Sunday, March 12, 2017

Realtors want referrals and sales - why don't they use stagers to help them?

I started my home staging business in 2009 one of the worst year of real estate sales that I can remember.  Through out the years I tried various ways of marketing the importance of Staging to real estate agents.  I find it amazing that most agents in Ocean County New Jersey have never used stagers. 

I interviewed a few agents about the possibility of partnering with them.  They varied in number of years in the field.  I had 11 say yes, I LOVE referrals, however did not want to participate in the process.  I was looking for agents that wanted to work with a stylist/stager by answering a few questions so that I knew who was serious.

I interviewed an agent of Re/Max newbie in real estate one hard 14 hours a day 7 days a week.

Me:  Have you ever used a stager before?
Wendy: No, I have not.
Me:  What do you ask your clients to do before you list their homes?
Wendy:  Remove all personal items and clutter.

My next interview was with an agent of Caldwell Banker/Flanagan Realty in the business for 4-5 years.
Me:  Have you ever used a stager before?
Doug:  No, I have not used a stager before.  I have a client who has staged his own house.  Cost is the factor.
Me:  What do you ask your clients to do before you list their homes?
Doug:  I ask my clients to declutter, address issues that may influence the sale, make the house accessible.

My next interview was with an agent with of Remax  seasoned agent 16 years in the business.
Me:   Have you ever used a stager before?
Colette:  No I have not used a stager.  I feel clients are not open to the additional cost.
Me:  What do you ask your clients to do before you list their homes?
Declutter to maximize space, paint there is always something that needs to be fresher up sometimes move furnishing around or out of the room.

The average cost of a three room staging is 3,000-4,000 for three months of staging.  The average first price drop is 5,000-10,000 dollars. 

Here are some ways of getting around the cost
  • Build in the staging price into the price of the home, recouping it at closing
  • If the stager owns their own furnishings at to the hud statement at closing.
  • Build it into your marketing budget

The Real Estate Staging Association, recently release their Home Staging Statistics Report, based on home staging statistics self-reported by professional home stagers nationally. Homes staged before listing sell 90% faster than homes listed on the MLS un staged. In staged homes spent an average of 184 Days On Market (DOM). That’s more than 6 months! Once those same homes were staged, they sold, on average, in 41 days. However, homes that were staged prior to listing sold, on average in 23 days!

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