Good News for The Housing Market: Home Staging Not Optional


Forget Greece and the European debt crisis. Did you hear the good news? The housing numbers have been good and improving quietly across the nation. Here’s a summary from and :

Pending Home Sales Up in May, Annual Gains Strong

June 27, 2012 Pending home sales bounced back in May, matching the highest level in the past two years, and are well above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Both monthly and annual gains were seen in every region.

Home Prices Tick Up, Housing Market Recovery May Be Strengthening

June 26, 2012 The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed gains in nearly all major cities during April. While prices are still down from their boom-time highs, a recovery may be building.

New Home Sales Pace Fastest Since 2010

June 25, 2012 Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years, adding to evidence of a slow housing recovery. Sales of new single-family homes jumped 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 homes.

Signs Of Strength In Latest Housing Data

June 19, 2012 There was a 7.9 percent jump in the number of construction permits issued to home builders in May. And construction began on more single family homes than in April.

Yes, there is still a flood of foreclosures across the nation, and but the situation is improving. I’ve seen a slew of new real estate listings and SOLD! signs just this month.

So, what does this modest housing recovery mean to buyers and sellers?

As the market improves, and more sellers who have been holding off on listing come into the market, there may be more homes available. In some markets, buyers can afford to be choosy, and they will most often chose the homes that are maintained and presented well. Of course, since prices are improving, that means that buyers may pay more for homes than they would have during the last few years, but mortgages are still at historic lows and home prices have apparently market-corrected in many regions. Buyers have been trained to look for nice houses, and they are getting choosy.  If faced with a fixer and a move-in ready property in the same price range, buyers will almost always choose the move-in ready property.

Sellers, on the other hand, will have the chance to sell at higher prices than recently, but they might also face more competition. Gone are the days of putting up a marginal house and hoping a “flipper” will pay top dollar. Easy mortgage money isn’t available to the buyers anymore, so sellers really have to work to present the house that qualified buyers want to see. Buyers always want a well-maintained house that is stylish, light-filled, super-clean, move-in ready, odor free, and updated. If that sounds like a pretty long list to check off, then it’s probably time to check into home staging.

In the words of that great housing economist, Nate Berkus, “Home staging is no longer optional.”

A good rule of thumb is to expect to spend up to 3% of your home’s price prepping it for competitive pricing. History proves that staged homes sell in about half the time of non-staged homes, both in an up market and a down market. So investing a small percentage on you real estate can save you big bucks, since the first price reduction can be up to 10% of the price of the home.

Yes, you can DIY your home staging, but it is super hard to do on your own house, take it from me. You are just too close to it. But if you just need the plan, we can provide you a detailed, customized personalized plan with a 2-hour visit.

If you want us to do the heavy lifting, we can stage as little as one room starting at $525, all the way up to an entire house, inside and out. We can work with you immediately or over several years so you can enjoy the changes you make before you use them to attract your next buyer.



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