Home Staging should start with your realtor. As experts in the field, they partner with other professionals to create a total marketing plan for your house. Most realtors understand the benefits of staging. They will be happy to recommend a stager. A good realtor and a good stager work for you, together as a team.
The ideal staging process begins once you have signed a contract with a realtor and before the house is listed on MLS. Staging before the house is listed on MLS will ensure the best possible pictures of your house will be posted online. Since this is where most buyers begin their search, it will get your house the most positive attention and strongest offers at the very beginning.
If you post pictures before a staging, then post staged pictures, you have lost many showings. Potential buyers will not go back to look at a house they have already viewed. The age old saying, “You have only one chance to make a first impression.” is all too true in this situation.
Often sellers think to put their house on the market and see what happens. Nothing can be further from the truth, if you want to sell your house quickly and for a high price. Buyers will not pay top dollar for a house that does not immediately appeal to them.
Buyers also think let’s see what happens, but for a different reason. They are waiting to see if a price reduction will happen. Buyers know that if a property is not properly showcased, a price reduction is right around the corner. I have never done a staging project that costs anywhere near the amount of a price reduction.
Shortly after signing with the realtor, the stager will come to your house for a paid consultation. It is a paid consultation because the stager is providing you with specific recommendations that their trained eye can quickly assess.
Some stagers offer free consultations. The best stagers do not go this route. A true consultation provides important information that you can use after the consultation is over. Free consultations provide limited information and perhaps a generic checklist. A free consultation focuses on getting more staging hours from you. A paid consultation focuses on solving problems. You get what you pay for.
If a seller decides not to personally do the actions recommended, then the stager can implement the plan. A crew arrives at your house and does the actual staging. They work very fast. It’s usually completed in a day or two. Most stagers prefer that the seller not be present while the house is being prepared.
On the final day of staging, the staging company and/or the realtor arrange for the MLS photos to be professionally taken. Then, they are posted.
Many sellers are anxious to get their house listed as soon as possible. However, taking the time to properly prepare your house to be showcased takes about a week and can significantly shorten the time it will be on the market.
Remember, if you wait to stage your house until after the first price reduction or after initial traffic has died down, you will miss getting the best and strongest offers for your house.
© Maria-Elena Grant 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may forward this article as long as the copyright notice is intact. No part may be used or reprinted without my prior written permission.