One of my clients’ most frequently asked questions is “Why do I need home staging services to sell my home?” The answer: Marketing!
We are all familiar with the concept of home staging and how important it is in the selling process. But, you wouldn’t believe how many homeowners are still hesitant to invest in revamping their properties before putting them on the market.
To sell your home, you need to market it. And for that, you need to work on your packaging, AKA, staging. This project I’m about to share with you is a special one… and living proof of why you need me! 😉
Our clients were Dallas natives who enjoyed living in this home for some time. After a few years, they decided to sell the home and move on to the next chapter of their lives. Like most of our clients, their main goals were to sell the property fast and at the highest price possible, which is when they called me.
Here is what the property looked like before…
Setting the design and staging strategy is such an important step in our process. It allows us to assess the main architectural components of the home (fixed elements) that we have to take into account when planning the staging design. That’s how we create a design that looks cohesive, feels warm and inviting, and is on-trend yet timeless.
The result will be a home that potential buyers can identify with and picture themselves living in.
The first step is to identify who we wanted to market this home to. When you know your buyers, you can determine what they need and plan your design accordingly. During our home staging consultation, we discussed who we believe this home would be perfect for.
Because this lovely home is a few miles away from White Rock Lake, near uptown/downtown, and has a great school district, we established that young professionals with children were the best demographic to target.
We knew that with young professionals as our ideal buyer, this home would need to be staged as move-in ready. You can see how this information changes our approach!
Once we identified our ideal buyers, it was time to get to work. We put a list together of the main areas of the home that needed our attention.
The distinction between interior design and home staging is that we’re not renovating a home for the owners to live in, we are marketing it to sell. So our overall plan is driven by the goal of emotionally sparking that aha moment for the buyer, making them think, “This is the one!”
Here’s what we did...
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, focusing on the curb appeal of your property is crucial. That’s where all the magic happens. You’re not just selling a home — you’re selling an experience. Who doesn’t find rocking chairs on a covered porch inviting??
We started by updating the wall paint and trim. This is something we always do in these types of projects. A fresh coat of paint is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to revive a space. You can feel it when you walk in the door!
The front entry’s open layout felt warm and welcoming, but the former travertine tiles gave it an outdated look. To achieve a more luxurious feel, we got rid of the tiles and replaced them with lightly sanded natural wood. We also stained all hardwood flooring to match everything. It has a slightly warm undertone that pairs perfectly with the cool shade of the walls and trim.
Once the walls and floors were updated, it was time to bring in some furniture. For this project, we used our inventory alongside some of the pieces the homeowners already had. This entry room and formal dining space had bright large windows and nice built-ins. They complemented the overall luxury look we wanted (to match the price point of the home) yet feel warm, welcoming, and delightfully livable.
With a few light fixture swaps and furniture additions, the kitchen was revived into the warm family space it was meant to be. Can’t you picture yourself cooking and hosting in this open space? How about a morning coffee in that lovely breakfast nook? (This home’s eventual buyers certainly could!)
We also shaved off the butcher block that was sticking out previously, and replaced the travertine backsplash with a stainless material to match the rest of the kitchen. So much more current and cohesive now.
As you make your way upstairs, you are welcomed by another living space with a small wet bar that we upgraded. We added a dining set and a sofa to elevate the space and make it feel warm and welcoming.
We didn’t stage all the bedrooms but chose to focus on this master bedroom. After updating the trim and flooring, we swapped the bed set for a modern looking one to appeal to today’s buyers. The room feels spacious and inviting without being overdone.
This spa-like master bathroom was the true showstopper. With a large walk-in shower, and a vanity countertop, all we had to do is spruce it up with some staging elements.
The updated light fixtures and seated vanity area contributed to the overall luxury feel. These are the details that support the home’s price point — so making an offer at or above list price feels like a no-brainer to buyers!
Because every story needs a happy ending, let me fill you in on the results for this particular project. After Design by KETI helped renovate and stage this lovely home..
Can I let you in on a secret? This project was completed in 2017. That’s right, 3 years ago! But guess what? It STILL looks as up-to-date then as it does now.
That is the value of timeless design — and trust me, buyers know when a home is too trendy and won’t have resale value years down the road. This is design and staging done right.
If you’re having trouble with your listing (or want to make sure you do it right the first time), let’s talk. We’ll get to know each other, discuss your goals, and come up with a smart plan that pays off.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation!
The question I get asked more than any other is… what is the cost of home staging? It’s a reasonable question, and a smart one. After all, you want to make sure that your investment is well spent and going to serve you well — with a fast property sale and high profit.
But before we talk numbers (yes, we will), let’s cover the basics...
Most people will tell you that home staging is the act of visually preparing a home to attract and appeal to the property’s target buyers. This is true, but more importantly, home staging is strategic marketing. It is NOT decorating.
Preparing a home to whisk buyers off their feet is not about matching decor. It’s about a design that speaks to these specific buyers’ tastes, interests, and priorities. For example, if our client is listing a family-sized home in a great school district, we will design and present that home far differently than we would for a home in a neighborhood of working couples.
To truly get the highest offer for your property, we need to prepare the home in a way that entices target buyers, addresses their needs, and above all... represents the lifestyle they dream of living.
Don’t worry, I’ll get to home staging investments shortly, but I know that there’s a common misconception that vacant homes don’t need staging. False. Vacant homes need staging just as much, if not more, than an occupied home. Why?
Convinced? Okay, let’s look at what’s involved in staging a home. After all, you should know everything that your home staging investment is getting you…
Before we can discuss the costs associated with home staging, you should know what’s included. First, there’s a home staging consultation, which is a 2-hour on-site meeting where we nail down a home staging strategy. During this meeting, we will...
Once a plan has been approved, and after any necessary or optional renovations, we will stage the home with furniture, bedding, accessories, art, decor, and more.
We also offer professional photography services for an additional fee. I highly suggest this step, because it’s more than having a photographer come through to point and shoot.
By that point, no one knows your property better than I do! I will be on-site with our trusted photographer providing art direction services. Being that I myself only have put in a good 8 to 12 hours working on your home, I know the best angles the property will show and will make sure you get them captured for MLS photos.
Okay, let’s answer the big question: what does home staging cost? First, even though I will give you a general ballpark estimate, please know that it is very difficult to estimate the cost of home staging without seeing the property.
No, I’m not making excuses — this really is the truth. Each home has its own positive and negative aspects (to highlight or minimize) and its ideal price point and buyers, which we would need to address through staging.
Yes, once we speak on the phone and discuss your property, we will give you a general estimate for your project. However, we will give you an official home staging plan and quote only after we have seen the property ourselves.
But hey, we’re not on the phone right now. You’re reading this blog post and eager for a number! So, what can you expect?
Well, generally speaking, the cost of home staging hovers right around 1% of the listing price of the home, give or take.
So, how do we judge the cost of home staging for our clients and create a quote? There are three items taken into consideration when determining the investment range for staging a vacant property:
1. The price point of the home
2. The number of rooms we are staging
3. Similar homes we have staged in your area
It's important to know that staging should reflect the price point of the home. A $200K home will be staged very differently than a $2M home, even if we are to stage the same rooms. As you can imagine, the size and style of a $200k home vs. a $2M home vary drastically. This means we are filling more space, using more elevated furnishings, etc.
Generally, we will stage the living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, and perhaps an entryway. Sometimes, we will stage a home office (highly desirable right now), or an additional bedroom if we know that it will make the home more desirable.
As I mentioned above, before I set foot on your property for our home staging consultation, I will give you a ballpark estimate based on other projects and homes we have staged in the past that are similar in price point. I will do my best to outline the investment you can expect.
Once we set foot on property, however, we can actually work on a staging blueprint and design plan. As these are presented and finalized, you’ll receive an official quote personalized to your project.
For sure, home staging costs a whole lot less than the first price reduction you will have to make if the home doesn’t sell within two weeks or so. Staging your home costs less than having to carry the property and still pay the mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance, plus all other maintenance fees.
As one of our investor clients put it:
I couldn’t agree more! As far as ROI goes, you are very likely to see your investment made back… and then some. We recently staged this project, which saw an ROI of 150%. That is money well spent!
I will wrap things up here, but I hope this overview has been helpful for judging your expected investment and the home staging process in general. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
And if you have a property that you would love to sell quickly and for profit, let’s talk.
Today I want to share a project we recently completed with excellent results — a design and home staging ROI of 150%. Yes, I know I've spoiled the grand finale of this transformation, but knowing the final result makes it all the more worth seeing...
Our clients were out-of-towners who had been trying to sell this house in Dallas with no luck. They were tired and frustrated but mostly eager to sell the property and move on with their lives.
Here's what the property looked like before…
Overall, this home was clearly dated and tailored to a very specific taste, but it also had great potential. Architectural details gave it unique character… if we presented it just right.
First, we had to determine how we wanted to market this home. During our home staging consultation, we discussed two options for listing the home: as a bargain home or a move-in ready home. Older homes can be more desirable at a lower price point, but we also know a young professional couple with a family has no time for remodeling or reno work. They are more willing to make an offer on a property that is move-in ready.
Additionally, our clients had already tried the bargain route with no luck. They agreed that designing and staging the home as move-in ready was the way to go.
Once we reached this decision, we quickly got to work. (We know time is money, and we don’t dilly dally!) I put together a design plan for all the make-ready/renovation work that needed to be done.
I provided the design direction and the project management for the staging, whereas my team of subcontractors and tradesmen did the work (which you’ll see soon). The plan?
1. The house looked dark, frumpy, and not like it belonged in the luxury home category. We knew we needed to address it right from the curb (appeal) with exterior landscaping and price-conscious paint color selections.
2. With all the fixed features making bold statements, we needed to update the decade-defining features, creating a cohesive interior color palette, and bring light and life into the home.
Ready to see how the home turned out?
Welcome to a new front step…
Lighter eaves, better landscaping, and a more inviting front step make this home far more joyful and welcoming to a young family.
We removed the dark wallpaper and opted for a light blue-gray color, picking up from the blue undertones in the kitchen counters that was used throughout the home. The end result was enormous spaciousness, making it so much lighter, brighter and airy… perfect for today’s buyers!
A mix of cool tones in the staging elements and warm lighting help this space feel balanced.
In the living room, more luxurious furnishings in the right scale keep this space looking elevated, not dated.
This dramatic wall feels like a stunning feature instead of an eyesore, largely thanks to lighter flooring and furnishings, and small touches of warm copper in the decor to help it blend in.
Speaking of the flooring, we stripped the wood floors of the old stain and finished them new with a light walnut stain. We know that this stain is on-trend and will be trending at least for the next 10 to 15 years.
Tip: Painting the stair risers the same color as the trim makes for a more classic and timeless look. It was also a great way to blend the light airy feel we wanted to create with the existing warm tones of the wood.
We didn’t stage all of the bedrooms (though we certainly got rid of the dated wallpaper), but this master bedroom with a view deserved to be staged for a young couple who may be working from home.
Same with this built-in workspace. As more professionals work from home (and kids “school from home”), spaces like these are essential for selling a home quickly and for profit.
Well, I know I spoiled the surprise in the beginning, but I’ll say it again. After sitting on the market indefinitely, this house sold in less then two weeks of being put back in the market as a newly renovated home.
It listed for $110K more than the old list price.
And — if that wasn’t enough — my clients told me that their investment on the reno-work and the repairs paid off BIG time. For every dollar they put into the house via the reno work and staging, they were able to get $1.50 back. That’s a 150% return on investment!
Strategic design and home staging work. I can’t wait to show you how it can help YOU sell your property and get on with your life, too.
If you’re ready to enlist our help in a speedy and profitable home sale, let’s talk.
At the beginning of this year (before you-know-what hit the fan), I shared some insights into the features that Dallas home buyers are looking for in a property. I told you about buyers’ need to have multi-functional spaces, open kitchens with room to socialize, and a light color scheme.
These things are all still true — I’ve seen them in action — but there are a few more that are edging up the list in popularity.
Now that most of us are working from home (likely into next year), schooling from home (depending on the district), and not getting to travel (sigh)… well, a home now has a LOT more requirements to meet.
So, what new features are homebuyers really looking for these days? Let’s look at the top 3…
I bet you saw this one coming, right? Having a dedicated at-home workspace is becoming essential, especially for couples where both spouses work. Can you imagine taking Zoom calls at the same time, in the same space? That will strain a career (and marriage) fast!
What can you do, as the homeowner (or investor), to make these spaces appealing?
Staging is one easy way to do it. Depending on the neighborhood (families vs. couples), staging a spare room as a home office is far more likely to grab attention than staging a second guest bedroom. At the minimum — be sure to include a desk, a chair, a lamp, and a rug to ground the space. Bonus points if there’s great natural light. (Who wants to work in a dungeon? Not today’s homebuyers.)
If the property doesn’t have a spare bedroom for this purpose, you can still create an at-home workspace by staging a smaller area, like a nook or section of the living room. Again, depending on the neighborhood you’re in, even formal dining rooms (which often go unused) could be contenders for a stylish home office.
I know I’ve said it before, but this is where a professional is worth their weight in gold. Having the insights into the neighborhood and ideal buyers for the home will help make these decisions simple and will help with a staging that is irresistible.
That’s right. At the beginning of the year, the desire for home gyms was on the rise. Since the onset of COVID, this home feature has skyrocketed in popularity. Homeowners need and want their homes to meet ALL of life’s demands.
While this is something that we can stage for, it is more likely that you’ll be considering the options of adding this type of space to your property during the renovation process. I believe in minimal renovations with maximum return on investment.
It’s also difficult for me to say, in general, “you should always make ____ type of renovation.” You have to determine that on a case by case basis. It depends on the home itself, the neighborhood, the price range, the ideal buyers, etc.
However, a renovation that ADDS livable space is almost always a good investment (assuming it doesn’t consume the whole backyard). So if you’ve been contemplating the idea of an add-on, ask yourself what it’s purpose would be? Could it be a home gym or home office? Would it add to the desirability of the home in your ideal buyers’ eyes?
Again, this is where a professional who knows the area, local buying trends, AND construction and design can be a huge asset.
Last but not least, outdoor living spaces are becoming less of a bonus feature and more of an essential. First, the number of people who own pets has increased (seriously, the number of dog owners LEAPED this summer). And second, if homeowners are spending more time in their homes, they need an outdoor space to escape to.
There are two ways you can prepare the outdoor spaces of your property to appear irresistible to buyers. First, landscaping. Green grass, beautiful plants (maybe even some tropical ones for a vacation feel — Lord knows Dallas is hot enough for them!), and colorful flowers will create an inviting atmosphere that’s difficult to pass up.
Your second strategy is to use staging to create social spaces, like a living room, but outdoors. Depending on the amount of space you have available, you could layer a rug, then chairs with pillows, a coffee table or side table, and accessorize with a candle or small plants.
If you have less space available, two small chairs with comfortable pillows might be enough to set the scene. Again, if we work together, this is something we will definitely talk about during our initial consultation.
If you think home sales are slowing down, guess again. As our needs for our homes change, as proximity to the office becomes less of a necessity, the real estate market is still very much alive and well… and with the right strategy, there is no reason you shouldn’t get a slice of it!
Together, we can make a plan for identifying your home’s most likely buyers, updating your space, and staging it to be irresistible. If you’re ready to prepare your property and market it strategically for top ROI, let’s talk.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation
Today, I want to share a project with you that perfectly illustrates why preparing your home for the market really matters. And I don’t just mean a new coat of paint and home staging. Those are important, but what I really mean is making strategic updates that truly impact your bottom line.
Case in point: The clients who hired us for this project weren’t new to staging. In fact, they had already staged their property with another home stager and weren’t getting any offers.
Confused and disappointed, they reached out to me for a consultation to figure out what they could do to sell the home and get the price they really wanted for it. Here’s the full story and a peek behind the scenes of this transformation…
Whenever I come out to a property, there are two aspects of the home I look at. If a home is already listed and it isn’t getting offers, we have to ask… what’s not working?
In other words, we have to diagnose the situation. In these clients’ case, we determined that the style and scale of the existing staging did not meet the home’s price point. Potential buyers were walking in and what they saw was not meeting their expectations.
The main problem we identified was that the fixed elements in the home, as well as some of the finishes and the home staging, did not match the price point of the home. It’s easy to cut corners and assume that potential buyers won’t notice, but the opposite is true. The disjointed feel of the home was off-putting and even made several spaces feel smaller.
So to recap the existing issues...
• the style and scale of previous staging did not meet the price point
• the mismatched color scheme created spaces that felt dated and disconnected
• the fixed elements of the home did not reflect the price point
Now, the second aspect I always consider for a home — what will make it irresistible to ideal buyers?
The answers to this question, as well as to the ones above, give us a good direction for which updates will need to be made. Can you guess what we did in this space?
Before creating a furniture design plan, I had to find an on-trend wall color to match the existing trim color (this is one trick that saved our clients lots of money because painting baseboards and crown molding, doors and door frames...lets just say it adds up pretty quickly) and update the entire look and feel of the home. Fortunately, I spent considerable time becoming a Certified True Color Expert™ — so finding the right color was a very easy decision to make!
In addition to the walls, we also painted the kitchen cabinets, the wet bar, and the millwork in the living room. These made a HUGE difference to the impression of the space.
We also swapped out the light fixtures in the common areas of the house with more on-trend and style-appropriate finds. These did not break our clients’ bank account and all added up to the new luxury look and feel of the home.
But I won’t let you just imagine it… let’s look at some Before & After photos.
The style and scale of the furnishings (who has conversations that far apart?) and the dark millwork and the wine bar to the left, made the space feel smaller and closed off.
In this room, the light color of the bookshelves brighten this space, and new furnishings create a completely different feel than the one above. Traditional details and mixed metals uplevel the luxury of the space, while the rug adds effortless elegance.
Pro Tip: An easy way to balance the masculine elements in a room, such as tile or wood flooring, would be to always bring an area rug (a feminine element).
Before, this kitchen looked like it belonged in a cottage type home, which this home was not. Remember, most buyers prefer move-in ready homes. Also, it is important that the fixed elements in the home reflect its price point. Buyers are not going to easily part with their hard earned dollars just because we want them to. We have to justify the asking price.
Light-colored furniture with luxurious style elevate this space while keeping it livable and welcoming. Oversized light fixtures help create separation between the kitchen and table, which could be used as a breakfast table or even as a work-from-home space.
Plus, now your ideal buyers can imagine how events would play out… hosting guests and sipping wine in the living room (far right)… tasting small bites at the table, and moving to the formal dining room when the meal is ready (far left). THAT is how you design and sell a lifestyle experience!
In this photo, you will see that there is a piano tucked away in the corner of this room, which you could not even see from outside and as you looked into the room. Once I toured the property I immediately saw this as a home office. SO we staged it as such.
SO much better and brighter! It has purpose, feels open and spacious. Plus, the nice thing about staging a home office is that you don’t need much really. But the staging does need to be intentional and to clearly relay a message.
Dark, slightly cramped and with dated lighting.
This formal dining room is finally worthy of its name! Updated lighting elevate the elegance, the space isn’t overly crowded, and white walls reflect light to keep the room bright and open. Plus, you can easily see the kitchen and the living space for a seamless entertaining experience.
These mismatched furnishings weren’t working with the home’s color scheme and didn’t have the aura of livable luxury that would support the property’s price point. We also knew we needed to tone down the baby blue on the walls with a more mature look.
Much better. Here, we upleveled the look with new paint, our own furnishings, and thicker bedding. (See how staging isn’t just about putting furniture in a space? There is strategy involved!)
Whoops! Forgot to grab a Before photo of this space. But wait until you see the After…
Now THAT is an elegant master retreat! The space is clear, minimally furnished, and there is harmony between the fixed elements (countertops, floors, hardware) and the wall color.
So, the big question… how well did this home sell?
This story is a case study, which means you have to know the happy ending. If you remember, this home sat on the market with NO offers for months before we got our hands on it.
After Design By Keti helped renovate and stage the property...
Isn’t it amazing what updating and staging a home can do??
If you’re having trouble with a lifeless listing, I hope this case study gives you some hope. Selling a home doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right approach and an expert strategy, your property CAN sell well on the Dallas market.
Book your 15-minute discovery call, and we’ll prove to you that it’s true!
To you and your best home sale,
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation!
In today’s Dallas real estate market, the majority of buyers want make-ready homes. We’re seeing less desirability for “fixer uppers” and more attraction to homes that are move-in ready, full of amenities, and tailored to a comfortable lifestyle.
The good news is that if you’re selling a home, it doesn’t have to be difficult to get your property up to these standards. It just takes some attention and expertise around two important steps. Do these, and your final sale price is almost guaranteed a boost.
What are the 2 steps? Preparation and Presentation.
Staging your home is important, but preparation is what happens BEFORE home staging ever takes place — and it is extremely important. I know that we stagers can do many magical things, but even the best stagers can’t distract from damaged paint and battered doors, floors and trim.
If updates or upgrades will require $5k investment, but the payoff is a $15k increase in the sale price, that is wise investment. In my experience, 9.9 times out of 10, it’s The Best Money you will ever spend.
The trick is knowing where and how to invest, and that’s where a professional stager comes in. During our initial consultation with you, we weigh the pros and cons of your space. We will let you know which type of buyers are eager for a home like yours, the features they want, and we’ll tell you exactly which investments are wiser than others.
You’ll walk away from our meeting with a prioritized plan for updating or upgrading your space wisely and staying within budget.
You are welcome to call in your favorite handyman or the one you found on Google last week… or, you could let our extended team do it for you!
In our case, all we ask is that you give us a little time, and we will bring our painters, the flooring and carpet installer, the electrician, and even the cleaner when the work is complete. What buyer doesn’t love walking into that fresh, new smell and the feeling that they will be the first to live in the home?
Staging your home for the potential buyers is another great investment, because it allows the buyers to connect with the home and see themselves living in it.
I’ve found that sometimes home sellers and even listing agents believe that they were born with special gifts in home decorating, and they will try to stage the home themselves. Please, even if you have a gift (I believe it!) doing the staging yourself to save a few bucks is a mistake.
Staging a home for the market is a lot more complicated than bringing furniture in and fluffing pillows. Yes, it requires one to not only know how to fluff pillows and bring furniture in.
But you need to be trained on certain things, too, like giving each space a purpose, staging for the ideal buyer, creating focal points and interest where there are none, showing potential clients how they can live in your home, and most importantly… staging so that the house photographs well!
The way the human eye and the camera lens perceives space is so far off from each other. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. (Why do you think the big bucks companies hire visual merchandisers to market their products?)
Please know this, when you decide to put your house on the market, it is no longer your home. It is now a product that you would want to get top dollar for. So leave it to the professionals (and not necessarily the cheapest one) to get it done the right way, because you only have one chance to make the right impression.
Buyers will either love or hate your home in the first 3 to 6 seconds, whether they saw photos online or toured it in person.
3 to 6 seconds. That's all you’ve got. SO, my friends... choose wisely!
If you have a vacant property to sell, you might not be too excited to invest in home staging right now. I completely understand that perspective, but I have to be honest with you — I don't believe that's the right strategy.
Research says that 90% of the population can not visualize a vacant space. That means, when you don't stage your vacant home for sale you are automatically eliminating 90% of the potential buyers.
Why would you want to do that? I want to help you, so here is what's up…
The following story comes from the Realtor, Josh, who managed the sale of one of our staged projects. As usual, we staged a vacant home, our clients listed it, and a buyer quickly fell in love with it and made an offer.
Well, Josh told me that the buyers ended up closing the sale at the property. But by that time, we had removed all our inventory and the home was vacant again. He said that when the buyer saw the vacant home, she began worrying that the space was too small and said that her furniture might not fit in the living room. She couldn’t visualize it anymore!
Her agent assured her that it would work out, as she had seen the room with furniture in it already, and it had all looked just fine. The sale went through.
But… can you imagine how this conversation would have gone differently with a vacant home that was never staged? It would have been very tough for the buyer’s agent to convince the client to blindly trust that her furniture would fit in the vacant home. I can tell you from experience, without the confidence that comes from visualizing a staging, vacant homes are much less likely to get offers!
So, why is this? Let’s talk about it…
Every home has its little flaws, but leaving your home vacant puts those flaws on display! When there is no furniture in a room, guess where your potential home buyers will look? With a microscopic view at the walls, the flooring, the base boards, etc. And guess who will be paying for repairs? You… when the buyer subtracts it from your list price.
The big takeaway? Staging helps them see the big picture and the potential of the space, not its defects.
It sounds counterintuitive, but rooms really do look smaller when they are empty. The right scale of furnishings, lighting, and even art, can make a space feel taller, larger, brighter, and grander. And believe me, more space (even if it’s just an illusion) SELLS better.
This is what staging by a savvy designer can do for you. Don’t miss the opportunity to present your property at its best.
It’s no secret. A home without furniture feels cold, sterile, and far from welcoming. If you remember that most buying decisions are made based on emotion… well, the three emotions I just mentioned aren’t the ones inspiring purchases. Warmth, welcome, and classiness do.
Without furniture, it is nearly impossible for a home to create a strong emotional connection with a prospective buyer. And like I said before, 90% of buyers can’t even picture what their future lives would look like in an empty space. They can’t visualize the things that will make them feel at home!
You have to do it for them. Truth of the matter is — as Steve Jobs accurately pointed out — people don’t even know what they want; we have to show them. This holds true not only for iPhones and iPads, but for pretty much every other product that exists out there. And yes, if you’re selling your home, it IS a product.
When a home is staged with furniture that reflects its list price, it is obvious that the number is reasonable. By contrast, when home buyers walk into a vacant home, you have to hope that empty rooms will convince them.
I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to be in control of the conversation! And that conversation does not include haggling over price. Buyers should fall in love with the home and be excited to pay the list price… or higher!
The longer a potential buyer hangs around, the better. Good staging allows the buyer to linger as opposed to going in and out of the home in a jiffy. They will have the opportunity to take a closer look at all your house has to offer. Their mind starts working. And you will hear them talk about how they could do “this” or “that” with the space.
Most likely by the time they are out the door, they have emotionally moved in. And that’s all it takes to get a house sold.
I understand times are a bit tough for many people right now. That's one of the reasons we have come up with creative ways to help our clients stage their vacant home for impact and a fast sale.
I believe in Home Staging so much that we’re offering a summer special from now to August 31st. Stage your home with us and pay when you close the sale. Really.
IF you have a home that's on the market, naked and vacant, before that next price reduction, please give us a call. We CAN help you.
IF you are about to put your house on the market vacant, because money is tight, please give us a call. We can talk about staging now, and collecting at the time you sell. Once we are confident the house is priced well and we are confident we will present it well via our staging design plan, there is no reason for you to not sell your house fast and for profit.
Per an article on #inman, "Numerous studies have demonstrated that staging speeds sales. Faster sales tend to bring the best prices. Quick sales at favorable prices generally produce happier sellers."
In other words, the biggest mistake any Real Estate Agent or Seller can make is not staging a vacant home for sale. And with our Pay at Closing Home Staging service, there is really no reason not to stage your home!
So don’t wait. Don’t leave things up to chance. Call us and we’ll help you get the most for your investment.
YES, we did it again… we were just voted Best in Houzz for Design AND for Service!
These awards mean so much to me. First, it is rare for a home stager to win in a Design category and it feels darn good (though I’ve said it before — we’re not just home stagers!). Second, these awards are not one of those fake, pay-to-play type deals.
They’re earned on MERIT and the voices of the people we serve! Here’s how these accolades get dished out...
This award comes from receiving a large volume of positive reviews and ratings. For us, this means that our clients had a great experience working with us AND saw a high rate of success in the selling of their properties!
The Best in Houzz for Design Award takes into account how many times our project photos have been viewed and saved in “idea books” by Houzz users. As someone who designs and stages homes for SALE, it is extremely validating to see that our designs are so widely loved and appreciated. We must be doing something right! 😉
I’ll take happy client reviews any day, but these don’t just come from great service — it means they saw success! And by success, we mean PROFIT. Whether you’re renovating or staging a property to sell, your ROI is our #1 goal… and we obsess over it! A smart plan and great design is how we get there.
So, these project photos that are getting shared around and ooh’d and ahh’d over? None of them “broke the bank.: In fact, when you’re renovating to sell, it’s less wise to throw money at a property and far better to invest wisely where it matters.
Our priority is finishing on-time, on-budget, and getting you the most ROI possible. And YES, all of these good things can coexist with a beautiful design buyers will love!
Renovating for the first time (like anything you’ve never done before) can come with some questions. Will your renovation drag on? Will it be done correctly? Are you going to see some profit on your investment?
I would love to say that every new client who crosses our path is 100% confident in the process, but that would be unreasonable to ask. So, how did we get to all those positive reviews?
Communication. Kindness. Integrity. Excellence. All of these contribute to the trusting relationships we build with clients, and with them, incredible homes and... ROI!
So whether you’re a first time home seller or an experienced investor, with us, you’ll be in good hands. P.s. Sample a bit of the good stuff we're dishing out by subscribing to our newsletter below!
Do you know which design trends are going to boost your bottom line, and which are going to sink it?
In my last post, we talked about some of the features that today’s buyers want most in a home. These were mainly related to spatial desires, such as a sociable kitchen, designs for joy, smart homes, etc.
Today, I’m going to talk about the MATERIALS that are on-trend, timeless, and going to support a great bottom line for your renovation.
Note, this post is hot on the heels of my trip to the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), where experts meet to talk trends, market shifts, and the latest in home design.
It’s important to note that just because a beautiful slab of stone or oversized modern lighting are on display at KBIS doesn’t necessarily make them a prime candidate for a profitable renovation.
Not everyone is designing to sell. Some are designing to live. So it’s important that I use my experience and judgment to assess the trends that everyone is gushing over.
Some trends are timely but will have a short lifespan. Others are timely as well as TIMELESS (Meaning future buyers aren’t going to be worried about their interiors having an expiration date.)
The trick to profit-driven interior design is that it is equal parts timely AND timeless.
Knowing which trends are profitable (and which aren’t) is an area where I excel. So, what’s the verdict?
White kitchens are incredibly on-trend right now, but I wouldn’t call them “trendy.” White is timeless and can make well-lit spaces look larger. Another tip is to take those cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. They make the room seem taller, in addition to adding more, desirable storage space.
If you’re selecting wood cabinets, go with a warm tone. It makes the space feel more inviting, social, and comfortable.
Black is another timely and timeless color that can be used to create elegant impact in a home. It’s best used as an accent color, either in some of the furniture used in a home staging, or as part of the hardware of a home, such as an elegantly slim curtain rod, light fixtures, or window frames.
Much like blue did in 2019, green is taking over homes in 2020. Color is always timely and timeless, but should be used tastefully when selling a home. I like to add pops of color with pillows and decor, or in the case of this year’s color, fresh greenery.
Spring green accents are tasteful and inviting. (Design by KETI)
Light fixtures are incredibly underrated – they are the jewels of the home, and you shouldn’t sell a home without great-looking ones!
Below are a few that we’ve chosen for dramatic impact. And yes, they sold quickly!
Living room or bathroom, lighting matters! (Design by KETI)
This trend applies more to the home staging than the renovation, but is equally important. A home without some semblance of the outdoors will feel cold and lifeless. With today’s shift toward design for joy, bringing the outdoors in is ESSENTIAL!
I like to use flowers, small potted plants, indoor trees, or succulents. (Design by KETI)
This is the only trend on our list that is timely but NOT timeless. You might be tempted to install a backsplash of beautiful patterned tiles that are completely on-trend right now… but not only are you taking the risk of the homeowner not liking the pattern, it may go out of style quickly.
This is why I suggest pattern mixing in the home staging, not in the renovation itself. Keep your backsplashes and tiles more neutral.
Mixing patterns with the area rug and pillows are timely and tasteful. (Design by KETI)
In my next post, I’m going to break down what a kitchen renovation costs and how to budget for it.
Every year, I see large and small shifts in the housing trends that buyers want most in their homes. This is true of aesthetics — such as color, material, and style — but also functionality, HOW people are using their homes.
As someone who designs homes to sell (for homeowners, builders, investors and flippers), it’s extremely important for me to stay in-the-know about these housing trends and give my clients the upper hand.
Part of staying educated includes attending conferences and industry events, and I recently returned from two that were held in January in Las Vegas:
So, what features are Dallas homebuyers loving most in 2020?
Today’s market buyers are mostly millennials, and gone are the days of the big mansions. It’s challenging to sell a 5000 square foot home to a millennial, even if they have the cash to buy it. In fact, the ideal home in 2019 was about 2,500 sq-ft with 3 bedrooms.
Home features millennials love:
Allow me to elaborate…
It’s sad but true that people are lonelier than ever before. Nearly 80% of Americans say they are unhappy. There is rising emotional anxiety.
Naturally, a trend to design for joy has taken root and flourished in the housing market. Health and quality of life has taken precedence amongst the builder community because that’s what their buyers are asking for.
How can you capitalize on this housing trend?
Design the home to be a safe haven, a place for people to take time to decompress. This can be achieved in how you stage the home (creating restful spaces), as well as the attention given to materials in private areas, such as a master bathroom in cool, soothing colors designed for relaxing.
As I said before, when you design a home that appeals to the senses, millennials are not the only buyers who will be impressed.
Another aspect of housing trends is the way we use the different spaces in our homes. Here’s a quick room-by-room breakdown of the changes that are happening in the 2020 market:
Along the lines of Americans feeling lonely, the kitchen has made a 180-degree turn in how it’s being used day to day. No longer a place for the chef to retreat, kitchens have become a place for gathering, socializing, and entertaining.
The most desirable kitchens are spacious, have islands, and offer a variety of seating conducive to gatherings and socializing.
For a period, it was not trendy to have a formal dining room. Now it’s a comeback!
We’re seeing mudrooms becoming a highly desirable feature, even more so than the entryway. Why? Because today’s homeowners rarely get into the house via the front door.
These days, buyers are eating up “flex spaces,” a room or area that is left up to the buyer to decide what to do with it. That said, you should always STAGE a flex space with a design that appeals to your target buyer. Leaving it vacant won’t inspire anyone’s imagination.
We styled this flex space as an office, since buyers in the area are mainly business professionals who often work from home.
Today’s consumers (mostly millennials) are all about the smart home and the home’s role in battling time poverty. Now, you can talk to a faucet to start it, start dinner while in your car driving home, take a therapeutic bath in a free standing jetted tub, and the bath mat will weigh you each morning.
How can you capitalize on this housing trend?
Regardless of how you feel about technology in the home (or seeing your weight first thing in the morning), today’s consumers are interested in tech. Yet, the volume builders are not providing it in homes!!
Adding smart features to your property will put you above the competition, help your home appeal to the largest population of buyers, and usher you even faster to the closing table.
This one can include millennials but also branches out into the Gen X’ers. I’m talking about billionaires. More billionaires have cash than ever before, but we’re not seeing a trend toward opulence or heavy luxury in homes.
These days, luxury is light and livable. Luxury is classic and timeless. Luxury doesn’t need to be loud because it speaks for itself.
How can you capitalize on this housing trend?
If you’re designing for a luxury client, focus on materiality. For example, an incredible piece of marble around the fireplace speaks volumes.
Since we talked about the most desirable housing trends in this post, my next post is going to share some of the best TIMELY and TIMELESS materials for your bottom line.
Until then, download our free guide to profitable staging!
Getting a home staging consultation is probably one of the best kept secrets in the real estate market. Instead of wasting money on updates you hope buyers will like, imagine having an experienced professional essentially hand you a cheat sheet to success.
Sounds easier, right? Not to mention better for your ROI!
This is exactly what a home staging consultation does for you. But first, what is home staging?
At its heart, home staging is strategic marketing. We all know that a company wouldn’t expect great sales if they never invested in marketing their product, and the same is true for homes.
To get the highest offer for your property, we need to prepare the home in a way that entices target buyers, addresses their needs, and offers the lifestyle they dream of living.
THAT is home staging. And it all starts with that home staging consultation I mentioned...
If home staging is the design and preparation of the home, your consultation is the strategy session. Some people might think that a consultation includes us coming out to your property and walking around to see it, but this barely skims the surface.
Here are the 5 steps of this action-packed session, and yes, they all prioritize your ROI:
First things first: identifying your target buyer. In any marketing or business plan, the target buyer (or client) is the center point that EVERYTHING else focuses on. If you’re not serving people well, you’ll have a hard time succeeding. We take this same approach to preparing your property.
Maybe your property is located in a great Dallas school district and is ideal for families. Or maybe it’s in a neighborhood that consistently attracts business professionals. We’ll do the research for you in advance of our home staging consultation to identify the buyer most likely to meet you at the closing table!
Now, we use our knowledge of your target buyer as the lens through which we assess your property. What features will attract that target buyer most? Which are less important? Are spare rooms better presented as a home office or a child’s bedroom? Is creating an open concept floor plan going to sell your home for $20K more and in the blink of an eye? (Sometimes, that’s the case!)
Once we’ve identified the home’s best features, we can make a plan for any updates and design options.
Next, we’ll talk about your budget and how much you plan to invest in preparing the home for sale. I can give you all of my best suggestions for updates that will sell your property (#4 below), but if these updates don’t fit into your investment strategy, there’s no point.
In other words, we take your ROI very seriously, have decades of experience with budgeting, and an MBA to boot. We’ve got your back.
Combining all of the information above, we’ll offer suggestions for updates that will raise the perceived value of your home, promote a fast sale, and support your ROI. Updates could include fresh paint, a new color palette, small or large repairs, updated lighting or materials, etc.
We’ll also advise you on which updates AREN’T worth the time or money. Waste not. 😉
The last piece of the puzzle is a layout of furnishings and accessories that paint a picture of the dream lifestyle your target buyers want. This includes the look, flow, functionality, and livability. We’ll create a home staging plan for you that checks all of these boxes... and has the wow-factor!
So, what do you think? Did you know that ALL THIS happens during one home staging consultation? Most of our clients are surprised by just how much we do, too!
It’s also worth mentioning that if you decide to stage your home with us, we credit the cost of the home staging consultation back to you. Just another way we uphold our mission of stewardship, integrity, and trust. 🙂
Until next time, here’s to your most profitable sale!
If white-on-white kitchens make you feel like taking a deep breath of air or if you've felt the serenity of light blues and grays, you've experienced the overwhelming power that color has on your emotional and physiological states.
In fact, it isn't merely the color itself that our brains interpret as mood-invoking, but also the shade, pattern and depth of that color. (e.g. A bright red alerts us to danger and puts us on edge, while a deep burgundy can make us feel warm, passionate and elegant. Additionally, small and repetitive patterns can make us feel regimented while large, flowing patterns bring out our artistic sides.)
While you might laugh at this idea, give it a chance. If your living room is a drab beige and you often find yourself restless or unhappy when in that room, you can bet your last can of paint that there is a connection.
Certain colors can multiply or muffle light and can even appear as various shades of that color throughout the day, depending on how much sunlight that room receives and its proximity to other colors.
Basically, colors are complicated, and color choices are--by far--the most stressful decisions that must be made during any home improvement project.
If you've hit a wall with your personal life, you need to consider the physical walls around you and the colors therein. Are they enhancing the positive qualities of your life--thankfulness, love, abundance--or are they muting your individual voice?
We find the latter to be true nearly every time you buy a new home (and, in essence, take on the mood / color palette of the previous owner). Not all vibes are worth sharing, and that's why fabric, furniture, and paint colors must be matched to your current chapter in life.
And that's a good thing. As you grow and evolve your personality, your family dynamic, or your skill set, it's important for your home environment to evolve at the same rate. When it doesn't, you'll feel it. Restlessness, irritability and an inability to relax or be your authentic self are all symptoms of a mismatched environment.
You can't always remove the people or situations from your life that cause disharmony, but you do have control over your home. Make sure it's a sanctuary that fills you up rather than depletes you.
Let's talk. Your individualized color consultation is a phone call away. Call us at (214) 814 -5967 to book your in-home consultation.
You might think a great floor plan, location, or square-footage will sell a property, but trust me, important as that might be, great real estate design is what sells homes. Buyers care what the home looks like, and if it doesn’t meet their criteria, they won’t be headed to the closing table any time soon.
I know because we’ve encountered many situations where homes with great bones and floor plans sat on the market indefinitely until we came in and helped with some much-needed improvements. Design MATTERS.
Here’s what great design can do to sell your property:
If you don’t believe me, here’s the proof!
If you’re serious about your ROI, you’ll want to hire a professional in the field. Your first instinct might be to hire an interior designer, but I would caution you against it. Interior designers, while extremely talented, are experts at creating spaces that are highly personal and specific to the people already living in the home.
Designing a flip or renovation to sell requires a very different approach.
Instead of asking the homeowners how they use the space and want to live in it, we have to consider the design from a profit-driven perspective:
Once these questions have been answered, a real estate design and staging professional will create the right aesthetic AND prioritize your bottom line.
It’s design, but it’s also expert business strategy. Your pocket book and future will thank you!
If you work with a design and real estate staging professional, they should take you through three steps: a consultation, a design plan, and the final staging to bring everything together.
The renovation and design consultation is a strategy session. It’s the first step to a successful project and is not to be taken lightly! During this on-site meeting, we’ll…
During this phase we get into all the design-related specifics, or the HOW of our renovations plan. We’ll make all the selections for any new or updated features such as paint, flooring, counter tops, tile, back splash, lighting, hardware, plumbing, etc.
We will present you with all the specifics of the renovations design plan at which time, we can either source all the material selections for you, or you can do so in collaboration with your GC. During the renovation process we can also make ourselves available to your crew for any installation and design specific inquiries.
Extra step: If desired, our trusted team of subcontractors can carry out the agreed-upon updates and renovations with speed and professionalism. Relax and enjoy letting experts take the wheel!
The design of the home doesn’t stop with hardware, flooring, and countertops — what’s inside your home matters too. To complete the transformation, you will definitely want to stage the home. (Whether you choose us or not, we still suggest it! It is SO worth it.)
With us, while the minor improvements and renovations are underway, we’ll present you with a vacant home staging proposal that highlights the home’s selling features and is worthy of its listing price.
Once the renovations have been finalized, we will begin staging your investment property. This is the moment when the magic happens… the home is transformed and ready to steal the hearts of potential buyers!
For the best results, we recommend bringing in a design professional from the very beginning, before any updates are made, and taking your project step by step. (This is our Complete Concierge service for investors or homeowners.)
But if you’re looking for design help somewhere in the middle of your project, you can still find any of these as a stand-alone service and see drastic impact.
Next month, I’ll be back here to share a bit more about what really goes on at a home staging consultation. Spoiler… more than you think!
Until then, sign up HERE to grab our free download, How to Prepare for a Remodel!
Instantly Improve the Perceived Value Does your home for sale have cringy or outdated kitchen cabinets? If they don't show significant wear, they are a good candidate for a paint-induced makeover. Remember, kitchens and baths are the main selling points of a home. Ensure that the kitchen, the heart of the home, is looking its best.
Whether you are the homeowner looking to sell or the agent who is handling the listing, the tips we're sharing today will help increase the perceived value of the house, which can result in a higher payoff.
Update old or builder-grade kitchen cabinets with high quality paint. If they are already painted, simply refresh their existing color. If they were previously stained, hire a professional re-finisher or take your time to learn the best way to paint your cabinets. Keep in mind that the cabinets must not show significant wear and must not be broken.
Make your cabinets look high end by painting a different color on the island or by creating contrasting upper / lower cabinets. (e.g. A tuxedo kitchen has white uppers and black lowers.)
When selecting new paint colors, choose a shade from the existing counter tops and / or back splash tile to ensure that the space still flows well.
To further accessorize, line the cabinets with a solid color shelf liner or simply remove any old shelf liners. Your cabinets should look fresh from the inside out. Don't hesitate to give them a thorough interior cleaning.
Lastly, swap out the cabinet and drawer hardware for something new and minimal. This can improve the aesthetic of the entire kitchen by leaps and bounds.
The way your home looks online matters. Ensure that your house gets the attention it deserves (and sells for a great price) by investing in quality staging and styling.
Paint the kitchen island a deep, bold color to make it stand out from the cabinets. Navy, black, or deep green are excellent options.
O: (214) 814 – 5967
Hardwood has long since been a hallmark in high end, quality homes. Its rich, earthy texture and natural beauty have made it a no-brainer, resulting in refinishing vs. replacing whenever possible to avoid the high cost of replacement.
However, hardwood has caused no small amount of anxiety to homeowners with children and pets. Because hardwood floors can be warped by excess moisture or noticeably scratched, they aren't always the best or most sensible option for busy households.
What is hardwood-loving homeowner to do?
Meet the Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP).
Luxury vinyl planks make for excellent flooring in every room, especially high-moisture areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. The wood-like appearance of LVP adds warmth and character without succumbing to spilled liquids, heavy use, or frequent cleanings.
Quality LVP will last anywhere from 10-15 years, though could last even longer depending on how it is treated. It also doesn't need to be refinished - ever - and is available in a variety of faux wood species, including maple, oak, walnut, and hickory. Wide and narrow planks are available as well, making it easy to create a truly custom floor.
Ease of installation matters, even if you're hiring a company to handle the professional installation of your LVP flooring. The more convenient it is for the installers, the faster they will work and the more pleasing your final invoice will be. Happy installers make for good projects - trust us!
LVP snaps together effortlessly but does require some pre-planning, measuring, and cutting to ensure the joints don't end up all in a row (yep, just like hardwood). For best results, use an installer who works with LVP and hardwood frequently.
We never suggest that you get stingy when it comes to more permanent materials like flooring, but we also have to admit that LVP is a significantly smaller investment than hardwood. Happy accident? Not really.
LVP was developed to be an aesthetically pleasing, durable, and affordable alternative to hardwood. It ranges from $2-5 per square foot, while hardwood rings up the bill at $8-25 per square foot. Homeowners who opt for LVP often end up having more funds leftover for other luxuries, such as a curbless shower or elaborate back splash tile.
Faux wood and waterproof flooring are trending - and for good reason. LVP can often contain recycled PVC, which adds to its durability.
If you or someone in your home suffers from chemical sensitivities, be sure to treat your new LVP as you would any other building material, allowing it to off-gas in a climate controlled space.
O: (214) 814 – 5967
I have seen this trend recently where some stagers are advertising and claiming that they will stage your home - and because they own their own inventory - they will not charge you any rental fees.
As a professional home stager myself and as someone who is dedicated to running a successful staging and design business whose services will benefit many clients for many years to come, I wanted to write about this trend and clarify some things.
My goal and desire is that all you who are seeking staging services - where the stager claims they will use their props and inventory and not charge you for it - will be better educated in making the right decision that best addresses your staging needs.
First I would like to make you all aware of the fact that Home Staging is not a regulated business. What that means to you as a consumer and as a seeker of staging services is that anyone can put a shingle out there and claim to be a “professional home stager”, but that does not necessarily make them so.
For anyone to achieve the highly sought “professional” status in any field a few things need to take place. I read once that it takes an average of three years or about 6,000 working hours for someone to hone in their skill set in the profession of their choice.
It is a known fact that a lot of people who claim to be home stagers, stage on the side, and on the weekends mostly. Staging is not their full time profession.
Secondly, like with any other profession, on-going training and education is a must. There is absolutely no way around it, if anyone as a professional is set on providing stellar service and products to all their clients 100% of the time.
As an example of this I have committed to investing up to $5,000 a year towards on-going training as it relates to what I am engaged with on a daily basis and that is, staging, design, and renovations.
Since Staging is not a regulated business, on-going continued education is not required. That is not to say, it is not needed however.
Thirdly results always speak for themselves. Check out their on-line reputation, portfolio and results. Reading reviews from clients who have actually worked with them in the past would be a great thing to check out.
And as always be weary of stock photos used on ads and websites, as they are not reflective of what the stager can actually do or accomplish; rather they only speak to the fact that those stagers can pick a pretty picture, no problem.
A professional home stager, one who has done the time so to speak and on an on-going basis hones their professional skills is very well versed in things like, fundamental design elements, what makes a staging design stand out, what does not, scale, balance and symmetry, how the style of the home and the fixed elements in the home dictate how the home is staged etc. For those reasons I am also against verbal staging quotes, but I will have to write another blog on that and why you as a consumer should not fall for it.
Please realize that all those items I listed above dictate how the buyers will respond to your home. Why would you want to risk having the potential buyers focus on bad staging when they should actually focus on your beautiful home?
You are making the buyers experience of touring your home memorable o’right but it is not your sellable home they will be remembering I can assure you of that.
Case in point, check out these two homes below.
One belongs to the Tuscany brown trend which is no longer trendy now btw. This property was located in Prestonwood in Dallas and it sold in one week once it was professionally staged by Design by KETI and it relisted as such.
This other home which is located in Preston Hollow in Dallas belongs to the current Parisian gray trend. This home sold in two weeks after it relisted as a professionally staged home by Design by KETI.
Here are some other examples...
This condo sold and de-staged in less then 30 days...
This luxury Home in Lake Highlands sold in three days from being listed as a professionally staged home. It de-staged in less than two months.
This renovated home in Preston Hollow sold and de-staged in two and a half months...
Different type of props, inventory and color schemes were used to stage those homes as the fixed elements and the color scheme in the home dictate how the home should be staged.
For those reasons – so that you ensure that you hire the right stager for you, whose staging will add value to your home and not take away from it – some good questions to ask would be along the lines of their professional staging background and how much actual time do they dedicate to staging homes on a weekly basis and for how long have they done so.
Some people might excitedly say “staging is my passion”. Please understand Passion Is Not Enough.
Although there is nothing wrong with being passionate about staging, having the skill set to also deliver a top staging and design plan that will yield results and that is to sell your home swiftly and at a desirable price point, is of utmost importance.
Passion does not make you a professional!
For example, I love dancing. I am very passionate about it. Everybody who knows me on a personal level knows this fun fact about me.
And I exercise this passion of mine by social dancing on a regular basis. On occasion and when my schedule permits it, I will take a group class but that is about it. But IF I want to become a professional dancer however, I would need to dedicate a lot of time and money to it. I would need to allocate time in my schedule to take a lot of private lessons so I can hone my dancing skills, and be really good at it. I also need to practice what I learn during those private lessons, so that one day in the near future I would be able to call myself a professional dancer and make a living out of my dancing.
My point is having passion about something – even staging - is not enough!
Cultivating your passion by dedicating time and resources to it, will elevate you to a professional status in the field of your choice!
Now that you have a little bit of a background on what distinguishes a pro stager from an amateur stager, let me tell you the reasons why we charge rental fees when we use our own props and inventory to stage your home.
Let’s apply this to hiring a stager to stage your vacant home and you need not pay rental fees for props and inventory.
Although it appears you may be getting a good deal, in actuality you may be getting a really bad one.
It pays to invest more in the front end. When you pay a rental fee for props and inventory to stage your home, you are ensuring you are getting top of the line items that are on-trend, are ispirational to the buyers and in line with the architecture of your home. Since staging is nothing but packaging and merchandising, it is of utmost importance that the right props and inventory are used to package and merchandise your home in other words stage your home.
Please understand each added input/benefit (in other words, "free props and inventory") will lead to a decrease in the quality of what you thought the outcome of staging was going to be.
So you find yourself six to eight months down the road and not only do you not get the return on your initial staging investment, you suddenly find yourself losing money because of it. Those losses come in the form of several price reductions, and on-going mortgage, tax, insurance and upkeep payments and fees.
The quote from John Ruskin comes to mind:
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
So I encourage you to pay for something better, all the time.
3.1 We charge rental fees when we use our own props and inventory to stage your home because not charging accurately for services provided is not a sustainable business model. Specifically such type of business model will drive the business and the business owner into bankruptcy in no time at all.
Let me explain this a bit further. The three basic components that make up a vacant staging price quote are: 1. Staging Design Fee, 2. Moving and Logistics/Packing/Unpacking Fee and 3. Furniture and Accessories Rental Fee.
The staging fee covers things such as putting together a staging design concept, selecting all the props needed to stage the home (things like furniture, accessories, artwork, and soft good, lighting), and packing and wrapping all such props and inventory, and then setting up on site as well as styling.
The moving fee covers the cost of moving all packed and wrapped props and inventory from the warehouse all the way to your house. And then from your house all the way back to the warehouse when your house sells and it needs to be de-staged.
If you have moved recently you know from experience that it is expensive to hire movers in Dallas. Our experience has been that when staging vacant homes – based on the scope of the project, the rooms we have staged and the distance of the house from our warehouse– moving costs can go anywhere from $700 and up to $2,000 on any vacant staging project.
And then there is the Furniture and Accessories rental fee. Please understand that there is a lot of money that goes into purchasing new inventory items on a regular basis. Inventory purchase and warehousing are two of the largest expenses any staging business has on their books.
We have a special formula in place when it comes to pricing out the rental fee for all items that are needed to stage your home.
What those other stagers are doing when they say “they don’t charge rental fees” is no different that you reaching out to some of the furniture rental companies out there and have them let you lease their stuff for free. I can assure you that will never ever happen. Why because they are a for profit business. An exchange of products (staging props and inventory) for dollars ( inventory rental fee) needs to happen.
That makes a lot of logical, business and financial sense.
Red flags should go up when someone claims they do not bill rental fees. Some valued questions to ask would be, where did they get their props and inventory, how much money they spent towards it, will they bring cardboard furniture to stage your home, are they bringing stuff they got on garage sales to stage your home, or is it their parents oversized peanut butter color leather sofa from the 80’s that will make its debut in the formal living room of your $900K home.
I am mentioning all those things because I have seen them actually happen over and over.
And last but not least do they have insurance for their inventory. And do they have insurance to be working at your home. Unforeseen/unexpected things happen all the time. And the smart and savvy business owners plan accordingly for such things.
At the end of the day – as a consumer myself – I would be reluctant to hire someone who appears to not understand the intricacies of basic pricing. In my head that is something that would raise flags related to their professionalism, knowledge of real estate and their skill set.
Since they are not capable of doing such elementary thing – meaning pricing their services correctly - I would wonder if they are capable of being a top notch professional who will provide top notch staging designs so that your home is packaged and merchandised the correct way, so that your home sells fast and for top dollar and so that you get your money’s worth and return in staging it the professional way by a professional stager.
…those are all my thoughts. What are yours? Please feel free to share your opinion on this. I would love to hear it.
And if you are set on working with a professional home stager to help stage your home the right way, we would welcome the opportunity to be of service. And because we care for results and we care that YOU turn a profit, we will bill you rental fees, not because we are greedy, but because it's a win-win for all parties involved, we are fair, and we are really good at what we do. 🙂
O: (214) 814 – 5967
As some of you who follow my posts Know, I keep track of all the vacant homes that hit the market in the East Dallas, Oaklawn/Uptown and N. Dallas MLS areas.
Today for example I looked at all the vacant homes that listed in the month of November - 17 of them – in East Dallas. Of the 17 vacant homes that listed for sale in East Dallas in November 2013, as of today, 3 sold, 1 delisted - most likely due to lack of activity and interest, 1 is under contract and the remaining 12 are still on the market.
Statistically speaking, 70% of the vacant homes in East Dallas that hit the market in November 2013 have not sold yet and have at least gone thru one price reduction.
In addition think of how much the lack of a sale has cost these sellers in mortgage payments, taxes, HOA dues, utility and any other maintenance cost associated with owning a house.
The takeaway from this exercise in Home Selling? Don’t list your home vacant. You are reducing your chances of selling within 60 days by at least 70%. You are also reducing your chances of getting an offer at asking price when your house does not sell within a curtain time frame. Instead follow the example of these brilliant sellers in, Lake Highlands, East Dallas and Preston Hollow who brought in Home Staging Dallas - Design by KETI to help sell their home in record time.
This gorgeous mid-century modern house in Lake Highlands, listed for $900K. It went under contract after three days of being marketed as a staged home. We were able to destage the home in less then two months from staging.
This luxury home on Preston Hollow listed for $1.2M. It sold shortly thereafter and we were able to de-stage the home in less then three months from the list date.
These modern condos in the East Village in Dallas all sold and de-staged with an average of 48 days on market from the day they got staged to the day they got sold and therefore de-staged.
For more info on the benefits of staging a vacant home for sale Click Here:
O:(214) 814 – 5967
To invite Keti Abazi, to be a speaker at your meeting or function, you may contact email@example.com.
Your audience will find her presentations on Home Staging not only educational but also amusing, genuine and refreshing.
If you are a home seller and are thinking about listing your home for sale, one of the things that would benefit you the most is a Home staging consultation.
By consulting with a professional home stager - for a minimal fee - you will be tapping into the intellectual property and expertise of someone who is well versed on anything related to target real estate marketing, merchandising and packaging a home for sale. During the consultation you will be given specific instructions on a room by room basis as to what you need to do to prepare the home for the potential buyers; AKA, package and merchandise it.
Check out some before and after pictures of this drastic transformations in Dallas.
We are so proud of the sellers for implementing 100% of our recommendations.
O:(214) 814 – 5967
To invite Keti Abazi, to be a speaker at your meeting or function, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Your audience will find her presentations on Home Staging not only educational but also amusing, genuine and refreshing.
It’s a Seller’s market…You hear it everywhere from everybody.
…BUT not all homes are selling FAST and for TOP Dollar!
I would like to propose to you that a Seller’s market does not equate a Flea market.
The reason being…
NO MATTER WHAT THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IS, EVERY PROPERTY HAS A TOP DOLLAR VALUE RELATIVE TO THAT MARKET.
Why is that…?
…Because consumers always want the best product, at the best price, that meets their needs.
So what am I trying to say here? What’s my point…?
My point is this: If your home for sale look something like this…
...or like this
...or even like this (aka, cheaply, badly staged)
I got some BAD news for you…it will not sell FAST nor for TOP Dollar even in a Seller’s market!
The internet has changed how we do life and business. Gonne are the days when a buyer walked into the local real estate agent’s office asking for help finding a home. The internet is now the market place for Real Estate; not the Broker’s offices down the street.
When someone decides they want to buy a home they get on line. They do a lil’ bit of shopping, decide on what home they want to go visit and then call a Real Estate Agent to help them go see the home in person. And while the buyers are internet shopping, within 20 seconds of browsing thru a listing they will decide whether they want to view your house for sale in person or not. That’s all you got, 20 seconds!!
So, after viewing a series of homes on the internet do you think the buyers will want to see these types of homes in person
Or These ones…? All Professionally Staged and Photographed by the team of Design by KETI.
How about this one?
Or this one…?
The Real Estate market has changed, it’s not business as usual!
Strategic Staging, professional photography, and video are the MOST important ingredients that will sell a home FAST and for TOP Dollar Regardless of what the market trends are!
Remember, a Seller’s market does not equate a Flea Market.
O: (214) 814 – 5967
To invite Keti Abazi, to be a speaker at your meeting or function, you may contact email@example.com. Your audience will find her presentations on Home Staging not only educational but also amusing, genuine and refreshing.
Smart Sellers understand that Professional Home Staging is a powerful marketing tool that when used correctly - it has tremendous FINANCIAL benefits associated with it regardless of what the market looks like. Why? Because a staged home will photograph well, will show well, will enable the buyers to linger in and not move on to the house next door. Basically a well-staged home will attract and entice more buyers to set up an appointment and come see it. The more appointments, traffic and interest your for-sale house generates, the more likely you are to sell it at asking price if not above asking price.
As spring rolled in a few good things happened in real estate in Dallas; home prices started to go up by 6% and up to 8% - some even say - and the big talk in the local media is that “it’ a seller’s market we are in”. Yippee!
Although I am optimistic and inspired by the current trends in real estate I also think that –as sellers- it behooves us to be realistic about those trends.
And the reality is this:
Day after day, I have driven by homes with 'For Sale" signs in front of yards for months. I am sure a lot of you share similar sentiments.
Why are not All Homes Selling Fast and for the absolute best price? After all it’s a seller’s market and the seller calls all the shots. Not necessarily so, and not so fast!
Regardless of what the market is, buyers are smart and they will always look for the best product, in its best condition, that meets their needs (and wants) and that is offered for dollars they are not just willing to part with but even pay more.
So as you contemplate putting your house on the market– as a seller – you need to be asking yourself these two questions because at the end of the day, you won’t have a sale unless you have a buyer.
a-) what does the buyer in my area want;
b-) can I deliver on what the buyer wants so my for-sale house outshines the competition in my neighborhood, and so that I get top dollar from the sale of my house?
At the risk of sounding materialistic, I am going to say this: yes, it’s true it’s all about the mighty dollar! But it’s a lot deeper than that. Why would you want to be part of a financial transaction and leave money on the table?
Merely by not merchandising and packaging your home so that it appeals to the target buyer (aka not staging it for sale) you are doing just that - you are leaving money on the table.
The good news is, you don’t have to leave money on the table if you play your cards right. So yes, it’s sort of a game a little bit, but it’s a fun game with great financial return. Part of the game is to be strategic about the sale of your home. That strategy should involve engaging the expertise knowledge and resources of a professional home stager.
Yes it is a seller’s market and yes homes are selling fast, but not all of them, and most assuredly NOT for Top Dollar. It would be naïve to make the assumption that ALL homes are selling fast.
These are my thoughts, what’s yours?
O: (214) 814 - 5967
I would like to share with you an interesting thing that has happened to me during these past few months.
On a few instances I have been brought in for a Staging project by e Realtor “because the seller asked to work with a Professional Stager”. That’s right, the Seller asked the Realtor to get them in touch with their preferred Professional Property Stager as they prepare their house for the market.
It is truly amazing to see the shift in people’s mentalities when it comes to Property Staging. I am thankful for all the smart sellers out there who truly understand that Property Staging is not just about “bringing some furniture into a vacant space”, and it’s not just about “fluffing their home”.
Smart Sellers understand that Property Staging is a powerful marketing tool that when used correctly it has tremendous FINANCIAL benefits associated with it.
We are stepping into a Sellers’ market these days and there is a lot of talk about how the sellers are benefiting and how “offers will practically just drop on their lap”, because the demand for homes is high and the supply is low.
Although I understand the concept of supply and demand really well, I also do understand that REGARDLESS of what the market is, buyers are smart and savvy these days; they want the Best Product that meets their needs and wants at a dollar amount they are willing to part with.
Let’s take this example:
You go to a 5 star restaurant for dinner. You have the most decadent appetizers and entrees one can possibly have in their life. You enjoyed every bite of it…now it is time for dessert. You happen to love Cheesecake and you really want to order some. You talk to your waiter and he gives you your options:
You can have their “Regular Cheesecake”,
or for $1.50 more you can have their “Special Strawberry Cheesecake”
I don’t know about you but for only a $1.50 more I definitely want the Strawberry Cheesecake which comes with drizzled chocolate caramel and strawberry sauces topped with whip cream and a glazed strawberry. Yum.
(Oh and btw, I guarantee you; it did not cost the restaurant $1.50 for the toppings).
The strawberry cheesecake creates a feeling within you and it eludes a vision of the reality of having that cheesecake vs. the plain one and you just can't resist it, plain and simple.
That’s exactly what Staging does to a property. It presents the buyer with the opportunity to emotionally connect with a property. It also sets your property apart in presentation and value from all the other “cheesecakes” in your neighborhood that are up for sale.
UNLESS you don’t want to make more money when it is readily available to you for a minimal investment of time and money (perhaps even some sweat equity on your part) than Property Staging might not be for you!
…therefore you need not read further.
But if you want to make more money when it is readily available to you than read on…
Here are 4.1 reasons why you should Stage your property in a Seller’s market:
1. Property Staging is a Practical Real Estate marketing tool.
Once your property is listed on the MLS your job is basically done. All you have to do now is sit back and wait for the buyers to come by, tour it and make an offer on it.
We need to understand that the internet has changed the way we do business in every area of our life – and that includes selling a home. Did you know that 42% of buyers used You Tube to look up houses for sale last year? That means, pictures may no longer be all that valuable. The video and the virtual tours will be! I can only imagine how a home that is not staged would look on video, especially if it is not done by a professional. I read this expression a while back I thought it was so true and also so funny at the same time.
“If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur”!
Property Staging is becoming an essential and irreplaceable marketing tool, like we have never seen before because we live in a day and age where people are taking care of all their social, private and business needs on the internet.
2. Property Staging is a solid investment.
Did you know that for every dollar you put towards preparing and staging your home for sale, the buyer will most likely ask that you pay them $10. I don’t know about you, but I would rather pay a $1 now so I can keep $9 in my pocket later.
3. Property Staging is a Win-Win Transaction.
All parties involved in a Property Staging project are winners. It can’t get any better than that.
a- Sellers win because they are able to maximize their return on their investment and preserve the equity of their home. Sellers also win because by Staging their property they will drastically reduce their time on market, which will directly reflect on their pocket book.
Less time on market = less mortgage expenses and all the other costs that go along with having a mortgage, such as tax and insurance payments, maintenance cost, etc.
b- Real Estate Agents win because a higher sales price translates into a higher commission payment for them. Real Estate Agents also win referral business if they sell faster and for top dollar. If a Realtor has sold my neighbors house in two weeks, who do you think will be the realtor I will most likely be inclined to do business with when I am ready to put my home on the market?
c- Buyers win because you give them the opportunity to gain their confidence in the property they are buying from you and because you also give them the opportunity to fall in love with the house/property of their dreams.
d-Professional Stagers win because they are given the opportunity to exercise their creativity and gift of knowing how to merchandise a property for sale by Staging it while at the same time being able to financially support themselves and their families. Most Professional Home Staging Businesses are run and operated as a local small business and when you hire a Professional Local Home Stager, you are supporting small local businesses.
4. Staging a Property = a deal done quickly and for more money.
You would want to Stage because you will get the deal done quickly and for more money. Did you know that Staged homes sell 2 to 2.5 times quicker and for 17% more than the non-staged homes?
4.1 Property Staging may also increase the appraisal value of the property which in turn naturally would allow some buyers to qualify for a mortgage easier.
It would make sense to me that you Stage your property 100% of the time, regardless of what the price of the property is and what neighborhood you live in.
These are my thoughts, what are yours?
O: (214) 814 - 5967
When it comes to selling Real Estate, there is a tremendous difference between being In The Market, vs. being on the market.
You would want to be “in the market”and not “on the market”.
Here is how you know you are “on the market”. By the way, this is NOT a place you want to be if you want to sell your house fast: Your house has been listed for at least two months now, you have had less than 10 private showings and you have had Absolutely No Offers!
If that’s the case you need to sit down and re-evaluate your selling strategy. What is causing the lack of traffic and interest? Is it because the house is overpriced or is it because it does not show well. As experts in Property Staging, we can help guide you on some things that you can take specific action on, to assure that your home Shows Well, Sells Fast and for Top Dollar.
Houses that are professionally Staged and photographed Show Well. Because they show well, a lot more potential buyers will be inclined to schedule an appointment to come by and tour it.
Selling your home - like with every thing else in life - is basically a “numbers” game. Once you have priced your house well and you have professionally Staged it -once it hits the market - you should have at least 10 showings within the first week of listing. For every 10 showings that you have, there should also be at least 1 acceptable offer.
1. That your home is Priced Well (Your Real Estate Agent is a great source for this). Check out my blog titled “3.1 Things You Should Do When Choosing a Realtor! for more details on how to select a Realtor that will represent your financial interests the best when selling your home.
2. That your Home Shows Well: that means it is professionally Staged and photographed (call Design by KETI or another Professional Property Stager in your area for assistance with this).
Once those 2 conditions are fulfilled you are on your way to selling Very Fast and for TOP Dollar regardless of what the Real Estate market is.
The reason being, by ensuring that your home is Priced Well and that it Shows Well, you are fulfilling the demand that the buyers have: they want the best product (1) that meets their needs (2) at a great price (3).
Keti Abazi, MBA, ASP, IAHSP
Owner and Creative Director of Design by KETI
O: ((214) 814 - 5967
You took the plunge. You decided it was time for you to move to bigger and better things. One of the things that you need to take care of now is sell your home. You hired a realtor and the house has been on the market for almost 6 months with only 3 or 4 showings. Something is wrong with that picture.
Suddenly you are presented with a challenge and you have to tackle it. But what do you do? Ask yourself and your realtor if your House has the PSP Factor…yes, I said the PSP factor, kinda’ like the X Factor.
IF the house has the PSP factor, you should be able to have at least 10 showings in the first 1 to 2 weeks of being on the market. For every 10 showings that take place, you should also have an acceptable offer.
If you are not seeing that kind of activity, than most likely your home lacks the PSP Factor.
What is the PSP Factor you might ask?
Here it is:
P is for PRICE.
Is the house priced to sell? I know we all take pride in our ownership and a lot of times our idea of what our house is worth might be a bit unrealistic. I hear, some realtors so as not to lose you – their client - will go along and list your house for what you think is worth and not what research of past sold homes reflects.
Well, this strategy backfires because for every month that passes by, you still have that expense of carrying your mortgage payment, tax payment, insurance and all the other carrying cost that go along with owning a home.
S is for STAGED.
The questions you need to answer are: How does your house show? Does it appeal to the BROAD target buyer? Yes, I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, (broad, and target) but really it is not. Did your Realtor bring in a Professional Stager to help you prepare your home for Sale? Did you do what you were advised to do?
Why is this so important? Because once you have decided to sell your home; it becomes a product; therefore it needs to be merchandised so that it appeals to a broad range of target buyers. So again, is your house Professionally Staged?
Well you could say: I had a decorator friend help me with my home. Or I have immaculate taste and my home is perfectly designed or decorated.
I will tell you this: that is not good enough because where as Staging is Attention Directing, Decorating is Attention getting. The last thing you want is for the potential buyers to “wow” and “wow”, after your personal belongings and not the precious square footage you are trying to sell.
P is for PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY.
Did your realtor bring in a professional photographer to photograph and produce a virtul tour of your home so they can start marketing it? Now this can go to two different extremes.
There are some homes I see listed on the MLS (go and do a search on Realtor.com and you will know what I am talking about) where the realtor took their own pictures with their cell phone and put them on the MLS to market your home - which is worth a LOT OF Money, I am sure – and then there are some other photographs that I see, which are otherwise “professional” but those pictures are taken from an extra wide angle, or they are photo-shopped, and sometimes they even look “fuzzy”to me cause they are stretched so much horizontally...sometimes they even look so "exotic"... either way. This could be a bit of false advertising if you ask me.
SO make sure that the pictures used to advertise your property are professional as well as an accurate representation of what your home looks like and what the flow of your home feels like.
Generally because the properties that Design by KETI Staged, have had the PSP Factor, they have gone under contract within the first week of being on the market.
What have been some of your experiences when you decided to sell your house in the past? Do you feel the above three points accurately capture why a home does not sell FAST and for TOP Dollar? Would you like to find out if your house has the PSP Factor? Call us today for a Free Evaluation.
O: (214) 814 - 5967
I would like to start by saying I am a big advocate of always using a Realtor when it comes to buying and selling Real Estate. I would not recommend you go “FSBO” (For Sale by Owner) on me, because you might be doing yourself a huge disservice, if you do.Realtors have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that unless you hire them, you won’t have access to and benefit from. With that said however, like with any profession, not all Realtors are created equal.
For example, in my trade – which is Real Estate Staging - I have seen some staging jobs out and about that I don’t care for; they are poorly done, out of scale and on the cheap side.
On the other hand, I have also had the opportunity to experience firsthand and get to know in person some wonderful professional Stagers in the area who over time and because of their superb Staging jobs and expertise, have gained my professional and personal respect.
When deciding to put your house on the market - so that you can get the most out of your sale - there are certain things that I highly recommend that you do.
And here is your To-Do List:
1. Don’t just go with that one Realtor someone at the office or at your child’s school recommended to you. Drive around the neighborhood and see whose name you see consistently on those“For sale” or “Just Sold” signs. Interview at least three of them. Find out what sets them apart from the rest of the Realtors in your area. As the saying goes, past performance is a great indicator of future results.
2. What is their Distinguishing Client Benefit and what is their Competitive Marketing Advantage; what will they do for you that will help YOU sell your house Fast and for Top Dollar. Ask them, how will they Market your property, to whom will they market it.
Selling a home is not just about sticking a sign in the front yard (I have seen this happen many a times) and for sure selling a home is NOT going to be achieved by posting ugly pictures on the MLS (I see this happen more than I care to), that they might take with their I-phone or Android. This is totally unacceptable in my opinion.
And as a Seller if you agree to this, just know, you are doing nothing but selling the house down the road, that Design by KETI or one of the other Professional Stagers - that I highly regard - Staged and a Professional Photographer photographed it.
Check out some pictures I have seen on the MLS and compare it to some of the pictures from the properties that Design by KETI Staged.
Being that 96% of the potential buyers resort to the internet and on-line representation before they decide which house they want to tour, which one do you think they will be more inclined to go see?
The one represented by the ugly MLS pictures or the one that is Professionally Staged and Professionally photographed?
Picture of Kitchen in MLS
Picture of Kitchen in MLS, Staged by Design by KETI and Professionally Photographed
Picture of Dining in MLS
Picture of Dining in MLS, Staged by Design by KETI and Professionally Photographed!
Picture of Bedroom in MLS
Picture of Bedroom in MLS, Staged by Design by KETI and Professionally Photographed
3. What is their DOM (Days on Market). The lower their DOM, the better. If I find out a Realtor’s DOM is 175 (that means it has taken them on average 175 days to sell a home) and the other Realtor’s DOM is 23, then for sure I will go with the one whose DOM (Days on Market) average is 23.
On the other hand, if they tell you, they don’t know what their DOM is or that they have not tracked it, than count that response as a Red Flag.
3.1. And Last but not Least. Always, always Stage and De-personalize your home (Staging is nothing but packaging and merchandising your home). You see, when you decide to sell your home, it becomes a product – it turns into a house - therefore it needs to be “merchandised” so it appeals to the broad buyer, and Always Always, insist on professional photography.
If your potential Realtor does not want to pay $130 or so in professional photography for you, to ensure superb representation on the internet, than that Realtor does not deserve to get paid $3,000 to $5,000 - or whatever it might be - in commission from the sale of your home, in my opinion.
O: (214) 814 - 5967
Hi everyone. I have not had much time to do any blogging recently - thanks to all of you who have kept me busy – but wanted to take some time and write on the cost, or what I like to call the Investment of Staging.
From my discussions with many a Realtor, I have heard it mentioned more than once that although Staging a listing might sound like a great idea, their Seller just can’t afford to do so.
In response to that, I always say, the seller cannot afford to not Stage their home for the following reasons:
I then Stage the property (package it, merchandise it) in such a way that the Staging design does and will appeal to that specific target buyer, in that specific price range. By Staging the property, the Realtor/Seller are confident on determining where in that range, the property will fall; which 100% of the time, it’s on the higher end of that spectrum as it should be. Staging does add on average 5%-20% perceived value to the property.
Now back to my point about showing the numbers and doing the math:
For example purposes will look at a property with a Listing Price of $250,000.
Cost to Seller when the property is NOT Staged:
- Since Un-Staged properties stay on the market an average of 9 months or so and assuming monthly mortgage carrying costs of about $2,300/month, that would cost the Seller an additional $20,700 ($2,300 x 9 = $20,700)
- Average price reduction is about 1% per month so, $2,500 x 9 = $22,500
Cost to Seller when property is NOT Staged: $43,200 ($20,700+$22,500)
Cost to Realtor when the property is NOT Staged:
- Commission before Price Reductions: $250,000 x 3% = $7,500
- Commission after price reduction: $227,500 x 3% = $6,825
- Cost to Realtor: $7,500-$6,825 = $675
- Add to it the opportunity cost and another $250 or so a month ($250 x 9 = $2,250) in Marketing Cost
Total average Cost to the Realtor is $2,925 ($675+$2,250)
And now for the Savings that both the Seller and the Realtor realize and how Staging is an Upfront Investment worth making:
- Knowing that Staged homes sell in about 29 to 45 days in the current market - translates into about two months of mortgage carrying cost to the Seller ($2,300 x 2 = $4,600)
- Staging Investment of $175 to $3,000 (consultations start at about $175, and Vacant Staging projects for properties in the $250K price could go up to $3,000)
Total Cost to Seller if Property is Staged = $7,600.
So, when it is all said and done, is Staging worth it? Absolutely, enthusiastically “Yes”. The net savings in this example is likely to be around $35,600 for the Seller and about $3,000 in additional commission money to the Realtor. Eventually, with or without Staging, money will be spent. The question is how much and for what? Will it be spent in additional mortgage costs, price reductions, money brought to the closing table, continuous monthly Marketing cost, or Staging it and actually selling it now, so you EARN MORE MONEY?
O: (214) 814 - 5967
I have been going on a lot of MLS tours lately. I have seen many a listings and here is what I have discovered: Savvy Realtors, who consistently use Stagers to Stage their listings, are seeing far more SOLD signs than their competition who don’t. If you’re not staging all of your listings, occupied and vacant, you’re not doing yourself or your sellers justice. Stage your listings and leave the competition behind.
I am sure you would all agree that Buying and Selling Real Estate is such an emotional transaction. I have yet to hear someone tell me the reason they bought a house was because it had three bathrooms, two and a half baths and a pool. Every time I ask someone why they bought the house they live in, the answer is “I fell in love with that house”. It’s funny how many people make an emotional decision about buying and selling Real Estate and then they go back and logically walk you thru why they made their emotional decision. Makes me smile each time!
I have lived in the Uptown/Downtown are of Dallas at least for twenty years now. I know exactly what the urban sophisticated and quirky buyer is looking for when they decide to buy Real Estate in the area. Unfortunately I can’t say that I see that portrayed on 100% of the listings. I really have not seen the properties being Staged to where the property appeals to the “lifestyle” of the urban dweller.
Appropriate Staging creates that lifestyle - that visual and emotional appeal - so that the buyers can emotionally move in. Staging is not decorating or fluffing a house. Rather it is a basic marketing tool that every Realtor who wants to sell fast and for top dollar should use. Thousands of Realtors across the country have discovered the “Magic” of Staging their properties for top dollar sales.
W.I.I.F.M (What’s In It For Me) - in other words “What’s in it for YOU - the Realtor”?
Staging is a Market Differentiator – you will win listings over non-staging agents because you are offering Staging as a Standard Service
Staging is a Value Added Service – Your listing will sell for more than comparable un-staged homes, AND you will make more money (and so will your sellers) if you Stage
You Get more business – you will get repeat and referral business because Sellers will appreciate the extra effort and the fact that the REA did MORE to Get Them MORE!
Here is my two cents on how to have a “Must Stage” conversation with your sellers so that the property gets packaged, merchandised, i.e. Staged before it goes to market:
- The way you live in a home and the way you sell your home are two different things
- Once you have decided to put your home on the market, it immediately becomes a product, therefore it needs to be “packaged” – turned into a home - merchandised ( that’s what Staging does – it’s the only thing that you can do to “package” and “merchandise” your listing)
- Buyers don’t like the lived-in look. They only know what they see, not the way it is going to be
- Buyers need to feel they are AT HOME, not in YOUR Home
- Staging creates a serious of great impressions throughout the home motivating the buyer to linger; when buyers are browsing for homes in the neighborhood, one of two things will happen; they will either move in or move on!
- The cost of Home Staging is always less than the 1st price reduction. On Average, the cost would be anywhere from $250 for a Staging Consultation, to $400 - $1,400 for an Occupied Staging project and up to $5,000 for a Vacant Staging project (which includes rental fees for furniture and accessories).
And for those of you who are all about the numbers, which I think all of us should be, than please click on the link below to be directed to the RESA (Real Estate Staging Association) Staging Calculator. http://www.stagingsavings.com/stagingSavings.html
Stay tuned, next time I will be discussing some pointers on Home Staging that I hope you find beneficial as you list your properties for sale!
O: (214) 814 – 5967
Many a people have a hard time understanding the concept of home staging. “What is Home Staging anyhow”, you may ask?
Another question that I hear all the time is: “Do all houses need to be Staged?
All houses need to be staged prior to sale, if you want to sell for top dollar and be in the market for a short time. Secondly 90% of the population can not visualize or imagine spaces. That means 90% of buyers can not visualize spaces or imagine themselves in the house you wish they buy from you.
Home Staging is equivalent to car detailing (the male reader can totally identify with this); you never try to sell your car, whether it is a Kia or a Ferrari, without detailing it first. If we are willing and open to spending money on something that is a liability, (our vehicle), why are we so closed to the idea of investing on maximizing the return on something that for most of us is our most valuable asset (our house)?
“But my Seller has great taste and therefore Staging is not necessary”, is something else I hear quite often from Realtors.
Staging has nothing to do with a Seller's taste and a lot to do with the buyer’s wants. So the Seller and the Real Estate Agent/Realtor would need to answer the question- who the buyers are and what they want and look for in the specific area or neighborhood- and package and merchandise the house (i.e. stage the home), accordingly.
I went to an open house a few days ago in THE most desirable and affluent neighborhood in my city. The architecture of the house is very traditional-Mediterranean as a matter of fact- and the interior decorating and furnishings are very modern which makes the house very eclectic. First thing you notice as you walk thru the main entrance, are the beautiful expensive art work and furnishings. What happened to highlighting Real Estate (almost 7, 000 sq. feet of Real Estate?). And that is what Staging would do-highlight Real Estate. After all that is what the buyer wants to buy, the house and not the Seller’s possessions.
This particular house has been on the market twice in the last two years and did not sell, and now it has been on the market a third time for over 60 days and they have yet to have an offer. Never mind the price reductions of the 7 figure type…The architecture of the house is beautiful (traditional Mediterranean), the interior design and art work are beautiful (ultra modern, minimalist). Spaces “speak” to us and this property speaks “single bachelor who has a very incredible eclectic taste”. There is nothing wrong with ultra modern, minimalist design. Personally I love it, as a mater of fact…but I highly doubt that house appeals to the young family who wants to make it a home so they are able to raise their children in the most desirable, affluent neighborhood in the city.
So yes, Staging is needed, if you want to sell quick and for top dollar!
As a seller you can not afford to not Stage because your online photos will stand out (which means more showings/traffic-therefore more offers), your house will sell faster, you will make more money therefore you will get your Return on your Staging investment back-at least a 200% return and up to 576% of it. And did you know Home Staging cost may be deductible in the State of Texas?
O: (214) 814-5967