Home Staging for a faster, more profitable sale!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Leading Edge 523754

Our team has been staging homes in the Crofton and Severn Maryland area for over 5 years with terrific results.  Our average days on market for the homes we sell is close to half of the Anne Arundel county norm and our list price to sale price is at about 98% compared to the county 96%.  Our home staging was really born out of necessity.  We'd see one of our homes sitting on the market and we'd do a little here and a little there to spruce it up.  The results were immediate and positive.  Those homes sold.  We've expanded on that greatly since the olden days with a 20 x 20 storage unit full of staging "goodies".  Everything from silk plants (they are supposed to be a staging no no but they work!), artwork, bedding - which we buy on discount and provide at no charge, and kitchen & bath accessories.  Last year we decide to make it official and attended the Accredited Staging Professional course to earn our ASP designations.  I had looked into this before but passed on it due to the expense of over $2,000.  Then we found out that Realtors are offered a special rate on the two day course.  You can earn the designation but with the short course you are not allowed to sell staging services as an ASP.  That was fine with us.  We offer home staging FREE with our full service listing.  The response has been wonderful and we're still the rare breed in our area who have earned the designation.  But I think in the very near future this will become a standard, almost required service for Realtors to be competitive.  While the Accredited Staging Professional designation is the oldest and most prestigious, you can now earn a variety of home staging designations ranging from a 21 day course to on-line courses.  I can tell you that I personally think that the on-line course is NOT the way to learn or polish your home staging skills.  While it may be easy to get, I will definitely be educating my clients and potential clients on the differences between designations.  Those you really have to work for and those you can "buy".  If you don't want to stage the home yourself, have your client HIRE a home stager.  Costs vary depending on the work from $500 - $5,000 or more with furniture rentals.  We have found that the average out of pocket cost to fully stage a typical three level colonial home is less than $500 including all new linens, bath and kitchen accessories.  Those are the rooms that have to shine and the rooms that homebuyers base their decisions on.  A minimal investment ($1,500) in a variety of high quality silk plants is all you need to augment any home staging project.   Below are some before and after staging projects that cost zero, and some after photos of completed projects.  In our zeal to get going we always seem to forget our before photos!

One final thought, and this one deserves another complete blog.  Agents, take care with your photos.  Sit on the floor, stand on a chair, remove clutter, move things around.  Do whatever you have to do to get a great shot.  Then put them in a logical walk through the house order.   Photos sell homes on the internet!  You can view all of our Maryland homes for sale and see our presentation at www.FortMeadeHomes.com

                                   BEFORE                                                                                                     AFTER

Added a full shot view, some mantle decor and turned on the lights!  Total cost ZERO - we had all items in our inventory.  Notice that buyers will now see that the family room has French doors to the deck.

   severn home for sale family room staged

Total cost on this one ZERO dollars.  We removed unnecessary furniture and wall decor and turned on the lights!

severn home for sale bedroom before stagingsevern home for sale 4th bedroom after home staging

Total cost for this bath redo was $67.00 for shower curtain towels and accessories.  Also photographed from a different angle.

 severn md home for sale bath before staging                   severn md home for sale bath after staging

 Total cost to soften up this kitchen was $45 and of course we turned the lights on!

piney orchard home for sale kitchen staging    piney orchard home for sale kitchen after staging

Comments (2)

Provadus Home Loans
Provadus Home Loans - Marietta, GA
Technology bringing you home.
Well done!! I am a firm believer of staggers.  You make a huge difference....
Sep 24, 2007 07:34 AM
Jack Pearce
RE/MAX Valley Real Estate - Boardman, OH
Broker - ABR, ASP, CSP, ePRO, GRI

I, too, sat for the REALTOR ASP Certification. I must say I was dissappointed. I found it to more of in info- mercial to sell ASP garp and products than informational. If you do not have an eye for "home staging" this certification will not give it to you. However, this in no way lowers my view on the significance of home staging. I have used home staging long before I even heard of ASP as a way to "work" expireds. Without lowering the price, I've been able to sell homes in days that were formerly on the market for months simply by removing all the clutter, de-personalizing the decor, removing at least 1/3 of the furniture, and making the home appear bigger and more attractive to buyers. Home staging works. The cost to the home owner is usually no more than a couple gallons of paint and the cost of furniture storage (sometimes, we just use the garage).

My question to newly expireds, "If your REALTOR has already done everything that s(he) said would sell your home, why hasn't it sold?" Price is most often deemed the reason by most of the compitition, but if you can add Home Staging to your side of the equation, you'll be out in front.

Sep 24, 2007 11:00 PM