You can learn a lot about selling your house by having lunch with a woman whose specialty is home staging. I had that opportunity recently when Staci Byers agreed to an interview. Staci Byers owns Ready to Sell PDX and operates her home staging business in the greater Portland/Vancouver area.
Staci, why do homeowners and realtors call you?
Staci: They both call for the same reason – there is a home about to go on the market and they want to make sure it is well presented to ensure a quick sale and the highest price the market can support.
What’s the first step?
Staci: An on-site consultation is the first thing I do. I conduct a full assessment of the home both inside and out. I cover things such as furniture and accessory placement, cosmetic repairs, color recommendations and curb appeal suggestions.
My recommendations, as well as tips for a successful Open House are presented in a home staging report that is sent to the homeowner and agent. After this initial consultation the homeowners will know just what is needed to get the home ready for the market.
Often the homeowners are able to take care of the items themselves based on the report I provide, but if they would like additional help, the services offered following the consultation are a la carte and can be tailored to suite the homeowners needs.
You work with a lot of real estate agents. What’s in it for them?
Staci: The most valuable thing is probably that the house spends less time on the market. A house that looks its best will sell quicker and higher turnover translates into higher profits for the brokers. But it also often it sells for a higher price which translates into happy customers, more referrals, and repeat business – and of course also a higher commission. Partnering with a professional home stager frees up the agent to do what they do best--- Sell more homes !
What other kinds of things are important?
Staci: The house should be clean, clean clean! You vastly improve your house’s wow factor if you de-clutter and get many of your personal items out of the house. Only 10% of people touring a home can visualize their items in the space, so stage each room relevant for the function. A bedroom should be a bedroom, and the dining room should be just that, not your craft room.
What about minor repairs?
Staci: Minor repairs, should be fixed, your home's presentation needs to shine from the moment it is seen on-line and every day it is on the market.
Broken boards on the deck, ripped carpet and broken lights give a not so taken care of feeling to potential buyers. Be aware of the cost/benefit ratio: spending $50 on paint touch-ups is probably a better investment than refinishing all your hardwood floors. It pays to take the extra time to ensure all minor and inexpensive repairs are complete and the home is at its absolute best at the time of listing.
Staci, thanks so much for your time. This has been very helpful.
Staci's contact information: