I just returned from a meeting of top real estate agents in North County San Diego. There was much discussion about what is selling and what is not. Aside from market issues (luxury home market is strong here and multiple offers are not uncommon for buffed homes in the $1.5 million and up range), the issue of home presentation and staging was at the very top of the list.
Books could be written about all the things sellers might do to increase the sales price and decrease marketing time for their listed homes and I invite competent real estate stagers and decorators/designers to add to that list here in another article. (PsstThats a hint for you, Craig Schiller!)
I think one of the reasons home staging has become such a hot topic and necessity in the marketing of homes today is that buyers expect it. At least in San Diego, builders go over the top in decorating their model homes. Home shoppers are accustomed to being WOWED when they walk into a model home and are disappointed when they dont have the same visceral experience when going through a resale home.
There is little real estate agents and sellers can do when buyer expectations are so elevated other than meet their expectations especially in a buyers market. That is one reason we are suggesting that our sellers prepare their home for sale and bring in the experience, talent and taste of a competent stager if at all possible.
Builders know that sizzle sells. That is why so much attention and money is spent on the models. And savvy sellers throughout the country are beginning to realize that the return on the dollars and time spent to stage their home for sale will yield multiples of the original investment.
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