HOME STAGING AND 'THE RECESSION', REAL ESTATE AND REALTY

By
Home Stager with Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island

 

There was a Reuters article, posted today on Yahoo, which spoke about the possibility of an economic recession and how it is partially fueled by the mortgage crisis.   Of course other key factors would include rising oil prices, sluggish retail sales and falling prices on homes for sale.

As a Home Stager, I have noticed a decrease in business for the months of September and October; so far November hasn't produced all that much revenue from stagings either.  Oh, don't misunderstand me, I still get the phone calls asking for information on ‘how it works and what it costs', however there are fewer ‘bookings' and more "I'll get back to you" promises.

I am painfully aware of the state of the Real Estate market, and am sympathetic to the plight of realtors in general.  Most reports state that this trend will continue throughout 2008, and perhaps beyond, while the market ‘corrects itself'.  I have been told by realtor friends that many of the newer realtors cannot work under these conditions and they are being forced out of this career and into a job that will actually produce a steady source of income. On the other hand, I am discovering that more than a few realtors are beginning to attend classes on Home Staging and using the resulting information to ‘stage' for their clients as part of their ‘service'.

Now, I know that in the past we have ‘discussed' how time-consuming and strenuous the actual act of ‘staging' is, and, as a group, we stagers have wondered how a realtor can possibly ‘do it all'?  The realtors that I know are hard-working, conscientious, and detail-oriented and spend a great deal of time while researching data for every market analysis that they prepare for potential clients.  When you factor in the work involved in getting photos taken, virtual tours compiled, visiting new MLS listings, and the time spent showing the house, as well as holding the numerous Open Houses that will ensue, one has to wonder where any professional realtor (‘worth their weight in salt') could possibly take on the many demands, expense and tribulations of Home Staging?  In addition, does the realtor really want the responsibility of advising their client, the seller, of all of the ‘negatives' about the ‘property' that need to be addressed (and that might include ‘strange' odors)?

Another issue that has come to the forefront, is that with home sale prices falling, sellers feel that they are already making a huge concession in the selling price (as opposed to the prices that were realized in a better market) and are very reluctant to ‘invest' money into a house that is already ‘losing money'!  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth!  Houses that were sold in the years leading up to mid-2005 were very fortunate to bring in ‘over-the-top' prices, however the houses that are on today's market are, for the most part, still bringing in a healthy profit for sellers that have lived in their houses for a certain period of time. 

If I can get only one point across to anyone who is selling their house and NOT considering Home Staging, it would be that EVERYTHING is different in today's Real Estate Market - not just pricing!  Today's seller must do more than ‘de-clutter, clean and paint'!  In order to compete with the many newly-constructed homes that are so prevalent in this market, occupied houses (and any ‘vacants' that are the result of an early ‘departure' or a ‘flip') must show EQUALLY as well.  This translates to updated kitchens and baths, and rooms that ‘show' as ‘spacious.  How many sellers can be objective enough to ascertain that their house is ‘up to par'?  How many have the ‘skills' that it takes to turn ‘ho-hum' into ‘WOW'?!

Home Staging is a FIELD.  Real Estate is a FIELD.  We need to blend these fields, with a professional at each ‘helm' that combines the TWO into ONE equally successful story!

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Tags:
recession
real estate
home staging
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realtor
staging

Comments 14 New Comment

Rainmaker
633,045
Cindy Bryant
"Houston Home Staging Pro's"
Redesign Etc. Home Staging

Some of the Realtors that "stage" have been calling me to stage what they've tried to stage.  I don't see how you can truly do a full-service staging and be pulled in so many directions as Realtors are.  I think some of them are beginning to realize there's a lot more to it than just accessorizing.

November 26, 2007 11:58 PM
Rainmaker
251,134
Kathy Riggle
Houston Home Staging
STAGING SMART N SOLD

Hi Val-

We can see the result of some realtor staging in the vacants on the internet.  It is just a very few items set around and doesn't showcase the property or create emotional appeal. A partnership approach with a professional stager would provide that buyers impression that's so critical.

Kathy

November 27, 2007 05:26 PM
Rainmaker
248,396
Tina Maraj
Fullerton, California Real Estate 714-403-7901
RE/MAX North Orange County
Now that the market has changed realtor are less likely to pay big up front fees.
November 27, 2007 05:37 PM
Ambassador
1,482,266
Gary Woltal
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Keller Williams Realty
Val, I agree that they are two different fields and "normally" two different individuals do REALTOR and Stager. Some "super women" do both. Good luck to them, I don't know where they find the energy.
November 28, 2007 02:26 PM
Rainmaker
70,231
Gary Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis
Home Matters
Hello Val, Just as with Lori Kim in California, here in Indianapolis we have not slowed down a bit, in fact it is just as busy as it was this last summer.  Indiana ranks at the top of the list of states for foreclosures, with many more to come unfortunately, so some of why it's busy may have to do with desperation.  Most of our business however is coming from clients who are relocating.  Indianapolis is also a major hub for people to transfer in and out of.  Just in the last few weeks we have staged 2 smaller homes, 3 mid sized homes and 1 whopper of a home (2nd largest home currently on the market in the state).  So some people are starting to understand the value and believe in the results.  There are just so many that still do not yet.
November 28, 2007 02:57 PM
Rainer
89,076

Val Allocco

HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island
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