EDUCATE your sellers....PLEASE!

By
Home Stager with Certified Staging Professional

Educate Your Sellers....PLEASE!

All too often most of us see listings that look similar to this.

Dream Interior Decorating and Home Staging Oakhurst CA    Dream Home Decorating and Home Staging Oakhurst CA

 Cluttered, messy and less than appealing to potential buyers.     

They look like this online and they look like this in person. Potential buyers move-on to the next listing and the sellers never know why. 

This house and others like it are sad houses,  Dream Home Decorating and Home Staging Oakhurst CA

Sad houses rarely sell quickly and sometimes never sell at all.  Sad houses need attention and the seller's of those homes need help from all of us in the real estate industry to give them the information that they desperately need to turn For Sale into SOLD.

Sad houses usually have disgruntled, angry owners. Dream Home Decorating and Home Staging Oakhurst CA

Often they are angry with their Real Estate agent, right or wrong.    

Agents, you can and should help.  PLEASE, please don't be afraid to be honest with your clients about the condition of their valuable property.  If you are afraid, you are doing a disservice to the sellers that have hired you as their Real Estate Expert.  Who else is going to tell them?

The result of not being forthright and honest with clients, from the beginning, is a house that lingers and a house that may never sell. The seller will undoubtedly question the listing agent with "WHY hasn't my house sold' and it's very difficult to go back and tell them what they should have heard from the beginning.  All too often a price reduction is an agent's answer but when the condition doesn't change, does that really help? Also, how does this type of listing reflect on a real estate agent's reputation?  

I know that many agents do tell what is needed and the seller's just don't listen.  That is a tough situation.  At least those agents are educating the sellers and have points for discussion when the "why hasn't my house sold" question arises from the disgruntled.   

As a Professional Home Stager sellers will frequently say to me..."but why didn't my agent tell me that I needed to do that."  My shrug or "I don't know" isn't very appeasing.  I DO NOT take sides or bad-mouth agents because I think that the sellers know the answers and frequently the result is a NEW agent when the listing expires.  Who benefits?   

If you cannot overcome the fear of being up-front with your listing clients, then hire a Professional Home Stager to help you get the message to the sellers.  A Professional Home Stager can gently, yet honestly tell the sellers what they need to hear to properly present a house For Sale.  Do it from the beginning, not in the midst of desperation. If you are afraid that the sellers will be angry let them be angry with the stager, not with their agent. A written staging consultation also gives the listing agent something to back them up when a sale doesn't happen as the sellers expected.  The agent can, with the sellers, look back at the consultation and discuss what still needs to be done.  It's a WIN-WIN for everyone. 

NO ONE benefits from a SAD house. 

           

Dream Home Decorating and Home Staging Oakhurst CA

 

       Make your listings HAPPY HOUSES (with happy sellers), EDUCATE them from the start, PLEASE! 

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Dream Home Decorating and Home Staging Oakhurst CA

Dream Interior Redesign & Staging by Ginger Foust is a full service Professional Staging and ReDesign company. Locally serving the California foothill and mountain communities of Oakhurst, North Fork, Coarsegold, Ahwahnee, Bass Lake, Wawona and Mariposa.  Click here to see a short slideshow with examples of our staging work.  Visit our website for more information or call 559-877-2442

     

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joe Jackson 01/19/2010 09:28 PM
  2. Mark VanBuskirk 01/19/2010 11:12 PM
  3. Jeff Colby 01/20/2010 12:56 AM
  4. Brett Pehrson 03/03/2010 12:35 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
California Madera County
Groups:
Stager's Coffee Clutch
Stage It Forward...
Realtors®
Tags:
dream interior redesign and real estate home staging oakhurst ca
real estate listings
condition of listings

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Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Sandy, fortunately this house was decluttered after my consultation for the second agent. BUT the first agent let the seller think that this condition was OK.  That's just not acceptable IMO.  Thank you for commenting. 

Jan 20, 2010 03:09 PM #74
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Patricia, I would like to think that the popularity of staging had filtered into my locale but it has not.  Thus we see far too many homes in this condition.  It is sad for everyone involved and a pretty easy thing to remedy.  Thanks for this additional comment and support of staging. 

Jan 20, 2010 03:23 PM #75
Rainer
99,811
Donna Ross
Room Remedy Interiors, Sydney, Australia - Salton City, CA
Home Decorating, House Staging, Sydney

Ginger,

A great post here. Love your approach to the 'sad house'. I can see how frustrating it would be for those agents who plead with their sellers to put some time and effort into presetation to make it easier for everyone, only to have it ignored.

I bet if you put a cheque for an extra $5000 on the seller's kitchen table to do the work, most sellers would happily get to work without a second thought (or, pay someone a few hundred dollars to do it for them).

When sellers ignore their agent's advice, they end up leaving that cheque for the extra $5000 on the table (along with all the other junk) for the buyer to put in their wallet instead.

It's terrific to see such a big repsonse from so many in the real estate community.

Congratulations on the feature - well deserved!

Donna

Jan 20, 2010 04:04 PM #76
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Thanks Donna.  That's an interesting way to think about it, money on the table.  From some of the responses it appears that many agents still believe that a price reduction is the best answer.  IMO a price reduction doesn't help a SAD house but it does leave the sellers feeling even more disgruntled. 

I am thrilled at the response from the RE community and I hope they continue to educate their sellers, to the best of their ability, and then call us it to finish the job. 

Jan 20, 2010 04:48 PM #77
Rainmaker
981,145
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - Fleming Island, FL
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.

Ginger, there are some Sellers who won't listen no matter what you do. Like the hoarders. I also would never post a photo like this. In fact, we stage every photo we take even in beautiful homes. Move a chair, arrange pillows, move some decorative items - it all contributes to visual appeal. A house like these, no interior phots and warn the agents showing it.

Jan 20, 2010 08:55 PM #78
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Sharon (and Frank?) glad to hear that you prepare your listings before the photographs.  Quite frankly I'm shocked that sellers allow agents to post photos like this, even if they are their homes.    There will always be some that will never buy into what is really needed...we use to call those fixer-uppers. (-;  I appreciate you commenting.

Jan 20, 2010 10:19 PM #79
Rainer
47,744
Susan Walters
Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI - Ann Arbor, MI

Tonight I showed a house that was so cluttered with piles of clothes in every corner, beer bottles and cans on every surface, full ashtrays, and the plastic container for coffee on the electric burner made my buyer so nervous she actually moved it - that stove never saw any cooking, I guarantee it.  My favorite however was the photo of the living room of an ex-agent in our office.  It showed his living room with his kids jumping up and down on the living room sofa!  No, wait, my favorite might have been the property I sold with a full size taxidermy bear in the corner of a very small den, covered with a white sheet and tied so it was fairly obvious what was under it - not scary at all!

Jan 20, 2010 11:56 PM #80
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Susan, you must be a real pro. if your buyers can endure those conditions and still consider a purchase.  I'm good at overlooking issues for the good bones and potential but cigarettes, no thank you.  I've cleaned one to many places where cigarette permeated ever surface and I felt ill for weeks.  Thanks for sharing your experiences.   

Jan 21, 2010 10:30 AM #81
Rainer
35,837
Andrea Kappre
Old World Realty - Mickleton, NJ
New Jersey Realtor, New Jersey MLS, Homes for Sale in NJ

It is so hard for many people to see potential in a clutter free home let alone a home full of someone else's mess!  They can't envision a life full of happiness while looking at chaos.

Jan 21, 2010 04:04 PM #82
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

I totally agree Andrea.  Right now my walk-in closet isn't clutter free and it's driving me crazy even though no one ever sees it except hubby and I.  Time to take care of that.  Thanks for commenting. 

Jan 21, 2010 05:04 PM #83
Rainer
74,407
Lin Wetzel
Outstanding Staging - Stroudsburg, PA
People Prefer OUTSTANDING Properties! tm

Gee, I don't know, Ginger, the MLS picture you have on the left isn't so bad is it -- see, they removed the magnets from the fridge ;)

~ Lin

Jan 21, 2010 06:40 PM #84
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Too funny Lin.  Honestly I hadn't noticed.  This lady was so-o proud of her 82 piece bear collection on full display in EVERY room.  I'm surprised there aren't some on the fridge?  Thanks for noticing and commenting.  

PS..I just checked my photos from other angles.  The magnets are on the side of the fridge, not the front.  (-:

Jan 22, 2010 10:55 AM #85
Rainmaker
257,726
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

If someone has a messy house and you don't explain w hat it takes to sell a house at market price, then you haven't done your job as a professional agent.

Most people don't "see" their home the way the buyers sees it, and that is even true when the home is not messy.  The homeowner eyes have glazed over being able to see one's own stuff.   Sometimes boxes that were moved into the garage when the owner moved in are still stored in the garage and long forgotten. When the house is to be sold, th e stuff has to be moved out. Move it out before the for sale sign goes up in the yard. 

One wouldn't put a "For Sale" sign in the window of a car before you washed it, so why would you put a "For Sale" Sign in front of a messy house?

Barb Schwarz, creater of www.stagedhomes.com says that "the way you live in a house and the way you sell a house are two different things."

Much of the value of the agent to the seller is the objectivitiy with seeing the potential of the property and if the agent needs help with communicating what needs to be done, then have a home stager explain it!

 

Jan 22, 2010 11:36 AM #86
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Beverly you are absolutely right.  As a designer and stager even I had a friend in the business come into my last home to help me stage it BEFORE I put it on the market.  She made suggestions on changing things that I didn't "SEE".  Objectivity is never clear when it's yours and your are standing in the middle of it.  Thanks for the informative comment. 

Jan 22, 2010 12:20 PM #87
Rainmaker
171,839
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Oh how did I miss this Ginger??? It always helps to have that trained eye to go over the property before your list to sell.

What do mean my special collection of action figures have to be packed up? Do you realize how long it took me collect these? I have over 300 here and they are priceless.

Sigh.........

Jan 22, 2010 01:27 PM #88
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Hi Cyndee...sigh is right.  Priceless only to you and maybe some distant collector.  Sometimes when they tell me that I follow with something like..."if they're so priceless then they should be packed away so that the people parading through your home don't snatch one or even worse make your house a target for a later visit and surprise.  It's not always successful but I keep trying. 

One of my favs was..."but I love to share my collections with people coming through the house."   Yikes this is SO-O wrong in SO-O many ways.

Thanks for finding me and commenting. 

Jan 22, 2010 01:57 PM #89
Rainmaker
171,839
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Hey Ginger, in my area it's the lace doily on every tabletop that their grandmother made. While I can appreciate the art of making them I explain how it will date the home. With that explanation they do pack them away :)

Jan 23, 2010 08:36 AM #90
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Cyndee, I have some of those that I got from Grandma and I know exactly where the are AND they aren't out on display.  Most lacy items date homes and people have a hard time seeing that.  Thanks for coming back.  

Jan 23, 2010 10:15 AM #91
Rainer
196,439
Brett Pehrson
Advanced Funding Home Mortgage - Salt Lake City, UT
NMLS# 272088

Ginger,

Thanks for the post!  This is great information.  I actually found you by searching for information on "messy houses" for some of my realtor partners.  I've been doing a little hobbyist photography lately with some of my realtor partners, and it's interesting to see how cruel and kind a camera can be.

Mar 03, 2010 12:32 AM #92
Rainmaker
359,125
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

You are welcome Brett.  Have you partnered-up with a professional stager too?  If agents are willing to impart the difficult news to sellers, that's great, but sometimes it can put them in a tenuous situation with the sellers....so honestly they should let some else do it.

Thanks for stopping and commenting.  Good luck to you!

Mar 03, 2010 09:57 AM #93
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Rainmaker
359,125

Ginger Foust

Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging
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