By Barb Schwarz, Founder & CEO of Stagedhomes.com
Just the other day I was interviewed by a real estate publication and I thought I would share the answers I gave to the reporter’s questions here at the Stagedhomes.com blog.
1. What’s new in the world of home staging? How has it changed in the last 2 years?
The pendulum is swinging; the public is now becoming the driving force to make sure their home gets ASP® Staged for sale. The agents are still crucial in driving the world of ASP Home Staging but many agents hang back where the seller now asks more, “Aren’t you going to tell me to get my house Staged?” The ASP® Home Staging market continues to lead more that ever the industry of Home Staging. I will explain more why below.
2. How has the down economy changed/enhanced/lessened the need for home staging when it comes to real estate?
The down economy has driven the need for ASP® Home Staging more than ever before. With short sales, bank owned properties, and the traditional sellers all of these entities are in fierce competition to get the house sold. We are now seeing short sales beginning to ASP® Stage their homes, bank owned properties now ASP® Home Stage their properties and for any traditional seller to compete they must have their home ASP® Home Staged to have any chance to sell in today’s market.
3. Describe why the real estate mantra is no longer location, location, location. It is now Staging, Staging, Staging!
Now more than ever location is included in the price that said, regardless of square footage, location or the number of bedrooms and baths, if the house is not ASP® Staged it simply cannot compete. You can have a small house or a mansion it can be in a prime location or out in the hinter land, but today’s buyers are comparing how the house, which is now a product, looks compared to all the houses. So no matter how many bedrooms or baths if the property is dirty, cluttered or has the wrong colors, it doesn’t have a chance in today’s market.
4. Do you still believe that staging is the answer now and will be even more effective in the future? Why or why not?
Selling your house is like selling a car. There are a lot of cars for sale and a lot of houses for sale too. Today’s car buyer is going tobuy the car that meets their needs that looks the best; the same is true for a house. Staging is today’s answer and will be even more effective in the future. It is all about presentation. “Buyers only know what they see, not the way it’s going to be.” So, “detail your house like you detail your car” if you want to get it sold.
5. Let’s discuss your “Predictions for the Future of Home Staging” and how your views may or may not have changed in the last couple years. “Home Stagers, and ASP® Home Stagers in particular, will play critical roles in setting the market.” Explain and how has this changed?
The predictions I have made in the past, I feel even stronger about today. The predictions I’ve made in the past are coming true.
A. If you don’t Stage it, it won’t sell.
B. ASP® Home Stagers are controlling the market.
C. We are seeing more ASP® Home Stagers as part of real estate teams. They are the marketing arm. Because featuring messy houses in ads doesn’t work. The greatest marketing tool of all is ASP® Home Staging.
D. Sellers are demanding with the high commissions that agent’s charge that the agent pays for the ASP® Home Stager.
E. Therefore ASP® Home Stagers play a crucial role in setting today’s market as they work with the agent to get the property Staged.
6. Why is it still important for staging and real estate professionals to team up to sell houses, especially in this economy?
ASP® Home Stagers and real estate agents are teaming up more and more to give turnkey service to the seller. The agent’s job is to get the property priced and to do the marketing to get it sold. The ASP® Home Stager merchandizes the property so that the marketing pays off. They are working hand in hand more and more. Today’s economy the ASP® Home Stager is making money for the agent because without the house Staged it sits and in the end the agents either get little commission or none. Therefore, working together, the seller wins the agent wins and the ASP® Stager wins.
7. “The way commissions and fees are structured will change.” Have they? How so? Is staging considered part of the real estate agent’s marketing plan?
Current commission structure continues to remain the same but as I’ve said before; the sellers are now demanding more and more that the agent pays a part or all of the ASP® Stager fee in the beginning or at the close of sale. The agents that make ASP® Staging a part of their marketing plan lead the market and obtain more listings because of it. There are still at least 50% of agents who hang back and have not made ASP® Staging a part of their marketing plan. These are the agents that fall behind, earn far less money and never lead their market.
8. “The Home Staging industry will grow larger every year.” Explain. Offer some statistics, if possible, in change within the home staging industry over the past few years as well as reasons for those changes.
Yes, the Home Staging industry continues to grow larger every year. This is because of the public seeing more about it on TV, reading more about it in newspapers, magazines and articles as they comprehend the huge difference that it makes in the sale of property all over North America. Five years ago the approximate statistics that we had at StagedHomes.com were that 10% of the public was preparing their home for sale; this figure has now topped over 20%. All of the information I shared above are the reasons why.
9. “ASP® training leads the way.” [You say “Every day ASP® Stagers are called in to de-Stage and re-Stage properties that supposedly have been staged by people that are neither trained nor qualified – pictures for a sidebar of this would be great!] Why is ASP® training still leading the way today?
As the Home Staging industry grows and more of the public reads about it, it is inevitable that some women and men wake up in the morning and decide to become a self designated Home Stager. Some of the public has had to learn the hard way that you get what you pay for. ASP® Home Stagers are designated, certified, accredited, insured, work with leading vendors in the Home Staging industry to bring the very best to those that hire them. When you have a show such as The Today Show on NBC, and other similar popular TV shows sending the public to the ASP® Stager directory on StagedHomes.com and to the professional members of “The International Home Staging Professionals”, www.IAHSP.com, they offer a public service to help guide the public to find ASP® Home Stagers who are indeed thoroughly trained to serve the public and the real estate industry. No other training has the experience, the history over 35 years, reputation nor qualification to serve the public the way ASP® Home Stagers do, which is why ASP® training leads the market more than ever today. In every market the leading professionals and the top money makers of the Home Staging industry are ASP® Home Stagers.
10. “The real estate industry is here to stay—but it will include stagers and home staging.” How is Staging only as successful as the real estate community in which it operates? How can staging be more successful?
ASP® Home Staging in every community is successful regardless of the real estate community in which it operates. Once again this is because the pendulum has been swinging more and more where the public is the driving force behind ASP® Home Staging. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Once a seller has his home Staged, he tells every friend, relative and neighbor they should do it too. As I stated above, many agents are behind in requiring in requiring their sellers to ASP® Stage their home so in many communities where you have a more weak real estate community the seller may be the one who is making sure their home is ASP® Staged. As time goes on and on we will see Home Staging become the dominant force of the entire real estate industry. ASP® Hone Staging has changed the entire real estate industry like nothing ever has before. Therefore regardless of whether the economy is hot or not, to get your home sold in the quickest amount of time for the most amount of money, it has to be ASP® Staged for sale.
The real estate agents that understand this will lead the industry all over the country when they make ASP® Stagers apart of their team. Whether they do this or not the public will remain the dominant force to make sure their home is ASP® Staged so it sells for top dollar.
Live in Joy, ASP® Stage® with Joy and Enjoy the Wonder and Magic of it all!
Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, IAHSP®
The Creator of Home Staging®
Founder and CEO, Stagedhomes.com
Founder and Chairwoman, IAHSP and the IAHSP Foundation
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