• Tenay Benes, Owner

Five Times Staging Can't Sell Your House

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

I'm not supposed to be writing this blog.

After all, I am the owner of a staging and design company.

I am supposed to tell you that home staging will solve all of your home selling problems.

I am supposed to convince you that investing in this extra piece of marketing will absolutely draw the right buyer to your house.

And, statistically, home staging does shorten the time that a property stays on the market.

But not always.

Here are five times that home staging can NOT sell your house:

1. Staging can't sell a dirty house.

Dog hair. Cat litter boxes. A greasy kitchen. Mold smell. Dust.

No matter how you cut it, beautifully arranged furniture will not block the ability of potential buyers to see dirt, smell bad smells, or sneeze. Whereas you want your potential buyers to feel that your home is "light and airy", indoor air pollutants will cause them to think anything but. Fortunately, this is an easy fix!

When one of our home stagers visit a property like this, we will tell you to do several things:

1. Hide all trash bins without lids in cabinets, closets or the garage;

2. Lease out your pets to your friends and family during listing;

3. Hire a professional cleaning service like Bubble Maids to give your house a deep clean and provide maintenance cleanings throughout showings.

You will thank us when you do.

2. Staging can't sell a broken down house.

Broken windows, rickety stairwells, damaged walls and water stains all scream one thing: "The last home owner did NOT maintain this property!" Can you hear the sound of that ticking clock? It sounds like a time bomb for when major systems in the house will begin the break down, usually right after closing.

When one of our home stagers visit a property like this, we will immediately recommend that you hire a home inspector like Sentinel Inspections to pre-inspect your house and tell you which issues might be contract-killers. (A good realtor will also recommend this, especially if your house has had a history of issues like roof or foundation damage.) If, after you address those issues, you have additional budget to stage your house, please contact us.

3. Staging can't sell an unsafe house.

No matter how much we dress up the interior of a home, home staging cannot change its location and crime statistics talk. Fortunately, you don't need to be blindsided by the effect of your home's location on its potential to sell.

A professional realtor can let you know how the current trends in your neighborhood are affecting your home's market value and how those trends are predicted to change in the future. It may mean that an upcoming neighborhood development project is worth the wait (can you say "rental") before trying to sell your house, again. Need a referral? Try the Head for Home Team of Keller Williams Integrity, which is owned by a retired police officer.

4. Staging can't sell an outdated house.

Pastel wall paper, brass trimmed lights, brown window frames, wood paneling... interior design trends are slightly more enduring than fashion trends -- but not by much! Unfortunately, outdated design features make homes less appealing to young buyers and it may leave your house stuck on the market. Fortunately, cosmetic upgrades can be MUCH more affordable than you think.

Our Seller's Rehab Plan service offering will detail the common-taste upgrades that will bring the most light and life to your outdated property without breaking your budget. It will also help you decide how much to upgrade that kitchen or whether to invest in finishing your basement. Then, you can hire a certified contractor like CS Construction to implement our custom recommendations without over-rehabbing so that you can get all of that rehab money back into your pocket in the sale price.

5. Staging can't sell an overpriced house.

The hardest part of selling a home is finding out what it's worth at that moment to other people -- not to you. And even though almost 25% of surveyed realtors believe that "staging increased the value of the property when compared to unstaged homes", staging will not account for more than a 10% difference between your house and comparables. In fact, staging's most bottom line value is the speed with which it moves homes off the market (hence, minimizing price reductions) vice the perceived market value of the house.

No one understands price better that the Head for Home Team of Keller Williams Integrity, with whom we have worked since 2015 and can attest their clients love them!

What do you think? Did I get them all? Are there any other houses that staging can't sell? You might also like our article on 4 Staging Mistakes to Avoid.

As you may have noticed, many but not all of these problems are fixable. If you need help with some of these issues, call some of the service providers we recommended or call us for advice and help. Calm Castle at (443) 990-1110.

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