How to Avoid Classic Marketing Mistakes

Q1. What does a stager do and what is their role in the marketing of a ahome for sale?

A stager strategically prepares any property for optimum presentation in online photos, marketing materials, and in person showings.  A stager’s role in marketing a home for sale is to set it up to show buyers the property’s most sellable features at-a-glance.  Also, to proactively pre-empt any potential buyer objections which may result in low offers or prolonged sell time.

Q2. Why invest in a stager when listing an Apartment for Sale? 

Research indicates that staged homes receive 5-13% higher prices and sell in 50% less time than comparable non-staged properties. Staging is such an integral part of today’s real estate marketing that an un-staged property is at a distinct disadvantage.

Q3. For someone on a budget, what are the top 3 tips for a seller to make their property most marketable?

Hands down, the #1 Tip is to de-clutter the property.  Clutter eats up valuable real estate and distracts buyers from seeing the actual space.  In staging terms, clutter refers to “too much stuff” in any room. This can be furniture, decorative items on furniture surfaces, floors or walls, art, or too many clothes in the closets.

Tip #2 is to de-personalize the property. Buyers are looking for their next home and must be able to envision themselves in a property. Bold wall colors, highly personalized interior designs, and numerous family photos, will prevent buyers from emotionally connecting to the property, the first step towards a sale.  Best to give them a more neutral canvas on which to paint their future home.

Tip # 3 is a contest between a) make all necessary repairs and b) clean your property until it sparkles… including smells! Make sure the property is free of any pet, smoke, or food odors. The appearance of too many large or small defects will lead buyers to conclude that a property has not been well cared for. And what else lurks behind those cracks or bulges?  We often say-- if you were selling your car, wouldn’t you detail it first? The same goes for your property with even more at stake.

Q4. What are some of the pitfalls sellers get sucked into that don't actually improve their chances of selling their property?

Two major seller pitfalls are a) over renovating a property for its sale and b) renovating a property in a highly personalized manner. Any seller who renovates a property prior to selling it expects to recoup their investment by obtaining a substantially higher sale price. The pitfall here lies in the delicate balance between pricing the property appropriate to the market and the amount spent on the renovation. If the renovation has been extremely costly, the seller may want the property to be priced higher than its market value in order to recoup the investment. This inevitably sets up a barrier to sale. It is advisable to consult with an agent and stager prior to undertaking a renovation in order to set an appropriate budget and universally appealing design for the renovations.

Q5. What types of homes benefit most from staging?

All homes will benefit from a basic staging check-up prior to placing them on the market; however, older properties and “estate” properties are thosewhich most often receive the greatest return on their staging investment. Many buyers assume that a property that is in extreme disrepair may be acquired at a very low price. Once the property has been strategically prepared- basic cosmetic improvements undertaken, and then staged for photos and showings, it can be competitively priced and marketed.

Q6. What exactly is feng shui and why do I need it?

Feng Shui, which translates as “wind and water”, is the ancient Chinese art of energetically harmonizing a space. In simple terms, it is purposeful arrangement of items to gain auspicious results. One example of a basic feng shui principle (which was addressed above) is the process of de-cluttering a home. In feng shui terms, this clears any blocked, negative  energy in a property such that the energy may flow freely and generate positive results. In real estate terms, this means that buyers will have a positive, visceral experience in the property and want to make it their next home.