How House Sitters Can Help Sell A Home Faster

Home Stager with Showhomes

ABC 13 in Las Vegas ran this piece on Showhomes and the use of Home Managers to help sell high end vacant homes:


How House Sitters Can Help Sell A Home Faster

 July 4, 2008 11:08 PM


These days it is a buyer's market in real estate and many houses are sitting empty much longer than the owner would like.

But now there is a new twist that is helping sellers seal the deal more quickly.

Contact 13's Tricia Kean explains.

Thomas Scott feels right at home in a gorgeous million dollar mansion.

He sold his own house and wanted to hold off on buying another.

"This is a great way to wait the market out," said Thomas Scott.

So he is now a house sitter of sorts.

"It is not a lease. I am not a tenant. I do not rent the house. I am not a homeowner. I do not know how long I am going be here," explained Thomas Scott. 

He works for show homes, a company that is helping stage the home, to try and sell it more quickly.

Staging usually means adding furniture, but now, it can mean bringing in a full time tenant, too.

Las Vegas realtor Kenneth Baker says the technique can help move homes off the market.

"Staging a home gives you better tours. It gives you better pictures and ultimately gets you offers," said Kenneth.

Surveys among realtors show empty homes tell buyers the seller is desperate and offers that do come in are traditionally low.

"The house was cute and looked like my favorite Aunt Cathy's house. Now it looks like a house I can sell," said Kenneth Baker.

Although staging can help sell a house, Kenneth says it does not always mean it will go for a higher price.

"In today's market I do not know if it is exactly more dollars. It has more offers," said Kenneth.

With thousands of empty homes flooding the Las Vegas housing market getting an offer can be half the battle.

So how does this all work?

The house sitter pays the staging company low monthly fee, usually about 25% of what a mortage would cost. This allows the staging company to charge the homeowner less for the staging.

A reputable company screens its sitters carefully, checking criminal history.

Smokers and pet owners are out.

Tom loves the job even though there is no telling how long he will live in any one home...

"I have been in a home as long as six or seven months and as short as 45 days, so it is a little adventuresome," said Thomas.

So here is the bottom line, you may be wondering if the temporary tenant foots the moving bill every time a home is sold.

Actually, the staging company pays for the move.

In return the company gets a percentage of the sale once the buyer closes on the home.

Comments (6)

Tom Bates
Austin Modern Living - Austin, TX

I love the concept, but recently, a buyer client told they were ONLY looking for new construction that had never been lived in.  When I explained the house sitter program the client said "not interested in those!"  Yikes.  Wonder if anyone else has run into that.  Thanks for the post.

Jul 08, 2008 12:38 AM
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

This is incredibly innovative - is this something that is catching on in other parts of the country? 

Jul 08, 2008 12:42 AM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

Tergerson - that's the most common objection we encounter. With the hige glut of new homes sitting vacant, the ones with home managers are some of the only ones selling. The power of having a whole houe staged simply works its magic on even the most stubborn buyers. We recently sold a 1.4 million dollar new home to a buyer who had the same concern. Despite his objection he spent 2 hours inthe home and brought his wife back and they placed an offer on the home. It works :)

Jul 08, 2008 12:47 AM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

Kate - it is catching on. Its not new - Showhomes has been in operation since 1986 but we are rapidly growing. Its a franchise company and many stagers, Realtors and other people in the RE industry are making the decision to open a Showhomes franchise because there is such a need and its a high revenue business.

Jul 08, 2008 12:48 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Interesting. I could handle out of the house with my wireless...

Jul 08, 2008 01:00 AM
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

Tom, the staging company gets a percentage of the sale?

Can you speak more to that?  Plus, how does one sell in this concept?  I like the idea, but suspect it's better if the "sitter" is actually a stager or a realtor who understands the nuance of all that's at stake every time the home gets shown.


Jul 29, 2008 03:15 AM