There are different opinions as to whether staging a property is worth the money and time involved, but one thing is clear: A home that is clean and uncluttered garners more attention. The result is increased showings leading to offers.
Many concur that staging a home makes a huge difference. How the furniture is placed, and the feeling buyers have when entering a home, can make or break a potential sale. In today’s age, the first impression is a lasting impression. Agents know this. So, what happens next? You, as their listing agent, speak to the sellers and may receive numerous objections.
Here are the top 10 objections that most real estate agents face and how to overcome them:
- We fell in love with the home just the way it is, so will any potential buyer.
Response: That’s great, and you have had many good years in the home. However, the market is constantly changing, and buyers are looking to be wowed now more than ever. Their expectations have changed thanks to all the tv shows such as HGTV, Property Brothers and Fixer Upper. These are just a few of the multitude of shows that are available at the touch of a computer, TV or smartphone. Buyers now want to be AMAZED when they enter your home.
- It costs too much money.
Response: You’re choosing to work with me based on my experience and expertise. Time and time again I have seen the results confirm that this is one of the best investments you can make before putting your home on the market.
The cost of doing nothing and having your home linger on the market far exceeds the price of staging. Staging will be much less expensive than the cost of your first price reduction.
- What do we do with all the things we are going to keep that you asked us to move?
Response: I can understand how your items are precious to you. Some options are getting a POD outside the home for the furnishings that don’t get included in the staging or putting them in storage. This makes it easy and efficient for movers when you are ready. It makes the move much less stressful.
- We can’t stage the home. We are still living in it.
Response: One mistaken belief is that staging is only for vacant homes. Every home or condo can be staged. Yes, you can even live in it after it is staged.
- We have never had to stage our home before, and it sold just fine.
Response: The Real Estate market is constantly changing. Do you want to receive top dollar for your house? Whether it is a buyers’ or sellers’ market, making your house stand out and shine with staging will have your home sell faster. Statistics have proven this to be true.
- Everyone who visits or stays in our home loves it. Buyers will love it also just the way it is.
Response: Normally what your friends and family love about your home includes you living in it more than the home. Also, friends and family are not looking at your home with the discerning eyes of a buyer. When feedback is requested and received from buyers that visit your property, it may surprise you. Remember, everyone has different tastes and preferences.
- Our home was already professionally decorated, and we paid a lot of money for it.
Response: I can see there was a lot of thought put into it. One question: how many years ago was that? 30 years is a long time. Taste and decorating styles change frequently, the same as fashion. Don’t wait for the buyer who has the same taste as you. Everyone is unique. Staging is timely.
- We expect asking-price for the home because we have one of the best views. That’s what matters most to buyers.
Response: Yes, your view is gorgeous. Without staging, buyers may offer you less for your home because they are adding up the costs of having to change everything. Staging can make that positive difference for you and put more money in your pocket.
- Potential buyers will be able to see the value, so why do we have to remove the wallpaper (even on the ceiling), mirrored walls and shag carpeting? And why do we have to paint also?
Response: Unless you want to receive a price well below market value, buyers may not be able to see beyond the obvious. Even buyers who normally say they can, when they enter the home, you can see the look on their faces. They normally never see beyond it unless they are an investor.
- We are not sure if we are ready to sell it. We want to see if we can get our asking price; otherwise, we are going to stay.
Response: There is an initial ‘wow’ period when buyers like to see the new listings that just came on the market. If your home does not fit their criteria, then it may be passed up for another opportunity. When the time comes and you are truly ready to sell, a good Agent and buyer will see that your home was previously put on the market and wonder why it did not sell. Unless you are in a strong sellers’ market, this may not be a good option for you. Don’t just put your toe in the water. When you are ready to sell, put in your whole foot.
There are dozens of more reasons sellers may be reluctant to agree to staging. The top reason to stage is that preparing the home for sale is vital to getting your sellers’ top price, in the shortest amount of time.
To further support staging, here are some key statistics from The National Association of Realtors profile on Home Staging:
- 40% percent of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home.
- 83% percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
- 53% of sellers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market.
- The most common rooms that were staged included the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), master bedroom (78%), and the dining room (72%).
Written for Form Simplicity by Janice Zaltman, a Realtor, LEED AP, Marketing Coach and Writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields.