Do these scenarios seem too far apart to be realistic? Here in Indianapolis and our surrounding areas, sellers are facing one extreme or the other. With low inventory levels, buyers are snapping up well priced and presented homes quickly. Homes that don’t meet one of those two wickets (price or presentation) are not seeing the shift in market. They are still sitting and still requiring price reductions.
Properly presenting homes from the beginning
Whether a home is vacant or occupied, having the home staged prior to listing is an important part of receiving maximum returns. Statistics show that the first two weeks of a listing is the best time to receive an offer. Faster is better and to not have the home properly prepared from day 1 means leaving money on the table.
Waiting to stage until after the initial surge of showings is a common thought for many sellers who are trying to “save money” by seeing if they can sell without staging. While this thinking is understandable, it is also flawed. In order to maximize the possibility of multiple offers (something becoming more common in today’s market) professional home staging needs to happen from the beginning, not when the best buyers have already left the building.
Price reductions happen around 30 days
When a home has been on the market for more than 30 days it begins to feel stale to agents. Interest is waning and the likelihood of good offers is reduced. The average price reduction, according to Zillow is 1-3%. Often on a $200,000 home, price reductions may be $5,000 – $10,000 smashing that average with nearly 5% in reductions. Compare this to the cost of home staging. An average vacant staging job in this price range, would be in the low $2000’s. For occupied homes a professional evaluation and changes based on recommendations may only be a few hundred.
Even in a shifting market, homes will sit while others sell. Poorly presented homes will justify the price tag of similar homes with higher prices. If you are interested in preserving the equity of your home, there is no investment than home staging before the home is listed.