Are you ever face to face in a Wild West standoff with your competition? Of course not, but it probably feels that way sometimes. We know it’s important to continually work to get a leg up. One powerful and often overlooked way to do this is through making staging a part of your process (not just a tool to use under certain circumstances).

How to Leverage the Power of Staging when Facing Competition

According to an the 2015 NAR Profile of Home Staging (link) study, 71% of agents report an increase in price due to staging (19% weren’t sure and only 10% said there was no impact). About half of the agents reporting an increase reported a 6-20% improvement, mostly in the 6-10% range. Your client is almost certain to benefit from staging, and this can be powerful leverage in a competitive situation.

Surprisingly, a little time and money go a long way. According to NAR, the median cost of staging a home was about $675 in 2015, and the homeowners do most of the work. Your main job is to instruct them on the best-practices, and motivate them to stage with the highly-likely price increase on their home.

This is what we recommend:

  1. Tell your client what to wash, paint, and fix, and what furniture, décor, and “stuff” to remove.  Recommend professionals they can hire to help, if they don’t want to do it themselves.
  2. Tell them the best way to position all of the furniture and décor that make the cut.
  3. Bring in some furniture (if the client’s material won’t show well). Keep a few key pieces of pre-purchased furniture on hand and enlist the help of the homeowner to do the physical work of bringing it in and positioning it. Other than the initial cost of these pieces, you aren’t spending money or working here, just coordinating efforts to get it in the house.
  4. Polish off the staging. You should have several accent pieces in your arsenal, pieces that are neutral enough to work almost anywhere (vases, throw pillows, art, several sheer curtain panels, and a fireplace screen, for example). Bring the stuff over and assist the homeowners with ways to arrange it. 
  5. Communicate in your marketing how you stage every home as part of your process. Share before and after staging photos in print and online. Share success stories of great feedback you get from walk-throughs on a beautifully staged home. Talk about how quickly you sell a staged home, price increases and how many offers you get.

If you have any concerns about your design savvy, we recommend you go through a two-three day home staging course. The expertise you gain will help you become a better stager, and you can showcase any designation you earn in your marketing. NAR reports that only 34% of agents stage all of their listings, so you’ll really stand out!

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions at (614)785-1111, and visit our website for more information on additional marketing.

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