It’s that “not so wonderful time of year” for many of you who owe taxes. Don’t forget to ask your CPA about all expenses related to marketing homes for sell. I’m happy to provide my W-2 for those who paid $600 and above for these services…..just shoot me an email!
How do people choose the places they go to for a vacation?
How would you choose a vacation location? When you browse through possible destinations, what matters most? Is it the stats on the number of yearly visitors, the size of the beaches, and water temperatures?
Most likely it will be the drone-shot of a sandy beach with clear-green waters. Or the image of a child swimming underwater surrounded by silvery fish. Or the picture of someone on a cliff-edge about to attempt a bungee jump.
These images evoke a desire within you which sells the location as the preferred place to spend your money.
The same applies when trying to sell your home. You have made the difficult decision to part with this piece of the world that has become a part of you. You and your loved ones have had exciting times in this home and it holds tons of valuable memories.
But will the people to whom you market the property know that? Will they see it as one more home to view or will it strike a chord?
These are questions you will grapple with as you look for the best ways to present your home to buyers. These are also the problems that staging your home will solve for you.
What is Home Staging?
It is a far better way to draw attraction to the piece than stacking it on a shelf, along with other clothes.
According to investopedia.com: when real estate agents talk about staging your home, they’re referring to a method of decorating your home that is designed to showcase its best assets, impress buyers, and sell it quickly for the highest possible price.
Howstuffworks.com defines home staging as arranging furniture and decor with the intent to showcase a home for sale.
Home-staging is done after a house has been cleaned, de-cluttered, and painted. The goal is to make it look lived-in, as well as, appear brighter and more spacious.
What are the tangible benefits of staging a home?
1. Sell Experiences
When marketing your home, you should not just offer a house. People don’t buy houses, explains Blue Mountain Real Estate, they buy a chance to fulfill their dreams and improve their lives.
Although people think they make decisions rationally, decisions often start emotionally. Staging a home creates a more emotional viewing experience.
2. Make the RIGHT First Impression
Staging helps to close this distance. Also, it creates “curb appeal”; that impression people get the first time they step out of a car and look at your property.
3. Staged Homes Sell Faster
Most realtors agree that staging a home helps it sell faster. A property that is for sale does not stop costing its owner money. It costs in time, money (mortgage payments and other costs), and the toll on seller’s emotions.
Staging makes it possible to sell a home in days rather than weeks.
4. Get a Higher Selling Price
On average, staged homes sell for a higher price than unstaged homes. Buyers offer more money for a house that is staged because they instinctively place more value on the property. Even in a hot seller market, the “perceived” value of a home that is staged is going to be higher…which helps both sellers and buyers realize and accept a higher price paid.
The difference in sales price between staged and un-staged homes can be as high as 10%.
5. Highlight the BEST Parts of your Home
By staging your home, you will be marketing to your strengths and not your weaknesses. Leaving the house bare allows prospective buyers to spot reasons why NOT to buy or to pay far lower than you ask.
By staging the house, you direct their attention to the best features of the property.
6. Your Home Looks Larger
Staging makes a home look bright and spacious. Minimal furniture gives the impression of roominess, which is good for selling your property.
It is far different from the cramped feeling people get if a room is cluttered with over-sized seats or devoid of furniture and décor.
7. Staged Homes Show as More Move-in Ready
Reducing the amount a buyer needs to spend to make a home move-in ready increases the likelihood that they will buy the property.
This is one of the reasons for staging your home; to help buyers see that a house does not need expensive repairs and replacements.
8. Help Buyers Visualize it as Home
When staring at bare spaces, buyers can find it hard to visualize themselves living inside a house. Staging gives them an idea of how to place furniture and art to actually live there in style. When buyers start to look for a good place for their favorite house-plant, they are almost sold.
Staging is the way to show all that is good about a property you want to sell, which is the goal of your marketing efforts. A well-staged property will elicit quick and often above list price offers from buyers who have a “Fear of Missing Out”. Those buyers won’t let someone else snag their perfect home; more perfect due to the stylish ways in which it was staged.
We are frequently asked what the difference is between staging and design. If you visited the Colorado Springs Parade of Homes 2020, you would have noticed the difference. For example, some of the $Million Plus homes had designers who worked directly with the home owners for months on all the finishes, colors, décor, etc. throughout the building process to make up the overall design and feel of the home. The furnishings were individually purchased for that home owner so there is continuity and elegance throughout the home.
Professional staging by Front Range Stage utilized available furniture and décor rented just for the duration of the Parade of Homes and without input from the home owners or builder. The stager had the discretion to stage in a way that appeals to most buyers using the freshest inventory but without the budget to buy décor specifically for the home being staged. Regardless, Front Range Stage took home our 4th Peoples’ Choice Award for assisting Custom Design Builders “Thurston” home located at 2065 Mahaffie Ct. This stylish home was staged at a fraction of the cost of designing a home for the Parade.
Homeowners sometimes find themselves in a situation where they have a vacant property they need to sell. This could be a newly-built house or one that a tenant just moved out of. It could also be that the owner has bought a new home and moved out of the old one.
This is the question, when you find yourself in this position, should you stage the home before you try to sell it? This question is important because the route you take determines how quickly you can sell the house.
What you should know about selling vacant houses
These days, it is fairly uncommon to find a property that is being sold vacant, and there are good reasons for this. As a rule, Onsite Management Services says, vacant properties are harder to sell than occupied or staged properties. And this often has nothing to do with the price or quality of the properties. Instead, the reason lies with the different ways that prospective buyers view a staged or occupied home versus one that is vacant. Here are a few reasons why vacant homes are harder to sell.
Empty rooms appear smaller than they are
It is hard for buyers to correctly guess the proportions of a room when it is bare. Most of us will underestimate the size of an empty room. This is because pieces of furniture in a room give us a frame of reference for measuring the room. For this reason, buyers will assume that a vacant room is smaller than one with furniture. This is true even when the vacant room is bigger.
Empty rooms show their flaws
Décor and furniture deflect buyer’s attention away from any flaws a room might have. Rather than focus on the room’s configurations, buyers evaluate the overall effect created by the furnishing. In an empty room, however, there is nothing for a buyer to focus on. Their scrutiny is more thorough and they are likely to fixate on minor issues.
Empty rooms lack personality
When surveying an empty house, the buyer finds it hard to imagine what the room would look like if it were furnished. There is nothing about the room to spark their imagination and evoke emotions. As a result, they experience the property as a house and not a home. Since emotions are a big part of how people make buying decisions, this is a big problem.
Empty homes are harder to market
Selling an empty property forces the owner to build their marketing strategy primarily around the price of the house. It is hard to make a good presentation when the home is vacant. By staging the house, the seller introduces emotional elements that can be used to promote it. But, when a house is vacant, the marketing strategy is limited to location and price.
Empty homes are hard to differentiate
At any given time, there are hundreds of properties on the market that are similar in size, design, and price. When confronted with a choice between two comparable houses, buyers will go with the one that has the greater emotional appeal. A vacant house puts itself at a disadvantage in this regard. Even if it has better features, there is no way to make them shine.
Why you should stage a vacant home
Rather than tell buyers about a property, staging allows you to show potential buyers the best things about a property. When a home is staged, its owner does not have to do a lot of explaining to convince buyers. That’s because the evidence of the home’s potential is right before the buyer’s eyes. Here is how staging helps sellers overcome the deficiencies of a vacant home.
Display desired lifestyles
Staging a house helps you show buyers that the property matches what they envisioned for their dream home. Without staging, the house is nothing more than a structure of wood, cement, and plaster. Staging gives the house it’s identity and personality.
Regardless of how tiny or awkward the rooms in a house are, staging can make the most of them. The spaciousness of a room is more about how furniture, décor, and paint are utilized, rather than its actual dimensions.
Looks much better in listing photos
The first place most buyers will encounter a house is on the internet. Staged homes are not only visually appealing; they are specifically designed for the internet. These pictures are highly sharable, which means that a lot more people are going to see the listing.
Increases a home’s perceived value
The final sales price of a property is determined by the value buyers place on it and not what the owner asks for it. Staging a home increases its perceived value because buyers are already emotionally attached to the property and therefore willing to pay more for it.
So, should you stage a vacant house before trying to sell it? Yes, you should stage it!
We are so happy to be expanding our staging and design team! Karen Callen has a degree in Interior Design and over 24 years of experience in both commercial and residential design. She has extensive experience in new building design, new construction, renovations, interior design, and is a Computer Aided Drafting (AutoCAD) 2020 pro. She has completed design work in 12 states and 4 international locations. Karen has done everything from renovating the “War Room” in the Pentagon, the Ronald Reagan Building and Department of Interior Building to flipping homes. She is passionate about partnering with clients who are frustrated with their spaces to help bring workable solutions resulting in high customer satisfaction. This solution-oriented approach earned her 5 customer service awards during her commercial design career. Karen grew up in Colorado Springs and after college moved to the Washington DC area. For 22 years she worked the renovations of many buildings as a senior on-site designer and space planner. Karen enjoyed her time living and working in DC and abroad but decided to move back home to Colorado Springs for a simpler pace of life. Karen is excited about partnering with both design clients wanting spectacular spaces to those selling homes who need an expert to assist them in creating enviable spaces for potential buyers.
As the impact of COVID-19 on our community continues, our hearts go out to those affected. We are navigating through uncertain waters as we continue to help Realtors working with families in immediate need of homes and our clients in financial need of selling their homes quickly through staging. I felt it important to share changes we are making to meet the needs of our home sellers and our Realtor Partners while protecting them and our awesome team of stagers during this pandemic.
Effective immediately, we will not be staging occupied homes or providing anything from our inventory of furniture and décor for a home that is occupied. Once homes have been vacant for three days, we are happy to stage them with our “clean” inventory provided there is no Stop Movement restriction. We have been social distancing so ask that no one else be in the home (to include other trades) during those three days. We have always limited what we provide in occupied homes and continue to have our teams clean and disinfect inventory. Additionally, we have quarantined recently returned inventory for a minimum of three days to ensure all inventory is clean at all times. We disinfect door knobs, light switches and surfaces commonly touched in the home upon leaving. We are monitoring the health and well-being of our team making sure anyone who feels remotely sick…stays home!
We have been asked if homes are still selling and the answer is YES. The Federal Reserve just dropped their interest rate to near zero to keep the money moving for people buying homes. There are a hundred or so new listings this week and there were hundreds of closings last week in El Paso county. People are buying homes even if they have to virtually view them. Stylish finishes/furnishings AND clearly depicted/ functional rooms are essential as we struggle to emotionally connect buyers to their dream home on-line during these difficult times. Uploading photos of beautifully staged homes is more important than ever!
For your added protection, Front Range Stage is now offering virtual consultations for occupied homes that need a little polish to be viewed as move-in-ready on-line. Through a combination of photos clients take and real-time feedback using Facetime, Skype, Duo, or Zoom, all things are possible! Whether it’s moving furniture, recommending upgrades and/or repairs, or discussing the fine line between too little or too much depersonalization, we can provide detailed recommendations in priority order to gain the benefit of a home that appeals to the greatest number of buyers even though the front door is closed!
Your safety is our highest priority and we truly appreciate the trust that you place in our team and our company. We are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to closely monitor new developments in the event we need to make any further changes and will communicate those to you.
Thank you for being a valued part of our strong and resilient community. We will get through this together. Please be safe and let us know how we can help!
For the latest update on home staging in Coloardo, listen to this short segment from Steve Haney, The Mortgage Doctor. We are so thrilled that someone with his vast expertise in the home buying industry is recommending Front Range Stage! We certainly recommend Steve for all your mortgage needs!
The World Series always reminds me that we, too, are in the home stretch of our business wrap up for the year and are definitely World Series level professional stagers! We are active members of the Real Estate Staging Association making great strides to further “professionalize” our industry by eliminating staging practices and stager behaviors that negatively impact our Realtor Partners. While Realtors are bound by a code of ethics, not all stagers belong to a trade association with a code of ethics and many did not graduate from a certification training program that has this curriculum. As just one example, those of us bound by the RESA code of ethics must ensure: Before photos of an occupied or vacant property staging are never publicly shared in any format until after the sale is closed!
Front Range Stage utilizes a team approach with standardized training and operating principles so no matter the time of year, we have the talent and inventory to consistently offer Premier levels of staging as we have for 13 years! We won’t offer you a $250 vacant home staging package because frankly, that isn’t a big enough investment to pay a talented stager to deliver house appropriate furnishings that would result in multiple offers. We are seasoned experts who operate with honestly and integrity and will advise sellers to spend that money on paint or other small upgrades to the home instead of staging. We are most interested in custom designing to the home making significant impacts that elevate the home’s status on the market to draw higher priced offers!
Creating a getaway that others can use as a vacation destination takes a lot of work, but anyone who has transformed their home into an AirBnB rental can tell you how beneficial it can be. Besides earning extra income, you’ll have the chance to create something of your own that could potentially allow you to pad your nest egg or even retire early. It’s important to keep some things in mind, however. It will take some capital to make the necessary changes to your home and to ensure it’s filled with all the things your renters need, and you’ll want to think about upkeep and security as well, especially if you don’t live near the home year-round.
You should also think about what renters in the area will be looking for. Making some small updates to spaces like the kitchen or bathroom can go a long way toward helping you find renters who are willing to pay high-dollar for their stay, as can adding things like more sleeping space. Once you know what changes need to be made, figuring out a budget and a timeline comes next. Read on for some great tips if you’re wanting to transform your second home into a vacation getaway.
Whip your basement into shape
Basements have tons of potential when it comes to rentals; you can turn the basement of your home into an AirBnb, or spruce up the lower level of your vacation rental to include more sleeping areas or even a game room. If you have an unfinished basement, consider hiring contractors to turn it into something any guest would love. When budgeting, just keep in mind that the cost for a basement remodel in Colorado Springs runs between $12,238 and $27,417. If you’re going this route, it stands to provide a significant bump in what you can charge guests.
When it comes to renting a vacation home, most people are looking for something that will allow them to feel relaxed and comfortable during their stay. One of the easiest ways to achieve those things is to keep the home clean and neat. The difference between a rental that is dusty and unkempt and one that is spotless and organized is huge when it comes to the amount of happy visitors you’ll get, and a happy visitor is one who will leave good reviews online and recommend your house to others. If regular upkeep is difficult for you to maintain, think about hiring a professional cleaning service to come in between guests to keep your rental sparkling.
Make some upgrades
Turning your home into a successful vacation rental can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be. If the house already has good bones, there are some upgrades you can make that visitors will gladly pay a little more for, such as more bedding for families, a patio area for relaxing, flat-screen televisions in the bedrooms, a hot tub, and keyless entry for added security. Do a little research to find out what the most desirable upgrades are for the average rental home in your area; this will give you a good idea of what will go over well with your guests.
Remember the details
It can be difficult to think about all the little details when you’re converting a home into a rental, but think of it as starting from scratch. When you bought your home, you likely needed flatware, dishes, bath towels, and comfortable furniture, and renters will expect all those things too. To ensure you check every box, consider hiring a professional home stager who knows which renovations, upgrades, and decor are desirable in your local area. It’s these details that will make a big impact on your guests because they will create a homier environment that will allow them to relax and have fun.
Creating a getaway out of your home can be a lot of work, and it requires some careful thought and, often, help from a professional or two. Take the time to plan ahead and make the most of the resources you already have; do some research to make sure you have all legalities covered so there won’t be any nasty surprises down the road. With some planning, you can turn your home into a beautiful getaway in no time.
Guest Author: Erin Reynolds of diymama.net