This insightful post written by Active Rain's savvy staging professional Maureen Bray is applicable in today's market as it was when written in September 2009.
While my staging business Redesigned Spaces specializes in occupied homes the sentiment Maureen conveys is still the same. I've never forgotten her wise words written in this blog, I'm sure you won't either. As I see homes around me lowering their price and going into a short sale I know many could have been helped by staging advice or a bit of redesign.
Please leave your comments on Maureen's original blog, but you are more than welcome to let me know how you're doing today!
Dear Mr. Seller,
You contacted my company 3 months ago and requested a staging proposal for your home. It's in a premier Portland neighborhood and you said you knew it needed some help before listing. You'd already bought another home and were packing up your things to move out in a few days.
When I arrived to view your home, it was surprising to see a huge pool table in your dining room! We laughed together about that and also the long heavy dark velvet drapes! Your home needed major cleaning and packing up of many small items. I knew we could help you!
We'd be able to work with most of your furniture that you'd be leaving behind, and we'd provide the necessary missing pieces as well as accessories, art, trees & plants, etc. as needed. We discussed that if we were going to work together, I'd give you a detailed list that would include which furniture pieces to leave behind as well as some easy cosmetic improvements that you could do yourself.
You told me that your listing agent did not believe in home staging. I was surprised to hear this, because I thought that your home was one of the better candidates for staging that I've seen this year, but I kept my opinion to myself. I told you that our company keeps track of our staging statistics, and we're proud of them. I knew we could help you!
Later that day I emailed you a very cost-effective proposal that included staging your home using your furniture and providing accessories and other items from our inventory. We'd stage your home to make it appealing to your target buyer. Our proposal also included quality digital photos for the online listing ... critical in today's challenging market. I knew we could help you!
Later, I was disappointed that you decided not to stage your home. Looking at the online listing, it was a shock to see the photos of your home! They're dark, out of focus, crooked, and don't even show the best features of your home. I won't show them here because that wouldn't be discreet, but I noticed the heavy velvet drapes are still there, and your furniture is not in the right position to showcase the space. The photos are about the worst I've ever seen. I knew we could have helped you!
After 6 weeks on the market I noticed that you took a $30,000 price reduction! After another 4 weeks, I saw that your price had now dropped $50,000! Hmmm ... your agent discouraged you from staging (even though you would have paid for it) but has no problem recommending that you drop your price by $50K?
Wow! Staging your home with a professional staging company would have cost a tiny fraction of your first price reduction -- but you decided to drop your price by $50,000 instead. How does that make sense from a financial viewpoint?
The sad thing is, today I drove by your home again on my way to staging one of your neighbor's homes, and saw the new sign addition now hanging from your "For Sale" sign ...
Mr. Seller ~ We really did try to help you! I wish we could have.
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For help making sure your home shines for potential buyers, contact Room Solutions Staging in Portland OR to learn more about our home staging services. We work with Homeowners, Banks, Realtors, and Investors to prepare homes to SELL. Give us a call at 503-246-1800 for more information. To see Before & After photos of both our Vacant and Occupied properties, view our updated Portland OR home staging photo gallery.