Convincing staging clients to invest in a house they’re selling

As a home stager, part of your job is to convince your clients why they have to spend money on a house they’re selling, an unattractive notion for many homeowners you’ll encounter.

Your job is to demonstrate how the money they spend on their home now is actually an investment and that the more money they put into the project, the greater their potential profit when the house sells.

When I entered a bidding war on the home I’m currently living in, I had only a few days to get my other house on the market and there was a lot of pressure to have it looking perfect, especially with me being The Staging Diva!

Of course I didn’t have to hire a stager but I did have to hire a handyman, gardener, painter and junk removal service. I also had no choice but to install a new kitchen floor because the 1920s kitchen had never been renovated. I decided to go with cork because it’s easy to install right over vinyl and it would work well with the retro chic look that I’d created while living in the space.

As the costs continued to climb to prepare my house for the real estate market, I found myself saying, “Why in the world would I spend almost $800 on a new floor for a house that I’m just trying to sell?” Naturally, I know better and the stager half of me was able to give that negative voice a little pep talk on why it’s an investment and not an expense.

When I originally purchased that home I’d painted the old laminate counter tops, cabinets and the back splash. I’d even added new hardware and lighting but I fell into that familiar trap of being too busy to replace the floor and I just got good at learning to ignore it.

The reality is that kitchens are key with buyers and I knew the old floor would stand right out and would encourage buyers to focus on the fact that it was really an old kitchen that had simply been tarted up. The look needed to be complete to wow buyers and leave them thinking “nice kitchen” rather than “this needs to be renovated!”

If I wanted to make a good profit on my own home staging services, I had to complete that look and spend the $800 to fix the floor and when it was finished, I knew it would pay off.

kitchen staged and styled by Debra GouldI was right! I sold that house after only 9 days on the market and I sold for well above asking. The profit I made more than covered the costs I’d incurred replacing the kitchen floor and getting repairs done. Even better, despite the house competing with others in the price range that had renovated kitchens with granite counters, the buyer told her agent that one of the reasons she bought the house was that she fell in love with the kitchen!

If your clients are struggling with investing in their home as they prepare to sell, remind them that every improvement they make is one less barrier between a potential buyer and their decision to buy.

Home stagers, do you have a story you’d like to share about an investment your clients were resistant to make that ended up paying off? Please share by leaving a comment below.

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging

Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.

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