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*Home Staging in Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding Areas*

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REALTORS: Are you a Leader or a Follower?

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 2:55 AM

This post is for all Listing REALTORS out there. 

Do you go with the flow, do what is necessary, follow just the mandatory steps, and have a business model that simply stays static?

Or are you a REALTOR who thinks outside the box, goes the extra mile, explores all avenues out there to help your clients succeed, and who strives to be on the cutting edge?

What do you include in your listing packages for your sellers? 

What are you doing to stand out amongst the competition?

It is no secret that sellers these days will interview more than one REALTOR when deciding with whom to list. What is it about your listing package that gives you confidence that you will win most listings?

I have been a Professional Home Stager in  Edmonton, Alberta and surrounding areas for over three years now. And, I have some alarming news for you. 

I work alongside many different amazing REALTORS in the Edmonton area. These REALTORS have found immediate tangible value in including varying levels of Home Staging services within their listing packages for their clients.

Plain and simple: Professional Home Staging guarantees a litsting will shine among its competition, sell faster, and sell for more money.

Sellers are very savvy, and becoming more so every day. They KNOW that Home Staging creates successful sales and yields a High ROI (return on investment). 

So, guess what happens when you, as their REALTOR, offers the gift of Home Staging to them? 

You are right! They are enamoured, impressed, blown away, and excited!

Now, there are approximately 3000 REALTORS in Edmonton and surrounding areas. I am here to tell you that there is only a small handful of REALTORS who have caught on to this HUGE competitive advantage thus far. I mean, truthfully, all one has to do is take a look at most of the MLS listing photos out there to see that Home Staging is still not a rampant trend here.

The REALTORS I do work for have found such incredible value in Home Staging, and have seen such a monumental increase in their bottom line (income) as a result of hiring a Stager for each of their listings, that all of them have now changed their budget for each listing to include these services.

Think about this for a moment: If you had a tool-of-the-trade sitting right in front of you that is guaranteed to cause your career productivity and income to increase exponentially, are you really going to consciously ignore it?

You will, and do, of course, come across properties that will need absolutely no help in the Staging/Presentation department. There are simply people out there with a great talent and eye for what buyers in the market would like to see when viewing prospective new homes. 

And, in those cases, of course, you wouldn't mention an offer of Home Staging at all.


How do you benefit from employing the services of a Professional Home Stager for your listings?

You will:

* Secure a much higher percentage of listings due to demonstrating much larger value

* At least double your number of properties SOLD

* Cut the days-on-market (DOM) down to half for all of your listings

* Create much higher seller-satisfaction, which, in turn, creates magical and powerful word-of-mouth advertising that money cannot buy

* Save your valuable time/effort/resources on listings where you were normally feeling obligated to help get the property showing-worthy

* Save stress/headaches/awkwardness related to sensitive presentation issues (smoking, pets, smells, clutter, uncleanliness, personal effects, etc) - I get to be the "bad guy" for you!

* Be filled with confidence that your Home Stager has edcuated your seller to the point where they completely understand how their property HAS to look and feel for all showings

* MAKE WAY MORE MONEY!!!


There simply ARE NO negatives in enlisting the help of a Professional Home Stager for your listings. 

The truth of it all is that Home Staging is enroute to becoming the absolute norm here in Alberta. 

And, if you are not on this train, you do, absolutely risk falling off the back of it.

A Professional Home Stager who is successful at what they do has one paramount goal. This goal of mine is to do everything within my power (and expertise, and talent, and training) to ensure that EVERYONE wins. 

I want you, the REALTOR, to maximize your income potential. I want the seller to experience speedy and seamless success. And, by default, because I have made the above my sole aim, I have also created high client satisfaction. This means that my business continues to grow again and again.

Like I say, EVERYONE wins!

I have been told numerous times....not sure if you have heard....but I am quite the tool!!! LOL! Use Me!


Why is it optimal to have a Professional Home Stager help to create a Market-Ready Listing?

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM
Humans are habitual to a fault in most cases.

Even if we have lived in our current home for more than a few months, there are things that we do to make our lives more convenient. Our hectic daily routines dictate that we work on auto-pilot a lot of the time.

I am positive that at least one of the following occurs in your household:

• There is a spot on your kitchen counter, coffee table, entry table, entry bench, kitchen table or island, or dining room table where you habitually drop all items in your hands as you enter the house at the end of a long day. These items consist of mail, keys, phones, chargers, flyers, etc. This area is a mind-numbing toppling pile.

• The dining room table has been re-designated as the official crafting area of the house.

• Your dog’s beds are sitting in every living area of the house so that he/she can be comfy while they are close to you no matter which room you are in.

• You store your bagged bread products on your kitchen counter for ease of use.

• You have more than one “junk drawer” in your kitchen and opening/closing them is always a magic trick.

• Your entry closet is stuffed with piles of shoes, and all pairs are broken up. It is difficult to open and close this closet door, so you just leave it open.

• Because your entry closet is stuffed-full, you have purchased a large shoe rack and placed it by the door. This is also full, and there are a few pairs of shoes you regularly wear just sitting on the entry-floor.

• In your living room, you have just one curtain panel pulled up to the side and fastened with a twist tie or a hair clip because it allows just enough sunlight in for your fern in the corner.

• You leave your bag of toilet-paper rolls out on the half-bath floor in case of emergency re-fill needs.

• You leave your baby stroller on the front porch because it is simply easier.

• You leave your Christmas lights up on the exterior of your home all year round...again, because it is easier.

• ...This list could get much longer, but you get the point. We are all human.

A Professional Home Stager comes in with a fresh, objective, and outsider perspective. We are educated and experienced in what today’s buyers want and need to see in their new prospective home. We KNOW all of the seemingly small and trivial things that can and WILL kill any chance of an offer coming in on your property. 

Professional Home Stagers are also very talented at knowing all the small tweaks that can be made to a property’s presentation in order to inspire buyers to make an offer quickly.

Home Stagers see things in your home that you simply do not see. When we are in environment, day in, day out, surrounded by living conveniences we have created to simplify daily routine, we become blinded.

For instance, in my own home, I have a side table snuggled up to my favourite chair in my living room. I have it there so that I can do work on my laptop at night, AND have my tea sitting beside it. Now, because of the awkward layout of my living room, this side table encroaches on the entrance to the space. It certainly impedes traffic flow. But, I don’t necessarily notice this, as my shuffling movement to get into the living room has become habit. I am on auto-pilot when I enter my own living room.

Now, however, enter buyer. This layout is awkward, and the need to shuffle around this side table immediately upon entering the living room gives them the impression that the home is lacking floor-space.

Having a Professional Home Stager come in to your home prior to listing it for sale alleviates stress, eliminates wasted time/energy/money, streamlines your presentation adjustment process, and guarantees that your listing will appeal to every buyer in your specific target market(s).

 

 


How about we start with that nasty crock-pot?

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 1:30 AM

By now, we have all heard the following:

"When selling your home, it is important to de-clutter!"

We have also heard that kitchens are one of the two most important spaces within a property to expend a lot of time/energy/elbow-grease.

It is a fact that the top three things that buyers have said, over and over again, that they are willing to pay more money for are fresh paint, updated flooring, and LOTS OF STORAGE SPACE.

So, now I have you focusing on your kitchen. Perfect!

When buyers view your home, they NEED to know that their kitchen supplies will easily fit into the available storage space. So, first they will quickly scan the ktichen, and provided the counter-tops are not loaded with items, they will then eye up the number and size of cupboards, whether there is an island, if that island has storage space incorporated into it, number of drawers, and then whether there is a pantry.

The vast majority of buyers WILL open at least a few of your cupboards to get an idea of depth and shelving configuration. They also want to see if there is added value by way of organizing systems installed.

First things first, however! Take a look at the following photo, and think about your first impression of this kitchen:

Now, granted, this photo is pretty extreme. But, I am pretty certain that you immediately thought, "Wow, there is absolutely no storage space in this kitchen!"

Even though you may think that this kitchen is abnormally cluttered, I do come across this situation at least a few times a week in my profession as a Home Stager. 

So, it is all fine and dandy that we hear these tips regarding having to de-clutter when selling a home. But, the question I am asked all the time is, "Where do I start?"

Our daily lives tend to be busy, hectic, and tiring. Then, we add the stress of selling our home on top of that, and our brains are literally cluttered. That is where a Professional Home Stager comes in. We are there to alleviate that headache and provide you with an easy-to-follow, step-by-step to-do list. 

A Professional Home Stager is there to help you minimize the amount of time, energy, and money you spend on preparing your home for sale. Nothing is worse than toiling away for hours or weeks on a project in your home, only to find out after the fact that you will not see any return on investment when you sell your home.

So, where to start when de-cluttering your kitchen counter-tops, cupboards, drawers, and pantry?

How about we start with that nasty crock-pot???

There are no bigger space bandits than large kitchen appliances!

Larger kitchen appliances are robbing your kitchen of VERY valuable Real Estate!

And, the funniest part is that we rarely actually use many of these large appliances.

It is never too early to start packing. After all, the end you are working towards is selling your home and moving into a new one, correct? Wouldn't it be great if you had much less packing to do once your home sells?

I say to start by packing away your crock-pot for many reasons which include the following:

* The crock-pot simply does not fit into any cupboard or pantry nicely, and many times we end up storing it on top of our cabinetry.

* The crock-pot is used to slow cook food all day long so that we have a nice, warm, and savory meal waiting for us when we get home at the end of a hectic day. So, not only have you cooked an aromatic meal, but you have allowed it between 8-10 hours to permeate your carpets, walls, and all of your soft furnishings. Lovely! BUT, one of the worst things to do while your house in on the market is cook anything spicy or "savory". The BEST scent in a home for sale is NO SCENT AT ALL!! Food smells can turn off a buyer in an instant!

* Because cleanliness is next to Godliness when selling a home, don't we want to avoid the bubbling remnants that sneak out from under the lid of the crock-pot as it cooks for 8-10 hours?

So, start with your crock-pot, move on to the mix-master, then to the blender, over yonder to the popcorn maker...to the George Foreman Grill, and I am sure you can also part (temporarily) with your toaster oven and make due with your toaster.

You get the drift. Simply go through your kitchen and pull out any and all appliances you can do without for your time on market.

And, guess what??? The more thorough you are at this step, the shorter the time-frame during which you have to do without your appliances. 

Pack it up now for the ability to use it quicker in your new HOME!

Home Staging Service for the DIY types out there

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 1:40 AM

So, you have heard all the buzz about Home Staging, and how important it is when selling your home?

You have probably also seen at least a couple of the shows on HGTV where sellers are shown how to take their listed property from "blah" to "wow" for a quicker sale.

Maybe you are planning on listing your home for sale, or have already listed it with not a lot of success.

Maybe you are aware that some changes need to take place with the overall presentation of your home, but have no idea where to start.

Perhaps you are eager to learn where the changes need to be made so that you can apply the concepts yourself.

There are many people just like you out there, which is why the following package of ours is such a success. 

Take a look at all that this package has to offer you!


 

The "Basic Guidance Home Staging Package":

 

 

I meet with you at your property, and spend anywhere from 1 1/2 - 4 Hours with you. Together, we comb through every single square inch of the property, starting with all-important Curb Appeal, right through to the back of the property.

 

 

Along the way, I educate you on the importance of marketing your "product" in its absolute best light. I teach you how to, and the importance of, drawing the buyers' eye to important architectural features.

 

 

I give you positve feedback on concepts or areas where you have already done a great job on your own.

 

 

I point out obvious structural isses that should be addressed, as well as any recommended upgrades (new paint, flooring, cabinet hardware, etc). I educate you on where you will see the most "bang-for-your-buck", give you estimated ROI figures, and also suggest service providers and/or retailers with whom I have preferred partnership discounts.

 

 

Then, in every space, we address floor-space, and I make suggestions and give directions on how to best optimize floor-space. I tell you exactly which items (big and small) NEED to be packed away out of sight from buyers. I help you re-arrange furniture pieces along the way. And, we address de-personalizing of spaces.

 

 

It all comes down to the bottom line. My suggestions will get your property sold quicker and for maximum value. So, EVERYONE wins.

 

 

Once we have completed our Guidance Visit, I go back to my office, and do up an Official To-Do List for the you, broken down space-by-space, and e-mail it to you. This is a complete detailed summary of our entire visit. You then print out the list, and complete it one item at a time and check off each task as you complete them.

 

 

I then also list your property on my website under "Staged Properties for Sale" with a direct link to your on-line listing. This gives your listing even more marketing exposure.

The price for this fantastic Home Staging package, you ask?

ONLY $225 plus GST!!!

For YOUR convenience, I accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Debit, and Cash.

Also, for YOUR convenience, we work evenings, weekends, holidays, and week-days!

SIMPLY GO HERE TO CONTACT US WITH MORE QUESTIONS OR TO BOOK YOUR SERVICE!

 

 


Home Staging gives REALTORS that competitive edge...plain and simple!

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Your time is limited and very valuable, BUT I promise you that if you take the time to read this blog post, you will have discovered something that will SAVE you incredible amounts of time, headaches, and money.


You have stumbled across an incredible asset when it comes to the increased number of showing-ready listings you will be able to have under your belt at a time, with no more effort on your part.


I am very passionate about the vast advantages Home Staging brings into the livelihoods of all parties involved in a Real Estate transaction.


If you are tired of reading at this point, click here to read a thorough summary of our "Basic Guidance Home Staging Package" that is an absolute favorite of sellers and REALTORS alike:


You are a REALTOR®, so I don't have to define Home Staging or De-cluttering for you. But, I am finding a general lack of understanding in the Edmonton area regarding how much of an impact Staging and/or De-cluttering can make on not only the length of time a listing is on the market, but also the impact on the bottom line, dollars made in the end.


Not only that, but Home Staging is rapidly becoming the norm as part of a REALTOR’s® marketing plan.


And, to sum it all up, in order to stay competitive, Home Staging is becoming mandatory.


As I browse MLS listings and FSBO listings in Edmonton and surrounding area, I am pained and feel so badly for some of the home-sellers out there.


The quality of photos show-casing their properties are so far less than stellar.


People tend to over-fill spaces with furniture and accessories, and spaces are not at all being de-personalized for the sake of selling.


And, we both know, that no matter how much cleaning has been done, cluttered properties do not show well.


Because it can be so emotionally traumatic to people when they are told that there favourite trinkets or memorabilia have to be packed away, or that their family photo collages need to come off of the walls, I can't imagine it being easy for the REALTOR® in that situation.


You, as a REALTOR®, wear an enormous number of hats throughout your client relationships.


I have to say that I don’t envy you, but that I truly admire your drive, perseverance, diligence, and extreme hard work.


What I hate to see, and I see it way too often, is when a REALTOR® does an extensive amount of ground-work for a client, only to see the listing to sit on the market for entirely too long.


I also know how frustrating it must be when you make the first visit to a potential Listing-client’s home, only to find that they have created “lovely” accent walls in many rooms, have outdated and stained berber carpet throughout, the home stinks of seafood and curry, and every room is cluttered beyond belief.


We all know that maintaining this client’s trust and loyalty from start to finish is paramount to you. So, how difficult and awkward is it for you to address these issues?


People, if we are not compassionate and careful, can feel attacked and get defensive when we try to explain to them that they need to emotionally separate themselves from their home to sell it. They need to see it as a product, and no longer as their home.


For example, how easy is it to tell the owner that there is a foul odour in their home?


We would be honoured to be the "Bad Guy" for you. We are formally trained in the art of breaking "bad news" to home-owners, and have no qualms or hesitations in being blunt and to the point, with just a touch of sugar.


We have no issues with pointing out a funny smell and giving them solutions for eliminating it. We have no trouble spending a bunch of time explaining to the owner why we need to eliminate furniture, clutter, and personal effects.


We won't hesitate in asking if they have access to window coverings that aren't hot pink.


This way, you don't have to even worry about it anymore.


When the agent faces these situations, they hold high stakes in the reaction of the home-seller. There is definite risk of having the client pull the listing or decide not to list with you at all.


We know that this would take at least a little of the stress out of your job. And, we both know, it would put more money in your pocket in the big picture. Your listings will show better, and sell quicker.


This is where we come in. Revealing Assets to the rescue!! No, really.


When an occupied OR a vacant property is professionally Staged:

It sells in half the time

It sells for 6-10% more money.


No matter what way you look at it, the ROI of our services, typically, ends up being about 547% (statistically proven figure). Take a look at all the statistics on our website.


I have many photos of my projects completed for various clients, and testimonials on my website for you to review.


The bottom line is that we NEED each other!


Without partnerships with Real Estate Professionals, we are lacking an invaluable link in our business.


You, without partnering with a Certified Staging Professional, are simply not obtaining the level of success and abundance that is possible.


Our services help everyone involved succeed.


We ensure the property is going to show well, appeal to the masses, stand out from the comparables on the market, and we create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.


In turn, the listing sells in less time, and for more money.


You are happy, as is the home-owner, because it means more dollars in the pocket for both of you, and less time had to be invested in order to close the deal.


We also win because we just made two parties very pleased, and hopefully our name would be passed on at some point.


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE HOME STAGING PACKAGE OF OURS THAT WILL MAKE YOU MORE MONEY, FASTER!


 


"Thanks, but please tell Mr. Potential Buyer to go suck rocks!"

Posted on January 30, 2011 at 3:45 PM

WHOA, HORSEY!! This blog post discusses the seller’s knee-jerk reflex when it comes to “low-ball” offers on their properties.


If you have ever gone into a car dealership to purchase a vehicle, chances are you looked at the sticker-price and automatically KNEW that you would not be paying that full amount!


The first thing I will point out is that I am a Home Stager, so pricing, negotiating, or any part of the sales process is simply not within the scope of my profession. This HAS to be left up to the Professionals.


The reason I am writing this is that I run into the following situation all the time. Most recently, I had a client for whom I had provided Staging services, e-mail me just yesterday.


Their vacant century-character-home here in Edmonton, Alberta, had been sitting on the market for 90 days with no offers and very few showings. I went in at that point and Staged it for them, had new listing photos taken, and updated the listing.


Here we are now, at 23 days post-Staging, and my client receives a “low-ball” offer over this past weekend. The house is listed at $409,000. The offer she received was $370,000. She e-mails me after speaking with her Realtor® to request my opinion “off the books”.


My immediate response to her was to ask if her Realtor® is confident in the pricing. Her answer was, yes. So, I respond to her and firmly explain the reason that I cannot provide her with anything but pure market observations and soft suggestions.


I explained to her that we have to step back and take a very deep series of breaths when we receive a low offer. In the following paragraph, I will outline what I pass on to all of my clients who ask for my opinion.


North America is a huge melting-pot of very culturally diverse communities. Our population is a conglomerate of humans who lived a large part of their lives in other countries. As a seller in North America, we have to open our minds to the fact that the perfect buyer for our property may be coming to you from years of living inside a culture composed of VERY different societal norms.


For example, there are many cultures across the world in which bartering/dickering/negotiating for absolutely EVERYTHING they acquire on a daily basis is EXPECTED. It is a way of life. This even applies to things such as produce, clothing, jewellery, etc. So, when they are making a huge purchase, such as a home, they expect some negotiation as well.


There are also simply some people out there who LOVE the negotiation “game”. They literally get a high from the adrenaline-pumping back and forth of the offer/counter/offer/counter...and so on. The endorphins racing through their veins can actually be quite addictive.


These can be the same type of people who regularly gamble, attend auctions, or bet on horse races.


Of course, there will always be the “bargain-hunter” who throws really low offers out there to determine which sellers are extremely motivated to sell. They will do this over and over again until they find a smoking “deal”.


No matter how you slice it, the majority of buyers are not aiming to offend the seller when submitting a low offer. They are simply feeding their adrenaline addictions, habitually following their hard-wired customs and norms, or are testing your waters.


The truth is that buyers usually only go to the trouble to submit an offer if they have decided they LOVE your property. So, most of them will play the game until you have received a satisfactory offer.


And, if in doubt, simply counter their offer to reflect you have intelligently set your listing price.



The client I was referring to above did just this, and ended up countering the buyer’s offers until they came up to $398,000. So, she managed to bring the buyer up by $28,000 from where they started. The property has officially SOLD!!

 

 


Why can we not all just get along and complement one another?

Posted on December 8, 2010 at 9:43 PM

I will start by saying that this post will certainly not apply to the majority of Realtors®.

 

I am inspired to write a blog post once I witness a certain troubling situation more than three times out in the Real Estate field. The post you are about to read chronicles (briefly) a situation I have run into now for the fourth time.

 

I am a Certified Staging Professional. I have taken extensive training, received accreditation from two different institutions, have over 10 years of experience Staging homes for clients, and own and run a full-time business that specializes in Home Staging. I pay association dues, membership fees, and many types of Real Estate industry fees. I closely abide by a lengthy Code of Ethics in my industry as well.

 

Realtors®, does the above sound familiar?

 

Of course it does.

 

Realtors® simply cannot sell and list houses unless they comply with a plethora of regulations and rules. Not only that, but Realtors® also have to ensure that all of their association dues and membership fees are paid at all times.

 

Let me know if you, personally, have seen this:

 

I am seeing, more and more, Realtors® claiming that they can “even offer free Home Staging services to their clients as part of their listing package”.

 

I have immediately contacted these Realtors®, told them exactly who I am, and asked, “I see you are offering free Home Staging services to your clients. Would you be able to share with me where you obtained your accreditation?”

 

Now, to be completely fair, one Realtor® was able to answer this with enthusiasm. And, I had a long, great chat with her, during which I told her how much I respect her for going that extra mile, enduring the additional education and training, and told her how excited I was for her. I told her that she will certainly succeed in the industry as this is an incredible value-added service she can offer to her clients. Great competitive edge!

 

BUT, all the other ones I contacted thought they would school ME, and tell me that accreditation is not necessary in order to claim to be a Stager. They all told me that they “feel” that they have a “good eye”, and that this is all that is necessary. I was even told by one of them that Home Staging is not a “real” profession, and that all we Stagers really do is fluff pillows.

In reflection, my question is this:

 

I feel that I would be great at selling houses for people. So, I guess it shouldn’t be frowned upon for me to simply pick up and start selling houses, right? Oh, I haven’t done any of the Real Estate courses. I haven’t ever been tested on my Real Estate knowledge. I have never paid a penny to a Realtor’s® Association. But, heck, I might as well give it a go, hey?

 

Professional Home Stagers would never dream of stepping on a Realtor’s® toes like this, nor are we interested in infringing on the line between the two professions.

 

I would never claim to be a Realtor®. That is just silliness.

 

But, we do live in a world where Realtors® are claiming to also be Home Stagers.

 

This double-standard needs to stop.

 

Home Staging is an emerging and fairly fresh industry which is not yet regulated.

But, simply put, any ethical, honest, and respectful human being should not view this fact as a green-light to walk all over the Home Stagers who have gone above and beyond to ensure they are a qualified professional.

 

Realtor® and Home Stager are titles of two completely different and separate professions.

Both sets of professionals have their unique experience, education, expertise, and certification under their related umbrella.

 

HOWEVER, these two separate professions are designed to support and complement one another. Simply put, Home Stagers would never succeed if the Realtor® didn’t. And, Realtors® would not succeed if the Home Stager was not successful.

 

See how this works?

 

Now, can we all agree to work together rather than continually encroaching over the boundaries of our professions?

 

After all, we all share a common passion....Real Estate. And, we all strive to reach common goals....to have our clients' listings sell quickly and for top dollar. So, let's work on this together, as separate professionals who collaborate and cooperate with one another!!!

 

 

Change those Exterior Listing Photos!!! Pronto!

Posted on December 5, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Obviously, ALL of my clients are currently “sellers”, but what is often ignored is that they are also “buyers” on the flip side. They have made the decision to list for sale, so obviously they have to start their search for their new home. So, they also fit the demographic of “buyer” when I am working with them. So, I have a first-hand chance to always be researching and asking them questions.

 

This information I get from my clients is invaluable, as it represents what the BUYER, in the current market is looking for.

 

Whenever the seasons have noticeably changed in Alberta, and the topographical landscape has been visibly altered for a period of time, I start hearing the same themed comments from my clients.

 

A common question I ask of my clients goes like this:

 

“So, as you have been doing your search for your new home, what are some of the things that prevent you from being at all interested in a particular listing?”

 

Lately (and this is a normal response when seasons change), my clients have been offering a very helpful answer. And, keep in mind, this answer is common from client to client. They mention other items, but always focus on this one:

 

“We notice MLS listings, and the listings on many Realtors’® sites, do not have the official listing-date posted. So, as a buyer, because the length of time a listing has been sitting without selling is of interest to us, we are left guessing. When we see green grass in the exterior photos, yet we are into December, all we can do is assume that it is an old listing. We immediately wonder why it has not yet sold, and have to assume that something is wrong with it. Is it way over-priced? Are there pricey structural issues? So, we simply ignore those listings, and keep searching. We don’t have the time to dig deeper into any potential issues.”

 

 

 

So, the key point here is that the exterior photo on listings automatically tells the savvy buyers today WHEN the property was listed.

 

I am writing today because, here we are on December 05, with our permanent snow-blanket on the ground in Edmonton and area. I just looked back in my day-timer, as I know exactly where I was on THE day of the first snow this year. I was cleaning a foreclosure condo. The day was OCTOBER 25!!! And, I know that since that day, we have not been quite warm enough for all of it to melt.

 

So, the problem with this is that any listings out there on the internet (MLS and your Site) with bare grass showing are now quite dated in the buyer’s eyes. This exterior photo tells the buyer that the listing is 41 Days old.

 

The moral of this story is that because buyers make their decisions on their “short-list” based on emotions and because they are very visually driven throughout the purchase process, by simply changing out the exterior photo on your listings to ones with snow on the ground right now, you can re-capture the attention of these same buyers. This is almost visual trickery, but VERY effective. People with photographic memory will simply scan pages of listings, waiting for a listing that is not familiar. So, changing up the exterior photo grabs their attention enough for them to at least click on it and read further.

 

 

I have had Realtors® react to this suggestion saying how the almost immediate influx of new calls on these listings almost seemed miraculous.

 

This may be something for you to try, provided you have the time to run over to your properties to take that new exterior photo. I almost guarantee you will see a difference!

How do they come up with all of these Home Staging Statistics anyway?

Posted on November 21, 2010 at 4:18 AM

I have Realtors®, home-sellers, and potential clients ask me consistently.

 

As a Home Staging Professional, I love to blog on regularly expressed areas of concern or confusion.

 

Statistics.... If you have been keen on the Real Estate Market for any amount of time, you have seen or heard all of the claims and numbers regarding the efficacy of Home Staging when listing a property for sale.

 

1. Home Staging sells a property in up to 50% less time, and for 7-10% more money.

2. In 2009, over 98% of buyers stated that they created their “short-list” of homes to view solely on the internet.

3. The most important, longest lasting, first impression is made as the buyer walks through your front door, and is created and solidified all within a mere 4-6 seconds.

4. 8 out of 10, or 80% of people are spatially challenged and cannot determine available floor-space in a property unless there are existing furnishings and decor for a sense of scale.

5. Home Staging provides, on average, a 586% ROI (return on investment).

6. Vacant Homes sit for, on average, double the amount of time on market than Staged Unoccupied Homes.

 

The list goes on, and on.

 

Quite impressive.

 

But, if you are anything like me, we are always scrutinizing published “Stats”, as there are so many factors that can influence the results of any study.

 

Some common questions I ask about any Statistics are what was the composition of the sample group utilized, which company did this study, how many people were in that sample group, and how do I know if the results have not been skewed based on biases of the group who ordered the study?

 

Well, I am here to tell you that I would NOT quote these stats or publish them on my website if I was not 150% confident that these statistics are, in fact, quite modest.

 

As a Home Stager, I work with Home-sellers on a daily basis. Guess what?

 

All Home-Sellers are also currently Home-Buyers....at the same time. If they are selling their home, obviously, they are also searching for their new home. All of the Home Staging Statistics describe purchasing behaviours of BUYERS, and what moves them to make a healthy offer on a property.

 

I am literally conducting accurate, up-to-the-minute market research every day as part of my profession. I TALK to my clients. I ask my clients questions. To be successful at what I do, I crave and require information from my clients whom are all Home-Sellers AND Home-Buyers.

 

I consistently confirm that Buyers WILL pass the Vacant listings by because they all look and feel the same....Cold, empty, and way smaller than they actually are.

I consistently confirm that Buyers WILL NOT make an offer on a cluttered, dirty, dated, or decrepit property.

And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, my own personal Business Statistics prove that properties that have been Professionally Staged do sell in half the time and for at least 7-10% more money.

Why are most Realtors? so reluctant to utilize such a readily available tool and increase their income by at least 10%?

Posted on November 13, 2010 at 2:00 AM

It simply baffles me.

 

There “IT” is, much like a gleaming gemstone, sitting right in front of Realtors®, yet most of you turn your back, and adopt an attitude of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”.

 

It is “broken” if you are making less than your full potential!

 

This is much like continuing to attempt to force a nail into a stud by hand, when there is a perfectly good hammer within reach.

 

Must I provide you with more blunt comparisons?  ;)