There are two key components to a successful real estate sale: price and presentation. This is why many real estate agents have a strong partnership with stagers; both have a large influence on how buyers will perceive the property, and the final selling price. Real estate agents rely on stagers to handle necessary steps in preparing and selling the home, and vice versa. However, this partnership also has the potential to go wrong and deter the sale. With that in mind, here are four staging mistakes often made that you can easily avoid with the right preparation:
1. Selecting a stager based on price
With any major investment, decisions should never be based on price alone. Selecting a stager just because he or she offers the cheapest rate could sabotage your sale, and ultimately end up costing your client a significant amount of money in lost equity. A stager’s experience, skills, and resources are much more important than the actual dollar-value of their services, as they pertain directly to the results you can expect from them. While cost should always be considered, a stager’s professionalism, expertise, and portfolio should also be of high importance within the selection process.
2. Asking the stager to avoid certain topics
Some real estate agents make the mistake of asking the stager to avoid discussing certain topics in an effort to protect their client’s feelings. It’s a stager’s job to address all potential buyer objections so they can be addressed accordingly. Although the information about the house, its items, and areas may not always be positive, informing a stager to ignore certain issues does a disservice to your client, and could result in price reductions, poor buyer interest, and delaying of the selling process. Instead, hire a reputable stager who has the skillset required to relay sensitive information in a professional manner. All suggestions made by the stager do not have to be implemented right away, and can be used as a back-up plan if the house doesn’t sell.
3. Not using professional photography
Despite the latest smartphones’ fairly tech-savvy camera abilities, all photographs should be taken professionally and with a high-quality camera. People are highly visual when it comes to intake of information, and buyers will gravitate toward crisp, professional photos that properly highlight the features of the home. As a real estate agent, sharpen up your photography skills and invest in a high-quality camera, or hire someone who can provide professional photography for your listings.
4. Disrupting the staging
Your clients have spent the money to have their home professionally staged. Once the job has been completed, it’s absolutely critical that everything be kept in the same condition for as long as the house is on the market. It’s so important, in fact, that some stagers have implemented clauses in their contracts to prevent items from being moved. Disrupting the staging can make it less effective, so trust the professional hired.
Many buyers will place quality over price, and a home’s marketability and presentation are two important components to making that sale. Avoid making these common staging mistakes, and advise your client to invest in a professional and experienced stager to bring more value to their listing.