke up this morning feeling compelled to talk about something on my mind so set back for a few moments and listen to me squawk. (Lots of birds this week on AR)
I have read a couple of comments from our friends in the Real Estate Agent arena lately that make me pause and consider what they believe Home Staging will or will not do for their clients. One comment in particular made me think that there may be a very large disconnect between what the perception that Home Staging does for a homes selling price versus what it really does. A statement was made that a home listed in the $960,000 range was Staged and sold 10 months later for $720,000, far below the initial asking price. The inference was that Staging certainly did not help this home sell quickly or for the $960,000 asking price.
Please, help me here; are their any Stagers that think that Home Staging will increase the overall price that the home is actually worth? Our company, Home Matters, has always looked at Staging as a way to increase the marketability of a home, with-in the price range in which it competes. The benefit of Home Staging as we have told the story here in Indianapolis is that if your house is priced appropriately among a number of houses in that price range, that staging the home will move it up in the ranks of desirability among those homes. We have never conveyed that Staging will make the home worth more than its real intrinsic value. I'm not sure what has happened that some would even consider buying into the thought that Home Staging will make a homes overall value increase over what the market will bare. In the example above, what could possibly be done to a home that would make it worth $240,000 more than the market would support? Where have we gone so wrong as to instill the thought in agents, any agents, that this is what staging will do? I could not personally look someone in the eye and tell him or her that we can do this without blinking like crazy. The agents, builders and home owners that Home Matters works with here in Indianapolis understand that we increase the marketability of a home and that increase will lead to a successful sale, at the appropriate price. We don't need to try and sell them snake oil, they are happy enough to just be competitive.
The best way I can illustrate my thoughts on what Home Staging is designed to do, follows with this illustration; There are 250 homes in a northern suburb of Indianapolis, in the price range of $720,000 to $750,000, up for sale. In this same area there are at any given time, 50 homebuyers looking for homes in that price range. So at any given time there are only 50 possible winners in the home seller ranks. Our contention is one thing and one thing only; we can increase your ranking among those 250 competing homes that are on the market, in that price range. From a pure mathematical standpoint, every home that ranks from #51 to #250 will not compete for the 50 homebuyers. Those homes ranked between #51 and #250 are the homes that make up the staggering 55% (Indy market) that linger on the market, month after month, eventually expiring, moving from agent to agent and some even withdrawn from the market by the seller.
No where in this equation or in what we say our goal is for staging homes do we say that "We can make your home sell for a bunch more than it is really worth." Having said all of that, I have heard the stories of places on the west coast or maybe in Manhattan or other areas where historically there is the opposite effect where you have 10 homes for sale and 50 buyers wanting those 10 homes. Obviously this causes bidding wars that can lead to sale prices above the real value, what ever that is, but this is not real life for the other 95% of us. The other 95% of us simply offer a way for homeowners to compete at the top of their heap, what ever that is.
I have to ask; does any staging company out there really say that they can get a home seller more than their home is really worth? Does anyone even infer it? What has taken place that some agents believe this is what we proclaim to do? Please help me in my endeavor to seek to understand... I think my next post will be titled "How many condition issues have you covered up this week, Mr. & Mrs. Stager?" To address the other perception that really bothers me.
The squawking is over now.
I would really like to hear your feedback.