Why Stage to Sell?

By Debi Katsmar

If you believe staging is only for the rich folks, you might just want to read this before listing your house for sale in Sarasota, Tampa or St. Petersburg – actually, anywhere in Florida or the U.S.

washing money down the drain - by not staging

If you don’t read this, and if you don’t stage your property you risk losing valuable dollars in your pocket when your house eventually sells. I say eventually because it is a known fact, staging sells houses faster and for more money than unstaged properties. Give a certified staging professional® (CSP®) like Audrey Lane – she can give you the stats, the facts and ultimately prepare your house for market.

So why stage your property?


As we mentioned above – the top 2 reasons to stage are:

  1. The house will sell faster
  2. It will sell for more money

How?

Staging works because you are giving buyers what they want! By staging you will be offering a home that is move-in-ready, has beautiful images for the online listing sites, and when the potential buyer arrives at your house, they will be able to see themselves living in the space they are viewing.

What staging is NOT:
  1. Decluttering
  2. Decorating
"Buyers today want move-in ready and are willing to pay for it. They don’t want a list of deferred maintenance items without compromising what they are willing to pay. Before you say no to staging consider the cost of NOT staging", says Christine Rae, author of the best-seller 'Home Staging for Dummies' and CEO of CSP International™ Staging Business Training Academy

Staging is a 3-Step Process.

The first step is the real estate property staging consultation. This step is as important as the staging itself. A CSP® will visit your house and do a complete and thorough walk-through of the entire property, inside and out. Along the way, the stager will be documenting areas of the house that need improvements, upgrades, repairs, replacements. The stager will look at the condition, style and even colors throughout the house making recommendations to prepare the house to sell – remember buyers today want move-in-ready.  Often they do not have extra money to ‘fix-up’ the house before or after they move in.  The stager will look at curb-appeal including the landscaping, the exterior condition of doors, paint, brick – even the driveway.. It is an extremely thorough process and will take 2+ plus hours to complete depending on the size of the house.  Yes, there is a fee for this service. Again, it varies based on the size of your property.

Next up is the preparing the house for staging, or showcasing as it is called in the real estate industry. Once your CSP® has completed the consultation, he/she will have a document with everything needed to get you the most money for your property after the work is complete and the showcasing done. This document is the Room Ready Handbook™. Your stager will go through the booklet with you. At this point it is up to you to prepare the house with from the list in the Room Ready Handbook as your guide.  Your stager does not do this aspect of the work. He/she may offer recommended contractors, and may offer to work as a project manager depending on their background. What you choose to do or not do from the list of recommendations is ultimately up to you – just keep in mind it will affect the sale price of your property. 

Stage three (pun intended) is showcasing of the property. Here your stager will expect the home to be perfectly cleaned, free of people including contractors, you and your pets. Your stager and her team will then set about making the property ready to view. This could be utilizing your furniture and accessories, bringing in furniture and accessories or a combination there of. The stager will ensure a clear and concise flow through the house, set the ‘stage’ for the potential buyer to feel like they could just sit right down and feel at home. Once showcasing is complete, photographers can be brought in for those beautiful images to portray your property perfectly online in the listings and anywhere else your Realtor® chooses to advertise your property. If your house is in the price range and the neighbourhood a buyer is looking, you have the required bedrooms and other features they are looking for, ultimately it will be the photographs that will get your house on that buyer’s short list to view.

If you don’t stage your property before you list it, you might as well wash money down the drain!

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