Home Staging is Essential for current market in Rochester NY

By Kristen Noble

I am both a real estate sales agent and home staging & re-design professional. I can’t believe more agents are not using a professional home stager! There are fewer buyers on the market and Interest rates are going up. These two issues are a powerful combination. After attending the “Triple Play” convention in Atlantic City, NJ recently, it was advised to get all your clients that planned on listing in the spring to do it now. Your listings have to look the best compared to others in the same price range to sell. Here enters home staging.
Being an experienced professional home stager and saying as an agent that you “stage” all your listings are two completely different things. Home staging is far beyond doing common sense things such as de-cluttering and repairing rooms.
A home staging professional should have completed one or more home staging programs, have an inventory, take professional level photographs, and have a complete portfolio of before and after photographs of their recent jobs, and references.  Ask the stager the difference between staging and decorating.  Ask how your household will be able to function during the selling process. Balancing a rooms through colors, furniture placement, and accessories are essential for showings. A simple furniture re-arrangement can really showcase a room. Stagers should be able to give examples of their work through portfolios and have references as well. Look at their photographs.  If you had the option to view one of the homes in the portfolio, would you want to?
Many agents are now using professional home stagers.  Multi-million dollar sales agent for Danielle Windus Cook Properties, Cindy Ingraham, re- listed a home that she has been trying to sell for the past two years.  Once listed after several weeks she still had no requests for a showing.  Cindy hired a professional home stager.  Within four days she had an offer. Another one of Cindy’s success stories was when she had a home staged before listing it.  The home sold in 24 hours.  Cindy said, “It is no doubt that home staging helped sell these properties.”
Most recently I met an agent that dropped the price of one of his/her listings by $10,000.  The home is vacant.  It would have cost far less to have the home staged and professionally photographed.  Professional stagers offer consultations, free estimates, and hands on staging.  During hands on staging stagers use items from your own home and re-arrange them as well as bring in accessories.  RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association for professional stagers, released some statistics on the effectiveness of Real Estate Staging.  The study was taken between 1/09 and 12/09.
126 vacant and occupied homes previously spent on the average of 263 days unsold. Those same homes were staged and sold in 60 days on average. This is 78% less time on the market after staging.
Home staging in Rochester NY will not necessarily get you a lot more money in the sale of your home. The staging will get you more showings and offers closer to your asking price.  If you aren’t using a home staging professional your competition will be.

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