Seller’s Advantage in a Buyer’s Market

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The predominant media buzz about the current “buyer’s market” is everywhere today, making it appear that sellers have lost any advantage in this highly-competitive real estate market. Yes, there is a huge inventory of homes competing for a smaller and choosier pool of potential buyers. This is enough to make even the most seasoned home seller fear that their property will only sell at a giveaway price or after a long time on the market—or worse; that it may not sell at all. Yet, the homes of some sellers are selling more quickly and profitably. How can it be?

This leads me to another media buzz (music to the ears of every home stager) which says that even in the current market, staging remains one of the very best investments a seller can make to protect their home’s equity and increase its resale value. According to HomeGain’s 2009 national survey of realtors, home staging yields a whopping 586% Return on Investment (ROI) and can help “get your home sold quicker and for more money.” The survey ranks home staging as the second best ROI (after cleaning and decluttering) and yielding the third highest price increase to a home’s resale value.

Also buzzing in the media is word that home staging is changing the landscape of the real estate industry and having a positive effect on the overall economy. In August of 2009, and listed home staging as one of seven “cutting edge careers… making a mark and poised for growth in the coming years.” This research validates the significant results of home staging—even in this buyer’s market and this economy.

That’s why it’s critical for us, as members of the professional home staging industry, to provide a more balanced perspective on the often-gloomy media buzz. We can do this by reassuring home sellers that they still have tremendous power to significantly improve the value of their homes and ensure a faster, more profitable sale; and that we are here to support them every step of the way. We need to constantly remind home sellers and realtors that, at a time when fewer homes are selling, we help ensure that our clients’ homes are the ones that sell. In today’s buyer’s market, home staging gives sellers a distinct advantage.

Home Staging is a great marketing tool to successfully connection with your targeted audience. It can work for you!

The Power of Rapport when hiring a Professional Home Stager.

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Remember the old saying that how you say something is often as important as what you say?
Well, that’s certainly true when it comes to hiring any professional home stager. It’s not enough to have excellent design skills; they also need strong “people” skills in building rapport that lets realtors, builders, home owners know they can get the job done and will help you work through the often-delicate process of turning a household back into a house for sale.

The rapport a professional stager builds with their clients allows them to trust that they care for them -whether they’re conducting a pre-staging consultation or a full-service staging-even in the stickiest situation. And we know that professional stagers rely on their clients’ referrals to help build their businesses.

The rapport a staging professional builds with home sellers not only allows them to be open to their guidance, but also helps sellers begin to see their home as a marketable product. Before they can ask you to pack away your favorite collections, take down your personal photos and remove all traces of your beloved pets, home sellers need to trust that stagers are an ally who has their best interest at heart. Strong interpersonal skills allow them to reach out to home sellers by discussing their needs and goals, educating them about the whys of home staging as well as the hows, and responding to their questions and concerns in a kind, caring manner.

Top stagers never forget that depersonalizing a home is a highly personal matter. Every seller has a story that got them to the point of putting their home on the market. It may involve death, divorce, financial difficulties or a work transfer that has temporarily separated their family. Whatever the circumstance, mixing in a little warmth and understanding with their professional staging guidance can encourage home sellers to let go and move forward with their lives. No, stagers are not psychotherapists, but their work does touch people’s lives in a very intimate way.