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Overland Park Home Staging

Staging a Vacant Home – Is it Worth the Cost?

Yesterday a lady called me and told me she was interested in staging a vacant home. When I asked her about her situation, she said they had moved out on Monday and “everyone” told her she needed to stage the house. My next question was whether or not she had an agent and if she was committed to that agent.

Staging a vacant home

The reason I asked if she was committed to an agent was because I stage vacant homes for my real estate clients using my inventory. But if you want to stage your vacant house and you have an agent, that’s a different situation. That’s not what I do. But I can refer you to other stagers that I’ve trained that can help you.

Staging a vacant home is not cheap. I proceeded to tell her the costs involved with not only the rental but also moving the furniture and accessories to the house and then moving everything back out of the house.

She said the stager her Realtor recommended wanted a small fortune to stage her home. While that didn’t surprise me, I asked what her agent thought. Her agent, who was also her friend (that’s a whole other blogpost) had told her what to leave in the house and what to move out. Trouble is after she moved out, her agent changed her mind on a few things.

Being everything to everybody

That’s probably because Realtors are not home stagers. But they often wear that hat in front of their clients because they’re expected to know everything. I probably receive 10-15 calls every single week from sellers who want me to fix their house that’s on the market and not selling.

Home staging comes down to 3 basic things: decluttering, depersonalizing and rearranging and styling. Anyone can declutter and depersonalize a house but the rearranging and styling is the challenge. And starting with a blank canvas is tricky.

The seller actually told me she had no clue what she was doing – but I already knew that or she wouldn’t have called me.

I could tell she was very frustrated so I bid the job sight unseen and gave her my best ball park figure of what it should probably cost her but also told her I wasn’t interested. It’s not what I do. She wasn’t surprised at my price but was frustrated that her Realtor had somewhat misled her from the beginning.

Have a plan

Sellers don’t always have money to throw at staging a vacant home. Had it been my seller, I would have suggested getting a better vision of the whole picture before they moved everything out. But then, that’s me. I don’t always understand how other agents do things.

It seems as though the home staging may have been an afterthought.

I felt sorry for her as I could tell by her tone that she was feeling misled. She said they had lived in the house for 20 years and home staging was not around back then. I said I felt her pain and wished her well.

It was 1973

The concept of home staging was created in 1973 by Barb Schwarz who knew houses could show better. I took her home staging course in Chicago in 2006 and came back to Overland Park and started my home staging business, Another Staged Home.

A whole industry has been created around the concept. But some Realtors want to be the agent, the home stager, the photographer and the marketer. No wonder the average days on the market is over 70. Just sayin’!

Bottom line

Give me 30 minutes in any house and I’ll make it look a whole lot better. And maybe have a better chance of selling. But sellers are continued to be told it’s not about their house, it’s the market. Is it?

I’ve got a whole crew of home stagers that I’ve personally trained that might want to argue that point. We believe that home staging is an art and is what gets the offer! Remember, my typical house sells in less than 3 days with multiple offers. We believe staging a vacant home is worth every penny.

If you are thinking of selling your home, I’d love to stage and style your home so it sells faster and for more money than you were expecting. It’s called my FAST SALE Home Selling System. What a concept! Call me at (913) 515-3250 to see if what I do will help you.

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