Home staging can be a sensitive topic to bring up. As an agent, you know that certain things need to be done in order to sell a listing, but sometimes clients are unwilling to accept criticism about their style or additional costs. Here’s how to convince your client that professional staging of their home will help it sell quickly.
“What’s the point of home staging?”
It is important to communicate to your client that your objective is to help them sell their property quickly and for a good price. A professional home staging company can help make your home more appealing to buyers, without needing to do a costly renovation. Stagers work with design elements to make strategic furniture placement and decor decisions that sell homes faster.
This means that if your home is on the market for more than four weeks, you’re likely missing out on some serious profit. If you want what’s best for your client, then you need to make sure their home is looking its best before putting it on the market.
As more people are looking at homes virtually, it is becoming more important for those homes to be staged. Potential buyers are used to looking at online photos and tours and making quick decisions about whether they want to buy something or not. With only visual cues to judge from, it can be difficult to tell how old someone’s furniture set is. If your client’s furniture set is 40 years old, it could lead to your property listing spending extra weeks or even months on the market.
“It’s too expensive!”
There are several ways to pay for the cost of having a production staged. Some agents will pay for the closing fees themselves, some will split the cost with the client, and others will ask the client to pay the fee in full. The payment method is up to you. If clients are expected to pay for staging, it is important to emphasize how valuable it is. Most home staging projects cost between $300 and $2000, and the average return on investment is 586%. There are very few home-selling strategies that are as beneficial.
If cost is still a concern, focus on the spaces that get the most attention from visitors: the front yard, living room, master bedroom, and kitchen. The client can handle other rooms with your assistance.
To help clients quickly stage lower priority rooms such as the guest rooms or bathrooms, suggest these basic tips:
- Declutter: Clear unnecessary objects off of surfaces to open up the space and make it look brighter.
- Depersonalize: Remove very personal items such as intimate photos, bottles in the medicine cabinet, and similar items.
- Deep clean: Clients should clean the home as if they were just moving into someone else’s space. Visitors will be looking at every detail, so make sure to get in the nooks and crannies.
- Do small repairs: A simple paint job, caulking, or a similar small update can completely change the atmosphere of a space.
“My neighbor/friend/coworker didn’t stage their home and it sold!”
You need to remind your clients sometimes that every home is special and different. Maybe their friend’s home was in a more convenient location or on a bigger lot. There are some qualities about a property that can’t be changed, such as location or age. However, there is a lot that can be done to change the price and condition of a property.
To make an accurate comparison, clients should look at homes in their neighborhood that were listed and sold at a similar time. You can increase the likelihood of your home selling quickly and for more money by having it professionally staged. Properties that are not staged do not perform as well in the real estate market.
You can contact previous buyers of similar properties in the area and inquire if it would be alright for you to stop by their home.
“I have great style. I don’t understand why I’d need to change it.”
Style is subjective. It is important to remind clients that while you may appreciate their personal style, their home is a product that needs to be sold and should be treated as such. The goal is to create a blank canvas for people to see themselves living in, not to push a particular decorative style. To see themselves in a home, buyers need to feel an emotional connection to it. A space that is packed with a stranger’s personal items is much harder to see as your future home. It is the buyer and not the seller that the home has to appeal to.
If your seller clients are having a hard time understanding why they need to update their home’s decor, take them to visit other listings in their neighborhood. This will help them see how modern, neutral decor is much more appealing to potential buyers than their current style. When deciding on a home to purchase, ask the realtor how the home shows. A home that shows well is more likely to sell faster and for a higher price than one that doesn’t.
“I don’t want to live in a staged home.”
Most clients live in their listed property until the new owner takes possession of the property. It can be uncomfortable living in a staged home while it is being shown. However, our priority should be selling the property quickly. If you remind your clients that they will be able to sell their homes faster and for a higher price if they are willing to live in a staged home for a while, they will be more likely to go along with your plan. Maintaining the home doesn’t have to be difficult either. It’s quite simple once they get the hang of it:
- Remake the bed every morning.
- After you’ve washed up, clear the counter and put away all personal items.
- Sweep up regularly and keep surfaces clean.
- Make sure everything is in its place before the home is shown (put dishes and kid’s toys away etc.).
“Let’s try without home staging first. If there isn’t much interest in the property, then we’ll stage it.”
Clients should be reminded that the longer a home takes to sell, the harder it is to sell. You only get one chance at a first impression, so make it a good one.
Because of TV programs like HGTV and social media platforms that rely heavily on visuals, like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest, buyers have come to expect an immediate wow-factor. There’s really no room for trial and error.
Prepare your client’s home for sale
Preparing to sell a home can be an emotional experience. The aim is to appeal to buyers and sell your client’s home quickly for the best price possible. Here are tips you can provide to help them.
Declutter and maximize space
Homebuyers love extra space and storage. Start by getting garbage bags and boxes. Go room by room and make several piles:
Don’t try to do too much at once. Finish one room before moving on to the next. The garage can be used for storage for anything you want to keep. This is common and buyers usually expect it.
Make minimal repairs
Tell your client what repairs are worth making.
The home inspection report can include a list of items that have been fixed, so that potential buyers are aware of what has been done.
Only make money-making improvements
The four upgrades that will usually increase a home’s value and make the most money when selling a house are:
- Stainless steel appliances
- Front yard landscaping
- Interior paint
Applying a fresh coat of paint and making aesthetic improvements to the curb appeal are among the most common changes made by homeowners. Make sure any changes you make will actually be beneficial before putting in the effort.
Your clients trust your expertise in the real estate market. You are the reason they hired you in the first place. If someone is not quick to act on your suggestions, it might mean that they need more information or encouragement before they feel comfortable enough to do so.
Although there is an initial cost to staging a property, there are many financial benefits that make it worth the investment. It is the responsibility of the agent to communicate the benefits to the client and to establish a trusting relationship. If you are well-informed about the benefits of home staging, you will be able to convince any reluctant clients and help them sell their property quickly.