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We are getting ready to place a 3 BR, 2 BA condo on the market. After selecting our selling agent, he recommended we meet with a professional stager to get ideas to make our house "look more like HGTV." Granted, we don't have the best interior design skills, including not having the nicest furniture. Thus, I'm not necessarily against it (although this would be an additional cost that I'm not sure of the price). With that said, can anyone provide input on the the actual value of a professional stager?
We live in a desirable neighborhood and my thought is that the list price of a home will be the biggest factor in it selling fast. This is hypothetical, but if the repairs/stager cost 2% of list price and it returns say 5-6% more than we otherwise would have gotten, it would obviously be worth it.
First time sellers, so any advice would be great!
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- Location: Chicago
Our here in the Bay Area, staging is nearly mandatory.
I did some home shopping earlier this year and the unstaged homes just did not show well on their own and the contrast to the staged homes was even worse.
Just do it.
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- Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:16 pm
The house I sold in 2008 was on the market for 4 months before getting an acceptable offer. The market at the time was extremely tough for a seller. I attribute the quick sell to the house being staged. The real estate sales office did the staging. It helped them get their sales commission sooner. Oh yes, the sales contract I negotiated with the realty office was less than the standard percentage demanded by most agents in the area. It all depends on how well you negotiate with the realty office. The agents I hired were hungry for business.
That is my experience,
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Back in 2009 my fiance and I (separate homes) decided to sell our houses, purchase a house, and marry.
She is a HGTV addict and she "staged" her house. It sold within 7 days at 97% of asking price. Remember, this was back when real estate was in the dumps. I didnt have the opportunity to place mine on the market as it "needed work" (Could have had a TV series called "Three boys and a dog"). I rented until this July and the renter suddenly moved out, leaving it a mess.
We rolled up our sleeves, consulted with Real Estate agent who made specific recomendations, wrote checks when necessary to get things done, and listed the house about 3 weeks ago. The house was empty, but "move in ready" with neutral painting, hardwood floors (carpeting removed), cleaned and scrubbed. We received an offer at 96% of offering price and accepted.
My advice is have the house ready based on it's condition (occupied or empty) and price it fairly.
I repeatedly told our agent...sell this house quickly, I do not mind leaving $$$ on the table, but I do not want it unoccupied over the winter.
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We sold a rental house this last August. Our real estate agent also recommended hiring a professional stager. After getting a couple of quotes, we decided to do it ourselves. In the living room I placed a couple of club chairs by the fireplace, placed several small tables (one between the club chairs with a lamp, the other two with plants. A picture over the fireplace, a vase on the hearth with tall dried flowers and some candles on the mantle.
In the kitchen, I put a small round table with two small chairs, a tablecloth with flowers. In the bathroom, new fluffy towels, a candle & budvase. I put up sheer curtains in the livingroom, kitchen & bath. Left the other areas alone.
The house sold in 5 days (we had 6 offers).
My advise is this: if the condo is high end,, hire a pro. If not, get some advice from a friend who has good taste, do it yourself and keep it minimal. Don't fill it up; just enhance it a bit. Maybe you can rent or borrow a few pieces of furniture. I used some things I found at thrift stores mixed with some of our own things.
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I've sold two houses and both sold to the first people who looked at them. I attribute that partially to good staging (done by me, not a pro) and to no clutter (and I do mean NO clutter!) Clutter is a huge turnoff and a stager can help you reduce clutter (oh, I mean important collections of stuff) and spruce things up by rearranging the furniture to make the condo look more spacious. There are some staging tips at HGTV.com if you decide to go the amateur route. The benefit of hiring a pro is that he/she could be objective of how others will view aunt Martha's sculpture or son Bobby's boy scout project.
My advice is that once you decide to put your home on the market, embrace the reality that it is no longer yours and remove the personal touches that make it difficult for buyers to envision the home as theirs. Check out other homes that are for sale in your area to get a sense of the level of staging that other sellers are doing, then outdo them. Good luck.
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- Location: Colorado
Our selling agent on the last house provided a stager. She came in and described what we needed to do in each room. Later she came back with a few items to dress up certain areas. We sold in a week for well north of asking. Needless to say, I think staging is worth it. They offer an objective view of decluttering, depersonalizing and sprucing up, which is what sells your home when a buyer walks in and thinks "this is us". Go out and look for a home in your area in your price range. Asking price is more related to location and square feet than condition. Which are you going to offer on, a cluttered dump or a nice looking place with everything just so?
Last edited by Bengineer
on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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- Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:25 pm
- Location: CA
Thanks for the feedback. In throwing a slight curveball to the equation, since we have 2 young children and a small dog, instead of staging the condo, we are leaning towards: 1) moving out of our place; 2) ensuring fresh paint/new carpet, etc; and 3) listing it for sale.
I don't want this process to be a stressful situtation for my wife, who is a stay-at-home mom. Having to ensure it is pristine and vacate at a moments notice (when it still may be cold out) doesn't seem fair to her. If we have to make 2 house payments for a couple months, then so be it. It won't break us.
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