What If Your Seller Can’t Afford To Stage?

This question has been coming up lately during the Seller Conversation class.

Thanks to HGTV, everyone knows what staging is and the value it provides. But staging can mean anything from decluttering to a full house renovation, all in the name of helping the seller increase their sales price.

My pre listing checklist has about 2 dozen tasks, with everything from cleaning to painting and re-carpeting as necessary, to bringing in furniture if the house is vacant.

The reality is that it can add up. Some sellers are spending thousands of dollars to get their homes ready for market. Most understand the value, but some don’t. And for some – they just don’t have the cash to shell out for it.

So what do you do? How do you create a positive selling experience, feel good about the product you are brining to market relative to your brand, and do it on a budget?

First: Make sure your seller understands what’s worth doing and the potential return on the investment. Here are 5 things that provide the highest return based on dollars spent:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Staging – Decluttering
  3. Carpet
  4. Paint
  5. Landscaping

In a lot of situations we hire these things out, which can cost thousands. The seller doesn’t do any of the work, they just pay the bill. For them it’s worth it to have someone else manage the project and do the work.

But what if cash is tight – do you just skip it all and hope for the best?

The reality is that most items can be done for little to no cost:

  • Cleaning is free
  • Decluttering is free – and may even yield a few dollars if they do a garage sale
  • Cleaning up the yard – pulling weeds and trimming hedges is free
  • Paint is very inexpensive if you are wiling to do the work

These are things that absolutely anyone can do regardless of budget.

I also have a stash of pillows, towels, wall art, etc for when a house needs a little extra something. For $500 or less you can build a pretty good stash of items that can be used multiple times. Pier 1 and Home Goods are my favorite places to shop.

So don’t get caught up in why your sellers can’t afford to stage. They can’t afford not to.

To your success!

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