Setting the Stage for Investors Wilmington DE
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Setting the Stage for Investors
In a tough market, home staging—meticulously setting the scene in a home to help it appeal to potential buyers—may be the cure for a property that just won’t sell, particularly for vacant homes typically sold by investors.
Early studies suggested that staging a home could cut in half the number of days it spent on the market—30.9 days for an unstaged home compared to 13.8 days for a staged home, according to a 1999 study by a Los Altos Coldwell Banker broker.
More recent studies show that staging may reduce the time a property spends on the market by much more.
“The latest statistics are showing 163 days to sell in the country average, not staged, and 21 days or less staged,” Barb Schwarz, creator of Home Staging, said. “And longevity on the market means one thing…reduction in price.”
Staged homes also went for 6.4 percent more than the seller’s asking price, compared to 1.6 percent more for unstaged homes, according to the Coldwell Banker study.
When staging an empty home, even small accents can boost appeal and selling price “The actual figure we’re seeing is running anywhere from list price to 6.9 percent above list price, compared to other houses in the same area,” Schwarz said.
While staging may no longer net a sale above and beyond the asking price—remember, the study was conducted during the peak of the housing boom—using a professional’s expertise in prepping an investment property may help investors sell property in a shorter amount of time for more than they might otherwise have received.
After all, "The investment of staging in your property is less than a price reduction," Schwarz said.
Staging, in essence, enables potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home. For sellers who live in their properties, that means depersonalizing the home by taking down family photos and refrigerator art; changing artwork; decluttering; minor landscaping; moving furniture; and adding small touches, such as fresh flower bouquets.
“Any home can benefit from staging, any size, any price point,” Carolyn Stieger, president of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals’ (IAHSP) Great Lakes Regional Chapter, said in an e-mail interview. “We all have ‘too much stuff’ and that is a distraction to potential buyers.”
For investors who don’t live in the property they are selling, staging may consist of furnishing and decorating a vacant house. In these situations, many home stagers will rent beds, sofas, chairs and artwork to make a home look more livable.
"You take a mannequin in a window and you want to sell the clothes, and if there’s nothing on it, [people] can’t see what they’re buying,” Schwarz said. “They can’t imagine what a scarf would look like, or a skirt or a blouse, until they put it on. It’s the same for a vacant house.”
Schwarz suggested setting up "vignettes" or groupings of three items at three different heights—such as a chair, end table and floor lamp—all viewable from the doorway ...