This one bedroom, free-standing condo in North Falmouth, MA had been on the market for nearly a year. The sellers decided to enter into a short-term lease with a couple who was renovating their home as long as they could continue to market the property. The tenants moved in and tastefully decorated their temporary home. The next buyers who came in bought it!
I became an instant convert. The current market certainly requires that homes be priced properly and effectively marketed, but staging seems to have a larger role than ever before. Statistics show that staging a home can increase the selling price by up to 7%, but there are still skeptics everywhere.
HGTV states on its website that “in a cold market, a properly-staged home can sell in half the time.” It now offers several series that focus on staging, and the network will have a separate staging special, “Staging Secrets and Myths,” on Sunday, April 12 at 8:00 PM.
Clutter, Clutter Everywhere Hurts Your Cape Cod Home Sale
Occupied homes present a unique challenge. It is the opposite of home decorating. A home decorator helps home owners to personalize the home to their own tastes and needs. A home stager, on the other hand, depersonalizes the home so that buyers can more easily visualize themselves and their furniture in the space. Even more important than the depersonalization, in my mind, is the decluttering that is always part of the process. Each home I’ve seen staged seems to have doubled in square footage after the home stager’s visit.
Since this process can be threatening to Cape Cod real estate sellers, and therefore dangerous to the welfare of the real estate agent, I have made special pricing arrangements with talented stagers to provide 1.5 hours with my sellers to provide them with a “to do” list. I provide this at my expense and use it as an incentive to secure listings.
For the most part, the “to do” list is simply a case of “packing now” rather than waiting until the house is under agreement. In some cases, the stagers have made suggestions about repainting particular rooms, rearranging/editing furniture for better “flow,” or substituting a more appropriate furniture piece to better fit the space. In other cases, it requires some serious sprucing up. In all cases, the results have been very encouraging.
Painting on a Blank Canvas
Vacant homes and condos offer a unique opportunity. Local furniture stores will, for a fee, stage a home as long as it is not occupied. I recently listed an updated, 2 bedroom 1056 square foot ranch condominium with an open floor plan. The first two open houses and several showings resulted in two primary comments from potential buyers:
1. I’m not sure my furniture will fit in here.
2. Since it was built in the late 70’s, it’s too old for me.
Bring on the Stagers!
I called a stager and told her that I wanted to give buyers an idea of the real size of the rooms and to make the home feel more current. The owners agreed to a two month staging agreement and the furniture was delivered.
The results have been amazing. The most enjoyable aspect for me has been seeing the look on the people’s faces as they entered the condo. Of course, an offer will be even more enjoyable.
You can view the staged condo and take a virtual tour at www.273seawardbend.com.
Until next time,