FAQs: Why Bother Staging in a Seller’s Market?

FAQs: Why Bother Staging in a Seller's Market?Welcome back to FAQs: answers to today’s most pertinent questions about Home Staging and Interior Decorating, The Refreshed Home-style! 

Yes, why WOULD a seller go through the bother of Staging their Westchester County house in a seller’s market?  In a word: TERMS.

The rationale for putting time and (usually) money into getting a property market-ready has always been for sellers to sell well, and quickly. But with media and industry sources from coast to coast all pontificating about inventory shortages and bidding wars, why would a seller bother to Stage their house in this market?

First-let’s understand, the term is relative.  Currently there is *no* wholesale rush to buy property.  Look online-there are plenty of available properties in any market with triple-digit DOMs. It’s a Seller’s Market only if you have a property buyers want.

There are two elements to consider in an offer: Price, and terms.  Price is a number, terms will color that number. Terms can be anything from closing time, down payment amount, a selling contingency or even your throwing in the heirloom chandelier (that you SHOULD have taken down before listing…but that is a topic for another FAQ).

Assuming the pricing is on target (this Westchester County Home Stager *never* has an opinion on specific pricing-she leaves that to the agent and the market), and needing to still navigate the appraisal process, terms will often be the most negotiable part of an offer.

“Selling well” used to refer to price, but quickly, and condition-free is buyer-nip in today’s market. A good offer means little if it doesn’t close. Generally the more encumbered an offer, the longer and more difficult the process will be, and the greater the chance it will not close. Just this week the NYT  spoke to this relatively new phenomenon, where better terms are trumping better prices and cash.

Serious and motivated;  ready, willing and able  is what sellers and buyers each want in the other.  Sellers send their message by having their Westchester County house looks it’s very best, here are some of the buyers I’ve seen respond with their highest and best early on:

  •  Buyers who’ve gotten skunked and lost out on another property
  • Buyers who’ve put off buying the last few years, but are now impatient to get on with their life
  • Buyers whose own property sold fast, and now need to buy, ASAP
  • Buyers who realize the Interest Rate Fairy will not be gracing us forever

Sellers market, buyers market, ask your agent:  Sellers who ‘bother’ to Stage their Westchester County house will hold more cards, and put more money in their pocket, faster.