Open Letter to Wal-Mart Stores in Response to Misinformation at AOL money & finance

In the article Top 5IVE Mistakes Home Sellers Make featured at AOL money & finance, sponsored by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the author writes “In a depressed market, it’s more important than ever that your property stands out from the competition” and we of course couldn’t agree more. Except, the next message is unfortunately incorrect information: “But unless you’re trying to sell a multimillion-dollar mansion, you don’t need to pay a professional to stage your home.” This statement is not correct at all. All homes become a house and then the house becomes a product when they come on the market for sale. All homes need to be Staged for sale. Staging works and we can prove it so, no matter the price range. You would not detail the Lexus but not detail the Chevrolet. You detail all cars to get top dollar and the same is true for homes too.  You need to detail your house like you detail your car and in RE we call that Home Staging.  To Stage® a house correctly most sellers cannot see the forest for the trees and hiring a professional ASP Staging Professional is a truly wise investment with a high rate of return for every seller.  We have the stats and information to prove how important it is to hire a true ASP Professional to Stage® the house no matter what price range the house is in.  You would not usually operate on yourself when you need surgery and to Stage® a house without the professional can be risky business as you will not get the same results as you will with the professional.  ASP Stagers can prepare for you a detailed written Home Staging Plan and Report so you as the homeowner then can do the Staging with a plan or you can hire the ASP Stager to do the whole Staging for you.  Either way it totally pays off to bring in the professionals! I also asked our wonderful International Association of Home Staging Professionals, IAHSP®, Board members to write their feelings and experiences about the misinformation written on AOL and sponsored by Wal-Mart. Below I would like to share with you what two of our IAHSP® Board members wrote. First is Trish Kim, ASPM, IAHSP, owner of Staged Interiors, LLC and IAHSP International Membership Director who wrote the following in response to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: As an Accredited Staging Professional, I buy an enormous amount of supplies, furniture, accessories and house wares from my local Wal-Mart. We couldn’t live without your beads, rocks, florals, dishes, wine glasses, bedding and bath products, furniture pieces and so much more! I am a loyal customer and I use the items I buy at Wal-Mart to Stage my mid range and lower end properties as well as my multi-million dollar properties. I depend on you and your products to help me be successful and I’m only one of thousands of Accredited Staging Professionals who do the same. Please consider the following comment on one of you recent articles. In reading the article sponsored by Wal-Mart from AOL money and finance, on mistakes home sellers make in the current market, I was struck by the assertion that only “multi-million dollar mansions” need to be Staged. As an Accredited Staging Professional Master, I know the value of Staging every home regardless of price, location or condition. In fact some of my most successful projects involve homes that, in my area of Northern Virginia, would be considered mid range properties, i.e. less than $1,000,000.00. This year, 2009, the statistics for my company, Staged Interior, with the resale of single family homes in that price range, are as follows: Our Staged properties are sold in an average of 24 days as opposed to the local average of 81 days with a 97.7 close price over list price as opposed to the local average of 92.8 close price over list price. That’s 30% of the days on the market and a 4.9% higher close price. Our average staging investment is 0.46% of the list price which results in a Return on Staging Investment of 1,057%. That’s staggering and beats any other home improvement project by miles. Numbers don’t lie! We are very proud of our record with these mid-range homes and, believe me, our clients both sellers and Realtors are thrilled with the results they get with the Staging investment. Please correct the impression given by the article you printed on your website by letting people know how valuable an Accredited Staging Professional can be as part of the Real Estate sales team. Also, here is what – Jennie Norris, ASPM, IAHSP, of We Stage Sacramento and IAHSP President wrote: Your article on the 5 mistakes sellers make was in error when it suggested that Sellers do not need to Stage their houses for sale.  Staging has been proven to help houses sell 3-4 times faster and at a better price than the un-staged competition. Your suggestion to Paint the walls – is good, but most sellers don’t know what colors to paint and they pick the wrong colors based on what they like versus what a Buyer wants to see.  This is just one example of how a professional ASP Home Stager could correctly advise a seller on what to do to prep their house for sale. As a professional ASP Master who owns and operates a business outside of Sacramento, my personal business stats show that 95% of the houses we have Staged sell in 30 days or LESS in a market where the average days on market are over 100. NOT Staging their house is a mistake a Seller cannot afford.  Please correct your information. It’s wonderful to have so many talented ASPs, ASPMs, and members of IAHSP who will help inform consumers, the media, and real estate professionals with the truth about Home Staging and our Home Staging Profession. Thank you everyone, Barb Schwarz The Creator of Home Staging® CEO The Creator of the ASP Designation and Course Founder and Chairwoman The International Association of Home Staging Professionals®, IAHSP

One thought on “Open Letter to Wal-Mart Stores in Response to Misinformation at AOL money & finance

  1. Barb,
    Thank you so much for posting this on the blog and correcting what the article said. As a Master Accredited Staging Professional in the South Florida area we stage all types of properties. It doesn’t matter the size or the price range. It is important to know that every property must be staged before putting it on the market. Even in today’s market we have seen properties sell in less than 30 days after we stage them. The sellers are so happy that they hired us to help them, the real estate agents are thrilled to be able to market a staged home, and of course it always makes us feel great that we were the ones that helped them.
    Staged Homes are Sold Homes!

    Sandra Holmes
    Home Staging Concepts
    President Elect IAHSP South Florida Chapter
    IAHSP Director of Projects WWSSW

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