What is the goal of Hilo sellers?
When is it advantageous to stage a listing? There's no cookie-cutter answer to this. Engaging your client in conversation and asking some key questions, such as why they're selling, is the best way to determine what their goals are. Once you have a better understanding of their goals, you can determine what steps are necessary to help them achieve it. As you know, there are a million and one reasons why sellers need or want to sell their property, and zeroing in one their goals can help you service them more effectively.
Here are some points you can consider when evaluating if you should have your listing staged or not.
Look at Seller's Goals - Start by asking them why they're selling. What circumstances lead them to this decision? For instance, a seller has taken ill so they're selling to move in with daughter in California. This helps you understand their goal of a quick sale. Or a seller wants to downsize as they don'[t need a large house anymore although they're still helping the kids with college tuition. This helps you understand their goal of maximizing the equity on their home.
Look at Market Conditions - Is it a buyer's market or a seller's market? Staging helps in both markets, but understanding its depth can help you determine if staging is right for your client. For example in a buyer's market, the above goal to achieve a quick sale is difficult. The market is saturated and home prices are low. In this scenario, staging can help shorten time on market while maintaining a strong dollar, even in a buyer's market.
If we look at a seller's market where inventory is low and prices are high, the goal of maximizing the equity on the sale can be boosted even further with professional staging.
Buyers can visualize themselves living there - 9 out of 10 people have difficulties visualizing themselves in the seller's home. Its difficult to look past the seller's personal items. If the home is vacant, its still difficult for buyers to see past an empty space and imagine their furniture, their lives, there. The size of the room becomes difficult to see when its vacant, making it hard for buyers to know if their furniture will fit in the space. If buyers aren't able to "see" themselves living in the home, they'll be far less likely to submit an offer to buy. Look at your listing. Is it represented in its best light to help buyers see themselves living there, with a lifestyle they aspire to?
Buying is an emotional process - Buyers who don't establish an emotional link to the home typically aren't as motivated to submit an offer. Professional stagers know how to target the buyer and help them get emotionally involved in the home, increasing the likelihood of an offer. Manufacturers hire marketing companies to merchandize their products, making them more appealing by getting you emotionally involved in the product. They know how to make you want something even if you don't need it. Look at the classic example of the Coke commercial with a beautiful bottle of Coke dripping wet on a hot summer day. You can almost taste it. You become emotionally involved in it because you can taste the coolness of the Coke. These are subtle merchandizing techniques, and effective. That's why a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl costs millions. Merchandizing works. Professional stagers use merchandizing techniques through design, color, the home's architecture, decor and furniture placement to create that moment in time, like a scene on a movie set, to merchandize the home and help buyers become emotionally involved in the home. Staging converts a listing from a home to a commodity by merchandizing it to appeal to its buyer demographics. Although it may sound cold on the surface, selling a home is, in most cases, the seller's largest transaction. Employing proper merchandizing tools to maximize your client's asset value can be the link needed to help buyers make that emotional connection.
Eye-catching MLS photos - Beautiful photos on-line is the new curb appeal. Its essential to have beautiful photos that'll capture a buyer's attention and motivate them to request a showing. A property doesn't[t have to be a luxury home to photograph beautifully and look gorgeous. This is proven time and time again through effective staging and photography. Look at your listing. Is it presented well so it'll look great online?
You only have 1 chance to make a first impression - Studies have found that buyers form their first impression just seconds after walking in the front door. The rest of the time spent in the home they use to justify their first impression, whether that impression was positive or negative. Walk through the front door of your listing. What's your first impression? What catches your eye first? Is this the first impression you want buyers to experience?
As you can see, not staging only works to help drive traffic to your listing's competition! Professional staging creates great online presentations, drives buyer traffic to the home, and brings in offers. Consider your seller's goals and ask yourself if professional staging can help you achieve them for your client.
I'm Ululani and have been staging homes in Hilo since 2013. I'm passionate about staging, design, color and photography. I'm also about slow food free of pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified organisms for healthy balanced living for our 'ohana and communities.