About a year ago I was hired by homeowners to provide a staging consultation for their house before it hit the market. They had already chosen their Realtor, who I had no contact with, and who had not suggested staging.
The sellers had built the home with high quality and low maintenance in mind; aesthetics were less of a consideration. The reality of today’s typical buyer is that quality will not overcome what the place looks like. Thus the staging recommendations focused a great deal on improving the appeal for buyers. These sellers purged, shifted, shopped, upgraded a bathroom, replaced flooring, and generally followed my staging plan with gusto. With one important exception. The house was full of exposed wood, including the trim, doors, cabinets, and floors. I strongly recommended some of the wood get changed to white; however the sellers refused based on the possibility that the home may not sell and they quite liked the wood.
The home was listed in March and expired in November. In these 8 months on the market, there were just two showings early on and three open houses. The price was dropped a few times for a total reduction of $30,000 which did not generate additional showings.
The first two rows below are some pictures just before going on the market in March.
Following this very disappointing experience, I connected the sellers with Stacey Falwkin, a Realtor who has an almost 100% sales record. That means she sells virtually every listing she takes. Going into a listing knowing the house will sell – instead of might sell – changes a seller’s perspective. For these sellers, changing exposed wood to white now became an agreeable strategy. The staging strategy was no longer restricted by the sellers’ unwillingness to make changes they wouldn’t like.
Stacey’s success is based on many variables. Her network, work ethic and genuine caring are certainly a large part, as is thorough preparation for market of all of her listings. I was brought in to set up the house, often much more effective than sellers making changes themselves following a consultation. Professional photographs were taken. Stacey worked her magic to generate interest even before the sign went up. All of this with the sellers’ full engagement led to success.
The house sold on Day 3 for full price.
I’ve seen this happen far too many times to believe it was just luck. This was the result of great teamwork. The sellers were fully on board; the staging was comprehensive, all tradespeople were carefully chosen, and, most importantly, the Realtor led her motivated, effective, professional team and provided excellent service.
The final photos below are from the successful listing, courtesy of Basem Awaad.