Home staging is well-known as an effective method for promoting home sales and sales at a higher price point, particularly for vacant homes. Those who routinely perform home staging say that these properties tend to sell faster, get more offers and tend to sell at a price that’s closer to the asking price (or even higher than the asking price in some instances.) The industry has seen a dramatic rise in the number of licensed Realtors who acquire properties as an investor, selling the home for a profit. These real estate professionals are faced with a challenging decision: should you stage the home yourself or hire a staging company? And if you’re involved in traditional real estate sales, what should you recommend to your clients? That’s precisely what we’ll explore in today’s article from Realtor Judy Szablak, founder of Szablak Consulting and a longtime Southern Connecticut Realtor with Caldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Westport.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Self-Staging?
Home staging takes many forms, from adding some towels, curtains and rugs in the bathroom and kitchen, to adding some furniture and decorative items to give the home a less vacant, more lived-in feel.
If you choose to self-stage the property, it may be as simple as spending a few hundred dollars in small items like small rugs, towels, drapes and wall art, in addition to renting some furniture, which can be quite affordable. Some investors may even purchase furniture that they keep in storage and use solely for the purpose of staging homes. A few rental retailers now offer rent-to-buy options, providing buyers with a weekly or monthly rate and at the end of the term, they assume ownership of the furniture.
You must consider the costs and logistics of storage, along with transportation of furniture. Virtually all furniture rental providers offer free pick-up and delivery and there is no burden in terms of long-term storage once the property sells, making rental quite appealing to many.
Additionally, if you’re purchasing smaller items such as rugs and towels, it’s best to choose items that can be used in a number of different homes. For example, purchasing a hyper-modern carpet with geometric shapes in bright red and lime green probably isn’t the best decision as it won’t work for most home styles. Of course, if you own the staging “props,” you have the flexibility to include the items with the home for a small added fee. There will be cases where buyers may ask “Hey, can we include that couch and area rug?” When you own the staging items, you have the freedom to say “yes.”
Self-staging is a good option for homeowners too, as many are hesitant to invest money in a service, with the hopes that they’ll see a faster sale, for a higher price. Really, when staging the home yourself, you have the option to do as much or as little as you please. Sometimes, staging is as simple as adding a few towels, curtains and a few area rugs.
Hiring a Home Staging Expert
Many Realtors, investors and homeowners will invest in a home staging expert, and while this option can bring the best results, it can be a bit pricier than self-staging, especially since you don’t get to keep, include or re-use any of the furniture, housewares or decorative items.
That said, many prefer the convenience of hiring a professional, combined with the fact that they don’t need to worry about shopping, delivery, pick up or storage. What’s more, many laymen don’t have a good eye for decor and if you select the wrong housewares, furniture and decorative items, you could actually deter potential buyers — the precise opposite of what you’re aiming to achieve!
When hiring a home staging service, you’ll need to consider the rental term. Generally, you want to ensure the rental timeframe is at least 90 days with an affordable option to extend beyond the 90 days. Some home staging firms have exorbitant weekly fees if you opt to extend the original contract, taking advantage of property owners who are having a hard time selling their property. So it’s essential that you carefully read the terms and conditions before hiring a home stager.
A Third Option: Virtual Home Staging
A third, high-tech option involves virtual home staging, which can be used alone or in conjunction with traditional home staging. Virtual staging involves the use of image editing software to revise interior photographs of a home, adding furniture and other finishing touches that can make the home appear more appealing. These images illustrate what’s possible for a property, making this technology especially useful for homes that are vacant or “dated” homes with older furniture.
It’s important to note, though, that virtual home staging can be rather controversial. Some real estate agents use image editing technology to alter more than just furnishings or paint colors. They may edit the images to make more extensive changes — changes that would be very costly or even impossible to achieve in “real life.” For this reason, it’s important to ensure that any revisions are realistic and feasible in a practical sense.
Tips to Grow Your Career With Szablak Consulting Founder and Realtor Judy Szablak
Technology and home staging strategies can help you and your properties to stand out from the crowd. It’s a hyper-competitive niche, but the right strategies can lead you to success! Strategy development is one of Judy Szablak’s specialties as a career consultant. She can provide new and experienced real estate agents alike with valuable insights and recommendations that give them a competitive edge in today’s real estate industry. A consultant will not only offer advice and recommendations, but she will also share her valuable knowledge and expertise on topics such as online marketing for Realtors and social media marketing to get leads, to sales motivation tips and other tips to sell more homes!
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level or are just starting working as a Realtor, turn to real estate professional and consultant Judy Szablak, founder and CEO of Szablak Consulting and Best Agents Online, LLC. With Judy’s guidance and expertise, you’ll take your career to incredible places, finding success that’s beyond what you believed to be possible!
If you’re a real estate agent who is ready to elevate your sales or if you’re a realty owner or manager who’s seeking a dynamic, expert coach to bring a new element of professionalism to your sales team and your brokerage firm, turn to Realtor Judy Szablak of Szablak Consulting. Call 855.438.5839 or complete the booking form.