Last week I shared a story by Joan Inglis, a story she sent following a request by a national real estate publication.
Today I thought I would take this opportunity to share another one of the great stories we received. This Staging case was shared by Kevin Htain, CEO of Identity Home Staging And Lifetime Accredited Staging Professional Master®.
Earlier this year in late Spring, we were contacted by an Agent Team who frequently utilizes our Staging services. They had a very challenging property that they were about to list, which was just cancelled with the former Agent after being on the market 180+ days without a successful result. The property was located in Long Beach, in a quaint district neighborhood called California Heights. This area is popular with entry level Buyers or for Buyers who want the perks of being close to a higher end location (as it is surrounded by affluent and historical neighborhoods) without paying luxury prices. The demographic buyer most likely would be a young hip couple or a small youthful family. We were told by our Agent Team that the property was already “Staged” (to some capacity) by a local decorator, but that the decorative efforts weren’t helping to enhance the sales goal. In general, I’ve always advised my Clients that Staging in any capacity should help enhance their sales goal. Whether Staging helps sell the property faster and/or for more money, we all know that Staging doesn’t or shouldn’t harm the sale. However in this case, it was obvious that the Seller made an incorrect choice in deciding to hire a decorator over a Professional Home Stager. Although the rooms had furniture in it, none of it was installed into Staged position. The furniture used in the Staging was heavily antiquated, incomplete and it wasn’t appealing towards the proper Buying demographic. The Coordinator I was working with on this project had asked if I would be able to work with the existing pieces in the property that were already there, which we discovered were rental inventory pieces from the decorator. Even though it wasn’t the specific pieces we would have recommended for the Staging, we weren’t legally allowed to touch it. So we had to have the contract between the Client and decorator severed and all of the current inventory removed before we could consider treating the property. The Staging Plan we recommended ended up being less than her original bid for decorating! However, after languishing over 180+ days on the market, the cumulative of inventory rent and labor fees for the original Staging brought Client’s total investment to two times the amount we were proposing in our Staging proposal. This ended up being a tough realization for the Client when she reviewed all the money she had spent to date and how it had yielded her (as of that date) with no or zero result. However,with careful communication and proper education, the Seller now understood the value of proper and professional Home Staging and wanted to move forward quickly with us so she could have her property placed back on the market. Our Staging Plan entailed not only re-Staging the property, but we also took care of many other details that just were overlooked by the decorator. Simple items like making sure the property was completely cleaned inside and out, cord management for ceiling fixtures and cable cords, removing old, heavy and tattered drapery, etc. Most of the time, Sellers don’t realize that it’s the small details that also add up to big deals for Buyers. The overall Staging process took one and a half days and the result was amazing. Every room was fully Staged for maximum appeal and we worked double hard to make sure that our Staging Plan for the property look completely different than what the Client had previously been provided in her decorating project. The property was placed back on the market as a professionally Staged product by the new Agent Team at the exact same price it was listed at previously. Keep in mind that the only thing that changed in this transaction were the Realtor Team and the Staging. Lo and behold, we were thrilled after 7 days when a (slightly) above asking all cash offer materialized! The Buyers also provided cash incentive for an earlier close of Escrow, and in less than a month the transaction closed successfully. We were allowed to return to DeStage the property less than 23 days from when we originally installed it. It is always my pleasure and privilege to send a note of congratulations to all our Seller Clients (in this case, the Client oversaw our entire Staging process from her new home in Northern CA…) One of the most fun parts of my career to be able to see the positive changes and results our Clients receive from our services. Smiles on their faces or tears in their eyes. Clapping hands and big heartfelt hugs. Seeing a successful and happy Client really has become my perfect happy place. “Dear (Client)- Congratulations on a speedy and lucrative sale! I am so thrilled to hear that we could help provide you with a better Staging experience,” was all I wrote to her. My congratulations letter to her was immediately returned with a quick note that said, “I just wished I had met you sooner, because you could have helped save us from such a long and tiring sales process. We were nervous about Staging after our first experience, but now we will once again tell everyone we know that professional Home Staging truly does work!” Same property. Same Seller. Same price. New Professional Agent Team. New Professional Stagers. A completely different result! I LOVE this business!!!