01 feb 2018. - Katie Schwend


I’m back!!!

One of these days I’ll get this blogging thing down. I’ve honestly had writer’s block the last several days. I long for the day I’ll be able to sit down at my computer on a whim and whip something out.

A couple days ago, I attended my brokerages office meeting in Billings. I don’t go into the office meetings very often because I have a separate office in Laurel, but it’s always fun to see what the other agents and brokers are up to. At today’s meeting, one of the Brokers in our office made a statement that “buyers buy what they see” which got me thinking about staging rural properties. Time and time again, I’ve heard clients say that “buyers can see past this or that.” But, can they?

According to a Bankrate.com article, “Staging a home is always helpful as it helps people to feel at home the moment they walk through the door, as opposed to having to imagine what it could look like once they move in. Buyer expectations are often met — and at times, exceeded — by staging a home.” But, does staging matter on rural properties? In my opinion it matters on ALL properties. Here is why…

Studies show that only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a property. Basically, you have to set the stage for 90% of buyers. Crazy right? Not really. Think about walking into an empty space or even a property that is so overwhelmingly cluttered that you just can’t see past the mess. How do you feel when you walk into properties like those? Can you instantly start filling the room with furniture in your mind or even clearing out the clutter and starting over? Some of you might be able to, but the average buyer can’t.

I’ve seen plenty of photos like this on listings. Can you see past the clutter and envision life into this room?

Remember my 60/40 rule for marketing rural properties? Sixty-percent of my pictures (on most rural properties) focus on the home. If the home takes up the majority of my marketing, then I expect it to be in it’s best possible condition. To me, it’s like the decisions you have when you want to go out on the town. You can either dress the way you always do, or you can really bring out your best self and dress like you want people to notice you.

Now, do I think homes need to be completely cleared out and all new, fancy furniture brought in…NO! On all of my listings, rural or in-town, I have a staging consultant come through the property. Generally, I have my clients declutter and clean prior to the staging consultation. Then, depending on the client, I either have the consultant write a report or I just have them help me rearrange the furniture. I do require rugs and pillows that pop with color, and white fluffy towels in my listings, for the most part anyway. All of those items can be purchased without a large investment and really can make a difference, especially in photos.

While staging doesn’t necessarily add value to a property, it does help them sell faster by changing a buyers perception of the property and perception is EVERYTHING!

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