The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development, with assistance from Lauren Hampton and the Podfly editorial team.
In episode 7 of the Center for REALTOR® Development Podcast, Monica Neubauer has a great conversation about home staging with Helen Bartlett of Kansas City Home Stagers.
Bartlett is a national award-winning home stager and home stylist who’s been staging homes in the metro Kanas City area in both Kansas and Missouri since 2011. She has been recognized by Houzz with multiple service awards and “Influencer” and “Recommended” badges on her professional profile. Bartlett has also been named as one of the “Top 200 Influencers in the Home Design Industry for 2017,” and recently co-authored a book, “Home Staging: The Power That Sells Real Estate.”
As a REALTOR®, having a stager as part of your team can be beneficial for both you and the seller. You will be appealing as an agent if staging is something you can offer your seller, and the stager can also help to share their best advice for the sellers, and that can help preserve the relationship between seller and REALTOR®. Home stagers are on the same team as the real estate agent, because it’s about making a successful transaction for the REALTOR® and the homeowners. Below are five ways that having a stager on your extended client team can be a huge bonus:
- A stager can provide a general staging consultation. Everyone selling their home should at least have a stager consultation. Something as brief as an hour-long consultation could lead to value in the thousands of dollars and runs at a reasonable rate. For REALTORS®, you can make a consultation part of your business model, especially if you don’t particularly have an eye for decorating.
- A stager can help you “edit” current furnishings. When a professional stager comes into a house that’s occupied and needs attention, one of the easier ways to highlight a home is to “edit” existing pieces of the house and de-clutter the house of things that can make the space feel outdated. Painting and updating the light fixtures are two of the least expensive ways to make a home seem relevant. These types of updates can make a home feel move-in ready, and when a home feels move-in ready for a buyer, they are willing to pay more.
- A stager can help prospective buyers connect emotionally with a property. Home staging is more than just decorating. The difference between the two is a house versus a lifestyle. Staging allows the buyer to focus on the house and their emotional and psychological connection to it. It is especially important to stage a vacant house because when there’s nothing else to look at, the buyer may start to focus on the negative things. Once a buyer is connected to a house, they are willing to pay more for it, and a staged house may sell more quickly.
- A stager can help you sell the property more quickly. Home staging is preparing your house to go on the market so that it sells quickly and gets the highest dollar by appealing to the most number of people. Some examples of staging are painting, cleaning, making repairs, or updating your home. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming house that will capture a buyer’s attention. Buyers want to see how they can live in that house.
- A stager can help the seller sell their property for more. Staging usually costs anywhere from 0.5 percent to 3 percent of the list price, depending on where you are in the country. Typically, a staged home will net anywhere from 7 percent to 10 percent more than an un-staged home, which will likely more than cover the staging cost. The home will also likely sell more quickly, which will save you money on holding costs. Every home can benefit from some level of staging. Though it is a seller’s market in many places in the country right now, with a little bit of staging, you can get multiple offers, or even over asking price.
Sometimes it can be hard for a homeowner to have a home stager come into their home and tell them the things they should change. Remind your clients that it’s important to keep an open mind, because, in the long run, it’s a service that will help them, and everyone else involved in the transaction. Everyone benefits from successful staging— the seller benefits from a quick sale at top dollar; the buyer benefits because they’re excited about making the space work for their lifestyle; and the real estate agent benefits from the referral business that could come from the successful transaction.
For much more about staging, check out the complete recording of episode 7 (as well as all the others that have been recorded up to now) at the podcast web site at CRDpodcast.com. The links at the top of the page will lead you to the different audio marketplaces where you can subscribe to the podcast: iTunes, Android, Stitcher, TuneIn, GooglePlay—whichever of these you prefer to use for your podcast consumption.
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