The art of preparing your home for the market can be a daunting task for any prospective home seller. However, small changes can make a big difference in the listing price and days on market. Two of our very own Brazen Sotheby’s International Realty brokers Kelly Langston and Lauren McCoy recognize the benefit of proper market preparation, so much so that they added a staging service to their repertoire. We sat down with Lauren and Kelly to see how they added that extra element in order to better serve their clients.
1) What are the steps you guys take when staging a home?
LM: Our initial meeting with the client is at the home of interest. We meet with them, tour the house and take pictures of every nook and cranny.
KL: We like to find out what their goals are, each home tells a story, we like to include the story. It is part of our creative process in Staging the home.
LM: Once we have toured the home, we like to walk around together, take measurements and notes. We then go to our office come up with a clear and concise plan of action. What needs to stay, what should be removed, what should be added, what accessories will be great additions to make the home pop.
KL: We then meet with the seller, once our services have been secured and review a timeline to get the house ready to sell.
2) You guys are realtors too, what is the benefit of having a stager who is a real estate broker as well?
KL: The benefit is the “broker eye” as we like to call it. There is a specific process to preparing a home to sell. We know what it takes to make the space photograph beautifully but more importantly, we know what it takes to attract buyers.
LM: We like to be a one stop shop, we don’t want to have our sellers get overwhelmed with the listing process and the market preparation so we make it easy on them by being both.
3) How do you guys work together in your partnership?
KL: I have a simple design style, I am the declutterer and focus on what will make the room complete without having too much.
LM: After Kelly has simplified things I like to come in and add little touches that make the room pop.
KL: Lauren has a fabulous eye for interior design, together we compliment the process.
4) In your opinion, what is the ultimate benefit of staging a property?
KL: It is extremely hard for a buyer to imagine the space otherwise. When a buyer tours a home, they look at the furniture and accessories and immediately begin imagining their furniture in that space.
LM: More importantly, it is vital to remove personal aspects from the home, take out the extra furniture, declutter.
5) How did you guys come up with the idea to add staging to your listing presentation?
KL: Our firm is huge on teamwork. Agents team up all the time. Lauren and I took this culture and applied it to something we love and something we are good at within the industry.
LM: We are both “transplants” and felt that teaming up only made us stronger as brokers. We both really enjoy the listing part of our job. It only made sense to add staging to our trade.
6) Will having a home staged increase its listing price?
LM: Staging a home only adds to the value you have created while living there. There is not much inventory out there but buyers are still extremely choosy.
KL: What sets your home apart is creating a lifestyle that they can imagine for themselves. It would be like going to Disneyland, only its empty, all the rides are closed. It’s not smoke and mirrors, its marketing one of the biggest investments of your lifetime.
7) How much does your service cost?
KL: We offer three separate services:
-A consultation, we tour the home and draw up a concise plan of action, the seller then executes the plan on their own.
-An hourly charge, It is a flat rate and we will stage your home using your furniture and use our accessories to make the home appealing and inviting.
-We can also stage the entire home with furniture and accessories for a nominal fee.
8)How long does it usually take you guys to stage a property?
LM: It depends on what is needed and what needs to be added. Since there are two of us, we can usually finish in 48 hours.
9) Where do you guys draw your stylistic inspirations from?
LM: My knack for design and style goes back to my days as a hair stylist where I would pride myself in making things beautiful. I think it’s an amazing feeling when you can find a hidden element in something to make it more attractive.
KL: I am very functional, it’s the yogi in me. I attmept to attain the perfect balance of use and necessity. Together, Lauren and I like to create a warm cozy feel.
10) why should we hire you?
LM: You should hire us because we give first class service all the way. We will love your clients the way you do. They are more to us than a “job”, it’s a lifestyle.
KL: We are Brazen Sotheby’s International Realty brokers that stage. We implement the same service your clients expect from their broker and we have fun doing it.