As an Atlanta home stager, I’ve done quite a few presentations in local real estate offices. Over time I’ve come to realize that there are several key points I make in each and every presentation because they are crucial to the message. I’d like to share them with you. Here they are:
- Never lose sight of the fact that the online photos you post to your listings are the first impression buyers have of the property. If they don’t like what they see there, they will keep on clicking. Back in the day we said drive-up curb appeal was the first impression, but that is no longer the case. A stellar online presentation is the first step in getting the home sold quickly.
- A nicely decorated home and a properly staged home are NOT the same thing. In the eight years I’ve been staging homes, my most difficult clients have repeatedly been those who have spent big bucks to have their homes professionally decorated. Yes, they are lovely, but they are also highly personalized. Decorating is all about surrounding yourself with colors, furniture, accessories, window treatments, etc. that please you. While you are living in the home, that’s fine; when you are selling your home, having a beautifully decorated, personalized home can prevent offers. Bring in a trained home stager who knows the difference and can prepare the home in the proper way by neutralizing and depersonalizing it. When your client moves, he/she can once again personalize.
- Remind your clients what, exactly, they are selling; namely space, architectural detail and views. If clutter is rampant, buyers will never see the space. If the rooms are crammed with furniture and lighting is poor, the architectural detail will never be noticed. If there is an overabundance of rugs and furniture is not placed properly for traffic flow, the room space will be overlooked. If windows are dirty and/or covered with tacky blinds or overbearing window treatments, the views will never be seen.
- Homeowners will work much more diligently to make necessary changes in the presentation of their homes when a 3rd party stager is brought in. It’s true. Agents repeatedly tell me they are surprised and even shocked that the homeowners will “take” the staging suggestions from me after a home staging consultation. I don’t say this to toot my own horn, but I know this is typically the case when homeowners work with stagers. There is something about bringing in the “expert” that causes them to take note, even though you may have told your clients the same thing. (I’m sure the case is similar when they hear directly from the home inspector or mortgage broker.) Preserve your relationship with the homeowners by bringing in a stager to be the “bad guy.” You have other battles to fight.
There is more, but these are a few things that come up repeatedly. Remember that your goal and your stager’s goal are one and the same — to get the home sold quickly for top dollar. Partner with a professional home stager today.