Top Ten reasons Realtors should recommend home staging to their clients

1. Professionally staged homes stand apart from the pack!
A professional stager is able to examine the property with an objective, buyer’s eye and make recommendations to give the home that “WOW!” Factor necessary to entice potential buyers. FACT: Only 10% of people can look past clutter and unattractive decor in a home and see the potential of a property! First impressions are everything in the real estate market. Having a home professionally staged ensures those crucial first 10-20 seconds of a showing are a deal maker, not a breaker.

2. Real Estate agents can make suggestions for needed improvements, but they lack the detail proposed by a professional home stager!
While many realtors oftentimes provide adequate suggestions on repairs and changes needed to get a property sold, usually these suggestions don’t cover all the elements a home stager would address. Homes are purchased based on emotions, professional stagers will advise making all the obvious repairs and improvements needed, but they also provide emotional connection points throughout the home that make potential buyers fall in love with the place. Most agents lack the design expertise to help their clients carry out a expertly designed home staging plan, and most homeowners don’t have the knowledge, objectivity, or time to make the changes suggested.

3. If you recommend a home staging for a listing it DOES NOT mean you have to pay for it!
True, many agents are opting to provide home staging for their clients as part of their fees and services, but it is not the norm for agents to pay for staging. Recommending a professional home stager is like recommending a home inspector — your clients don’t expect you to pay for the home inspection services, so why should they expect you to pay for home staging services? When all is said and done, staging doesn’t cost the homeowner a dime either. How is that possible? According to the HomeGain® Home sale Maximizer Guide 2011, home staging yields a 299% return on investment!

4. Home staging is a proven method used to help properties sell faster and for more money!
It’s a win-win situation. Turning properties quickly means less hassle for you and your clients. And, a higher sales price brings you more commission and benefits your clients’ bottom line as well. Professionally staged homes sell over 50% faster than non-staged homes and on average for 6-10% more.

5. Listings show better when they are professionally staged and this will reflect well on you professionally!
When you become known for having properties that show well, other agents are more likely to show your homes, and more and more homeowners will insist on you as their listing agent. You’ll gain a reputation for turning homes faster when people see your name on the lawn signs of all the “sold” homes in their neighborhood.

6. Stagers are experts in tackling sensitive topics, let them be your “bad guy!”
Stagers can take away the stress and anxiety of possibly offending your clients by taking over the responsibility of discussing sensitive subjects like odor and unattractive decor. Home stagers will explain to your clients that they aren’t there to judge their design choices or cleanliness; they just want to position their home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers and therefore, greatly increase the potential for a quick sale. While the décor may suit their tastes, properties need to be neutralized before they are put on the market in order to attract as many buyers as possible. Professional home stagers will gently explain to your clients that the way they live in their home is very different from the way it should be prepared for sale.

7. Home Stagers give you back your free time to focus on what you do best!
Professional home stagers will take over the oftentimes daunting task of preparing your listings for the market. That way you won’t have to waste your time and effort on areas outside your expertise. Stagers will take your weak listings and turn them into “model homes” so that you can focus your efforts on your real estate skills. When a property is staged, it can make the entire selling process easier because homes that are organized and clutter-free are seen as being well taken care of. This makes all aspects of selling a home go more smoothly from showing to final inspection.

8. Professionally staged properties entice buyers with eye-catching photography in your online MLS and marketing materials!
Today’s savvy buyers, nearly 90% in fact, use the internet to begin their home search. That is why it is critically important you have the strongest marketing photos possible. Many home buyers pass up properties based solely on the photos they see online. Having a home professionally staged is a valuable marketing tool that will draw in the buyers.

9. Professional Stagers prepare a home for sale more quickly than an agent or homeowner!
While some real estate agents and homeowners do have an eye for design, home staging is best left to those trained and skilled in the art of real estate property preparation. Professional home stagers prepare homes for sale day in and day out. They know the right contacts, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to get the most bang for the buck in the least amount of time.

10. Home staging is quickly becoming the standard in the real estate market!
Home staging is growing more and more prevalent, especially in today’s inundated real estate market. By not informing your clients about the benefits of home staging you are putting them at an immediate disadvantage. Leaving a property in “as is” condition will only help sell the competition, especially when the competition is already using home staging as a marketing tool! With the harsh real estate market sellers are facing today, it’s critical that you help your client showcase their home by recommending staging. Be sure to inform your sellers about the benefits of home staging, your clients will appreciate your suggestion to utilize one of the most innovative and successful marketing techniques available in real estate today!

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Ah-h-h, at last, its June!  Warmer weather, blue skies, birds chirping, flowers in full bloom — and online Real Estate listings with snow-covered lawns!

This image, among others, was found online 6/8/2011.

There is nothing that screams, “Pick me, pick me, I’ve been stagnating on the market for ever!” louder than a snow-covered image of a home in June, or any other non-snowy month for that matter. And yes, I know, there is debate this year with the cooler than normal temps as to which months are actually supposed to be snow-covered, but that’s a whole different discussions/gripe. Suffice it to say, if you have contemplated bringing the lawn furniture out of hibernation, it’s time to revisit your online photos as well. Oh and while you’re at it? Regardless of what time of year you take your photos, make sure you have the date/time stamp turned off.

It’s a simple fix actually — point, click, upload — start attracting buyers rather than scarring them away!