Agents, if you’re not listening to me about home staging, at least listen to your potential clients
In this post I asked those same four clients what they would like to say to agents. This is what they said….
1. Was your agent a believer or disbeliever?
Client 1: Believer
“In our case, two of the three agents we spoke to initially were going to suggest a home staging consultant to us, but we had already arranged it ourselves. They were really pleased we had used a stager”
Clients 2 and 3: Didn’t recommend staging but were pleased to have a well presented house to sell
“Although she didn’t initially recommend staging, our agent was actually very relieved as she stated the property would be easier to sell the better it looked.”
“I knew we were on the right track when the agent’s initial comment on their first visit was that a family could just move straight in. I didn’t tell them I’d use a home stager until after we had received 9 offers within 3 days of advertising because I’d heard they were sometimes negative about staging!”
Client 4: A disbeliever!
“I had no agent when I engaged you for your initial advice. Once I had an agent, their opinion was that home staging wasn’t necessary because buyers ‘paint their own mental picture’ and it’s more helpful to guide them with questions such as ‘what would you do with this room?’ I very nearly listened, but was glad that in the end I trusted my gut instinct and went ahead with the staging.”
Client 1 House: Sold before auction
2. In your opinion why don’t agents recommend staging to their clients?
Acceptability of idea: “In my opinion, if an agent is not suggesting a home stager it could be the market where the house is selling, and the type of house, and age of the owners, and a sense of acceptability of the idea.”
“home staging should be just part of the advertising package that a real estate agent puts together, along with arranging a photographer, map, they will arrange a home stager.”
Attitude of Bring me the product and I will sell it: “Also agents may believe they can sell the house as is without the staging and give their own suggestions to the owners of how to present the house.”
Perceived cost: “I don’t think they want to put potential vendors off with the cost of home staging. It is a stressful expensive time and vendors could think of it as just “another cost” to add to the list.”
Lack of knowledge: “I’m not sure but perhaps they aren’t educated on the cost and benefits. If I was being cynical, agents may also want the seller to earmark any expenditure to marketing and advertising.”
Don’t have sellers interest at heart: “This isn’t really a comment about the agent I used, but generally, I think that agents don’t really have the sellers’ interests at heart. It doesn’t really matter to them if you sell your house for the best price or quickly or not. Having a house on the market with their advertising all over it is actually free advertising for them, so the longer it goes on the better from their point of view. The way commission works, what is a big markdown in the price to the seller only results in a small drop in commission for the agent, so they’re not really bothered. For them it’s all about attracting new sellers not finding buyers.”
3. What were the benefits to you of home staging?
“I think it is really worth it to get your best price, it gives the home the “wow” factor needed to sell quickly.”
“Friends asked me would I do it again and I said “Absolutely, without a doubt”. I would do it the same way. Move out of the house and then home stage. And the best thing we sold it so quickly.”
For the best possible price
“After selling our house for $10,000 more than the asking price, I would say the proof is in the pudding! It makes the agents job so much simpler.”
“I knew it was a slow market and knew that the property would need to be presented in the best light possible to compete and to maximize our price.”
Easy, stress free process:
“Imogen from Home Staging Brisbane gives excellent service and takes the worry out of selling your house by presenting the home so beautifully.”
“It takes away the selling stress of trying to keep the house tidy with 3 young children. Takes away the stress of making it look it’s best and cleaning before every open house.”
Return on investment
“Imogen at Home Staging Brisbane provided really practical advice about how to present the property specifically to the most likely target buyer and she carefully considered any recommended additional expenditures which ensured that any spend would produce a financial benefit.”
“I liked the confidence it gave us that we had invested our money wisely and that we could highlight our property’s strengths to the agents.”
“I found the process really helpful and the initial advice was the best money I spent on preparing the house for sale. Home staging Brisbane is a great and professionally run service.”
The above are benefits for the seller. But there are key benefits for their agent too. How would you like to sell a beautifully presented property, sell it quickly and for the best price? Isn’t that what all agents want?
One more thing…and it’s a real biggie!
I was reminded again when reading through these quotes what a well researched and motivated group of people my home staging clients are. As Staging Diva wrote in a recent post:
“If clients have gone to the trouble of hiring and paying for a home stager, they’re going to sell. That’s their intention. They’re not thinking “maybe, down the road I’ll list my house…It’s a really hot lead for a real estate agent”
My clients ask me all the time if I can recommend an agent. If I know and rate an agent I gladly will. Most agents haven’t made this connection. Forget me ‘selling’ staging to you, you should be ‘selling’ yourself to me!
I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you are an agent and would like to understand how home staging can help you and your clients then give me a call on 0432 994 056 or contact me through my website.
Thanks to my clients for taking the time to answer my questions for this post and thanks also to That Peter Brewer for (maybe unwittingly) giving me the idea of asking my clients to tell the story
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