Staging your home can be pricey, but it’s an investment that will pay for itself many times over. When you’re selling the most expensive asset you have, why not put in the extra effort to make your home more appealing to buyers? It will bring you a higher sales price and a shorter marketing period.
The truth is, most buyers do not have the vision to see the potential in an empty home. Without furniture, the home feels cold, small and bare, not to mention it won’t photograph well. If it is filled with stylish furniture, beautiful rugs, art and flowers, buyers will see the home as a place they could immediately move into and begin enjoying. These things may seem trivial, but they can make ALL the difference in getting your home sold. It’s all about creating that emotional connection. You want the people that come into your home to fall in love with the space, and make an offer!
Don’t just hire any old staging company. Many are not on top of today’s home decor trends, and seem to still be stuck in the late 90s. Do your research and find a staging company that has the style that will capture the emotions of buyers today. Because tacky staging is almost as bad, or maybe even worse (especially since you’re paying for it) than no staging at all. Please email me for my list of favorite Los Angeles based staging companies.
If you are still living in your home, and can’t do a full stage… fear not! I offer free light staging to all my clients. This summer, I helped my client prepare her home for the market. She was still living in the home and had some great pieces of furniture and art, and great style all around. There were a few areas that could use some love, especially the outside deck, as it was mostly bare, with just a large couch. Together, we spent the weekend tackling the final touches. She decluttered and organized every cabinet, drawer and closet (yes, buyers do look there!), and I dragged in some potted plants from my home, rugs, pillows and furniture for the deck from various shops, a few accents for the inside, along with a few bunches of flowers, and in no time, we gave the home a mini makeover. Take a look at some of the photos of the listing below (I wish I had “before” photos… but alas, I didn’t know I would be blogging about this in the near future, or even blogging at all).
Here’s a story about my Lake Sherwood listing I sold earlier this year. I call it, my home staging miracle… (cue cheesy music)
I took a listing in Lake Sherwood last spring. An incredible mid century modern architectural built in 1936 – a historical landmark! It was one of the oldest, and also one of the most affordable homes in the prestigious Lake Sherwood community. It had it’s own dock and sailboat! The home had sat on the market for 15 months with another agent when I took on the listing. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous to take on a listing that had been on the market for so long, but I was determined to not let that happen with me. I couldn’t understand why it had received such little attention, as it was such a unique and beautiful home in a pristine setting. My client (who has since become a dear friend) knew the home needed a shake up in energy, and went out on a limb to hire a young Realtor that had little knowledge of Lake Sherwood to re-list her home. That would be me!
My client and her family no longer lived in the home, and it was completely empty. She was reluctant to stage, as they had already spent a lot of time and money trying to get this home sold and didn’t want to pour in another $7k into it (totally understandable!). However, I couldn’t NOT stage the home, as I knew I needed to make it stand out from the previous listing photos. So, I went shopping! My friend, and fellow Realtor at Snyder Sutton and Home Stager, Heather Tehrani, generously donated some amazing pieces, helped me shop for decor, and arranged/staged it all in the home with me. She took it to a level that I could not have done on my own. And we had so much fun staging this home together! Heather has recently started her own staging and interior decorating business, called Citrine Interiors. Check her out at www.citrineinteriors.com. For $2,000 we staged the home ourselves. It took 3 days to complete. And wow – what a difference it made!
There were over 80 steps from the driveway up to the house. I carried every piece, pillow, knick knack up those stairs. And at the end of escrow, I carried it all back down. I will never forget those 20 minutes spent wrestling that giant cream colored couch down to the street with my dad. It was by far the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. But it was so worth it. I saved my client from spending $5-10k on a professional staging company, and I sold the home in 9 days with multiple offers (with a very eager backup buyer throughout escrow). It was insane how positively buyers reacted to this home that had been sitting empty on the market for over a year.
The cherry on top of it all: I found this wonderful client of mine through Instagram. And during inspections on the home, the buyers told me that they also found this home through my Instagram page! They saw my Open House post, never knowing Lake Sherwood even existed (but always dreaming of living on a lake), and drove all the way up from Mount Washington on a Sunday afternoon to spend 2 hours at the Open House. They fell in love with the home and made an offer the next day. It was one of my favorite escrows ever. I loved the buyers and of course, I loved my clients. They were the most awesome, authentic, fun, easygoing people ever. It was a dream deal and I am so thankful for how it all turned out. I’m so grateful my client took a chance on me and chose me to be her Realtor! I do not know what would’ve happened if I had listed this house empty, but I know it would not have received as much attention as it did in such a short time.
Most agents don’t want to fork out $2,000 and 3 days of physical labor to stage a listing themselves. Too much work, too much money. And hey, a professional staging company, if you choose the right one, will do a much better job than I can. But for me, it was a no brainer. When someone asks me to sell their home, I will do everything in my power to fulfill my clients’ wishes for the sale of their home. I am creative, I am determined and I will make it happen. I will gladly spend my own money to give their home the best chance of selling, because it is an investment for me too, and a gamble I’m willing to take. It’s a win win for everyone.
Special shoutout to buyers’ agent, Debra Fallon of Coldwell Banker, who was one of the nicest people to work with. I wish I could do every transaction with someone as wonderfully kind, knowledgeable, and sweet as her.
If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, I would love to meet with you to discuss how I can best serve you as your agent, and how I can help prepare your home for the market. Please call me for a consultation. We can discuss what is most important for you in the sale of your home, and how I can help you achieve those goals. I will also prepare a comparative market analysis to explain what price I believe your home should be listed at, and why. No pressure! Let’s talk.