Agents: “What’s in home staging for me?”
Most of us are motivated by thinking ‘what’s in it for me? and real estate agents are no different. When people like me send you information on home staging and how it will help your clients there is no motivation to use me without knowing ‘what’s in it for you?’ You’re probably thinking, “my houses sell OK” or, “I’ve never needed a home stager before”
This then, is what’s in it for you:
1. Well presented houses sell faster
This is the number 1 reason to use a stager. As agents you make your money by getting and turning listings. You know instinctively and from experience that listings that are well presented, clutter free, clean and up to date sell faster than the listings that make your heart sink when you enter. For some of you instinct and experience might not be enough and you need some statistics. This study by RESA, The Real Estate Staging Association should give you the numbers you are looking for (Go to link above and download the consumer’s guide to real estate staging for the stats)
2. You will turn and be seen to turn your listings for more money
Linked to reason number 1, the longer a property stays on the market the more price reductions it has. If a house sells quickly it will generally be at a better price. The difference in price is not going to equal a big difference in your commission (although every little helps) but it will mean that you are seen as the agent that doesn’t always drop their listing price.
Buyers are 63% more likely to pay more for a move-in ready house (according to a Maritz survey). They will pay less or not make an offer at all if they think they are buying the sellers ‘to do list’. Staging ensures that a house is move-in ready.
Staging delivers a 340% Return on seller investment (Home Gain survey of 2000 agents that asked for the top home improvements and the ROI they bring). In other words for every $1000 spent on staging, the return was $3400 making a $2400 profit. Staging is an investment that pays off for the sellers and their agent
3. Allows you to focus on what you do best – selling houses.
You make your money by finding and selling new listings. If you are spending time with sellers telling them how to improve their home you are not out there chasing the next listing and finding buyers for your current listings.
4. Better relationships with your clients
This is an important one! Your relationship with your clients is often a finely balanced one. You don’t want to jeopardize the relationship and therefore your listing by having those difficult conversations about, for example, taking religious items down, not having 2 single beds in the master bedroom or that your client’s house smells of dog. Stagers are the objective ‘middle men’. They can have the difficult conversations so you don’t have to.
5. Gives you a point of difference and marketing edge in a competitive and difficult market
Most agents want to stand out from other agents and be seen as offering something of value to their clients. By recommending or even paying/part paying for the staging as part of your marketing when few others do you will be seen as a forward thinking agent. Your reputation will be of someone who has great looking listings and who sells them quickly for a good price. It’s easy in this market to think that ‘there is nothing I can do’ I disagree. This is the time to give yourself and your listings a point of difference.
6. Staged houses look better on the Internet and in Print and show better too.
The internet is the first port of call for most. Stagers know how to make rooms look their best in photographs through furniture and accessory placement and how to stage a room for viewings too. Buying a house is such a visual thing. Staging helps convert buyers from on-line viewings to real ones to making offers.
Think about how and when you can recommend a home stager to your prospective clients. There are plenty of reasons a seller would use a home stager. but also lots of reasons why it would be in your interest to recommend them too.