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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Staging Malfunctions, or, Seller Cold Feet

Ready, Set . . . NOT Set

Call it the real estate equivalent of a "wardrobe malfunction": the staging appointment, made weeks (or months) earlier, finally arrives, and . . . the client just can't go through with it.

That just happened this week to a stager I regularly work with.

Unfortunately, she had been planning to use the home to conduct her staging workshop (in return for making their home available, the home owner gets free staging worth as much as $2,000).

As a result of the last minute cancellation, the stager had to scramble to arrange backup homes to work on with her students -- several of whom had flown in from out-of-town.

False Start

While not that common, I'd estimate that about 10% of my clients get staging cold feet.

So what is it about?

Usually, the home owner is simply not ready emotionally to sell.

That's most often the case when they have been in their home for decades.

But I've also had clients who were only in their home a few years who unexpectedly put the brakes on, too.

Next Steps

Usually, the hesitancy is temporary; once the owner revisits their original motive(s) for selling, they realize that staging is an important part of the process, and indeed, is an inexpensive way to increase their home's market value (an important consideration, especially if the motive for selling is financial).

Another tack is to switch to identifying the owner's next home, if they haven't already.

Especially when someone doesn't know where they're moving to, leaving their current home can be unduly stressful.

Once in awhile, though, the home owner decides that they truly aren't ready to move.

In which case, it's better for all involved -- owner, Realtor, and prospective Buyers -- to simply acknowledge that fact, and wait till the timing's better.

P.S.: It's also invariably the case that unmotivated stagers . . . make unmotivated Sellers.

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