Melissa Marro is one of the best known stagers in the US. She is an annual featured speaker at the Real Estate Staging Industry’s Convention held in Las Vegas and currently holds the position of President for the Board of Directors in the trade organization.
Are you trying to sell your home? If you’re looking for ways to make it more appealing to
buyers, then you’ve probably realized by now that there are lots of ways to do this. For
example, certain color schemes, smells, or furniture layouts can improve your chances
of achieving a fast sale. But, according to most surveys, the most important factor when
it comes to selling your home is actually something much more simple: cleanliness.
Having a thoroughly cleaned home has been ranked as the most effective way of
making your home appealing to buyers. It’s considered by buyers to be more important
than decor, odors, furnishings, and architecture. And, it’s also one of the quickest and
cheapest methods to add value. You might be wondering: what exactly is it about
cleaning that makes it so important for selling homes?
To answer this question, you need to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. If you were
buying a house, one of the most important aspects of the viewing would be to visualize
yourself living in that property. For someone to do this, you need to provide a blank
canvas. They need to be able to see their own possessions, furniture, and lifestyle fitting
into this blank canvas you’ve created. And in order to to this, your home needs to be
clutter-free, thoroughly cleaned, and ready to move into.
As well as this, a clean home gives the right first impression to a buyer. It shows that
your home is well cared for, loved, and has been maintained properly. This means that
first, you need to declutter all the rooms in your house, including surfaces, worktops,
and storage spaces. This will make it appear cleaner and will give the illusion of more
Then, you need to make sure the property itself is as clean as possible. For this, you
could hire professional cleaners. Or, you can use a cleaning checklist, like the one
below provided by Highlands Ranch Maid Service, to make sure that you clean every
room in your house properly and you don’t miss a thing. This covers all aspects of
cleaning to help make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers.
The question of “How long does it take to stage our home in Jacksonville?” is pretty common. Regardless of whether the house is vacant (empty) or occupied (using your stuff), the answer is generally about the same. Rave Home Staging will have your Jacksonville home staged in one day. Here’s what you can typically expect from us.
The staging process. What it really takes to stage your home in Jacksonville.
Let’s start with the occupied home, since it often has more questions than the vacant home.
Step 1: The consultation.
Occupied homes are completely unique from each other. Even if two sellers lived on the same street, in the same exact floor plan, the needs inside their occupied homes would likely be very different, as each family usually owns different items, has different tastes, and a different level of “stuff” and lifestyle. The consultation is the only real way to start assessing the situation.
After you have contacted our team, we will schedule you for a consultation. This usually takes about an hour, though may be shorter or longer based on a variety of factors. Our Occupied Sales Representative will create a report, specific to your property, giving you room by room recommendations to make your home as “market ready” as possible.
You’ll be given enough information, in the report, to do all of the work by yourself, without any further assistance from our team. If, however, you would like to keep us engaged in the process with you, we’ll provide quotes for that as well. If you need additional items, to enhance the overall finished product, we’ll also quote you for those.
Staging Consultations start at $225 and go up based on sqft
Half day staging fees are $495, full day $995
Enhancement services vary depending on needs.
Step 2: Staging Day.
On staging day, if you have elected to hire us for the enhancement services, we’ll have one, or more, stagers arrive at your house, with any necessary additions, that were already agreed upon from the quote. The stager, and possibly an assistant, or movers, will begin diligently working on getting the home photo-ready, and market ready. Our team will do everything possible within the agreed upon timing.
The time between consultation and staging day varies based on many factors, including, but not limited to scope of work needing to be done, market timing, calendar availability, etc. What is always consistent is that the work will be completed on the day of staging.
And, NO, you get to keep your stuff. Rarely do we ask homeowners to remove all, or most of their belongings. If we do, rest assured, it’s because we understand the market will pay more for your house with different stuff, more updated stuff, in it.
What about Vacant homes? That seems like a lot more “stuff”.
Yes. Even fully vacant homes, usually regardless of square-footage, can be done in one day. We may need to increase how many stagers, movers, and assistants are working on the house that day, but our goal is always to complete each project in a single day.
Step 1: The Contract.
Once we have a signed contract, we will add your project to our staging schedule. Typically, we can stage each property within one week.
Step 2: The Preview.
A day, or so, before the property is staged, one of our stagers will come to the house to preview the property, take measurements, and begin the plan for the stage. They will work within our proprietary system to ensure that each house meets the needs and desires for the most likely buyer to purchase the house.
Step 3: The Stage.
Rave Home Staging typically manages four projects per day, per moving truck. This means that we have morning houses and afternoon houses. Regardless of whether the project is a morning or afternoon project, it should be completed by the end of the working day, of the stager. Occasionally, something doesn’t work out exactly perfect, or we need to purchase something specific for the house, in which case we may need to come back the next day. This should not happen often, and will always be completed prior to the photography session.
Step 4: Professional Photos.
The next working day after the staging is scheduled, Rave’s professional photographer will arrive at the property and take a wide array of photos. We use an HDR Merge technology, that allows for stunning photography, in virtually all lighting. You can learn more about our photography here.
Because we outsource the post processing part overseas, photos arrive the following business day. These will be provided in both high resolution and web size images.
The cost of vacant staging is simple. We charge 1% of the list price of the house, with a $2250 minimum*. Our service agreement covers 90 days. It includes all interior spaces and professional photography. Last year (2017) our average days on market from list to close was only 59 days, so 90 days, is generally 30 days more than we anticipate is necessary.
If you have any questions about any of our processes, what we use, or how we help you market your property, please contact us at 904.379.5523.
In a normal home staging consultation, we would advise that sellers remove anything too taste specific. This includes common selections like painting over bold or bright colored walls, removing wall paper borders, and removing murals from bedrooms (or really anywhere in the house). Unfortunately, what we also find is that seller’s don’t always listen to us. Dealing with situations like these are all in a day’s work for Rave Home Staging.
When you can’t ignore it, just go with it.
Not everyone finds eggplant an appealing color for the dining room. Bright pink and pastel pink stripped walls, don’t hit every demographic, and let’s not even discuss wall paper borders. The 1990’s called and want them back. Now what if I said that ALL OF THESE CHOICES were in the same house?
All of that said, when we are hired to stage, we show up to overcome the odds. By leaning in and working with what’s there, we can still achieve remarkable results. This home, located on Jacksonville’s north side, received multiple offers within 24 hours of listing, and ended up selling at full price. The total time on the market, from list to close, this home spent only 32 days on market.
Another stunning example of overcoming personal design choices.
As professionals who work in the real estate industry, we know that wallpaper can often be the kiss of death for a listing. Buyers today want move in ready, not someone else’s design choices. Knowing that the average home buyer is typically about 10 years younger than the seller for that home, imagine whether you would want to live with the design choices of someone 10 years older than you are today.
Still, when push comes to shove and seller’s won’t do the work of removing wallpaper and custom wall color choices, it’s our job to step in and make the home livable enough for home buyers to imagine themselves in the space.
While working with bold choices may not be our favorite stages, at the end of the day, our job is to make the house sell, no matter the circumstances. This home, sold in only 26 days on market. The seller and the agent were so pleased with the results that they actually sent us a beautiful basket of deliciousness to thank us.
As professional home stagers, we are often asked the question on whether or not that bold room color choices should be painted over with something more neutral. The answer is nearly always a resounding “YES!”. There are times when the seller either doesn’t have the time or the funds to paint, and times when they simply refuse to do it. Whether it is because they simply don’t believe that it will make a difference, or they don’t want to do the work, there are times when they tell us, the home stager, “no.” When that happens, but they are still willing to stage, it becomes our job to find a way to minimize the impact. Let’s take a look at 1739 Nettington Ct, in Jacksonville, FL.
1739 Nettington Ct, Jacksonville, FL 32246
This charming home, located in Sutton Lakes, is in a sought after part of town. Since we are living in a seller’s market, it seems unlikely that a well priced 4 bedroom, 2 bath home would sit on the market for over 100 days. Still, that’s what was happening here. After sitting, with no offers, the seller contacted Rave Home Staging and we created a plan to get the home sold. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in the intro, the seller was very clear that despite the best option being to paint the boldly colored walls, he wasn’t going to do it. He didn’t want to spend the time, energy, or money, painting. This home had been a rental property. He wasn’t emotionally invested, and just wanted it sold.
The photos in the slide show below are the actual photos used in MLS.
Let’s be realistic. With most home buyers looking online prior to viewing a home in person, how enticing is this property? On a scale of 1-10, how likely would buyers feel like this home is move-in-ready? How likely are they to pay list price, or close to list price?
Let’s take a look at what this home looked like after staging.
Our staging team did nothing but bring in new furniture, art, and accessories. With all of that, however, we managed to style the property so that potential buyers could look past the bold colors and imagine a life in the home. Perhaps they will still paint when they move in, but now they are able to see the space as a living room, dining room, and bedroom, instead of just a series of bold choices that they would need to correct, costing them time, energy, and money.
The results were nothing less than spectacular. Within 10 days the seller accepted an offer. The property is now moving through the escrow process and will close in January. After what amounts to 4 months of time on market, it’s long past time for this home to welcome new owners. It’s also long past time for the seller to rid the stress of a mortgage payment and maintenance costs for a house sitting empty.