Anyone who has not had their head in the sand for the last few years understands that there is “no set price” for a home. The real estate market is a roller coaster ride of highs and lows but one thing remains the same, buyers will always be looking for that “ideal vision” for their family AND will always be willing to pay top dollar for it!
You see, staging is NOT about de-cluttering and cleaning but at it’s essence, it’s an “art form” born from extreme expertise in merchandising and designing a “vision” that buyers will fall in love with! Staging done correctly, provides the “props and vision” for the buyer to mentally “move-in” to each room while emotionally connecting them to the home as a whole! Once connected, the offer is made and not usually broken.
Great staging starts with understanding first “the who” and merchandising for that particular vision. Who is the buyer demographic for that home, what will they desire to see in each space? HSR Certified stagers are trained to research six “cues” to determine the typical buyer demographic, as well as converse with the agents in the area.
I would argue that many homes on the market today are what I call “half way there” homes because they have been stripped down but not “dolled up”. They are like a cake with no frosting and will never get the best price for their home in that condition.
An agent might argue, “who cares if they get the best price, so long as it’s sold quickly” but that’s short sighted.
I imagine most of us would not be too happy to see the competing agent down the street selling our neighbors house for $30,000 more than we got because they took the time to bring in a great professional home stager. Agents build their reputations not only on quickly selling homes but on getting the BEST PRICE for their clients!
Based on the information we have for our buyer demographic, we are able to create a profile of what we are designing for and a plan for the seller. The plan starts with taking the time to understand the benefits of staging and realizing that a little work today, saves you a lot of headache in the future. For example, if my neighbor made $30,000 more than me on the sell of their home, how does that $30,000 translate to real earned dollars? With capital gains it means that it’s pure cash, so I would probably have to make $50,000 to realize $30,000 cash realistically.
Which brings me to another very critical aspect of staging and that is photos! Correctly trained stagers know that it’s not only about the “walk-in” but very critically about the photo for online marketing!
If 95% of buyers are online first looking at photos before they decide to visit the home, how important do you think staging for the photo is in the sales process? As an agent, how important do you think the photos are to your image and reputation?
Great staging involves the total package! Starting with the research, creating the plan and communicating a vision that seller’s can understand financially, then finishing with marketing output that makes the buyers fall in love BEFORE entering into the home.
Gregg Churchill, an HSR Certified Stager and Designer in Australia gives his 5 best design and staging tips:
What makes great design is up to your own interpretation, but I do know that when I see great design it hits me right away. We all have different styles and thoughts on our own personal design which is often influenced by all the new TV Star Designers e.g.: Sarah Richardson, Candice Olsen; Martin Lawrence-Bullard; Colin and Justin etc.) and all the inspirational shows they have on our TV screens, brought right into our own homes. I watch and record all the TV shows to learn as much as possible from them all.
In summation I would recommend that what every avenue you decide to pursue in your Home Staging career, always have fun and enjoy every minute of what you are doing. Try and specialize in one category for best results e.g. vacant home staging.
Always have something different to offer your clients study your opposition from time to time and see what they are offering and you may not be or never thought to. Stay abreast, keep up to date and never stop learning. Learn from as many people as you can and you will always be the best in your chosen field. Enjoy!
Gregg Churchill of Mr. Home Staging in Perth, Australia is truly a talent! Recently he as featured in Design Shuffle and I’ve got his gorgeous photos mixed in with his incredible story…
My story is a simple one. I have always had an itch to get into both interior design and decoration, even from a young age and have always been interested in being creative and designing interiors. I am fascinated why and how the inside of a home is planned and how and why we live in that space.
I was a Project Designer for a major international food retail company for 10 years, and as their in store project designer. I firstly learnt how to draw plans the old fashioned way, on a drafting board and then got into CAD to design the inside of supermarkets and in store coffee shops and restaurants which was great fun as there are a lot of the interior design elements and fundamentals that I needed to understand to design and plan a pleasant in store shopping experience. I then ventured onto my own and acquired a retail franchise from the same international retail company and ran my own 1200 square metre supermarket with 55 permanent staff and 25 casuals for the weekends. After 5 years of burning the candle at both ends, working 16 hours a day for 7 days, I decided to sell up and have a change of direction. That is when I stumbled across HSR on the internet.
I did heaps of research on the subject and decided to join up with HSR for a number of reasons. I found the site to be very user friendly and made me feel like I wanted to belong to this company. I found the other companies who offered a similar course, didn’t offer it in a professional way. I found they just were not as professional in there sell to me as a prospective future client. I also liked the name HSR, as it exactly what the name described, a resource for home staging. The staging videos were very warm and friendly as was Audra’s recorded voice.
I would never recommend getting into Home Staging without this HSR qualification as you are entering a world where the general public are very sensitive and guarded when you go into their private domain, we are all sensitive about our homes. You HAVE to have a recognized certified qualification behind you and know what you are recommending to the public, as after they are paying you for this advice and expect good sound design advice. The many forms on offer from HSR are priceless as without them, I would have been lost and to even begin to try and do them yourself would be impossible. They are a short cut to starting your career right away, looking the part and they gave me a lot of confidence right from the very beginning.
Here in Perth Western Australia, our main economic industry is mining and it is booming at the moment, especially with the huge exports to China and the east. The property market has recovered in a big way, interest rates are at their lowest, and properties are selling in weeks instead of months. The WA public were a bit slow in adopting home staging 2 years ago, but this year I have seen a huge demand in business, especially before holidays like Easter where I was turning work away as everybody wanted their homes staged before Easter weekend.
The longest I have had a staged property on the market is 3 weeks and the shortest was 4 days (That property had been standing vacant for 42 days & once staged sold in 4 days) so I advertise that fact. I have, to date, a 100% success sold rate with my staged properties….This year, I was getting a lot of people contacting me, but for interior design, so at the beginning of this year I began an Interior Design Diploma course and am almost completed with it.