Los Angeles Home Staging Info

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Get Your Home Ready To Sell: Home Buyers Want A Move In Ready House

Los Angeles kitchen before remodeling for selling

Home buyers in the Los Angeles real estate market want a house that is move in ready.

Home buyers don't want an allowance to repair the roof, replace the carpet or repaint. Allowances are for teenagers. They want a well priced home, in a decent location, that they can move right in to without spending another dime.

Its a big fallacy that home buyers want to choose their own carpet or paint colors. If you choose a nice, neutral color carpet and nice neutral color wall paint (both things the best home stagers can help you with) most home buyers will see your home as more desirable because it is move-in-ready. They'll be thrilled they don't have to worry about picking out carpet and having it installed or find a painter who has time in their schedule. If your home stager can't help you with this, then you are working with the wrong home stager.

Most home buyers are maxing out their home purchasing budget by making an offer on the nicest home they can possibly afford. They don't have extra money to paint, install new carpet or retile the bathroom. They want to move in as soon as escrow closes, not after they have to make a lot of repairs to make their new home livable. Los Angeles kitchen after remodeling to sell Here's what happens when you offer a $5,000 allowance for repairing the roof that should have been replaced 5 years ago:

  1. The buyer thinks "What else didn't they repair that they should have?"
  2. The buyer thinks "What structure got damaged by the leaky roof?"
  3. The buyer thinks "Is it really going to cost only $5,000 to repair the roof?"
  4. The buyer thinks "How much time will it take me to get bids, hire a roofing company & get the work done?"
  5. The buyer thinks "What happens if (fill in the disaster: it rains, the contractor absconds with the deposit, a worker falls off the roof)?"
  6. The buyer thinks "The seller must be desperate since the house isn't in good shape."

Here's what happens next: The buyer accepts your offer of $5,000 to repair the roof, and then also knocks off another 10% because they think the house is not in good condition or you are desperate...

~or~

The buyer rejects your house and moves on to the house down the street that is move in ready.

Here's what happens when you offer a $3,000 allowance for new carpet:

  1. The buyer thinks "Will $3,000 really cover new carpet for the whole house?"
  2. The buyer thinks "I'm not from around here. Where do I buy new carpet?"
  3. The buyer thinks "That house down the street already has new carpet. Why should I take on the added stress of shopping for & installing new carpet?"

Here's what happens next:

The buyer accepts your offer of $3,000 to buy new carpet, and then also knocks off another 10% because they think your allowance won't cover all the costs ...

~or~

The buyer rejects your house and moves on to the house down the street that is move in ready and already has new carpet installed.

By not repairing and updating your home before you put it on the market, you are asking home buyers to assume risk and additional expenses. You add more stress and uncertainty to the situation. Many home buyers are already investing every penny they can get their hands on in order to purchase a home. They are unable or unwilling to purchase a home that will require repairs before they can move in.

Additionally, the condition of your home may effect the appraisal causing the buyer's lender to refuse the loan.

Want to get a Los Angeles home sold? Price it right, hire the best full service Realtor you can find, hire a professional home stager and make sure it is in move-in ready condition.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

Click here to see our Los Angeles home staging portfolio

Click here to go to our Los Angeles home staging blog

Click here for more information about home staging in Los Angeles and how we can help sell your home faster and for the best price

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Comment balloon 72 commentsMichelle Minch • December 17 2010 11:59AM

Comments

Great post.  Very informative.

Posted by Chris M.T. Bodden, RA, CDPE - www.BoddenRealEstate.com (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Michelle - this is a good post and offers good thoughts for sellers to consider when they are selling their home.

Posted by Sharon Paxson, Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate (Arbor Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Thank you Chris and Sharon.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Good explanation Michelle of why sellers should offer a move in ready home, rather than an allowance.  We need to keep educating the public about this subject until they understand they're helping their home sell faster when the repairs are already taken care of!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 7 years ago

So true Michelle. I hope a lot of sellers read this.

Posted by Ron Wickes (Keller Williams - Broker Associate) over 7 years ago

This is so true Michelle.  Allowances are a red flag and get potentinal buyers looking for other red flags.  Sellers want their homes to be free of any potential issues so buyers can fall in love with home, not find reasons not to buy it.  Thanks for this. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 7 years ago

Maureen: I'm sure you encounter this problem too, in Portland. I laugh (and cry) when I hear home sellers say "We're not replacing the carpet because the buyer will probably want to choose their own". Buyers want to buy a house and move in. They don't want to have to go shopping for carpet, find someone to install it and go through the hassle. If the carpet and paint is fresh, and the home is nicely staged it will sell faster!

Thank, Ron. Feel free to reblog so more sellers will read it :o)

Janet: You're welcome!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Excellent points for any seller to embrace.   It's a buyer's market now and we all know every advantage you can get when selling is a must.

Posted by Connie King over 7 years ago

Very true, Connie. Thanks!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

It's true be ready to sell people.  Don't expect people to want to fix the things you never took the time to fix.  They don't want to be bothered either.  MOve in ready home are a cinch to sell!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 7 years ago

That first picture truely scares me!  : )  Great blog post.  You're right, no one wants an allowance. They want pretty, neat and ready to move. 

Posted by Bob McCranie, Your best advocate when buying or selling your hom (Broker/Owner - Texas Pride Realty) over 7 years ago

If it is not move in read, be prepared for either no offers or very low offers!

Posted by John Marshall - FORE!, Specializing in Golf Course Properties (The K Company Realty) over 7 years ago

I was just having this conversation this morning. Right now buyers are really not tolerating much of anything.  They want the house to be perfect - no work left undone, no old kitchen... There is just too much to choose from out there.

 

Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) over 7 years ago

I never recommend a repair allowance. That's an open invitation to ask for more later. Love your before and after pics.

Posted by Bernadine Hunter, SFR, ACRE, "Finding Solution to Your Real Estate Needs" (Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realty) over 7 years ago

So so true, Michelle.

My motto, to my home staging clients in Atlanta, is that "we want to give the buyers every reason to buy and not a single reason not to." A dated and stained carpet will NOT help sell the home. And as you point out, puts the prospective buyer in a position to further lower their bid. Huge mistake.

Kathy

Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager (http://atlantahomestaging.net) over 7 years ago
Awesome post! Thanks
Posted by Joseph Ray Diosana, Diosana ~ Houston Area ~ 713-965-4338 (Keller Williams Realty [Harris County]) over 7 years ago

Very well put!  And I think I am going to borrow the "Allowances are for teenagers" line to sue on some of my sellers!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) over 7 years ago

This cannot be said often enough - especially in this market. Buyers also have trouble seeing beyond the yellowed wallpaper or dirty carpeting as much as we try to remind them to picture them without it.  And, although allowances are for teenagers, if the Seller has to give an allowance (maybe they don't have the funds to do the repairs), then at least make it an allowance that will actually cover the repairs.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) over 7 years ago

So true!  And I love your comment "allowances are for teenagers"!!  (I may have to use that, hope you don't mind).  Your first picture also looks like some of the properties I have been in with buyers (and sometimes they are worse than this).  It makes showings unpleasant.  Some other things I've run across that should be addressed:

Pet odors, smoke odor, and, for goodness sake, clean up that house!

Thanks for the post!  Happy Holidays!

Posted by Monica Foster, Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, CHMS, CNE, CNHS (RE/MAX Space Center - Clear Lake Area, League City, Friendswood, Pearland) over 7 years ago

Michelle, this is right on target. Buyers will go to the competition, if the home isn't move in ready. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Excellent post! I really liked how you very clearly illustrated exactly what a potential buyer is thinking and feeling. Allowances for things which should have been taken care by the seller only give buyers reasons to walk away. 

Posted by Heather Cook, Quality Home Staging (Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc.) over 7 years ago

Thanks, Tni.

Bob: You should have seen the rest of the house!

John: I agree.

Claudette: I think sellers have to weigh how quickly they want to sell vs. how much work they are willing to do to get a home move-in ready. The more they invest (wisely) the faster it will sell.

Thanks, Bernadine.

Kathy: I love that! "Give buyers every reason to buy, and not a single reason not to."

Thanks, Joseph.

Richard: Please feel free to borrow that line. I hope it helps.

Christine: If they can't make needed repairs, they should get quotes from contractors to prove their allowance is on the mark.

Happy Holidays to you too, Monica

Michael: Thanks! I always say "Don't give a buyer a reason to buy the house down the street".

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Great advice & a little pre-planning before your house goes on the market can actually save you thousands.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

Lyn: Its sad to see homes lingering on the market that would probably sell if they were made move-in-ready. BTW, thanks for reblogging this post.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Great points Michelle. It can't be overstated that buyers have neither the time, money or the desire for DYI projects when they move into a house. I am reblogging the post to spread the word.

Posted by Linda Thompson (Selling By Design-Staging) over 7 years ago

Heather: Sorry I missed your response. We definitely don't want potential buyers to walk away.

Linda: Thanks for the reblog! Who wants to spend all their money on a house, only to have to spend even more money to make it ready to live in?

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago
Great post. Frequently the buyer totally overestimates the cost for repairs, paint, carpet, etc.
Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 7 years ago

Erica: One way to prevent that is to get 2 or 3 bids for needed repairs to show to home buyers. But really, the best thing (and probably the most cost effective) is for the home seller to handle any repairs before they list the house.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Not just in Los Angeles either, buyer's in Oakland are excited to write an offer if a property is move in ready. If it's not, then they would rather wait to write an offer once the price of the home drops, which really translates to not being that excited about the house. When repairs or updates need to be made, it's quite easy for a buyer to get distracted on the price of a home and how much it will cost them to buy versus thinking how exciting it will be to be a home owner and personalizing the home once they move in. Stagers are a great asset in teh pre-marketing stage when a buyer isn't listening to the agent and needs to hear it from another professional in the business.

It's always a plus when a stager can find a few items in the house they can use as part of the staging. :)

 

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, California Homes for Sale in the East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) over 7 years ago

Elisa: That's a very good point. When a home buyer realizes there are repairs to be made, its easy for them to get distracted about cost vs. benefit of owning the home.

So true: "Stagers are a great asset in the pre-marketing stage when a buyer isn't listening to the agent and needs to hear it from another professional in the business."

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Michelle, your scenarios are very real!  I have had a difficult time convincing sellers to spend the money to stage a home.  any suggestions?

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 7 years ago

I had a listing that languished on the market until my seller got rid of the tenant, then painted and carpeted the entire house. It went under contract in a few weeks!

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 7 years ago

Micchlle,

Excellent post. Thank you for taking the time to help educate buyers and sellers with your posts. Good luck in 2011!

deb

Posted by Deb Harshman, REALTOR & ASPMaster Stager, The Selling Advantage (Long and Foster - Christie's International Real Estate & Owner of Staged Home Decor) over 7 years ago

Sharon: Don't we know it. You have a great home stager near you: Karen Otto. She knows your market well and will be the best one to help you convince your clients to pay for staging. I recommend her highly.

Hella: New paint and carpet and definitely strong tools to help get a home sold.

Deborah: Thank YOU! Happy Holidays!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Its nice to note that these "simple" updates are not so simple.  Some sellers feel overwhelmed at "what repairs should I make", they fail to think "If I'm overwhelmed, and I KNOW this house, how overwhelmed will a buyer be when the buyer doesn't even know this house yet?".  Taking the time to help the sellers overcome these fears and organize the RIGHT steps is a good tool for all of us.  Excellent post.

Posted by Robert Jarvis, MBA (Keller Williams, Chicago, IL) over 7 years ago

Most lenders do not know how to use an allowance anymore.  Lenders want the work done prior to closing.  Escrows are pretty much a thing of the past.  BTW-the mention of an allowance in the remarks says-"Get ready for an ugly house".

Posted by Kathy Fuhriman (Bear River Valley Realty) over 7 years ago

Robert: The best listing agents and home stagers will be able to guide a homeowner through the repairs process. That is why its so important to hire the best!

Kathy: Your comment made me laugh -"the mention of an allowance in the remarks says-"Get ready for an ugly house". So true!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago
So true Michelle! Buyers will pay for move-in ready & staging makes for an irresistible choice with all of the other "lingering" listings. If buyers could hire you to help them see how gorgeous the place could be, they could get a smokin' deal! Just a thought :) Cheers, Kim
Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Realtors (www.LiveWorkSiliconBeach.com, Santa Monica Real Estate :) ) over 7 years ago

You are right.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of home owners that can't afford to do the fixes.  The house will appraise for more but it needs the repairs completed and paid out of escrow.  It is a dicey game, because if it doesn't appraise a BIG problem comes in to play.  Contractors need to be paid or a lein is placed on their property.  MOVE IN ready is always the best way to sell a home.

Posted by Ric Mills, Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge (Keller Williams Southern Az) over 7 years ago

The most realistic point that being missed here:

If buyers are getting a mortgage, the lender will not allow any allowances in the contract. It has the appearance of a buyer kickback or fraud.

If the buyer is paying cash, an allowance is the same as lowering the price.

Allowances are a thing of the past, not the present housing (and lending) market. It doesn't make sense that realtors are still talking about this. Am I wrong?

Posted by Leah Thomas over 7 years ago

Congrats on the feature! I think you hit the nail on the head with alot of this. There are the buyers who are looking for a complete redo house OR the house that is already done and not much in-between.

Posted by Jenny Durling, For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758 (L.A. Property Solutions) over 7 years ago

Michelle,  We have the same thing up here in the Bay Area.  The Buyers have good incomes, but they have used all their cash for the down payment and closing costs.  Most all of our "regular" sale homes are staged.  The bank owned homes are nice because at least they are empty.  The very toughest sale is the "short sale" where the owner or a renter still lives there and absolutely nothing has been done.  You kitchen "before and after" picture  is fantastic and really tells a story.

Posted by Ann Wilkins, Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA (Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty) over 7 years ago

HI Michelle, absolutely agree. Your line about allowances being for teenagers is priceless.  You really have brought the whole debate of whether to prep your house ready for sale versus offering an allowance to a fine point.  Buyers are at their max most of the time when they are looking for a new home. By taking away the uncertainty of repairs after purchasing you can't help but make the decision easier for them  to buy this house instead of the one down the street.  This is for most people the single largest purchase they make. To create an impression of being move in ready will only pay off dividends to the seller  and shorten the time on market. So glad I stopped in to read this post today.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 7 years ago

Well deserved featured post Michelle! If sellers only realized how much MORE money it's going to cost them NOT to do the things you've listed, I think they'd understand why it is so necessary to do it before buyer's object.  I never recommend providing "allowances" and give similar scenarios to my clients (I like your "allowances are for teenagers"!) That money is better off being used to get the the home move in ready not sitting waiting for the buyer who may never come.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes (Home Star Staging) over 7 years ago
Good post, but I think you can't say homebuyers in general. I mostly work with investors, and they are one category of homebuyers that love to see ugly homes with allowances. Of course this is because they are looking for a great deal, and not a beautiful home to live in. Clearly if your sellers are better off if they can avoid attracting investors over retail buyers though.
Posted by Joseph Cacciapaglia (BMC Capital) over 7 years ago

Kim & Kristine: I've been hired by the buyers to help them once escrow closed. They liked the staging so much they hired me to make their new house feel like home. Thanks!

Ric: I understand that some can't afford it, and that's unfortunate. I think more people can afford it than are willing to pay for it though. They still wind up paying with a lower sales price.

Leah: What you're saying is true, but I still hear homeowners say they'd rather give an allowance that fix up the place. I still see "carpet allowance" or :"roof allowance" in the MLS all the time.

Ann: I'm sure its the same story all over the country. The kitchen photos are from a home that I did a home staging consultation on. I hooked the homeowners (heirs) up with a real estate investor I stage for. She bought the house and made the needed repairs. The house sold in 2 weeks after we staged it! We're destaging on Tuesday.

Jenny: Fixer Upper = lower price. You're right...either people want a severely discounted house or they want one that's move in ready. Thanks!

I'm glad you stopped by too, Michelle! Thanks.

Karen: Homes in better condition that have been staged will always sell faster and for more money.

 

 

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Joe: I agree. Investors do love ugly houses in need of repairs because they can get them for a much lower price. Most home sellers want to get a higher price though. But even real estate investors aren't immune to the idea they won't have to do anything to a house before they flip it.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Persuading sellers to stage their homes in today's economy is difficult for the average RE property, however, i have found that the higher the price, the more cooperative the seller is to follow their RE agents recommendations.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 7 years ago

Kimo: I've had great luck helping to sell even the lowest price homes. Home staging consultations are pretty darn inexpensive when you consider how much more money the home owner may sell for.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

MIchelle-

I am loving the line "Allowances are for teenagers" What a perfect way to state it :-)

Posted by Deb Espinoza, GRI, Broker, SRS,ABR ePro, SFR, CNE (Stage Presence Homes, San Diego Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Great post Michelle!

Happy Staging!

Kelly

Posted by Kelly Penuita, CCSP, RESA-PRO, RESA (DecoChic Interiors ~Creating Beautiful Spaces~ Winnipeg, MB ) over 7 years ago

Boy you have hit the nail on the head.  I wish more agents/sellers read this and understand this is how buyers will react.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 7 years ago
This reminds me of a seller I had who put in new carpet in the bedrooms and fresh paint throughout. The paint came from the "oops" section, and every room was a different color. The carpet was all remnants, and each room had a different color and type. So even though everything was new and fresh, it missed the mark.
Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) over 7 years ago

Debbie: Feel free to use it.

Thanks, Kelly.

Joan: Feel free to reblog it :o)

Karen: Sound like a reality TV show "When good clients go bad". He (or she) only read part of the memo, apparently.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Very good points. We're living in a time of people wanting instant gratification, so buying and waiting for the work to be done isn't so attractive.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 7 years ago

Michelle - wonderful post.  Just one point from the seller's perspective, sometimes the reason the repairs aren't done is because the seller is short on cash to make those repairs.  What a balance!

Posted by Stanton Homes, Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina (Stanton Homes - New Home Builder) over 7 years ago

thank you for so eloquently stating what I have known inside my head but never could put in words. I stress to sellers that the first impression is the strongest and that having a ready-to-move-in house is priceless.

I'm going to bookmark this post for future reference!

Posted by Jeannine Willis (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Marte: That's true. Also buyers just don't have the money with higher downpayment requirements and all.

Penny: I think many home sellers could find some money if they really wanted to. They may not be able to complete all the repairs, but there are many they could do themselves if they tried.

Jeannine: I'm glad I could help!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Michelle - Just watched a Christmas movie over the weekend that involved a person becoming homeless.  She made a friend that had experience in mortgages that had been laid off.  Circumstances led to her getting her Realtor license living in a home that was up for sale, furnishing it with items from a rental company and it became her first sale.  Buyers offered list price for the house plus an additional amount to keep the house furnishings!!  Your post puts some reality to what buyers are looking for.  Merry Christmas!

Posted by Robert Courtney, Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS over 7 years ago

Michelle- congrats on the feature and you did a perfect job of showing exactly why carpet or any other allowances just won't work in today's market! 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 7 years ago

Bob: Put that movie in my Christmas stocking! What a great story. Thanks for sharing it.

Kathy: I'm always surprised when I hear the allowance line. I hope sellers will see that its in their best interest to make their home as pretty as can be before listing.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Hi Michelle, Congratulatins on a terrific featured post.  Great points eloquently put.  I'm sure many will reblog this one.  It's so appropriate to conversations REA's need to have with sellers.  Also love your "Allowances are for teenagers" and Kathy Nielsen's "we want to give the buyers every reason to buy and not a single reason not to."  Allowances are so passe and especially in this age of massive foreclosure numbers, lots of inventory, record low interest rates, it just makes no sense to put a property on the market other than in tip top shape and a professional home staging consultation is the most cost-effective way to get there.

Posted by Patricia Ebrahimi, Home Staging the Washington DC Area from Rockville MD (SHOW SMART! HOME STAGING & Color Consultant) over 7 years ago

Michelle, you have hit the nail on the head. I've had this conversation with so many sellers. They seem to think that making an allowance is so much better than investing in "selling" their home. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "I don't want to put any more money/work into this place." Urrgg!

Posted by Sharon Sein (Sein Organizing Solutions & Home Staging) over 7 years ago

Pat: It doesn't make sense to put a home on the market that hasn't been properly prepared, but people do it anyway. Happy Holidays, Pat.

Sharon: A large part of what we do is to help homeowners prepare their homes for sale. If they reject that help, there's not much we can do. I share your frustration.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

This is good information. Sellers right now need to do everything up front to make their house stand out. Most people just can't visualize how it will look and move on to the next house.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 7 years ago

So true. I have learned this the hard way over the years, and try to pass it along to sellers! Thanks.

Posted by Jan Stevens (Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh) over 7 years ago

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Tigard.

Jan: I think any one who works in real estate encounters this frequently.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Allowances give a negative impression before the prospective seller walks in the door! Great post Michelle!! Getting excited to see you in Vegas!! 

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) over 7 years ago

Your case is very well stated. Putting ourselves in the mind of the prospective buyer is a worthwhile exercise. 

I agree with people wanting move in ready, no fuss - no muss.

As you say, buyers often want the house they've purchased to look the same when they move is because they recognize the way a professional stager has analyzed the traffic flow, and presented each room with balance and appeal. The staging not only represents the best features of the house but also creates the appeal of a place you can't wait to live!

 

Posted by Jan Laurie (JL Residential Styling & Staging) over 7 years ago

Thanks Michelle excellent educational presentation for the Seller.  If Mr Buyer can't buy a new house he wants something that looks new. Encouraging the Seller to think like a Buyer can give them a different perspective.  Margaret C.

Posted by Margaret C. Taylor, St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent (Century 21 New Millennium MD) over 7 years ago

Cathy: That's very true. Allowances inform buyers that you are admitting in advance that your home is less than it should be.

Jan: Very true. I often have home buyers wanting to purchase the home as staged.

Margaret: We all want the best our money can buy. Most people will choose a lesser house in excellent condition than a bigger home that needs work.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

Great post...so true!  Allowances are a thing of the past.  If the seller works with a good stager they can put the allowance to better use and make a huge impact on the salability of the home!

Posted by Jo Potvin, Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market (Design To Market LLC) over 7 years ago

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