Jun 30, 2006

Dressing Up To Go To The Dance

Considering selling your home? Don't join the dance without getting dressed up first.

Joy Valentine of Coldwell Banker Realty wrote:
"In discussions with colleagues and based on my own experiences with staging, I suspected that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price than those that are not staged. Wanting to test that theory, I analyzed 2,772 properties sold between March 1 and September 30, 1999, in eight cities: Atherton, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Portola Valley and Sunnyvale. Out of that group, I took a sample of 129 properties that had been staged, or 4.7 percent of the total. This sample represented condominiums, townhouses and single-family residences. They ranged in list price from $229,000 to $4.8 million. The following results show marked differences between the sample of staged homes and the total group, which consisted of both staged and unstaged properties. For the group of 2,772 properties, the average number of days on the market was 30.9, and the average difference in sales price over list price was 1.6 percent. For the sample of staged homes, the average number of days on the market was 13.9 -- about half of the time for houses in the general sample. The average difference in selling price over list price was 6.3 percent, nearly four times as much as for the other group of homes."

So, class: let's say you want to enjoy that 6.3% increase, so you decide to stage your home. You do want to retain some of the profits, so you spend less than the full 6.3% -- let's say 4% -- on staging.

Now if landscaping were, say, one-quarter of your staging budget, that would be .25 x 4% = 1% of the list price. Which means an $800,000 property -- the median home price in Silicon Valley in May-- could invest up to $8,000 in landscaping and be pretty confident of earning that investment back.

Not too shabby, but wait! There's more!

As I will write next time, dressing just a little fancier -- go ahead, bust out the pearl earrings or mother-of-pearl cufflinks -- can make your time at the dance significantly more enjoyable.

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