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Ready Set Sold with Bryan Vogt #06-04: Kelly Etheridge of RE/MAX Preferred #1: Staging works

July 1, 2017

Bryan Vogt: Welcome back, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us today, this fine Saturday. I am Bryan Vogt, the host of Ready, Set, Sold. What we left with, me and Kelly Etheridge, she’s with me today-
Kelly Etheridge: Hello, everyone.
Bryan Vogt: Hello. We were talking about the importance of lighting, and now the next step we’re going to talk about is spacing.
Before we get into the spacing part of it, I want to touch on, should you have a professional stager come in? This has been our experience with professional stagers. There’s nothing wrong with having a stager, but what are you looking to gain from this? The reason why I say that is, staging, as a rule, can get you a faster sale. There’s nothing wrong with that, staging, having a professional stager come in. But you have to weigh the cost of what the staging is and the cost of the sale of your home.
Let’s say, if you take all your costs involved, principal and interest, taxes, insurance, HOAs, utilities, and that comes up to $1,500 or $2,000, and they feel they can get you to shave off two weeks, a month, off of that. The cost is $1,000 or, $2,000, or even $500, it’s not guaranteed, of course, but that might make more sense.
If you’re going in with staging that by putting $1,000 in that you’re going to get $10,000 back, that ain’t going to happen. That is not going to happen. If you have that situation or those expectations of putting $1,000 or $2,000 in to have a professional stager come in, that’s not the direction you want to take.
With that said, many times, your realtor can be a great source of that. Ask your realtor, as far as staging goes. Most of the staging things we talk about are very, very simple. A good rule of thumb is, take one piece of furniture out of every room, barring your kitchen, potentially, and barring a dining room, or whatever. It depends. But that goes back into the bedrooms. Again, if you only have a bed and a nightstand, that’s fine. But again, if you have more furniture, but taking one away, is just a very good rule of thumb.
Where do you put it? Put it in the basement. Put it possibly in the garage. Do you have a neighbor? Many times, neighbors will help out. They don’t mind taking an extra chair or couch. Make sure you get it back, but that’s neither here nor there, especially if it was a nice chair.
But again, spacing becomes so much … And Kelly, we were talking during the break. You’ve got some stories as far as that goes.
Kelly Etheridge: Yeah, we had a seller once, who had a chair diagonally in front of the front door. When our buyers came in, they were greeted by an ottoman. We asked our seller either remove the chair, or let’s place it somewhere that it’s not blocking the front door, because we wanted to create space. We want our buyers to think, “My furniture will fit in this room.”
Bryan Vogt: That’s true, and that’s exactly right. Remember, buyers are constantly looking at seeing themselves in this particular area. Do I have enough room? Again, if you’re the seller, and you don’t have enough room, or the illusion is that you don’t have enough room, guess what? Automatically buyers are going to say, “If you can’t do it, I can’t do it either.” That’s why closets become so, so important. That’s why getting the furniture, moving one piece of furniture out. Look, don’t be afraid, and sellers do this also, is getting a rental space. It’s like $100 a month.
Again, the idea you’re going to be getting your house sold for top dollar and fast, at least that’s what you and your agent should be talking about, there are a few exceptions. If you’re a very high end home, maybe in [inaudible 00:03:59], that could be in the high 400s, definitely in the half million dollar mark, you may not be getting a timeline that we’re talking about here. There are situations, too, there might be pockets, even though we have a hot market, there could be pockets of areas where things aren’t selling as fast. But generally, those are more exceptions.
General rule of thumb is you should be getting activity, getting people in there. By doing the spacing, and the lighting, and getting those things down, and having that mindset … and maybe that’s the biggest thing is having that mindset of what we’re actually doing. We’re trying to get top dollar for your biggest investment, and you can do it. It doesn’t matter the price point of your home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a two bedroom, one bath home, or a six bedroom, four bath mansion, or whatever you want to call it. These things will work. Just again, make sure that you’re aware of them. Make sure that you’re doing them.
I talked about before starting every morning with the situation of just going in a routine, turning the lights on. One big thing I want to talk about, too, is make sure, especially either the summer or the winter, don’t turn up your air conditioner. Do not turn up your air conditioner. I know you’re used to it, because you’re both working, and you’re leaving. But Kelly, you’ve had it, I’m sure, the experience. The first thing out of their mouth is, “What’s wrong with the air conditioner?”
Kelly Etheridge: Absolutely.
Bryan Vogt: It’s not … “There must be something wrong with this air conditioner.” Again, that’s not the first impression that you want to give to potential buyers. Keep it at a comfortable level. What do you normally have it in? If you tend to want to keep it a little bit warmer, for now, start cooling it down a little bit. You’d rather have it a little bit too cold, and then they can talk about, “Wow, that air conditioner really works good,” versus, “Oh my gosh, it doesn’t work at all,” or “There might be something wrong with it.” Secondly, uncomfortable. You want them to stay. You don’t want them to be all of a sudden rushing out. That’s not a good thing. That’s not what you want to accomplish.
Again, these are minor things. Again, leave the lights on all day long. Don’t have the agent turn them off. Do not. Number one, you may get another showing that day. Again, go with the idea you’re going to have a showing. Right. Because if you don’t, guess what? You’re going to have another showing, and now the lights aren’t going to be on, and that’s not what you want. You want to have ready, set, go. You really want to move that forward, because the simple fact is, as agents, and Kelly you know this, and look, I’ve been in houses myself, the first time I’ve seen this house, too. We don’t know where the light switches are at. We may have [inaudible 00:06:39] idea.
Kelly Etheridge: Or the combination of which light turns on the fan, and the switch, and the-
Bryan Vogt: Right, and again, you’re creating that illusion. Instead of having them sit there with the lights, and trying to fiddle with the lights in every room, and whatever, it’s the same thing when you’re leaving. Go with the idea the first impression they come in with is the last impression you want them to leave with. Leave the lights on. Leave the blinds on. Let them see. The last thing they see is the first thing they saw when they came in, of why they liked the home so much. That becomes really important.
In the next segment here, we’re going to wrap up, but I’m going to bring up a really important topic that you’re going to be really glad you stayed in tune for. You’ve been listening to Ready, Set, Sold. I’m your host, Bryan Vogt. Just so you know, you can get the book. It’s free, It’s a free book. I think it’s important for people to really understand that they can have great success by selling their home and getting top dollar and a fast sale.
With that said, I am your host, Bryan Vogt. I will see you on the other side.

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