Regardless of our selling situation and the market conditions, once the decision to sell is made, we all have the same goal – a quick sale at the highest price possible. Market conditions are out of our control, but the other factors that play into the fast sale/best price goal are 1) condition and 2) presentation – and those we can control.
The condition factor is easily controlled through cleaning and repairing, fairly objective goals. The presentation factor is more subjective, and this is where staging comes in – evoking the emotions of home to help potential buyers imagine their life in your house – from how their furnishings will fit to how their lifestyle will fit. Staging is the finishing touch that, as its name implies, allows your property to take center stage when buyers start looking – creating a neutral décor and adding accessories to bridge the gap between property statistics and dreams.
To disregard the presentation factor and expect buyers to “look through” your furnishings and decorating style is leaving much to chance. Most buyers think that what they see is what they get – everything from furnishings to décor colors. When buyers are either looking on the Internet or standing in your living room, they are usually eliminating before they begin evaluating. There are simply so many properties on the market at such fabulous price points that it can become overwhelming; eliminating is the default process to get the number of options down to a more manageable decision. Staging is the single most important activity to insure that your house isn’t eliminated without buyers truly evaluating its potential relevance to their goals and lifestyle.
A recent study by the Harrison Group revealed that since the recession began luxury homebuyers have narrowed the purchase time of a second home property from approximately two years to three months. They are doing the research on the Internet; think of it as pre-selling themselves. This places the importance of staging at an all time high – regardless of price and location, with so many purchase opportunities, it is easier to click on to the next property if doesn’t “feel” like home.
Through staging you can increase your chances of surviving the Internet elimination process and move your house into the evaluating stage more quickly.