On July 8, 2014, Britt Armstrong, Broker Associate with The Tom Gross Team at Kentwood Real Estate brought 17195 Cornerstone Lane in Parker, CO onto the market. The 3,601 Sq.Ft. home in a popular neighborhood had all the punch list items - 4 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, a finished walkout basement, 3 car garage and backed to open space and Cherry Creek Trails! Homes were selling quickly in our market so the homeowner did not feel the need to invest in staging. The vacant home was listed at $417,500 and was featured on the top real estate search sites Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia.
Thousands of potential home buyers looked at the professional photos of the home on the internet. The home had over 80 showings and 3 Open Houses. Unfortunately, buyer feedback was consistently negative – the home felt neglected, uninviting. They did not like the floor plan and the finishes.
The seller reduced the price to $397,250, then to $372,750 an 11% decrease totaling $44,750 off the original list price. After 7 weeks the seller withdrew the home from the market. It was clear the property was effectively marketed to potential buyers,based on the number of showings and internet activity, however, the home did not appeal to any potential buyers even at a reduced market price! How could we make the home more appealing?
According to Barbara Corcoran, Real Estate Mogul from CNBC’s Shark Tank, “Home staging is no longer optional in this real estate market, but a MUST. It’s what will make the difference in whether your home sells or not.” Then she goes on to say that home staging can add at least 5% to 7% to the sales value of a home!”
Top 5 Reasons to Stage Your Vacant Home
1 A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.
- The first time a potential buyer looks at your home they will be looking at photos they found on the internet. Their decision to see you home will be based on the photographs. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.
Which photo do you think creates the best first impression?
2. Staging Makes Your Home Stand Out in a Crowd.
- Professional staging can showcase your home to make it stand out from other homes on the market. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 96% Realtors indicate staging has an effect on a buyer’s view of a home.
3. Professional Staging Fosters an Emotional Connection for a Buyer.
- A vacant homes feels uninviting, cold and unappealing. Sounds will echo which will make home buyers uncomfortable. Buyers are not encouraged to linger and ponder living in the home. A professionally staged home creates a warm engaging atmosphere inviting home buyers to spend time in the home and visualize living in the home.
4. Staging is an Investment
- The National Association of Realtors estimates that staged homes sell for about 6 percent, on average, more than homes that are not staged thereby increasing your capital gains.
- Professional Staging may be tax deductible as a selling expense based on IRS Pub# 523. Consult your tax accountant for details.
- Investing in professional staging will be less expensive than a price reduction.
5. A Vacant House Signals the Buyer You Are Eager to Sell.
- A vacant home indicates you have moved on and will probably accept low offers.
Coming back to our story about 17195 Cornerstone Lane in Parker, CO. The homeowner made the wise decision to invest less than $2000 in professional staging with Jen Breckenridge from Home Artisan Staging Services. Britt Armstrong relisted the home on June 16, 2015 at $395,000. The home had 25 showings within the first 24 hours on the market and received 5 offers, all over asking price within 48 hours of being listed. The professionally staged property went under contract in 3 days for $415,000, 5% over list price!
Is staging an expense or and investment? Our home owner was willing to accept $372,750 in September 2014. After less than a $2000 investment in staging the homeowner accepted a contract for $415,000, a net gain of $40,250 or almost 10%!
Staging a vacant home is important to initially capture buyer interest and take them from the online listing to the front door. Once there, a well-staged home will help buyers emotionally connect to the property, ultimately taking their interest to the next level with an acceptable offer.