“I’m selling! Why put money into staging a house I’m leaving?” I would say this is the most frequently occurring question professional stagers field every day! On the surface, you can certainly understand why the question is asked. There are many reasons to support the process of staging a property prior to bringing it to the public for review. Let’s look at a few of them.
Who Is Buying?
Whether you know it or believe it, it is true; the buyer will determine if, when, and for what price your house will sell. You can have your hopes, wants, and dreams but ultimately the power lies with the buyer. A great staging professional is knowledgeable about which demographic is most likely to purchase your property and will make recommendations to improve condition & presentation, with that in mind. The largest property buying demographic today is the millennials. The younger members of this generation may still favor renting; however, once they hit their thirties and begin to settle down, they want their version of a great house.
What they want is move-in ready. Why? Pressing student debt is already a worry, so they scrape together as much as possible for the down payment and simply don’t have extra cash to invest in fixing up the things you couldn’t be bothered to do. The other factor to consider is this group of people do not want to be DIY Weekend Warriors; they want to have fun on the weekends! Also, they don’t have the skills to do the work, and they are not interested in learning how to do it.
You may have finished with the property, but to them it is their new home. They want it to look and feel fresh and new. In fact, research shows they want the feel of new so much, most of them are willing to pay more money to get it. What that means to you is this: If you choose to bring your property onto the market “as-is,” you risk a) being on the market longer than you want or b) having offers for less than you expect.
Why Put Money into Staging?
Staging is the only service for selling property that has measurable value. Whether the market is hot, cold, or indifferent, staging is a powerful marketing tool that should never be discounted because of the outlay of money. If you were selling your car, wouldn’t you clean, fix, and polish it to make it feel new? Why would your house be any different? Especially when the ROI comes at a much greater margin.
The largest investment most people ever make is in real estate. Sellers want the most money possible in the shortest time for no effort and no money. But, that’s a pipe dream. 97% of prospective buyers look on the internet first, which means you need amazing photos to capture interest and get on the must-see list. Don’t play Equity Jeopardy™ with your investment! When you are competing with new houses, your house must look and feel new too. Failure to meet this expectation will just have millennials favoring other properties.
By Christine Rae, President CSP International™, Real Estate Staging Expert, Coach and Best-Selling Author.
CSP International™ Business Training Academy is a World Leader in Staging Certification.
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