So many of you have asked about the Staging Report, I decided to publish my notes from this segment of our certification class. This is a combination of my policies and the best from the RESA Convention session on this topic. Karen Otto taught the convention class. 70% of her business comes from this service alone. She is a RESA Regional VP.
A staging "Walk and Talk" report usually lasts about 2 hours and costs $150. It begins at the curb and ends at the back fence. It covers all the major prep a homeowner can do to optimize the odds of selling the home. It's great for a Do-It-Yourself option for your homeowner. It is also a great way to offer an affordable service that often leads to the actual staging job.
It doesn't have to be a written report. It is a comprehensive verbal report. The homeowner can save money by writing all the tips and suggestions on a clipboard sheet provided by you. You can provide the written report, if requested, for a small up charge.
Before the appointment, talk to the agent to see if there are any issues they want to see addressed. Be sure to ask the reason for the sale... divorce or job loss.
After your arrival, ask for a place to sit to ask some questions before you begin. This will cover basic questions about the house history and previous listing numbers, if this is not the first effort to sell the house. It is a pre-consultation questionnaire.
This is a good time to show compassion and concern for the challenge of preparing a home for sale. Be their advocate, their friend. It can be done with or without the realtor present. Tell them what will happen so they know what to expect.
It is not a harsh report or a guarantee that the house will sell by a certain time. It isn’t certain that the homeowner will do all the suggestions. Give them priorities so they will know what's most important. Tell them they can do some or all of the recommendations.
Don't hold anything back. You should reveal everything that may help the sale, even though they may never have you back to do the Wow-Factor decorative staging. That's okay. Many stagers make a living doing verbal staging reports.
This is also a good time to prequalify them. Get the price and size. Don't question the price. You are there to support the choices the agent has made on the home selling strategy. Be their backup.
Do the walk thru then sit down again for the post consult wrap up. This is a good time to give stats on the value of staging. Show portfolio pictures, etc. Tell them that the first markdown can be 5%. But a markdown still doesn't fix the problem. Spell out how much money 5% is for them. Use key phrases: architectural details, sweat equity, and price erosion.
If they decide to do a significant staging job, the report can be free. This is also a good time to mention, painters, handymen, pressure cleaners, etc.
Start out side and look at everything starting at the curb. Look through a camera lens to evaluate the balance of greenery. Are the windows covered by shrubbery? Are there stains on the driveway or the house? Look everywhere around the entire house outside. Notate the cosmetic blemishes. This is not to replace the actual home inspection.
Inside, go from room to room and look for problems. Make paint color suggestions. Look for dated wallpaper and fixtures. Bring post it notes in various colors. Mark things that need attention or need to be removed. Look inside all closets, doors and drawers attached to the house.
As far as marketing this service, target realtors. Many people expect staging services to be more expensive. Invite the realtor to the first staging report so they know what to expect and that you are there to help and support them. You are there to help strengthen their relationship with the homeowners.
There are a number of agents who pay for the staging report, which helps them get the listing. You can offer the service to your agent for less.
If you do 8 two hour consults a week, you will make $50,000 annually doing just this one service. If you have perhaps 5 to 10 agents who do a staging report for most their clients, you will have your career laid out for you.
I hope you enjoyed our teaching on this wonderful service. It's not often that we share from our actual training. I hope you incorporate the staging report into your business. Your customers will love it.