home staging sacramento

What Virtual Staging a Home For Sale Looks Like

virtual staging a home

Virtual staging a home for sale can make a huge difference for sellers in many ways, but did you know it can increase buyer showings, too? As I always say: “if I don’t show it I can’t sell it.” I am about to show you a way to use staging a property with reduced costs of about $40 per photo.

Real staging can cost several thousand dollars. A property may not look as warm and inviting once the furniture is removed and this can make a powerful impression online. Take a look at the photo above. Can you tell that this is a virtual staging? There is not any furniture in this room. There is not a TV above the fireplace. These images are superimposed onto a high resolution photograph! See the original layout below. read more

Do You Know Why You are Calling This Sacramento REALTOR?

Calling Sacramento Realtor

Elizabeth Weintraub, Sacramento REALTOR, at antique phone booth in Dunsmuir, California

When a Sacramento REALTOR answers her phone all day long, she tends to engage with a wide assortment of callers. It doesn’t seem to work the other way around because most other people do not answer a phone call. It’s far too inconvenient to talk on the phone for many people. Texting or emailing is preferred today. People don’t want to hear the sound of each other’s voices, I suspect. It’s an intrusion. Therefore, if I want to ensure that I most likely will NOT engage in a conversation, all I have to do is tap my phone and call somebody. That phone call will go to voice mail where I can chat to my heart’s content and leave a message that will get ignored.

I get communication coming at me from all angles every single day. Text messages that show up on my computer if I’m at my home office, and simultaneous text messages appear on my cell. Ditto for emails, although the push generally comes through my computer, and they come from 3 accounts, plus there is a fourth account I check a couple of times a day. And there is always the ringing phone of opportunity. In my drawer is the graveyard of used Bluetooth devices, at least a half dozen. I am using a new Plantronics device that engages once I insert the piece into my ear, which is very handy. Plus, if I’m in the midst of a manicure, it offers hands-free answering.

Because I answer my phone, it’s the luck of the draw what I get. Often lately it’s other real estate agents asking if some random listing belongs to me. They can retrieve this information from MLS but they don’t bother. The main reason they are calling is because their buyers found a property online and spotted my name and phone number or the buyer ended up on my website. It’s common for agents to look up a property address on their own cellphones and end up on my website as well. If they belong to the 90% of the agent population who don’t sell very many homes, they are probably unfamiliar with how mobile websites work and simply do not understand why the listing does not belong to me. I continue to insist the listings are not mine but they don’t grasp the notion. It can progress to the point where I have to look up the address in MLS and give these agents the listing agent’s contact information just to get rid of them.

Still, it’s good news that I enjoy a big presence online. It means that the Weintraub listings I do have receive excellent exposure, and they are posted everywhere. You can’t tool around online and not find homes for sale listed by this Sacramento REALTOR.

I get my share of spam calls, especially from Homes dot com and I continue to file reports at the Do Not Call Registry. I ask Homes dot com not to call me, and I tell them I am on the DNC list but they call anyway. Blocking callers doesn’t always work. They are relentless. You know who else is relentless? My Elizabeth Weintraub Team members. They try to call and email and text every single person who contacts us to buy a home, and they follow up like no tomorrow. Which is why we don’t need the new Zillow service, recently offered to certain top real estate agents for free (at the moment, it’s sorta beta; if it works out they’ll probably charge for it).

A real estate agent called yesterday to ask if she could book my services to stage a home. This was a strange and puzzling call. Well, she had read an article I had written for About.com about Home Staging and decided, for some odd reason, that I was a home stager. I guess she missed the print at the bottom identifying me as a broker-associate in Sacramento at Lyon Real Estate. I shared the news that I am a Sacramento REALTOR and asked if she knew what that meant. Hey, you never know where people register on the bell curve.

I also referred the caller to a home stager in Sacramento, but the agent said she had already tried that company and those home stagers were booked for this week. Well, yes, you have to give home stagers some notice. It’s called planning your listing. The good home stagers are always booked. Still, these types of calls don’t stop me from answering my phone. Ya gotta maintain a positive outlook about it and keep that sense of humor.

 

Home Staging in Sacramento is Worth It

Home StagingThere are some markets in which a Sacramento real estate agent can barely get her sign planted in the front yard before her email starts dinging with purchase offers, which can make home staging pretty much overkill. This Sacramento fall market of 2013 is NOT one of those markets. Oh, but you might say there isn’t much inventory, but there is almost twice as much inventory as we had last spring. But half of that inventory is overpriced or a mess. So, in that regard, you’d be right, there isn’t much inventory.

This means if you want to sell your home quickly, without a lot of fuss and for a decent price, you’ll need to do home staging. You can hire a professional stager or you can do it yourself with your listing agent’s help, but for best results, get the home staged. This doesn’t mean you need to be deceptive, but your home is now a product and must be sold like a product. When a buyer walks into your house, she better be walking into a commercial that says buy me as she rounds every corner.

Agents are influenced as well, and while you would think an agent can look past the disarray, it is never a good idea to let a buyer’s agent view a home in less than stellar condition. I made that mistake once a number of years ago, and I allowed agents to preview a home that wasn’t ready for the market. Beds were unmade, toys strewn about the floor and clutter everywhere. I thought the agents could see past it, but they couldn’t. That image was ingrained in their minds, and it took me a long time to sell that home, even after it was fixed up and ready for sale.

Now, my policy is nobody gets in to see a home before it is staged and ready. Of course, not every seller is willing to stage. It doesn’t mean I won’t list the home because I will, and I will eventually sell it, too. Just not as fast. And maybe for not as much. Like I said, not every market requires staging. But this fall market in Sacramento definitely is screaming for quality inventory in tip top shape.

Elizabeth Weintraub Video on Home Staging

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