A home stager offers good advice for free

Karen Ginsberg

The first seller’s “don’t” offered by New Jersey home stager Kristine Ginsberg of Morris County is the one I liked the most.

In a blog post, she begins by saying that sellers shouldn’t think that they know more than their broker, insisting on a higher price than the broker advises.  Says Ginsberg:

They are the experts and know the market.  This is the most important “don’t” when selling your home, bar none!

It is good advice, though the notion of using what a professional suggests is hardly novel.

In her blog, the stager also distills some of the most important measures an owner can take to ensure a successful sale.  For example, Ginsberg explains why it is not wise to clear away “stuff” by cramming it into closet, to assume buyers are going to welcome the prospect of taking on your deferred maintenance or to flood your home with fragrances.

She also provides sound advice about floral arrangements, paint colors, rug cleaning and maximizing how sellers handle bedrooms.

Not surprisingly, Ginsburg ends by urging sellers to take advantage of stagers.

I have to quibble with that advice on several grounds.  One is that not every home has sufficient value to warrant the expense.  Another is that not every home isn’t already in showing condition.

My final objection is that many listing brokers have a good eye.  An important skill that a competent broker can offer a seller is noting how a property can be marketed to its best advantage by getting rid of this and changing that.

An excellent broker who is a friend of mine lugs plants and furniture to her listings when they are needed.  She also helps clients understand what needs to be discarded or stored.

For a recent listing of hers that went to contract in a matter of weeks, however, she needed to bring in a colleague to underscore the need to clear away many of the items that had to go to show a one-bedroom apartment in the 90s to its greatest advantage.

Only then did the seller heed the counsel, and the co-op on West End Avenue went for its high asking price.

The point is this: A broker and even stager can propose, but getting a seller to dispose is bound to be a challenge not always successfully overcome.

Tomorrow: Foreigners’ special needs

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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