Staging and photography are really like Ant Jemima pancakes and syrup. They really need each other. It makes no sense to spend good money on exceptional photography if the place is a mess - no matter how expensive the home is and if you spend money or time and sweat making a house look great, firing off a bunch of snapshots will simply be a waste of effort.
Today's real estate market demands one thing above all else: A compelling online presentation of the home. Everything else is secondary because we are now in a "Curb Appeal 2.0" world. With a single click of the mouse, you are now in the house.
NAR reports that the average time a home buyer looks at a house on REALTOR.com is less than 35 seconds. That isn't even enough time to read the description. That can only mean one thing, people scan the page and look at the photos. If they're inspired, they click to the the Featured Tour or click away.
The Spring selling season is right around the corner - if you want your listing to get noticed, it MUST stand out from the crowd. Make sure the first thing people see when they click on the listing makes them WANT the house.
If you care to contact me offline, I'll be happy to share with you before/after staging examples.
Jay Groccia, Principal Photographer
I am reluctant to call in a stager when the property needs other attention, unless I have confidence in the stagers objectivity. The stager who has one and only agenda, the staging., may not be helpful for the seller. I have the obligation and duty to look at the whole picture. If bringing in a stager will add confusion to the seller, I will avoid it. A stager who will remain objective and focused on the whole picture is more likely to gain my support.
After the renovation and staging were complete, a few items were noted that needed attention: a door didn't open and close properly, a banister was missing, water accumulated in the garage, and a water stain appeared on the ceiling. Staging could not compensate for the oversights.
Buyers toured the property and noted the items mentioned above. 2 sets of the same buyers toured the property a second time, at least 4 weeks later. Both sets of buyers were very concerned that the issues had been left unattended. The staging actually worked to a disadvantage here. It gave off the impression that cosmetic show was important, and property condition was less important. Despite repeated outreaches to the seller, the feedback was 'yes, we are going to get to that.'
Staging can help sell a property, but it can actually seem like a cover-up for flaws. In a perfect world, the property is in great condition, it is priced right, it is staged and sellers are flexible about showing appointments. From the 4 choices listed in the prior sentence, staging, although important would be ranked last on the list. Again, I am not discounting staging, only emphasizing that today's buyers are educated and look for the basics.
Staging might help bring in buyers from internet searches. If the property makes a postivie impression, the seller might achieve more showings.
If two properties are of equal condition and the same price, the staged property will move forward and stand out. It gains the advantage.
I can't speak for all home stagers, but when I do a consultation on a home, I point out anything that I feel needs to be repaired or if I feel the homeowner should bring in a licensed contractor, home inspector or structural engineer. And if a home owner or real estate agent asks me to hide, cover or disguise a material defect, I walk away. I don't want to be party to fraud or deception.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Stagers are not decorators - their job is to make the home look its best so it sells quickly.
Weâ€™ve all heard that first impressions are lasting impressions, so it is our responsibility to insure that our listings are the ones remembered. Stagers make our job a bit easier.
Joy, I did not realize you were a Stager yourself until I read your profile. Since you were trained by Barb Schwartz herself, you know the values of staging. Are you also a real estate agent? If you are not a licensed real estate agent, you may want to check with Trulia to see if you are in the right category (i.e., real estate pro). May other members have the answer to this question.