Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Home Staging - HGTV Shows Don't Reveal The Total Cost

HGTV has many great shows to offer particularly in the real estate and home staging world. As a highly sought-after Professional Home Stager in Orlando and Central Florida I get asked questions all the time about the price. Unlike the real world, here is what HGTV does and does not reveal about the TRUE cost of staging...
Like many do-it-yourselfers, designers and other interested homeowners, I love HGTV! They offer such a variety of shows that are so relevant and helpful to homeowners as well as buyers and seller participating in the real estate game. I particularly enjoy a special grouping of shows surrounding home staging. One of my favorite shows is 'GET IT SOLD'. Their star Sabrina Soto is wonderfully creative and she is someone that I can learn from. I do applaud them for actually helping bring awareness to the general public about the relatively new service called Home Staging. Many people still do not know what it is. It is the process of de-personalizing a home and making it buyer ready to appeal to a mass buyer audience by de-cluttering, purposefully arranging furniture and accessories and highlighting a home's best features while downplaying the negative ones.
Where Home Staging shows cause a bit of grief for us Professional Home Stagers, is in the area of pricing. Usually most of these shows tally up the cost per room or for individual materials to show you that it really isn't all that expensive to do it right the first time and get it staged. While I firmly believe staging a home is an absolute must for every home seller, since the idea is to appeal to a mass group of buyers, I don't agree with the pricing shown. Let's remember staging is almost always less than the cost of not staging so it really isn't an expensive process, it just is different than what the HGTV shows lead you to believe.
When you see that a four-bedroom home was staged for around $1500 including rental furniture, I really wonder where they rent from because their pricing isn't always realistic. Furthermore, nowhere in the total cost is the fee for staging indicated. Where is the labor cost?! There is always a labor fee and it can be very misleading for potential clients. When they think they can have their home completed for that same above price only to find that it is double or more because HGTV's pricing on rentals was not correct, that leaves a bad taste in a client's mouth and creates a false hope for home sellers.
Please beware when watching any of these shows that in real life there is always a fee for a Professional Home Stager to actually do the staging work. Unlike the show, generally the homeowner does not participate unless they want to. Most want to pay someone to have it completed while they spend their time on other tasks. The fee of the actual staging labor is made up of transportation for sometimes multiple trips, time to select accessories and rental furniture, the actual design creation, actual staging of all items, de-staging and removal of all accessories that belong to the Home Stager. A professional stager spends much of their staging time lifting, pushing, pulling, hanging, carrying as well as the creative process to put it all together which makes your home sparkle.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gone are the days you could simply put a listing on the market and receive multiple offers in hours. But even with this crazy market homes are still selling IF they are (a) priced correctly and (b) look their absolute best. You and your real Estate agent can set the fair price based on the comparable homes being sold in your area and the price they are fetching.
Making a home look it's very best is where home staging comes into play. Often for a small investment a seller can see huge returns in a short period of time. A good example is retail store windows that draw customers in with captivating visual marketing followed up by inviting, and even inspiring visual marketing inside a store. It really is no different when selling a home. Every home should look its very best from the curb to the back yard. Homes should look warm, inviting and inspire an air of "house pride" winning over the hearts of home shopping public.
Today more then ever it is imperative that all homes listed for sale look their absolute best, otherwise you run the risk of a home sitting on the market month after month while the asking price continues to drop ever lower. Here are 10 reasons you should hire a professional home stager to help stage your home and get that home sold!
1. You Will Make More Money. U.S. Housing and Urban Development reports that a staged home will sell, on average, 17% higher than an un-staged home. It makes more then cents it makes real money to stage a home.
2. Your House Will Sell Faster which = Less Headaches and Hassle. The New York Village Voice reported that the average number of days an un-staged home is on the market is 30.9 versus 13.9 for a staged home.
3. The Cost of Staging Doesn't Cost A Dime. In a 2003 Home Gain Survey of over 2000 Realtors, it was discovered that sellers who spent up to $1000 staging their home recovered almost 200% of the cost in the sale of their home.
4. Most Home Sellers Can not View Their House Objectively. If you can't see objectively, you can't "package" effectively. Have a staging professional get your home into its most advantageous condition for showing.
5. Less Guesswork and "Do It Yourself". A professional home stager can manage your projects from start to finish. Or, they can give you a detailed enough report based on their extensive knowledge and training to have you "do it yourself".
6. Only 10% of Home buyers Can Visualize the Potential of a Home. That's why staging a home is critical! You don't want the advantages of your home overlooked and left up to the buyer's imagination.
7. The Longer Your Home is on the Market, the Lower the Price Will Be, so STAGE FIRST! According to a National Association of Realtors survey, homes that sold after 4 weeks on the market sold for 6% less then ones within the first 4 weeks! Don't be in a position where you have to lower your price...have your house staged.
8. The Money You Make May Be TAX FREE! Take advantage of a possible tax-free capital gain by getting every dollar possible!
9. Leaving Your House in "AS IS" Condition Will Help Sell the Competition. Right now the number of homes for sale on the market is at a record high. Competition is stiff and buyers have very high expectations. Successful agents know that the key to selling competing is professional staging.
10. You Can Relax. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you have done absolutely everything
possible to affect a quick sale of your most valuable commodity and for top dollar!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Home Staging - Professional Service Slashes Time and Increases Profit

It's time to put your home on the market. You've hired a real estate agent. You've signed all the papers. You've been given the typical remarks about keeping your home neat and ready for potential buyers. And now you wait. Or do you?
Instead of waiting the typical 4+ months and then taking a reduced price on your home, why not invest in a home staging professional! Doing so will drastically decrease the amount of time your home spends on the market - up to 20 times faster - as well as increase the amount you get for your home - six percent over listing is typical!
What is Home Staging?
Home staging is simply the art of preparing your home for sale. Basically, there are five steps to home staging:
- Cleaning
- Getting rid of clutter
- Depersonalizing
- Decorating and accessorizing
- Maintaining
In days gone by, home staging consisted of advice by your real estate agent to "clean up" and "de-clutter." If you had a savvy agent, you may have even been told to add fresh flowers or fresh linens in the bathroom. However, being a real estate professional is not the same thing as being a design professional.
Professional home stagers know exactly what to do to create the right atmosphere. They not only tell you to de-clutter, but know exactly what to do in order to create a clutter free environment. They can walk through your home and know immediately if you need to remove or rearrange furniture. With just a quick visit, they can tell you what will enhance your homes curb appeal.
Why Does Home Staging Matter?
When it comes to sales, first impressions are everything. A potential homebuyer will often decide to enter a home based on the outside appearance. And once inside, they make up their mind about a home within about 10 seconds. This means that you have 10 seconds to create an atmosphere that entices the imagination and creates a longing in the buyer.
Home staging is the way to create that desire and longing. Through home staging, you can put your home's best foot forward.
Professional or Do-It-Yourself?
Professional home staging services are not free and many people believe that they can save money by doing it themselves. However, there are many pitfalls to the "do-it-yourself" mentality.
1. You obviously like the look of your home or you wouldn't have created it, right? Making changes can be downright difficult when you love your things and feel that your home is comfortable "as is." A professional can help you step back and see your home in the same way that a potential buyer will see it. They help you take yourself out of the home so that the homebuyers can see themselves in it!
2. What do you know about color, lighting, and traffic flow? If you are like most people, you know very little about these things. Although the colors or the traffic pattern worked for you and your family, a professional can see issues that will keep your home from having that "instant appeal." Remember, buyers are not buying "your" house - they are buying "their" house!
3. Can you walk through your home and instantly list 10 inexpensive ways to increase the value of your home? Home stagers can. They know how to make the changes in a timely manner so that you can get your home on the market quickly. They view your home from the buyer's point of view and can tell you what to store, what to keep, what to move, and what will add that pizzazz that will make your home sell.
Is Home Staging Cost Effective?
One of the most important things you can do to sell your home quickly and for the highest possible price is to "stage" it. The proof is in the pudding:
- According to the National Association of Realtors, for every dollar sellers put into staging, they get $4 back
- The average increase over the listing price is 6.32%. On a $500,000 house, that is nearly $32,000 and will more than pay for your professional real estate agent! Think of home staging as a way to get your real estate agent for free!
A real estate professional has the knowledge, experience, and qualifications to sell your home. A home stager has the knowledge, experience, and qualifications to prepare your home for the sale. Although professional services are not free, the cost of the services more than exceeds the benefits received!