Just stage it!

July 18, 2017

I started my business here in Arizona a while ago, after having been on the road with a friend of mine in order to buy a house. My friend  is a very thorough person, so she did a lot of research on the houses she liked, before she visited them for inspection. A couple of times I went with her, just to see what's on the market and out of sheer curiosity. I had worked in the real estate field for over 15 years and considered myself a valuable advice giver for my friend.

I was certain that I had seen a thing or two during those years, but there were things on the real estate market here in Arizona that would prove me wrong. I was shocked by how unprepared many of the houses we visited were.
My friend was specifically interested in a fairly large house, the style was a bit extravagant, the location of the property was quite remote, but the layout and the high-quality building materials convinced her to take a closer look.

She was excited when she sent me a link to the homepage, where the property was listed online. I was excited too, because I really wanted my friend to find the right home for her and her family. When I saw the pictures online, the first impression was that they were poorly post-produced. The colors and the lighting seemed to look very artificial to me and made the whole appearance of the listing somehow look harsh.

The listing stated, that the estimated price was $580,000. I took a closer look at the price history and noticed, that the house had been on the market for six months and the price had already been dropped twice. When we visited the house for a walk-through, I immediately noticed, that the property was completely unprepared. With my trained eye I spotted the need for small repairs, small painting jobs, gardening jobs and I spotted something else, that caught me completely off guard; the owners had a few dogs and their mess was laying around all over the backyard.
Furthermore all three dogs, a number of parrots and other animals were present during our walk through. Let me assure you, the smell was not the highlight of the property.

Needless to say, that my friend and I were really disappointed after everything we had seen and my friend ended up buying a different house. I'm a naturally curious person, so I kept track of the house online, after my friend decided not to buy it. The house sold after seven more months on the market for a price of about $480,000, which was $100,000 under the estimated market value. Not to mention the running expenses like mortgage and such things. I kept thinking, the sellers could have done so much better if they would have  taken a few simple steps.

I decided to establish my own home staging business here in The Valley to help people out with the presentation of their house online and the presentation of their house to prospective buyers on site. With an investment off about $7000 to $8000, the above-mentioned house could have gotten fixed up beautifully to improve the sales ability. It could have been really easy to perform small repairs inside and outside the house and fix up the paint with a few easy tricks. In my mind I walked through the house again and imagined how I would have prepared and staged every single room. I vividly imagined the colors I would use, the way I would have put the furniture and the way I would have taken the photos to make the rooms look comfortable, appealing and like a home.

Professionally produced photographs are very important for the listings online presentation. The first impression is very important for a potential buyer. You will never get a second chance for a first impression.

Experienced real estate agents with a long standing in the Realtor community will always recommend home staging and professional photography for a house before it goes on the market. It is always cheaper to hire a home stager and photographer, than to go through the first price reduction for your house.

Now I myself have the pleasure to work with homeowners all over The Valley and help them get their valuable houses market-ready with my experience, knowledge and expertise. I do not ever cease to be amazed about the results we achieve. I love what I'm doing.