In a HOT Market, why would anyone need Home Staging? by Jennie Norris, ASPM, IAHSP-Premier, BTS, REO, SRS, IAHSP-CB President & CEO, Stagedhomes.com Chairwoman, International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) In a HOT market, why would anyone need Home Staging? If you are like most cities around the country, the real estate market is HOT again this season – and it does not show signs of a slow down. When houses are selling due to demand, why would anyone need Home Staging? This question came up from a seasoned REALTOR contemplating incorporating Staging into his listing and marketing process. He shared he normally carries 8 listings at any given time and currently he has zero. It was perplexing to him and causing him to revise his marketing strategy to attract sellers. One key aspect of that will be STAGING. During the course of our conversation, he asked me why, in a hot market, sellers would want to Stage. The need for Staging is an obvious one when the market is slow because it helps houses stand out from their competition and look their best prior to any showings. A Staged house is less likely to languish on the market and have price drops. But WHY would a Seller need to Stage their house when demand outweighs supply and they are virtually certain of selling right away? The simple answer is MONEY. When a house looks great and shows better than the marketed competition, the Seller will get better offers – often multiple offers in a highly competitive market and price-point for the property. We call it the Staged List Price versus the List Price. And in markets where savvy REALTORs have been including Staging, they can actually quantify the fiscal benefit to the Seller by providing two different prices for listing the house – based on whether the property is Staged or not. The differential between the two prices could be a few thousand dollars to tens-of-thousands of dollars. According to the National Association of REALTORs (NAR), Sellers can expect to make 1-17% more for a property that is Staged. (source: Profile of Home Staging) Does this make the seller greedy? No. Sellers are only responding to the market demand. When they are purchasing in the same market where they sell, they need every dollar available to purchase their next property. The sellers are not the ones driving prices up or limiting available inventory. They are simply able to take advantage of what the market is doing. Does it make Buyers stupid for paying more? No. In a hot market the perception is Buyers will buy anything just because the inventory is low and prices are going up. Not true. Buyers may need/want to purchase, but they like to feel good about what they are buying. A house that is presented well, is pleasing to tour and shows well in photos and in person, is more desirable than a house that is dirty, cluttered and just put on the market with little or no pre-marketing effort. A Buyer will not feel great about that purchase and in fact, may assume the house has not been maintained and may have repair issues based on how poorly it shows. Do REALTORS have to encourage Staging? Fact is, REALTORS have a fiduciary responsibility to get the MOST for the sale of the house – not just “some” of the money, all of it. When they know about a tool like Staging, and fail to use it to help their Sellers prepare their house for sale, they are actually failing in their responsibilities as the listing agent. Not all agents are created equal so the selling public needs to make sure to work with a REALTOR that uses all tools at their disposal to professional market and sell the property, including Staging. Trickle Down Effect: When the house sells at a better price, the Seller WINS because they get MORE than expected. The Agent WINS because they earn more commission. The Buyer WINS because they get to purchase a house that is presented well and makes them feel good about their purchase, and if they are also selling in order to buy, they can use Staging on the selling side to net the very MOST for the sale that allows them to purchase a Staged property. Looking for a professional Home Stager to help prepare your house or listing for sale? Go to www.Stagedhomes.com and search our Directory of Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP). With the proper training and foundation to understand how to handle a client and get the Staging done properly, you and your seller will be in capable and qualified hands.