When today’s savvy home buyers view a corporate inventory property they often automatically lump the home in the same category with foreclosures and vacant short sales, which commonly need a lot of repair and remodeling.
This perception, coupled with a cold first impression from a lack of furniture and accessories in corporate homes become obstacles to getting that home sold. Time spent in inventory, sometimes month after month, is money down the drain for companies whose relocating employees have moved on and are working in their new location.
There is a solution
Innovative homeowners already know (thanks to HGTV) that home staging can work miracles with hard to sell properties. The success individuals have seen as a a result of home staging should make companies take heed to this emerging best practice.
If you are unfamiliar with the term home staging it can be defined as the act of making a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.
I want it cheap and I want it perfect
Another obstacle for selling corporate inventory properties is mortgage money. Recent statistics show that although incredible interest rates continue, tightening restrictions and the 20% down payment typically required is leaving buyers cash poor to do remodeling. These frugal buyers want move-in ready and ravishing – think model home!
Showing homes in their best possible light helps win buyers. Professional staging remains a practical solution to reduce corporate inventory days on market, limit price reductions, and generate the highest levels of interest from a wide array of buyers.
Creating a vision
Most buyers don’t have the creative vision to see what an empty home’s potential might be without some help. Professional staging creates that vision for them. Larger homes and superior locations are often ignored for a property that is furnished just right with perfect attention to flow and detail. You want that buyer thinking, “I could live here.”
Many times buyers, especially first-time buyers, are guaranteed to be distracted by the negatives of a home and ignore the positives. Professional stagers have the knowhow to show off the inventory home by adding minimize negative features.
We thought we should share some of our real-life corporate inventory success stories and our professional staging solutions that helped us control our clients' direct home sale costs:
Case Study #1
Challenge: A wonderful three-year old, five bedrooms, 3,800 square foot, custom colonial competing with new construction.
The Lexicon critical inventory specialist team received feedback from several showings that the master bedroom was narrow and potential buyers were taking it off their list as they had many other options to choose from in the same minimized the bedroom area and further confused buyers as to the master bedroom’s size.
Solution: We staged the master bedroom and the main living area to combat this concern. The stager used a queen size bed and narrow end tables with some coordinating furniture, making the master appear larger. Once staged, the home sold in 23 days. The staging solution addressed the negative and allowed the other positive features of the home to be seen in the best possible light.
Case Study #2:
Challenge: A five-year old home in top condition had a very nice sunroom that had been added to the property after the original purchase. Once the home was vacated and the property was placed into inventory, the addition of the sunroom made the living room appear dark. This perception caused potential buyers to misunderstand which room was used as the primary living space - the sun room or the living room? This was a wonderful home in excellent shape, but this unique addition quickly became a negative as the layout perplexed potential buyers.
Solution: Lexicon immediately acquired competitive bids and negotiated a very economical price to stage the entire property.
The professional stager cozy setting was created and buyers could clearly define which room was the main living area.
The home sold quickly to a family that loved the concept of a more formal living area and a less formal alternative for entertaining purposes.
The Return on Investment
Justifying the extra direct costs of staging is a concern for corporate clients managing a tight employee relocation program. Buyers are willing to pay more for a house that seems ready to move into than a house that needs work.
A good stager takes a bare home and presents it in such a way that most buyers can envision living there for years to come. It’s not just a case of painting, cleaning and furnishing - professional home staging can actually help the target buyer envision entertaining or raising a family in the home.
According to a 2011 HomeGain.com report, the ROI of home staging can be in excess of 300%. Relocations are costly and professional staging is very often well worth the investment made in controlling corporate inventory costs.