Benefits of Home Staging? Stager Puts Skeptic to the Challenge – Home Sells in 2 Days

“Staged home sell faster and for more money,” says Barb Schwartz, the creator of home staging and owner of one of the largest home staging accreditation programs in the country, Stagedhomes. With the growing popularity of hit HGTV shows like Designed to Sell, Get it Sold, and Secrets that Sell, home staging has become one of the most popular marketing tools in real estate today and in some areas it’s as expected as receiving a home inspection. Home staging is preparing a home for the real estate market by making all necessary repairs and creating a neutral environment that anyone can visualize living in. This is achieved using techniques such as decluttering, furniture rearrangement, color correction, careful accessorizing, and highlighting a homes best assets and architectural features.

Stagers believe no seller should sell their home before staging it and provide some interesting facts and statistics to back up their claims.

1. A 2007 survey of Accredited Staging Professionals by training company StagedHomes found that 94% of staged homes sold on average in one month or less. Homes that were staged spent 80% less time on the market than those that were not staged. It should also be considered that market, location, price, and condition all play a role in the successful sale of a home and these statistics would reflect a not only carefully planned staging but also strong pricing.

2. Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a home, according to Home Staging Resource, another large home staging training program. That means 90% of buyers cannot visualize size and scale. They need furnishings in place to give them a frame of reference.

3. It’s easier for Realtors to show and sell their buyers a staged home because they know the property will be in pristine condition. Realtors are often more prone to attend broker open houses because staging creates a buzz and excitement in the industry. Thus increasing showings.

4. Professional Staging attracts the eye and creates a psychological appeal that draws buyers away from the negatives of a home and puts the focus on the positives.

5. Pictures and virtual tours are more enticing when staged. Powerful pictures will attract more buyers to a home when placed on the MLS and

6. Staged home often appraise at a higher value. A 2007 HomeGain survey of 2,000 practitioners found that the return of investment from home staging was as much as 343%.

7. Providing a professional and objective eye, home stagers can tell a seller what will appeal to the current market and make suggestions such as remove grandma’s pottery collection so that sellers will notice what they are buying, not what a seller isn’t selling.

8. By neutralizing a property, buyers can visualize themselves living in a home, rather than the current owners.

Some skeptics, like Ana Zawadzki, believe a home can sell itself. “If a buyer likes the home enough,” says Zawadzki, “They’ll buy it no matter what it looks like.” Despite skepticism, the Zawadzki’s allowed Simplicity Home Staging & Design to help them stage their home. When their home had an offer the second day on the market, the family was convinced, “Staging really works.”

Home staging is not decorating or interior design. Though some of the same design principals are used, the objectives are actually the opposite. Designers are personalizing a space while stagers are depersonalizing and neutralizing to help a home appeal to any buyer. Buyers considering staging their home, should consider consulting with a professional home stager who can guide them with the proper techniques to help their home look its best for a sale.

Darlene White is an Accredited Staging Professional and owner of Simplicity Home Staging & Design, a home staging firm that specializes in northern New Jersey homes. She is also a journalist and the staging correspondent for Fi

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Green Real Estate and Education Go Hand and Hand and the Timing Couldn’t Be Better

What a better time to think of value in residential real estate than in the present challenging times. Most are still wondering if the projections of a turn around in the current marketplace are just fiction or truth. Five steps forward and two back, then three forward and three back. So what is really going to drive value for the buyer to buy again? What does a buyer consider in today’s economic climate for the decision to buy a home? Do they think of a home for their family in terms of how their parents looked at the purchase? Do they still think a home is the American Dream where investment returns will be offered in the 6-8% in annual growth patterns as in the past?

The current climate offers a new sales technique for mortgage and real estate companies in moving property. The “short sale” market is of value to the investor, but counter productive for future community values. So, if you want to sell a home in this market, what are your options? The appraiser will always look at recent sales, and there have been several homes foreclosed and resold as short sales in your neighborhood. The bad thing is the family that wants to move across town into a nicer home, but the short sales will affect the value of their home dramatically. Appraisers will look at the most recent sales using the cost approach to determine value. This gives you only one real option to take less for your home, and hopefully buy a short sale across town if any are available. I mean why should we take such a loose; we were always on time with our mortgage and taxes, why are we being so affected by others hard times.

So you don’t sell, because you do not want to take such a loss and there are no foreclosures in the area you want to go. What do you do to build value for the future? What do you honestly think will help your home stand out in front of the others? What do you think a buyer is thinking about today? Low utility bills? Are they considering looking into solar or energy savings? Are they curious about green building and green renovation products? Here is an idea. Put $15,000 in energy efficient upgrades in your existing home, taking advantage of the tax incentives and rebates. Now, depending on the upgrades you have chosen, the property stands out in this development. With offering up to 65% lower energy bills alone a buyer desiring your neighborhood may lean towards your home even if there is a short sale for less money. The timing couldn’t be better as most are curious on how to renovate to lower utility bills. Green renovations, can make a difference in real estate values. Using healthy materials and installing more high efficiency systems will making a difference in quality of life. While economic times are challenging those involved in the energy sector hold promise for growth. Our company, Green Real Estate Education is educating all sectors in the real estate industry to bring these points to those is there markets. Our educational programs are in demand even in these economic times.

Energy Efficient Homes and proper marketing especially if they offer the added benefit of being green certified properties are some of the most sought after residences and gaining strength daily. The entire building industry is changing towards sustainable and green techniques; it’s about time we embrace the new green revolution.

It is our opinion that a home seller should separate their property from the short sales and get green products and systems into their home as soon as possible. Some may not be thinking of selling right now, maybe in the future. But all renovations need to have energy conservation and the concepts of offering healthier indoor air quality in all they do in the future. . To investigate the best and most affordable way is to do a green renovation that will produce future value, is to hire a one of the 5,000 Green Real Estate Education has trained. A GCMP-GL is a Green Certified Mortgage Professional with a Level One Green Leadership Certification and a GCREP-GL is a Green Certified Real Estate Professional with a Green Leadership Certification. These professionals will offer options many do not even realize exist. Preparing your home for your future and the future of others will be a key to a successful sale. As a buyer, using these professionals will bring you additional information for becoming more aware of what your investment can bring in the future. This can and will support value while separating your home from others.

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