As a real estate agent, you don’t make any money until a home sells, so it’s important for your clients’ homes to stand apart from competing properties. The longer you carry a listing, the more it costs you in marketing fees. Home staging can help differentiate your clients’ homes from the competition and speed up sales.
According to expert home stager Debra Gould, there’s another reason why staging is so crucial. “Approximately 80% of prospective buyers shop online before ever calling an agent to help them buy a home. Now that the public can access MLS listings and shop from the photos they see online, it’s even more critical for properties to show well in listing photographs. Otherwise, the agent won’t even get a request for a showing.”
Staging makes all the difference in how rooms look both online and in the real world, and real estate agents are catching on to that. Many agents have begun offering to stage their clients’ homes themselves at no charge, hoping to attract more listings, which they can then sell faster and for a better price. This practice of staging listings for free just creates more problems for overworked and underpaid agents.
First of all, as a real estate agent, your time is money. While you’re donating your time to help your client rearrange their furniture, sort through their junk, choose the perfect paint color for their den and decide whether or not to move the baby’s crib out of the office, do you realize the significant amount of time and money you are wasting--not to mention the risk of offending your client and losing the listing altogether?
It’s time to do the math. If you list four properties this month and spend an average of four hours staging each of them, you have wasted sixteen hours, or two entire workdays. How many homes can you show in sixteen hours? You could have planned, advertised and attended five open houses in that amount of time.
When you’re in the business of selling real estate, your strengths are presumably finding and selling properties for your clients and negotiating the best deals for them. If you are personally staging your clients’ homes for free, those negotiation skills are being wasted on domestic disagreements over paint chips and furniture placement.
Savvy real estate agents are recommending that their clients consult with home stagers in order to draw attention to their listings and to sell their homes faster. This reduces or even eliminates the need for price reductions, which is a win-win outcome for all involved.
Written by internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, www.stagingdiva.com. © Copyright Six Elements Inc. Used with permission. To learn more, visit www.stagingdivadirectoryofhomestagers.com