Bryan Vogt: Welcome back everyone to Ready Set Sold. I’m your host, Bryan Vogt. I hope you’re having a fantastic Saturday and making a fantastic weekend.
With that said, we’ve been talking staging this week and in this show and how important staging is. I gave some examples before in the last segment, but another thing to kind of look upon … I’ll bring Kelly in this. Kelly Etheridge, she’s one of the rock stars on our team. She’s with us today. Kelly just went to Cancun and she celebrated her 25th anniversary with her husband. That’s fantastic. There’s another side to that, she’s laughing about that, she did go during hurricane season. There were some issues there.
Kelly Etheridge: Yeah.
Bryan Vogt: In the end, you had a great time, right? It was well worth the trip.
Kelly Etheridge: Yes, we have a wonderful time, thank you.
Bryan Vogt: There are worst places to be stranded at, right?
Kelly Etheridge: Absolutely. We were stranded in paradise for two extra days. Yeah, it wasn’t awful.
Bryan Vogt: That’s good and that’s good news. The reason why I bring that up is many times if you look at your house, and you look at it if you were going on that trip to Cancun or some special place, whether it be downtown St. Louis, Chicago, whatever. You have this vision when you’re going into your hotel room.
You know, on one side of the coin, that there’s been 500 or 1,000 people maybe in this room before you, maybe even hours beforehand. But what’s happening is, they’re creating an illusion. The hotel’s creating an illusion. They’re creating an illusion that you’re the first person that’s been here, that no one else has been here. They do that by making sure the beds are all fluffed up. That the bathroom is in great working order.
Now imagine if you’re going on that trip and you walk in, and the first thing you saw was an unmade bed. That would break the entire illusion. In fact, it might really, really kind of bring you back to reality, maybe even upset you, depending on your personality profile. You walk into the bathroom and you saw a bar of soap, with no paper around it and was wet. Oh my god.
Kelly Etheridge: Exactly.
Bryan Vogt: All of a sudden the reality comes in, right? The reality comes in that, “Oh my gosh, somebody was either just here orthis isn’t really my room. The room isn’t ready to go.” Well, when we talk about staging, it’s a similar situation. We want to create the illusion that we’re not living there as sellers. I know it sounds little crazy, but that’s really what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to create that illusion that we’re not there.
That’s why making sure that those things in the bathrooms are picked up. Making sure that the pictures are taken down, the family pictures. Making sure all those things are taking you out of the equation because as, Kelly, as we’ve talked before the program, that can become a real problem when it comes to selling your home and when you’re trying to show a house, right?
Kelly Etheridge: Yeah, you want to depersonalize your home. You want your buyers to come in and think, “Where can I put my things?” You want them to think, “Oh, I can move right into this, that this space is open and that I can put my things here.” Not that I’m not sure my things will fit.
Bryan Vogt: I’m sure you’ve had experiences. Oh, go ahead, I’m sorry. I mean, but just to kind of follow up on that, Kelly, I’m sure you’ve had situations where people have not been able to seen past it, right? I mean, that they’ve gone into bathrooms and had toothpaste and toothbrushes out and soap dishes and all that. Just the expression on their face says it all, right?
Kelly Etheridge: Yes, and I’ve had buyers that know the people in the pictures. They spend more time talking about these people instead of looking at the home.
Bryan Vogt: The frustration part for sellers is that they put all this work into staging their home, and what happens is that they find out, or they don’t realize, is that the buyers are trying to put the family tree together, right?
Kelly Etheridge: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Bryan Vogt: Like I said, it’s exact opposite of what you want. Buyers are just looking for information. They’re not trying to be nosy. When they see pictures, not only does it remind them that this is someone else’s house, but also, “Well, okay, how many kids do they have?”
I know one situation an agent was telling me about that the family had three kids. The space was fine, but the buyers started to realize that the family living there now had only one child. They started having doubt they really weren’t going to have enough room to have five people in there, when that wasn’t even an issue before they saw pictures. It can some detrimental situations too, where it can put doubt in the buyer’s mind.
The other part, the other illusion that we want to do, is create space. Think back to when you first bought your house. Most likely, you felt that it had all the space in the world, even though the reason why you’re leaving is that you need more space. But you want to create that illusion. That’s why we talked about the garage, making sure that has the ability to put one, or two cars in thegarage if that is what it is for. Also, the closet space and furniture. Kelly, I’m sure you’ve had situations where maybe you didn’t feel like you could even move through the house.
Kelly Etheridge: Yeah, I walked through the front door of a home, and I was greeted by an ottoman. There was a chair and an ottoman blocking the front door pathway. Yes, naturally, my buyer was thinking, “Oh, this place is very crowded.” Yeah, you want to make sure that pathways are clear. That if there’s an extra piece of furniture, maybe you get that storage unit and you take out a piece of furniture from each room just to open up that space.
Bryan Vogt: That’s a great point. Then we talked about before is getting a rental, it’s becoming more and more common. Sure, if you have a neighbor, that’s fantastic, or a family member. But it’s really best to try to get that furniture or whatever out of the house just because it just makes it much more spacious. That’s what people are buying. Kitchen cabinets, I’ve had situations, Kelly maybe you too, is they’ll open those kitchen cabinets. I’ve had Tupperware fall on people. I’ve had pots and pans fall on people’s feet, right?
Kelly Etheridge: Mm-hmm.
Bryan Vogt: Initially, it’s humorous.
Kelly Etheridge: Papers fall out.
Bryan Vogt: They just have a laugh at there, but many times that we don’t see them writing offers on those houses.
Kelly Etheridge: No, no, and that’s the problem.
Bryan Vogt: Like I said, it is humorous to begin with. Now again, like everything else, there’s nothing 100%. Having a staged home doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a staged home that you can never sell your house. We’re not saying that. But by doing these simple things, the lighting, the de-cluttering, the cleaning, the fixing the things that need to be fixing, you can have so much more success. You get, again, higher offers and getting faster sales than if not being staged.
With that, we’ll be coming up the last segment. That’s going to be the tip of the week. It’s going to be a big one, so you want to stay tuned for that. You’re listening to Ready Set Sold with your host, Bryan Vogt.