How to Waste Money on Staging

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes

If you either have to or decide to vacate your house while it is for sale, you have two choices.  You can leave the home empty and hope buyers can visualize their belongings in the rooms.  Or you can hire a professional Stager to bring in furniture/accessories in an attempt to make the home more appealing to buyers.  If you choose the later, you obviously want the cost to be offset by either a faster sale or higher price. 

Assuming you choose the second option, your desire to have the home maintained in pristine condition should be even higher.  You are now paying a mortgage plus a rental fee for the furniture.  However, you put all of this money at risk, if you don't either check on the home yourself or have someone do it for you.  

Luxury home buyers in Louisville should not have to cut through spider webs in the basement a la Indiana Jones in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  They should not have to overlook a multitude of dead insects in the kitchen and living room. Nor should they have to try to erase the memory of 2 dozen dead flies in the jacuzzi tub.  This really does not promote the emotions you are paying to obtain.

Now, one could argue that these are minor inconveniences that are easily remedied.  That the staging will help buyers focus on the positives and move on.  I might even agree.  But I promise you, when she finds a dead bat in the master shower, she heads for the door immediately.  She does not look at the furniture (or the entire upstairs for that matter) and your money is wasted. 

If you are looking for a Louisville real estate agent who would be more than happy to monitor you vacant home, please call 502-921-3989. 

 

As tempting as it is, I will not be showing a photo of said shower.  The above photo is courtesy of vladeb on Flickr.

* * * * *

Erik Hitzelberger is a licensed REALTOR with RE/MAX Alliancein Louisville. If you need a Louisville Real Estate agent please email me or call 502.921.3989.

I specialize in the following areas of the Metro Louisville Area: Prospect, Middletown, Jeffersontown (J-Town), Fern Creek, Okolona, Shepherdsville, Mt Washington, Hillview, Brooks and Pewee Valley.  Click the following links to learn more about Louisville and Bullitt County Real Estateor to Search for Louisville Homes 

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Comments (18)

Sara Goss
HatmakerGroup.com GMAC Real Estate - League City, TX
Realtor - Houston Bay Area, Texas

Ugh. I'm can't blame her. Monitoring the homes you have listed is part of a realtor's job.

Sep 07, 2009 03:06 PM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Sara - She was actually pretty calm.  We stood there for a minute debating what we were actually looking at.  However, the showing was clearly over. 

Sep 07, 2009 03:24 PM
Heather Chavez
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Caldwell, ID
Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235

Was the seller Elvira, Erik?  A dead bat in the master shower.  That's one I would never have thought to worry about.

Sep 07, 2009 03:54 PM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Heather - This was a first for me.  I hadn't really considered that there might be a legitimate reason:)   

Sep 07, 2009 04:28 PM
Marcia Hawken
WILLIAM RAVEIS - Naples, FL
Naples Luxury Specialist

Erik,

Unfortunately, I had a client find a bat her lanai and ultimately had to have the roof taken off because there were thousand of bats in the eaves.  I hope not.  I see so many listings with bugs and leaves and debri at the door because an agent was not checking the listing. I agree, staging ain't anything if you do not keep the listing in good condition. Good post.

Sep 07, 2009 10:40 PM
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

I am sure finding a bat would not be a pleasant experience and most would head for the door immediately.

Sep 07, 2009 11:59 PM
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Haven't found any bats, yet. But have seen snakes, and snake skins. Nothing turns off a prospective buyer faster than seeing snake skins in the nursary.

Sep 08, 2009 12:11 AM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Marcia - I had a friend whose inlaws had bats in their attic. They didn't take the roof off, but it took several specialists and months to remedy the problem. 

Bill - I saw it first and wasn't exactly sure what to say.  Actually, I wasn't even 100% sure what I was looking at.  Finally, I just warned her.  She was interested in seeing it, but not the rest of the home.

Mike - I imagine snakes in the nursery would send them screaming. 

 

Sep 08, 2009 01:56 AM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Erik - On the staging discussion, I think vacant is workable, stagers may argue.  As for anyone I would trust with a sale in Louisville who offers to check the home or not- that would be YOU!

Sep 08, 2009 11:17 AM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Ladies and Gentleman, the wisest agent in all of Florida --- Wendy Rulnick!  :)  Seriously, thanks for your comment. 

Sep 08, 2009 02:18 PM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

What a way to end a showing!  I hope everyone remained calm.

Sep 10, 2009 12:22 AM
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Eric,

Sounds like a great house to view...where do I sign up for it?? 

Ann

Sep 10, 2009 03:17 PM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Judi - Surprisingly yes.  At least we got interesting stories out of the deal.

Ann - Perhaps the worst part is this home was in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of Louisville.

 

Sep 10, 2009 04:24 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I went to an open house a couple of weeks ago that had been staged. The kitchen was beautiful cherry wood cabinets, granite countertops, and tile floor. Unfortunately, when you opened a kitchen drawer or cabinet, there was a few billion dead roaches and roach droppings. We left. The kitchen is vitally important, and to have something like that in the first place people go really puts a damper on things.

Sep 10, 2009 09:12 PM
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Erik,

I am sure buyers would like the house clean instead of staged.  At leasty my buyers would.

Ann

Sep 13, 2009 03:00 PM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Russel - My first apt after college was roach infested.  Took almost 5 months to get the problem fixed.  Ever since, I've despised the bugs with a passion.  Had I opened the cabinet, the buyers would have had to continue on their own, because I'd be in the car. 

Ann- At a minimum, sans dead creatures.

Sep 13, 2009 03:57 PM
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

I agree with you Erik.  A professional stager  won't stage a dirty house.  Who  makes a bed with dirty sheets?

Sep 15, 2009 12:48 AM
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc. - Kitchener, ON
Quality Home Staging

Interesting post. Well, I can tell you that a pro stager would have noticed most of these items prior to staging and requested that they be cleaned up prior to staging. We have come across similar situations and our contracts for vacant homes always stipulate that the sellers get the house cleaned before we stage - I mean what's the point of a staged home if its filthy?

Without staging, vacant homes lack that emotional connection which makes buyers fall in love. Without furnishings, there is nothing to distract the eye from imperfections, odd room shapes and sizes - and - all manner of dirt & debris.

Staging gives buyers perspective on what will fit in a room while at the same time selling them a lifestyle which they have been dreaming of.

A staged vacant home, on average, will sell in under 4 weeks while an unstaged vacant home can languish on the market over six months .. and still not sell.

All powerful reasons to stage those vacant homes!

Mar 28, 2010 04:15 PM