Graham Wood is senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Staging Made All the Difference
Learn how members make a difference for clients by sprucing up their homes.
January 21, 2015
A Hand During a Hard Time
After Carol Dimmick’s mother suffered a stroke, the home the two shared became virtually unlivable for the elderly woman. All four bedrooms in the two-story house were on the second floor, and Dimmick’s mother couldn’t climb the stairs. “I needed the home to sell fast so that I could get my mother into a more comfortable situation,” Dimmick says.
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That’s when Jeri Jo Meyer, broker-owner of Inspired Home Real Estate in DeWitt, Mich., stepped in to bring some pizzazz to the home. “The house needed updates and staging,” Meyer says. “Carol did some painting and cleaning, and then I came in to stage.”
Meyer added more lighting, pictures, floral arrangements, baskets, and table settings—and she rearranged furniture. “She turned a storage space into a workout room; my basement became a play area for kids,” Dimmick says.
The effort was well worth it: Three couples came to look at the house the first weekend it was on the market, and the first of them ended up buying it.
“Without [Meyer’s] staging, I know it wouldn’t have sold as quickly, and I would not have been able to get so close to my asking price,” Dimmick says.
From Dud to Dynamite
Michelle Martin and her husband bought an investment property that they sought to flip soon after renovating it. But the empty home sat on the market for six months—22 showings and not a single offer. Martin says the most common feedback she got from the showings were that the bedrooms were too small. “My husband and I were going back and forth on whether we should lower the price,” Martin says.
But Joan Inglis, a practitioner with CD Realty in Charlotte, N.C., and owner of Carolina Spaces LLC, suggested that Martin try to bring life to the house before reducing the price. “I devised a staging plan to furnish key rooms and areas,” Inglis says. ”I used king- and queen-sized beds, nightstands, chairs, chests, and accessories to show the ample space truly available in the bedrooms.”
Inglis brought in the staging items first thing on a Saturday morning just ahead of a scheduled 10 a.m. showing. By that evening, the people who had toured the home made an offer, and 30 days later, the sale closed.
“We couldn’t believe it,” Martin says. “That was the day we knew staging was worth every penny.”