When you have a property you’re needing to move, staging can be a great way to make the property stand out, as Holly McKhann explains.
Staging can be very effective but isn’t always necessary for all properties. Listen in as Holly explains when it’s smart to stage and strategies for what to stage in the home.
Mike: Welcome back to the FlipNerd.com REI classroom, where experts from across the real estate investing industry teach you quick lessons to take your business to the next level. And now, let’s meet today’s expert host.
Holly: Hi there. It’s Holly McKhann, host of the REI Classroom today. And today’s topic is “Should You Stage Your Home?”
Mike: This REI Classroom real estate lesson was sponsored by uglyopportunities.com.
Holly: This is a question that I hear often and my answer is, “It depends.” It depends on your market. It depends on the comps. It depends on what everyone else is doing. I love to look the same or a little bit better than my competition. And I have flipped homes in prices ranges as low as $75,000.00 and a new one that I have coming on the market a couple of months is going to be $1.3 million so I have done the full range of homes.
What I recommend is you take a look in the MLS and see what the competition is doing. At a minimum, I recommend that you stage the kitchen and bathrooms. I like to put just a few accessories out, not so few that they look sparse, not one thing on the kitchen counter, but groupings of things. Perhaps I’ll do a cutting board, a little easel with a cookbook open on it, and some cooking utensils on it. Maybe some little silk green plants that are artificial, don’t need water, you don’t want anything that could die or attract bugs, or anything, cute little towels, same for the bathroom. I like to hang towels on the bathroom towel bars.
In that light staging, I try to not put any nail holes in the wall. I learned that kind of the hard way having to go back and patch nail holes for the picky buyers and they didn’t think they wanted a picture in the same place. I try to create staging, and add some interest, and make it look a little homey without damaging the walls.
At the higher level, I will stage with complete furniture, usually the living room, dining room, and a master bedroom. I don’t usually stage secondary bedrooms because I just don’t think people care that much. The people that are shopping for the home are going to live in a master bedroom so that’s what you want to look spectacular. A lot of people don’t have vision. They don’t have that foresight to imagine what it would look like with furniture or they think, “This looks too small. I don’t know if furniture would fit in here.” So I show them it will fit by putting furniture in.
I put beautiful bedding, plants, artificial big trees, and plants in corners. I complete it. And I usually do it myself, but if you shop around, you can often find a good stager that might even give you a discount for higher volume business. So ask your investor, friends ask your network, and see who you can find that can help you stage it.
Kitchens and bathrooms, do it yourself, I would recommend. Or if you’re a guy and you don’t have that element of design talent, maybe you have a wife or a girlfriend, or a friend’s wife or girlfriend that will do it. An investor I know here in Southern California has his daughter-in-law do the staging. He just pays her $500 a house, she comes in, sets up the kitchen and bathroom staging, and then she takes it down, so she can reuse it over and over. It’s a nice little income for her, and he never has to worry about it so there’s an idea for you too.
If you’d like to hear more of my investment strategies and ideas, you can check out my podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio called, “Secrets to Real Estate Investing by House Flip Masters.” So it’s Holly McKhann signing off for now and good luck to you with all of your investing.
Mike: HomeVestors, the “We Buy Ugly Houses” folks, is a franchised system of hundreds of real estate investors that have purchased over 65,000 houses. If you’d like to learn more about the most powerful real estate investing system in existence, whether you’re a pro looking to take your business to the next level or whether you have no experience at all, but a burning passion to be successful in real estate investing, please visit FlipNerd.com/ugly to learn more.
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