I was hanging out with a few people at a wedding recently and the conversation turned to
today’s real estate market.
One of my friends, John, from a town near San Jose, CA told a fascinating, yet familiar,
story. I thought I would share it with all of you.
John and his wife, Liz, decided to sell their home. They bought the house in 2004, saw it
increase in value, and this summer decided to sell it. They interviewed four different
agents to sell their home and finally decided on the one who agreed to sell their home for
what they wanted to sell it for.
They believed the home was worth $625,000. The first three agents who came in to
interview for the listing told them the house would never sell at that price and that they
should consider listing it below $600,000. They all felt $589,000-$599,000 was the
John is a commercial real estate broker. He knew that his asking price was high but he
was in no hurry to sell. He also didn’t like the fact these three agents weren’t offering
any “solutions” they were only discussing the “problems” he would face at the higher
These agents told John and Liz about the current market conditions for their area. If
their home sold, it would likely take up to 120 days. There was a 55% chance that the
home wouldn’t sell at all during these four months. Based on what they wanted for their
home, they needed to be prepared for this. The agents told them they needed to consider
lowering the price.
John and Liz talked very seriously about lowering their price. Then they met a fourth
agent named Lynette.
Lynette came in and presented her case. It really wasn’t much different than the rest.
She also told them about days on the market and the chances of selling their home. She
also suggested they may be priced a bit high but then she offered an option.
“Let’s stage your home using a professional home staging company,” Lynette suggested.
“This is going to cost you about $4000. We will list the home at the $625,000 you want
but to offset some of this expense, when I sell your home, I will split this expense with
Whereas real estate professionals, like Lynette, are highly skilled in marketing, selling
and closing your home, home stagers are designers. They are artists who prepare your
home for resale. fritidshus
Home stagers work with the “flow” of your home. They will remove and re-arrange
furniture. They will eliminate clutter. They may even add pictures, bedspreads, paint,
art, rugs and other items to make it more appealing. They may even assist in enhancing
Their goal is to make an incredible first impression on potential homebuyers the moment
they pull in front of your home.
Lynette explained that although the décor of the house was very nice and contemporary,
the home was cluttered because of their three young boys and busy lifestyle. The home
didn’t feel as large as it was because it was packed with too many items to display it
properly. The home was “too personal,” she told them. They had picture of the boys
all over the house from birth to last year’s soccer playoffs.
She told them that they needed to compete with new home builders who are offering
buyers the most incredible purchase incentives. She said that when you walk into the
model homes of the builder you are “blown away.”
“THAT is your competition,” Lynette said. “You need to blow away the people who
walk into your home too.” She also explained that the last few clients who hired her
home staging company sold their home in less than 60 days and didn’t discount their
John and Liz were not crazy about spending $4000, and certainly not thrilled about taking
down pictures of their beloved family, but they were encouraged by Lynette’s creative
idea. At the end of the day, what they really cared about was selling this home, so they
John said the home staging company came in and made the house seem like a “hotel.”
“They took out way more things than they put in, but it did look better, like a nice bed
and breakfast hotel,” he said. “It almost made me want to stay there,” he joked.
It worked. Their house sold in three weeks….at the $625,000 list price. Lynette did an
amazing job from start to finish!