So, you’ve finally decided to stage your home? The bad news is that you’ve already missed the buyer pool who would have paid you the most money. The good news is that you are in better shape to get top dollar than you were before you staged. In order for home staging to be effective, there are some things that you need to do NOW, however.
The best buyers for your home are always those who are anxiously awaiting new listings to hit the market. They’ve already been looking and haven’t found what they want yet. They are willing to pay much more than buyers who are just entering the market. Frustration and disappointment increase their emotional desire when viewing a properly staged home that works for their family’s needs. These buyers only exist in the first couple of weeks of your home hitting the market. After that point, you begin contributing to their frustration, not solve it.
Let’s face it, if your house has been on the market already, they’ve seen it. Sure, you may not have known about them, but that’s because they didn’t care about your home enough to make a showing appointment. If they did, and your house didn’t meet the cut, then you are definitely working against the curve.
How to make the most money after staging your previously listed home:
Update the listing with high quality photographs showcasing the staging. This can’t be over stated. Potential buyers are first shopping online and they really only care about the photos. If the real estate photos aren’t enticing, they won’t get excited. Quality photos of a great staging job, can create high levels of increased perceived value. This may create a bidding war, if you haven’t waited too long on the market.
Change the price. This is one tactic that seems tricky, but understand that in most Multiple Listing Services (MLS), buyers only see what’s on the “hot sheet”. Hot sheet homes are ones that are either new on market (and you already missed that golden opportunity), have a change in status (like falling out of contract), or have a price change. Notice that I said a price change, not necessarily a price reduction. After getting the photographs back, have your Realtor reassess the pricing of the home with the current competition. Even if you only adjust the home by a small variance, say $100 in either direction, it is usually enough to land on the “hot sheet” and get buyers taking another look at your new digs.
Host a broker open house. A broker open house is different than a standard open house as the goal is to get Realtors, not buyers through the front door. Your Realtor will need to do this part. They should also have some kind of food and giveaway to entice other agents to show up. Since your home has likely been seen by many of the local real estate professionals, they will need to see that what they have to sell has changed. By seeing the home in a new light, they may realize they have customers who were waiting just for a house like yours (who may even have seen the previous before photos in MLS).
Invite the agents who previously showed the house back to see it. Yes. You are having a broker open, so this may seem redundant, but the agents who previously showed the house DID have a buyer who wanted a house like yours, but didn’t select yours. This is a great time to invite them back out to the house and get their feedback on changes. Find out if their customer has moved on, or if they are still looking. If they’ve moved on, get a commitment from them that they’ll show it again, if they have a buyer that is a match for them. They will. If you hadn’t showed them the change, they might not have, however. They instead would remember what their customers said about the house when they showed it before.
How to make the most money selling your home:
Now that we’ve gone through how to make the most money after staging your previously listed home, let me give a quick piece of advice. If you really want to make the most money possible selling your home, STAGE IT BEFORE YOU LIST IT. As I said, at the beginning of this article, the best buyers – the ones who will pay the most money for a home – are there BEFORE you list it. Don’t try to save a couple of thousand dollars by waiting to see “if it doesn’t sell”. Even if it does sell, it can be guaranteed, that if you sold it without staging that you left money on the table. Period.
Buying a home is an emotional choice. People don’t buy four walls, floors, and windows. They buy a life. If your home gave them anything less, you were paid too little for it. End of story.
You may also enjoy reading: The Curse of the Vanilla Box. Selling an Empty House.