A Tale of Two Showings
OK, all you stagers out there! This week, I learned beyond a doubt how important your role is in getting a home ready for the market.
I started off my first day back at work on a high. And not from having just gotten off an airplane. I was going to show a fabulous house to some favorite clients, and I really thought it would make their hearts skip beats.
Last year, I showed this Wardman bayfront townhouse in Woodley Park to some friends who were coming back to town. The place had been beautifully restored by owners who obviously had great respect for Harry Wardman’s original work. Last year’s buyers loved it, but their timing was a little off. This had been our first outing, and their home in California wasn’t even on the market yet. By the time they were ready to buy, someone else had snapped it up.
Sheila Mooney of Coldwell Banker Residiential Property, was the listing agent. Last year, the home sold fairly quickly due in large part to Sheila’s knowledge and professionalism. This home was just a shameless flirt. It was not only pretty, but it was aslo priced right, perfectly staged, and easy to show, and I know that I jump at the chance to have Sheila as the agent on the other end of a transaction.So while I was at Cape Cod, the house showed up on the Multiple Listing Service! Holy gorgeous houses, Batman! And I had another couple I wanted to have see it!
So today, with the husband on a Code Orange House Alert, I picked up the wife to see it first. I tried not to act too excited, but I knew – I just knew – this was THE ONE!
I opened the front door expectantly. We walked in.
It just fell flat!
Sure, they had tidied up and then some, but the mid-century furniture just didn’t work with the 1914 woodwork. The place looked kind of ordinary.
There was another difference. This time around, instead of being listed by one of the most professional agents in the city, it was a FSBO listed with a limited service company. The sellers aren’t doing everything wrong – at least it was easy to show with a lockbox on the front door. But they need advice on pricing (it’s a little too high) and staging (it just looks lived-in).
My bet is that the sellers feel like they have to sell it themselves to save the listing half of the brokerage fee – that they can’t really afford to hire and pay a traditional brokerage.
But I really think that they can’t afford not to.