Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cheap Staging Idea

Sellers, does your kitchen lighting look like this? (click the pic to enlarge and get the full effect)

get rid of builder lighting

If so, it’s the builder’s original cheapo lighting. Change it! Every buyer out there knows the builders put in this cheap lighting because they got it at a bulk discount of about $5 each.

Change that builder lighting before listing your house for sale and before your Realtor has photos taken. (Also don’t let the photographer decide that the focal point of the photo is the lighting; that’s lame.)

Replace with this:

get rid of builder lighting replacement

Or replace with this:

get rid of builder lighting replacement 2

(click pics to enlarge; back button to return)

Sellers, you’re probably thinking, “why spend $200 installing a new lighting fixture the buyers might not like anyway?!”

Yeah, except….   The builder original cheapy lighting is visually jarring enough to make buyers pass you right on by. They’ll buy something else. Sounds silly, I know. Why would somebody not buy your house just because of the lighting? Because they can.

Many of my recent home buyer clients started out with 100’s of homes to choose from once they specified area, size, pool vs no pool, number of bedrooms, price and so on. Given 100’s of choices, any sane person will play “process of elimination” with the list. They cross homes off the list for silly little reasons (like lighting,  paint color, or lack of appliances) until they whittle the list to a manageable dozen or so.

Don’t let the builder’s bulk discount lighting be the reason they eliminate your home from consideration.

Need proof? I recently had buyers purchase a house in Cave Creek, Arizona. The sellers were in their 9th month of being on the market and on their 3rd listing Realtor. But this Realtor was staging savvy. She required that the sellers spend about $600 to change out the original builder lighting in the entryway, dining room and kitchen (all the areas immediately visible from the front door). Out went the builder lighting, in came nifty new lighting like replacement photo number 2 above.

Guess what? My buyers and I found and toured the home literally 3 days after the  lighting switch was done and offered on it immediately. Listing Realtor #3 didn't even have time to take new photos! Post-closing my buyers spent about $8,000 on new paint, flooring and yes, wait for it....    lighting fixtures throughout the home. Buyers are happy as clams and sellers moved onwards and upwards. I happen to know the sellers bought the same exact floorplan in another city. I'm betting they had to change lighting fixtures after they moved in too.