Home Stager with Stage It List It Sell It



 I have owned a professional home staging company since 2007.  In the Rochester NY area, for an unknown reason, many home sellers are not utilizing professional stagers.  Watching occasional HGTV does not qualify a home owner to say they staged their home.    


I know you’ll be shocked to hear me be direct.  In the middle of my fourth year of being a real estate agent, and selling 26 homes last year, many recent homes I’ve shown have been completely disappointing to my clients.  Why?  Homes are not prepared to sell using simple common sense.  Dirty, stinky, and cluttered homes don’t sell.  Sellers need to take preparing their homes for all showings and listing in general seriously.  It is inexcusable not to paint wild colored rooms a neutral color.  Many buyers don’t want to be inconvenienced with a fixer upper.  I have had buyers walk away from great homes because they can’t look past room colors.  Get rid of your wallpaper.  It’s never a selling point. People want to see a spacious feeling home no matter what its square footage is.  If you need to rent a storage area, do it.  Moving is stressful enough.  Every house can be presented in move in condition.  Homes that do look better than their competition in the same price range sell.  There is no bad time to sell a home.  Mary Chau recently wrote on that very subject in The Democrat and Chronicle.   Interest rates are fantastic. 


Home staging is imperative.  The basic steps of home staging are to repair, de-clutter, stage, and moderately decorate a home.  Stagers use a large majority of decorative items and furnishing within houses.   Their process accentuates focal points, showcases the size of a room, and balances furniture placement, color and space in each room, but it’s not enough.


 The more I continued to “stage” listings, I realized that I was not truly staging.   After much analyzing, I was using the basic concepts of staging, but taking it three steps further.  My steps are staging, fully decorating using my inventory, hiring a professional real estate photographer for both pictures and virtual tours, and utilizing the power of national social media marketing.  This process is “Stagorating.”    


Sellers don’t need to invest in items to modernize a room to appeal beautiful to buyers.  It’s too expensive.  They need to save for their future home.  Painting and de-cluttering is not expensive.  The Realtor is responsible to guide sellers how to prepare homes to sell the quickest for the most money.  The most common and relatively inexpensive suggestions should be painting, tearing away wallpaper, and renting a storage unit. 


Buyer’s want to walk into room that looks beautiful knowing their furniture will fit in it. They are drawn to request showings through on line photographs.  Fuzzy distorted photos without virtual tours frequently get overlooked.   Houses not shown don’t necessarily mean they’re priced too high.  They are priced too high if they stink are filthy, have hot pink paint, unmade beds loaded with cat hair.  I showed houses priced over $195,000 with these issues within the past 2 months.   


The 2011 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that 88 % of buyers are using the internet to find their homes.  Additional facts include 55% find homes through drive by yard signs, 45% through open houses, and only 30% through newspaper ads.  The same study states that 63% of buyers walked through a home they found on line.


Recently I sold a home to my brother and sister-in-law.  When my 15 year old nephew, Billy, and 12 year old niece, Anne, stated the house they purchased bought created a warm mood.  They were right.  The house was neutral, clean, tastefully decorated, and arranged spaciously.  Honestly, if teenagers recognize that feeling, why isn’t it common sense to sellers? 


Sellers don’t want to sink their money into accessories, new bedding, glassware, curtains, and furnishings.  Stagerating is taking home staging one step further.  Each room not only needs to be staged, but fully decorated.  Stagerated rooms show neutral, but tastefully and highly decorated.  The only way this can be done is to hire a Stagerater that owns a large inventory of all home decorating items.


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