How To Stage A Home That Won't Sell

Almost every listing has its challenges. A professional stager's job is to show potential buyers the possibilities of the home, without saying a word.

How staging works: a $1.1 million example

Recently, I was shown a listing that had not been staged. The home had been sitting on the market for three months with no acceptable offers. The feedback was consistent: the kitchen is too small.

In a case like this, you might think that renovation - removing a wall, adding a pass-through - is the only option. Instead, staging sold the home.

Instead of knocking down a wall, we staged the home to show the possibilities: we demonstrated that the nearby space could be used as an extension of the kitchen, by adding a buffet with dishes, a table, and other kitchen items to that space.

After staging, the house sold right away. 

The costs of not staging

The out-of-pocket cost of not staging that home before it went on the market, for the owner: three months of paying the mortgage, insurance, and taxes. We used an online calculator to estimate costs, which gave us a monthly mortgage payment of $5,625 for the $1.1 million listing, resulting in a three‑month cost of $16,875 for the mortgage alone. This doesn't include the time involved meeting with the realtor, discussing price reductions, and the calls to determine just what it would take to get the house sold. Had the house been occupied, the sellers would have had to arrange their schedules around showings, as well. 

For the realtor - well, no one needs to tell you the cost of marketing, the phone calls you have to make to the owner to say that the home still hasn't sold, and how three months of sitting on the market affects your statistics (and your cash flow). No one wants this! 

If you stage a listing at the start, you will know that you've done everything you can to get the highest price and to sell the home most quickly. 

What all professional stagers know: the first price reduction is always more than the cost of staging.

If you would like to talk about staging your listings to maximize the sales price and minimize days on market, please contact me.