I’ve often heard from many realtors and investors over the years that their decision to talk to me about staging wasn’t their “first choice” but rather their “last resort.” We joke that I shouldn’t take it personally, but they admit to being amazed that they waited so long before considering the benefits of staging. One recent client told us their house has been on the market for an entire year and they just now considered staging.
Just imagine what the carrying costs are for just 2 months, let alone 12, for the average property. Think about your current inventory and how each one has its own mortgage, insurance, and utilities that add up quickly. On top of that, many properties reduce the selling price the longer they’re on the market, so an additional $5,000 to $10,000 eats into the final profit. Compare that to the average staging we do for high-traffic areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, master suite) of only .5% – 1% of the listing price , not to mention the discounted 20% rental rate in the rare instance you need an extra month to seal the deal.
This points to an interesting quirk of human nature that a long-time client explained to me this way: She recently got back from her dream vacation which cost thousands of dollars when you factor in airfare, hotels, transfers, meals, tips, and excursions. Halfway through the trip, she was starting to get low on her converted currency and found herself “nickel and diming” her way around town. Bottled water was suddenly an extravagance, as were souvenirs that she never thought she would pass up. At one point she realized that these items were minor when compared to the trip’s grand total, serving only to distract her from the whole intention of the money that was already spent to get her there in the first place.
Ultimately, she didn’t allow the inexpensive options to ironically outweigh the benefit of enjoying the expensive vacation itself and remarked how similar this can be in real estate. She’s invested so much before I show up at the front door that sometimes my staging quote seems like that bottle of water that looks great but might be considered an extravagance. When we successfully help sell the home in record time and for more than the listing price, she tries to remind herself that the short-term investment of staging always reaps extraordinary benefits in the long-term success of her business. So when you ask me if your staging price can be reduced because of all the other expenses you’re fronting, I’ll hand you a bottle of water, smile, and remind you that it will all come back to you, and then some.
Until next time, Happy Staging!