Friday, September 11, 2009

Should Realtors have staging knowledge?

Hold Up…Lets Just Think For a Second!

I recently went to work with a client that needed help getting their home ready to sell. It had been on the market for several weeks with no offers and no interest from buyers. The only remarks were not in their favor. After this had gone on for several weeks they gave me a call to come give them some pointers. I knew there was going to be many issues to be addressed because I had seen their home before, however I REALLY underestimated this one!!!

The first thing that greeted me as I walked in the door was a huge pile of shoes in the foyer. They prefer guests to remove their shoes and leave them there while in the home. I asked them if these shoes were always there. To my amazement they told me yes. WHAT? They were under the impression that it would be forgivable by buyers because it was the best place to put them. Here’s a thought…how about the CLOSET??
I proceeded with the couple to the, well…I guess it was the family room. I could not tell what it was because there was a baby bassinet, television on the floor, and one couch. No pictures. No mirrors. No rugs. Nothing. Each room of the house was empty, other than one or two things. Chalk drawings on the walls were everywhere, along with toy chests and stained carpets.
I quickly realized I was about to have to break the news that they needed serious help. We went room by room and gave each one a purpose. We added pictures and rugs to living areas and transformed an open room into the ‘Sun Room.’
The part of this that amazed me the most was that they were not selling the home themselves. THEY HAD AN AGENT !! When I asked them if the agent had addressed any of these issues they told me that it had not been mentioned. What?
I was shocked to hear this because it seemed as though the agent should tell them these things needed to be addressed to sell the house.
The thing is that it is not the house that left an impression on me. What I remember the most is the Agent they were working with. The experience gave me insight to how that agent conducts business. I saw first hand what that agent considers to be good enough. In my opinion, every time you tour a home listed with an agent that home somewhat represents that agent. I will remember that the agent I have spoken of did not care enough to be honest with the seller. They did not want to put in the extra work to help them. To them it was just another listing that they would add to their resume. The agent owed that family more than they were given.
To this day I remember that because I want my fellow agents to leave any listing I have knowing that I am working for the seller to the best of my ability. I want them to see, first hand, my standards. This means I have to be honest and not afraid to put in extra work to make sure their home is seen as a great product. Don’t we owe them that? In the case of the family I have spoken of it would not have been that hard to tell the seller it might be a good idea to move the pile of shoes out of the foyer. Or, maybe spend ten minutes to wipe the chalk off the walls. Yes, it is the sellers job to keep the house clean and ready. However, sometimes they need the honest input from the agent they are paying to guide them along the way.

Weston Blankenship, Home Stager and Designer for
Stephen Strickhausen
Keller Williams
9175 Caroters Parkway
Suite 110 Franklin, TN

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