Staging can set up the sale

Thursday, August 23, 2007

When a house hits the selling market, it becomes a product. A commodity that needs to be sold. Mass appeal to consumers is nothing short of crucial and first impressions can make or break a deal. The instant judgment passed by a buyer is nearly unavoidable, though the tone of judgment can be swayed to the seller's favor by an increasingly popular technique labeled home staging.

Carmen Shadron has been a full-time accredited staging professional for Realty Executives in Cape Girardeau for a year and a half. She says staging is a way for sellers to significantly increase their chances of a quick sell at a better price. Shadron also explains that staging is becoming more popular as people are becoming more aware of the benefits.

The practice is offered in the marketing plan included with each listing at Realty Executives. Shadron goes through a house, room by room, and provides the seller a written report of recommended alterations to be made. For example, replacing a family photo with a more general picture.

"Staging is basically minimizing what you already have," explains Shadron. "It is just depersonalizing space, not decorating."

Bill Cole, broker and owner of Realty Executives along with wife Susan, sees staging as an added value to the real estate market.

Cole and Shadron make clear that staging a home does not mean there is something wrong with the seller's items or lifestyle.

"It has nothing to do with the way you live, that is fine. This is just a revamp to help sell a house quickly and for more money," says Cole.

Shadron explains that staging is beneficial for any price range. She works with the seller to use the items he or she already owns so that rearranging the home is not a big expense. Sometimes changing the wallpaper pattern or color of wall paint is suggested. Often, it is a matter of furniture flow. The placement is very important, she says.

It is important that staging be practiced on the outside of the house as well.

"The home must look inviting, when you drive by you need to feel like you want to go inside," says Shadron.

Curb appeal is very important. Sometimes an agent won't even be able to get clients into the house if it looks unappealing from the outside, she says. Everything from the landscape to the mailbox can have an impact on the buyer. They need to be able to see themselves living there.

"The first impression is very important. You don't want to lose the buyer the first time around," she says.

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