5 Things Home Stagers Wish All Estate Agents Knew
Research shows that home staging helps sell houses 50% faster, and for 8%-10% more than the seller would have sold for. This easily covers the costs of home staging.
1. HOME STAGING IS A SEPARATE DEAL
A good home stager will keep the staging agreement completely separate from the house-selling deal. We contact clients directly and set up separate meetings so that the seller doesn’t try to take the staging fees out of the agent’s commission. This also ensures that the agent is not seen as responsible for my obligations as home stager, so there’s no risk to the client-agent relationship.
2. WE LIKE PLAYING ‘BAD COP’
It’s incredibly difficult to tell a potential new client that their house is unappealing. If you’ve ever read Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, you will know that this is the last thing you’d want to do. Yet agents have to make this tough call on a daily basis. Home stagers can help. By making staging a standard part of your new client inductions, and referring them to an independent third party, the stager gets to play bad cop while you remain in the good favour of your clients.
3. STAGING HELPS CLIENTS MOVE ON
Some agents fear that once sellers have invested in home staging, they will be even more resistant to lowering their price, if necessary. The reality is that staging, which includes decluttering and depersonalising a space, actually helps clients mentally prepare to move on. It makes them more ready to leave their homes. If you’ve ever helped a client prepare their property to sell, the words, “this doesn’t feel like my house anymore”, may sound familiar. This is exactly what you want to hear if you want your seller to be serious about selling. The more a client associates the space they live in with the feeling of home sweet home, the higher the value they attach to the property, and the less likely they’ll be to accept a fair offer.
4. ITS AFFORDABLE AND WORTHWHILE
At Illuminate Home Staging, we charge R1,500 for a property report, in which we recommend various courses of action with different associated budgets. This is a great starting point for clients, as they can choose to make the changes themselves or hire a home stager. A few updates to an already furnished home could cost as little as R5,000. For a full house of furniture for an empty property, you could pay anything from R15,000 to R25,000, depending on the desired look. Will you recoup that money? Research shows that home staging helps sell houses 50% faster, and for 8%-10% more than the seller would have sold for. This easily covers the costs of staging.
5. HOME STAGING IS NOT A LAST RESORT
The world’s biggest brands don’t save their tried-and-tested marketing techniques only for tough market conditions or if their products aren’t selling. They use these principles as standard practice to get the most lucrative response from buyers on a continuous basis. Even Coke, one of the world’s most well-known brands, still needs to advertise. Big brands know the value of constant marketing, because they’ve tested the impact on sales when products are bought to market in less than optimal conditions. Such products take longer to sell and are eventually discounted. It’s the same with selling a property.
Lucy le Roux is the entrepreneur behind local property innovation Illuminate Home Staging. In 2014, Lucy saw the potential in the local property industry, so she started Illuminate Home Staging to offer rental furniture and styling services to property sellers.
- Illuminate Home Staging: illuminatehomestaging.co.za
Words: Lucy le Roux