Our listings NET sellers more (not buyers). Many agents will tell the sellers, “I can get you top dolla‘ “ (or they BUY a listing) and then turn around and tell buyers “this is a great ‘deal’!”
Well, you can’t have it both ways.
Is it a good deal for the seller or the buyer?
(like this 2 faced Realtor commercial)
Am I worried that this post might turn away buyers for our listings? Nah.
- Does anybody really read this?
- People buy from the MLS, not blogs
- 3rdly (is that a word) they know I’m exaggerating (a little).
- Lasterly (now that I know is not a word) the buyers will be compelled in our trance, like bugs into a zapper, and this post won’t matter. They will love the place and still HAVE to have it.
(shameless ad coming on..) FranklyRealty.com is the only Real Estate Company in Virginia (and probably the USA) that requires staging for each listing. All part of our slogan Excellence Comes Standard TM.
Do we lose business from it? You betcha. Not only do we lose clients that want to just throw it up on the MLS, but also agents that were considering joining but were scared to lose clients. (His current listing should have been staged, it wasn’t, and now it just sits).
I also lose watching a deal that we “lose” and watch it sit… and sit… and sit.
Why require this? Because:
- It works and
- So few do it.
Upon reviewing 400 homes in Arlington Virginia from $350k to $800 on the MLS.
- Over 400 homes
- Only 7 had 30 photos (our MLS’s maximum) and of those
- Only 4 of those had staging.
- 75% (3) of those were our listings. (see them here)
Hello! Wake up! We are in a “buyer’s market” with competition from dumpy bank listings, it is a no brainer.
(sidenote: Buyers, we should get you a smelly bank place and make it look like nicely staged place. Or save $15,000 buying a photoless listings)
Now I would rattle off stats offered by the staging world about selling for 6% more, but I don’t believe in stats. Instead I see as a buyer agent, that only 1 in 30-50 properties are staged (and only 1 other non-Frankly listing out of 400 was staged and had 30 photos) and my buyers love them (but I prefer they get the stinky unstaged home).
And when I do my listings, the buyers at open houses comment “do those drapes come with the house.” You shouldn’t be looking at drapes when you buy a house… but people do! I even had one buyer look at a listing and fell in love with the décor in the bathroom and subsequently bought the townhouse.
I recently sold my Mom’s house and I did more than staging (about 60% of our clients do more than just staging). Here we did about $17K in redesign on a 27 year rental (I hate construction, so it was 100% outsourced). If I didn’t believe in staging, would I still have required my Mom to do it? As I mentioned in my “best ever” post: Frankly CRA, we got:
My best friend in Chicago wanted to sell his place and needed advice. He is the “Frank tell me exactly what to do” type. I believe in staging so much, I
src=”http://s68.photobucket.com/albums/i18/franklyfrank1/th_ad67de7c.jpg” align=”right” />worked backwards. I went to a top stager in Chicago and said, “Got any tech savvy Realtors that stage?” He recommended Eugene Fu (A year later featured as a top agent under 30 in Realtor magazine). Sold in four days for $10K over list.
My sister is about to sell in Seattle. What do I beat into her? Staging (she was already sold at Hello after seeing my mother’s house transformed).
While “staging” is the minimum that we require, more often than not there is some more serious re-designing needed. Sometimes granite, sometimes new appliances, chair rails, etc. Usually not new cabinets or new windows. Not just your $25 staging book and a box of hodge podge junk from Kmart (so yes, even staging has levels of service).
So why require it? Because (warning, cheesy line coming up!) my clients are like family*. (Told ya! * Yes that was a joke, I don’t talk like that)
No seriously if I make my best friend, mom, and sister stage, how am I going to let a client say, “Nah, just put it on the MLS and see what happens?”
Actually even my mom said that. I said, “nope, all or nothing.”
So while it might lose us signed listing agreements, at least our stuff sells faster and for more.
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- Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- FranklyRealty.com
(Disclaimer: Now don’t get me wrong. You can’t just wave a staging wand and it is sold automatically. Other things matter, like proper pricing (not under pricing) and (see entire blog section on listings) sometimes a staged place won’t sell, but it works enough to require it.)
Photcredits: Don’t buy by WhatWhat, Chicago by Laffy4k Bug light by Lara68 , sit by naraekim0801 , Wake up by galapogos