Many real estate professionals are hesitating or completely forgoing the use of home staging. They continue to use every marketing tool available such as social media platforms, traditional advertising and videos, but their listings still linger on the market. Oftentimes, real estate professionals have home staging confused with interior design. While interior design is a luxury, home staging is a necessity for the real estate professional’s marketing plan.

Real estate professionals may not not fully understand what home staging is, often confusing it with interior design. While interior design is about decorating and personalizing your home, home staging is about strategic editing, usually decluttering,and depersonalizing the home. Because most real estate professionals offer their clients advice for improving their home,they often feel this is adequate enough. The goal of home staging is to make the home appear fresh and welcoming without focusing on any specific taste in order that a potential buyer can feel that they could make the home their own should they buy it. Without home staging, this is often hard to convey and a reason why good listings linger on the market. For the real estate professional that has offered advice to no avail, there are many reasons why home staging should be considered a vital tool.

One of the benefits of home staging is that the pressure to bring up ‘delicate issues’ is taken off the shoulders of the real estate professional. Professional home stagers have no problem discussing strange odors, ghastly decor or cleaning issues with buyers. And if a couple should disagree on the recommendations, having a home stager field the disagreement means you won’t jeopardize your listing by having to side with one or the other. As a real estate professional you only have so much time to offer clients about how to declutter and where to make repairs. Working with a home stager frees up that time to work on finding potential buyers, closing deals and getting new listings – the work you want to be doing. Lastly, the professional home stager will have your client’s home ‘showroom’ ready for open houses. It’s a time saver for the real estate professional to be able to just show up at their open house without having to spend time darting about straightening details before potential buyers show up. With all these benefits, sometimes there is still one doubt holding back real estate professionals from working with home stagers. And that is the question: Who pays for the home stager’s services?

Recommending the use of a professional home stager does not necessarily mean the real estate agent must pay the bill. Homeowners are often advised to use services of other various professionals when it comes to selling their home. Would a homeowner expect the real estate professional to pay the fees for a real estate lawyer? Most definitely not. Though rare, there are some real estate professionals who pay the professional home stager’s consultation fee as part of their service to the seller. This could quickly become a drain on the real estate professional’s marketing budget and there is always the chance that the seller will not implement the home stager’s recommendations, resulting in a lingering listing while the real estate agent waits to recoup this expense. Professional home stagers have reported that sellers are more open to their recommendations when the sellers themselves are paying for the service. The real estate professional should advise the seller that using a professional home stager will help attract more potential buyers to their home and, in turn, sell their listing quicker. For the real estate professional this will mean the difference between a listing lingering on the market and netting a higher amount for the listing.

For the real estate professional interested in learning more about professional home staging, listen to the radio talk show “Good Morning New York, Real Estate with Vince Rocco” at where BLU Realty Group real estate veteran Vince Rocco interviews 5-time Emmy Award winning television personality, interior designer and home stager Cathy Hobbs.

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