Part of what home stagers must do is convince their clients why they should invest their hard-earned money in a house they’re selling – an unattractive notion for many homeowners.
Staging Diva, Debra Gould, says, “Home stagers must demonstrate how the money a homeowner spends on their home now is actually an investment and that the more money they put into the project, the greater their potential profit when the house sells.”
When Gould, founder of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, entered a bidding war on the home she currently lives in, she only had a few days to get her other house on the market and with her being The Staging Diva there was a lot of pressure to have it looking perfect!
Gould didn’t have to hire a stager but she says, “I did have to hire a handyman, gardener, painter and junk removal service. I also had no choice but to install a new kitchen floor because the 1920s kitchen had never been renovated. I decided to go with cork because it’s easy to install right over vinyl and it would work well with the retro chic look that I’d created while living in the space.”
As the costs continued to climb as Gould prepared her house for the real estate market, she found herself saying, “Why in the world would I spend almost $800 on a new floor for a house that I’m just trying to sell?” Obviously Gould knew better and she was able to give that negative voice in her head a pep talk about why home staging is an investment and not an expense.
Gould says, “When I originally purchased that home I’d painted the old laminate counter tops, cabinets and the back splash. I’d even added new hardware and lighting but I fell into that familiar trap of being too busy to replace the floor and I just got good at learning to ignore it.”
Because kitchens are key with buyers, Gould knew the outdated old floor would stand out and force buyers to focus on the fact that it was just an old kitchen that had simply been tarted up. The look needed to be complete to wow buyers and leave them thinking “would you look at this beautiful kitchen” rather than “this kitchen needs to be renovated!”
“If I wanted to make a good profit on my own home staging services, I had to complete that look and spend the $800 to fix the floor and when it was finished, I knew it would pay off,” says Gould. She adds, “I was right! I sold that house after only 9 days on the market and I sold for well above asking. The profit I made more than covered the costs I’d incurred replacing the kitchen floor and getting repairs done. Even better, despite the house competing with others in the price range that had renovated kitchens with granite counters, the buyer told her agent that one of the reasons she bought the house was that she fell in love with the kitchen!”
If your home staging clients are struggling with investing in their home as they prepare to sell it, remind them that every improvement they make now is one less barrier between a potential buyer and their decision to buy.
About Staging Diva
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained over 4000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses.
Debra has gained international recognition through features in major media in the US and Canada including: This Old House, HGTV, CNN Money, CBC National News, CBS Radio, Global TV, City TV, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Day, Reader’s Digest and more.