I had a client recently for a staging consult. It was a nice little condo, vacant, that had been on the market for about a year. The client’s ex-wife actually called me in as he was a bit resistant. In fact, when I met him on the property, he was on his Blackberry and starting pulling weeds in the front while I was talking. Definitely not that excited to be there.
I had two choices at this point:
a. get annoyed or frustrated and just sort of work around him OR
b. use my “teacher voice” and say HEY, listen to me because what I’m telling you will sell this place
I chose b. I asked him politely but firmly to pay attention, leave the weeds for later, and focus because this was important. As we worked our way through all of my points regarding exterior maintenance, he started getting a bit more involved. Most of it was caulk & paint, freshening up the door & landscaping, and a new light fixture. Once we got inside, that’s where I really got his attention. I pointed out peeling vinyl in the closet where the HVAC system was located – where it looked as if there was a leak at some point. I indicated the focal point of the room and how it wasn’t being highlighted. The dingy paint in the walk in closet, the unfinished trim at the base of the kitchen cabinets, the dirty shelves in kitchen cupboards, the dated ceiling fan in the master bedroom, and more really caught his ear. These were things he had not noticed but when I pointed out the perception of potential buyers to these things, he really started to GET IT.
By the time we were done, he was totally on board and was making plans to make the necessary corrections. We talked about bringing in furniture and accessories but it turned out that it wasn’t necessary because once the maintenance and cleaning was done, the first people to look at it, bought it. The consult more than paid for itself and I had a new convert to home staging.
Think of the minor investment in a staging consult – holding costs for a year vs. selling within a week. Actually paying attention, paid off.
So if you are lucky enough to work with a home stager – LISTEN!