This week, I will be exploring market preparation vs. staging. In particular, why you should avoid staging.
Up here in the northeast, a lot of the homes are rundown. These second and third generation owners are selling their property because their grandparents or parents bought it. For example, I once showed a house that was really rundown: the paint was peeling and the foundations were squishy. You would probably have to spend another million to make it into a nice summer house.
How do you prepare a home like that for the market? Market preparation.
Market Prep, Don’t Stage
You’re not going to stage a home in that condition. If you look up the word “staging” in the dictionary, it means fake, contrived, or manipulative. Market preparation, on the other hand, is getting the home ready for the market. Staging is also what everybody else does and if you’re going to differentiate yourself from everyone else, you can’t hire a stager. You need to be the market preparation expert. Click To Tweet
I wrote this little booklet that I give to my sellers and it’s called “A Tale of Two Houses.” It talks about two homes that came on the market at the same time – one sold in a month and one sold in 13 months. What’s the difference? The one sold in one month was prepared for the market and it was easier for a buyer to fall in love with that house. It wasn’t staged, fake, or manipulative. It was based on my experience – my 45 years in the business – of noticing what makes the eyes of the buyer light up when they go through a house. We then create a checklist of 52 pages around that. Part of my value proposition is that if you follow the directions in my checklist, you are going to get two to four points of additional sales price on just that one USP.
You Lose Control When You Bring in a Stager
If I’m competing with you for a listing and you hire a stager, I then have to go get a better stager. Then you’ve got to hire Martha Stewart and there goes your commission. Essentially, I may bring a stager in who works under me, but the second I bring in the stager I risk losing control. When I’m dealing with individuals in the high end, I want to give the appearance of not really delegating all that much. I’m the air traffic controller who oversees everything that takes place in that house. I am the market preparation expert.
Until next time, make it a great week.