The costly mistake of not home staging.

I think one thing we can agree on when we attend market appraisals, is that every home is different and how they are presented for sale can vary dramatically.  We have previously talked about honesty when conducting an appraisal, and how to broach the subject of home staging.  I had a great response on this subject so thought we would look at this more closely.

If a home is well presented for sale there is no doubt that you can achieve the highest net price.  But why do so many of us feel as though we can’t advise our clients on this subject?  In some cases we even blame the clients for not staging their home, even though we have not asked them to.  I admit it is difficult to talk to clients about something so personal but if we are really working in the best interests of our clients and adding value, surely we should be doing everything within our power to ensure that they have a successful sale.

I met an agent a few months ago who had produced a great booklet on home staging that they added to their marketing pack.  The booklet explained the importance of homes staging, it offered simple key points with before and after images to clearly show the difference it can make.  The agent explained, “We found some clients needed time to digest the advice we gave on home staging, and also some of our agents found it a hard subject to cover.  Talking through the booklet not only helped our clients gain a better understanding, but also our agents felt it made it easier to discuss.  We produced it in conjunction with a few key local suppliers, e.g. a home stager, garden maintenance and home repairs.  As this was an advertising tool for them also, they invested which meant it was produced at very little cost to us.”

The agent also told me that this booklet has attracted new referral instructions as his clients felt they were offering a higher level of service.

I am not suggesting that we all follow this agent’s method of introducing home staging to our clients, but I want you to think how you can ensure it becomes an integral part of your company’s appraisal.

You don’t want to overwhelm your clients with too much information, but guide them slowly to a successful outcome.  I would suggest the main points to initially cover:

  • Repair anything that is broken
  • Freshen up all paintwork and tone down where required
  • De-clutter every room and surface
  • Clean the house thoroughly
  • Ensure every room has a purpose
  • Don’t forget to do the same outside
  • Add plants and fresh flowers

One thing I think you need to ask your teams, do they know how to stage a home?  Maybe you should cover the subject in one of your team meetings?  Have some fun by sharing a selection of scary photographs littering the internet, or maybe invite a local home stager to give you pointers for the more difficult properties.

However you decide to tackle home staging within your business, never forget falling to acknowledge it could cost you.

Stephen Brown

Consultant to Estate Agents with the focus of generating more revenue. Over 20 years of industry experience having been a Director of an award winning London Agency.

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