Photo Credit: Michael Tunnell 

Take a look at this absolutely stunning condo - there's no way it had to be staged to be sold, right? Wrong! Read this article to understand why home staging is so important, and then we'll revisit this gorgeous home...


If you have started looking into selling your home in the last year, you have probably noticed that buyers are scrambling for opportunities. In the real estate world, this is known as a Seller's Market, meaning that the ratio of homes for sale to buyers is distinctly in the seller's favor. In waterfront areas especially, home prices are rising steadily and many sellers are seeing an avalanche of favorable offers, often within the first month of putting up a listing. Between people buying up and holding onto investment properties and the increasing number of successful families looking for a second or vacation home, there just aren't enough beachfront opportunities for everyone!

What to Expect in a Seller's Market

But what exactly does a seller's market mean for you and your home sale this year? It's not quite as cut-and-dried as it seems. A seller's market means that there's a high demand for homes, but it doesn't automatically result in buyers falling in love with your property and committing to a purchase as quickly as most sellers would like. Even if you get a flood of interested buyers immediately after listing, that interest can dry up just as quickly if inspection or appraisal results aren't perfect or if a more appealing option appears within an hour of your location.

While it may seem like your property is going to fly off the market, in reality, unstaged homes in a seller's market often go back on the market multiple times, at lower and lower values, as uncommitted buyers retract their offers after realizing they're not really in love with your property.

The List vs The Love - What Really Sells a House

When wondering how to deal with your fickle buyers who show interest but then disappear, ask yourself how you would buy a house. There are two major factors in choosing a new home that are known in the real estate industry as "The List" and "The Love". The List is what the buyer thinks they want from a home and what they'd tell a real estate agent to find for them. The Love, on the other hand, is when the buyer starts imagining their new life in a home before they even count the bedrooms!

To sell your home, you want to do your best to appeal to both The List and The Love. While everything about the home should be as updated and polished as possible, what you really want to do is show your potential buyers what it'd be like if they already lived in the home. You want them to feel "at home" the moment they step through the door, and that's where staging comes in. Buyers who are in love with a home will agree to higher prices, overlook minor flaws, and commit fully to buying your house without a second thought.

Staging Reveals the Human Side of a Home

Standing empty, a home looks like nothing more than walls, floors, and a few appliances. When touring an empty house, no emotional connection is established. All your buyers see are empty rooms and echoing footsteps, not a welcoming place to relax. Home staging completely changes that. With the addition of a few strategically chosen pieces of furniture and subtly neutral but targeted decor, you can transform those empty rooms into a cozy residence.

A little applied interior decorating like updated wall paint, color-coordinated accents, and subtly inviting furniture arrangements make it clear that someone with style could live in the home you're trying to sell. The real magic, however, is in the little touches. A pair of martini glasses on the sun-drenched balcony, a bowl of fruit on the kitchen island, and a breakfast tray on the master bed leave the impression that a truly relaxed homeowner just stepped out... and that your buyers could step right into their comfortable life in your home as easily as they can breathe in the lovely lingering scent of cinnamon.


Why Stage in a Seller's Market?

When buyers are lining up at your door to for showings, it can be easy to wonder if home staging is even worth the effort. After seeing hundreds of buyers go through this experience, let me assure you: It is! Staging helps buyers to see your house not just as a residential property on the market, but as a home they will be happy in. Buyers who fall in love with a house are nearly 30% more likely to be alright with minor issues with the inspection or appraisal and agree with your assessment of home value because they can see the charm and comfort that the property has to offer.

How Can Blackburn Coastal Realty Help You?

Let's revisit the condo from above. That stunning condo was built in 1980, but had been completely updated by the owners. Everything was neutral, timeless, calming. It was really beautiful. The owner had excellent taste. But decorating is not staging and vice versa. I knew it needed something to make the rooms look bigger so it would photograph better, with an arrangement of furniture that would instantly draw buyers into the room toward the view. I brought my staging assistant and we worked non-stop for 2 ½ hours, moving furniture, switching artwork from one wall to another, and re-arranging accessories.

Guess what?

We had 3 showings right away and were under contract by the 12th day with a buyer who was on a cruise when she checked her email and saw the video (shown below) sent by her Realtor. That's right - they made an offer without having seen the home in person. They paid cash, no contingencies, $555,000 - the highest price paid for a 2 bedroom beach condo in that building since the real estate bubble. 

That's the power of home staging, and that's the power of Blackburn Coastal Realty. The reason for preparing your home for sale is purely financial. It is so you can sell your property for more...and faster than you would have otherwise. Now that you know why home staging is so important in a seller's market, don't let that knowledge go to waste - contact us today!

Blackburn Coastal Realty is your first source for selling property on or near the Gulf Beaches of Tampa Bay, and we guarantee to make the home staging and home selling process a breeze.