Written by Christine Rae, CSPM
Staging properties is thought of as a service for sellers to secure the most equity possible; however, there is another aspect to consider, and that is how staging helps real estate agents’ careers, reputations, and incomes!
Eek! I know it is tawdry to speak about increasing income. It will, but it’s really only one tiny factor for agents to pay attention to. I read an article recently by David Fleming, a broker with Bosley Real Estate David Fleming Group in Toronto. He writes about the Toronto market in the article, and specifically addresses how many agents did what during 2017. Even though the article is specific to Toronto, I think the results were indicative of any major marketplace.
In a market where there are many licensed agents (Toronto has 50,000), 34% completed zero transactions and 8,300 closed only one! That means 51% of the licensed agents did one or fewer transactions. The average agent completed four transactions and spent $10,000 on marketing those listings and themselves.
Now, what would it take to get those agents who are underperforming, struggling, or just can’t get it going, to sit down with a CSP® graduate and have a serious conversation about how staging will improve their business? Staging helps secure and sell listings!
The National Association of Realtors® tells us 97% of potential buyers (and 99% of millenials) look at property online first. Typically, buyers use a mobile device to search for properties online. They look at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the home-buying process. Then they contact an agent and visit ten homes over several weeks before purchasing; buying after they have seen six! For vacant and occupied homes, staging before marketing is crucial to ensure the best photo opportunity possible! Great photos will put your listing on the “must see” list!
The average buyer is much younger than the average seller, which often causes the misunderstanding of how important it is to stage property before marketing.
Seven out of every ten millennials are willing to pay more money for move-in ready property! Why? The main reasons are financial. They have scraped all the money together for the deposit, but they don’t have cash flow to support renovations after move-in. They can readily access long-term, low-rate mortgages, which makes it easier to afford a higher price point. Ultimately, they don’t have the skills to do the work after they move in—and they don’t want to learn. These are all important things to know because 66% of first time buyers are millennials.
A great stager will not compromise the property recommendations based on agent fear, seller reluctance, or budget restrictions. What the seller does with the recommendations is entirely up to them. It is their equity at stake, but they go to the negotiation table with eyes wide open, fully understanding the things they decided not to do may jeopardize the sale. CSP® stagers are coached how to deliver the recommendations and overcome objections to make the most sense to your client and not offend them.