by Christine Rae, REMonline
Why would I want to put money into a house that I am selling?
This is the most frequently asked question that professional stagers field. On the surface you can certainly understand why the question is raised repeatedly. 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? The buyer will determine if the house will sell, when it will sell and for what price. A great staging professional is knowledgeable about which demographic is most likely to purchase the property and will make recommendations with that in mind.
The largest property buying demographic today is millennials. The younger members of this tribe may still favour renting, but once they hit their 30s 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. They scrape together as much as possible for the down payment and simply don’t have extra cashflow to invest in “fixing-up” things. The other factor to consider is this group of people does not want to be DIY weekend warriors; they want to have fun on the weekends! Also, many don’t have the skills to do the work and they are not interested in learning how to do it.
They want it to look and feel like a new home from the outset. Research shows they want the feel of new so much that most of them are willing to pay more money to get it. If you choose to bring a property onto the market “as-is” you risk being on the market longer than you want or getting offers for less than you expect.
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 your client wants to maximize their ROI, why would they not do for their house what they would do if they were selling anything else, such as a car? Wouldn’t they clean, fix and polish it to make it feel new?
The largest investment most people make is real estate. When selling, they want the most money possible in the shortest time for no effort and no money. But 97 per cent of prospective buyers look on the internet first, which means you need amazing photos to capture interest and get on the buyers’ must-see list. Your competition is new homes – your listing must look and feel like one too. Failure to do so will have a millennial moving on.