Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)
Apologies for starting a new thread on the same home but it is a different subject. We invited a realtor in yesterday and she spent nearly 3 hours (!) reviewing and giving suggestions. I'll try to be concise but this is still going to run long:
1) Home needs staging. There is "too much" furniture (we just donated a bunch of it last month) and too many "small things". Her take is have "big things" (pictures, knick-knacks, etc) and a few of them to provide punch.
2) She went out to the lake backyard and fell in love with it, and totally revised her initial take on the price. HOWEVER, now she says that since the yard and lake are SO nice we need to bring the home up to that level. She did not say the home was 'bad', but rather 'ok'... which I know it is (except for the home theater, which she acknowledged). But she wants it to be 'upgraded to meet the yard's standard'. It IS true that the yard belongs in a house twice the price of this home, but isn't that a good thing? (scratching head)
3) She will bring in her stager contact. $350 for a consultation, then $210/hr for moving stuff around, plus rental of anything that is "needed". (I don't usually use quote marks so liberally but I am drawing attention to HER words, not mine). She says this is "absolutely necessary".
Do you think, looking at the home and considering its environment, that it needs all this? Two other agents who have visited have said it is fine the way it is. (I recognize they may have their own agenda).
4) Finally, comps and competition. There are 4 other homes in the subdiv for sale, ranging from $550K to $675K. NONE of them is on the lake and only have modest tree views. Two of them are stucco (kiss of death in ATL), while the most expensive one is smaller than our home by about 1/3 but 10 years newer (Ours is, however, fully updated, fresh paint, master, kitchen, theater, roof, basement, etc). The only home that is similar to ours is $590K but NO LAKE.
She came in thinking around $580K, just because that's what the comps told her (!). After seeing the lake she said she needs to comp against more homes in a wider area and account for the lake. Still, I don't think she's going to get up to $675, which is where we think we should be.
So why get worked up about this realtor, you may ask? Well, she had some good suggestions nevertheless, and she seems to be willing to work hard (evidenced by the 3 hour visit). But I am not sure she is working for ME vs for HERSELF (yes, I know this is obvious -- herself -- but what I mean is that she should be also looking at maximizing my net, right? I mean, if I wanted to give it away I could have done so several times already, netting something below $600K).
Whew, will stop here. Basically, we thought we were ready to go to market in a serious way (meaning FMLS) and she has told us we need some 3 weeks and $3K more put into it, this after $40K this year already ($80+K in the last two years). I know, what's $3K compared to $80K, but...
Here is a link that might be useful: Zillow listing, one more time