The majority of the people Carla Myers helps as legacy broker at RE/MAX 100 in Mishawaka, Ind., get an additional benefit: she also owns Silk Purse Staging, so she can help with home staging when they are selling their homes.
“The staging skills are an added bonus and are helpful when helping a buyer imagine how a home could look,” she says. “Staging was added to my vocabulary only to assist my clients.”
Every day she enters homes that are packed to the gills, closets overflowing and cereal boxes stored on top of the refrigerator. It doesn’t show well or let potential home buyers feel there is room for their stuff.
The art of staging has also helped her buyers use their imagination to what a home could look like with certain arrangement of furniture or color.
Many others in the real estate industry also offer their talents for design and staging while working with clients to sell their home or buy another. A quick search on LinkedIn for “real estate agent and home stager” prompted 680 names while a search for real estate agent and interior designer offered 877 names across the country.
The Real Estate Staging Association reports that 90 percent of all staged homes successfully sell within a month of hitting the market. Also, the National Association of REALTORS 2017 Profile of Home Staging showed that 49 percent of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home, and 21 percent of respondents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home between 6-10 percent.
Why combine home staging with real estate?
Myers began her real estate career in 1977. With the ups and downs of the market through the years, she has held different jobs from working in the mortgage industry to residential real estate appraising to selling foreclosures.
“During the first few months of re-entry into conventional home sales, it became obvious that a little home staging in a listing would go a long way,” she says.
She attended home stager training in Chicago and employed the new ideas into her listing portfolio. In most instances, the seller is more than willing to let her enhance their home with the possessions they already have.
How does being a home stager/designer help you do better as a real estate agent?
“The stager’s education helps you establish immediate communication with your sellers. The two professionally go hand in hand,” Myers says.
How does home staging or interior design help your real estate clients?
The art of de-cluttering and using your own possessions to improve the appearance of a home is inviting to most sellers, she says. Myers only stages homes she is listing. She offers it at no charge to her sellers. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone.” But other designers and home stagers can offer services to those who are working with other real estate agents and brokers.
How does home staging help buyers see the potential of a home?
After 41 years in real estate, she has seen typical buyers unable to see past the owner’s family photos and clutter over and over again, let alone all the times that are found in a “lived in” home.”
Buyers today want a move-in ready home. Staging gets rid of the mess and highlights the focal points of a space. Also, marketing a staged home becomes a much easier task than one that is empty or cluttered. Photographs can be done with wide angle lenses to capture everything that is important to buyers.
What do people not understand or have misconceptions about home staging and redesign?
“Many sellers, buyers and agents think that staging is about bringing in furniture. In my experience, it is more about re-organization, deep cleaning and re-purposing,” she adds.
Can people just hire a home stager or interior designer to stage a few rooms to make a big impact?
Myers says that entry points are most important when home staging a house for sale.
“The first impression starts at the curb,” she adds.
So, that means sellers should be fixing up the porch, painting the front door, planting colorful flowers or a planter, mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes and putting new lights or mailbox. People who aren’t attracted to the front of the house most likely won’t be stepping inside the door unless they are flippers.
“Staging goes hand in hand with my real estate practice,” Myers says. “It takes a bit of time to prepare and implement a staging project, but is a natural marriage.”