The dreaded words in a sales call, “I think staging is great, but this house really isn’t a candidate.” HUH? I hear this all the time and think that sometimes agents just don’t get it. I’ve been a professional home stager for nearly 14 years and what I can say is that I’ve only ever been on a consultation in 2 homes that simply didn’t need our services. Last year Rave Home Staging staged over 300 vacant properties. Each one of them was made better, and by better, I mean more marketable, with our staging services.
Last week, during my typical sales calls, I did land a few new customers. Today we processed the photos for one of them. To showcase the difference staging makes, particularly on MLS – where potential buyers are determining which homes to view in person, I thought I would share a little tour with you.
1705 Berwick in San Marco, Jacksonville, FL
The before photos used in this presentation are the actual photos from MLS. The home has been on the market, unstaged, for 120 days. It is currently listed for $279,900. Staging fees are 1% of list price ($2799). After the home sells, I’ll update the blog with the pertinent sale information.
This first photos is of the one and only living room in this 1486 sqft home. While you can tell it has beautiful hardwood flooring and a nice wood burning fireplace, the room isn’t particularly compelling. It doesn’t answer potential buyer’s questions about where furniture would optimally be placed, how they would live in the space, etc.
Proper home staging answers these question. Take a look at the same angle, after Rave’s professional staging and photography. First off, notice how much better the lighting seems. Homes with tons of light sell. Dark homes don’t. Professional photos, which are included in all of our vacant staging packages make a tremendous difference in the way homes are perceived online.
Next, notice that potential buyers have a clear idea of how to live in the space. They know how their furniture will look and they have a reasonable idea of proper flow. Additionally, you can now clearly discern that the dining room is through the archway and there is a door leading either outside, or to another space in the home.
Potential buyers spend only a few minutes on each listing online
Since potential buyers spend only a few minutes on each listing, deciding whether or not to view a home in person, it is vital that photos be as compelling as possible. Consider a series of 10 photos like the before photos. While the home certainly has fine attributes, there is nothing to emotionally grab potential buyers and say, “Wow. I really need to see this house before someone else buys it!” Compare that to a series of images of our after photo. How will buyers respond now?
Creating compelling content, in this case photos, is the best way to get potential buyers to emotionally connect with the house and turn them into actual buyers.