"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

July, 2012, Newsletter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 July, 2012 

Dear Neighbor:

Staging has become a hot topic lately, I suppose because with a slower market, sellers are looking for any edge they can get.  Staging, in case you don’t know, can refer to anything from re-arranging the existing furniture in the house, to bringing in a complete house full of new furniture, towels, accessories, dishes, wall hangings, etc, all in an effort to make the place look more attractive to a buyer.  In this case, I’m talking about the latter.  I’ve seen one claim by a staging organization that staged homes sell for 30% more than the others, a highly dubious claim if I ever heard one.  Read my article on preparing your house for sale, entitled “Potential Buyers Won’t Take A Shower At Your House” at www.DanaGraham.com, because it ties into this.

My approach to staging is the same as my general approach to selling your house:  it all comes down to money, and I do not recommend that you spend any that you’re not going to get back at least dollar for dollar, hopefully more, whether it’s on staging or anything else.  Yes, you may sell a staged house for more (actually you may not, as explained below), but did you sell it for enough more to pay for that staging?  Whole house staging generally costs $5000-$10,000 up front, plus a monthly rental of $3000-$5000.  Once you’ve paid to have the house staged, you’ve spent that money, so you’d better hope you recover it in the sale price.

So when is staging a good idea?  Generally, if you have a brand new or completely remodeled, but empty (or filled with old furniture) house, staging it can be quite beneficial.  After all, if the house is new or newly remodeled, it has a up-to-date look that will benefit from the addition of up-to-date furnishings.  Vacant houses tend to look kind of sterile and forlorn, and the buyer might even infer that you, the seller, are more desperate because the place is vacant.  So, in those cases, staging is certainly something to consider.

When is staging not advisable?  Pretty much any other time.  If you’re selling an older, unremodeled but furnished home, bringing in a house full of new furniture can actually hurt you.  The contrast between the old décor and the latest, trendy furnishings will only emphasize how dated the house is and, if the prospective buyer isn’t completely aware of it, he now can’t miss the act that all those lovely new furnishings will disappear at close of escrow.  And you just spent all that money.

A better bet with an older, furnished house, is to work with what you have.  If the furnishings and the house décor are from the same era and are in reasonably good condition, move those big velour chairs that block the door to the back yard, move that extra dresser and bed that’s making the 3rd bedroom look small to the 4th bedroom that’s been used as an office, and de-clutter the bathroom and kitchen counters.  The existing furnishings also can let the buyer know that this was a loved family home for many years, as it will be for them.  Use the garage to store the items you don’t want in the house – just make sure the buyers can see the garage and they aren’t flattened by falling furniture when they open the door.

You can read this article in full on my website:  www.DanaGraham.com, as well as other timely real estate-related articles.  I am always happy to have a look at your house and give you my advice on how all the above applies to you.  Call me at 310 613-1076 or email me at [email protected]

Yours truly,

Dana H Graham

DRE #00877973

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