For What It’s Worth

Let’s face it, business is business. And we’re all looking to get our fair share. But when it comes to real estate, we may not be getting it. I’m not sure if this is due to people’s lack of imagination or if it’s because some people just aren’t visual thinkers. But it seems pretty common that if a space isn’t perfect as is, it gets a thumbs down.

Whether it’s commercial or residential, I love architecture. And I love to see people enjoy what the architecture in their properties can give to them. But even if I put my architectural euphoria aside and focus on the business aspect of real estate, rather than its aesthetics, the as-is-is-no-good mentality still puzzles me.

Follow the Money

I recently tracked three condos that were on the market in the same complex. One listed for $349,900 and attracted an offer in less than a week. A second one listed for $339,000, hung around for a couple of weeks, and sold for $337,000.

The third one is still on the market. After starting at $337,000, it recently took another price reduction. It’s now down to $314,000 and is still sitting. All three units had relatively the same square footage. And the one that’s still sitting even has a finished basement.

Why is the third one still sitting? Presentation (or the lack thereof).

Foresight, not Hindsight

This first condo was clean. Detailed in every way, it left little to the imagination. Boom! Sold. The second one had been empty. It took a little time and sold for $2,000 below the asking price. The third one … well … it wasn’t staged. It wasn’t clean. Little thought or effort was put into its presentation. So, the seller will take a loss, and the realtor will earn less commission. Call me biased. Call me self-serving. But that makes no (dollars and) sense.

Instead of spending $500 to $2,000 on styling advice and staging costs, someone will take a bath to the tune of $23,000 and counting. That never has to happen.

Real estate is an investment. A properly staged piece of real estate is an asset. Both can be maximized with a little time, a little care, a few dollars (you’ll more than get back on the sale), and a little style.

Happy seller. Happy realtor. Happy buyer. That’s the ideal trifecta.

2 replies
  1. Jeff Soladay
    Jeff Soladay says:

    So true. I photograph everything we post on social media for our vintage furniture shop, mostly on my iPhone. If I post a well-staged, lit, and edited photo of an average quality piece, I get more interaction and a faster sale than an average or worse photo of a great piece. I swear I’ve broken Instagram more than once with a lousy image – hardly any engagement from our followers. Take the time to do it right.

    • Anne
      Anne says:

      Thank you for your comment, Jeff. I think of the people on Property Brothers Buying and Selling or another program, Love It or List It, who invest time and money in their homes and get a greater return than those investments when they sell them. And you might not even need to spend any money. Investing time and attention in anything more effectively reflects its value.


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