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What happened to that seller’s market?


All of a sudden, we’re seeing price reductions and lingering listings!  Why?


It’s been a dynamic winter and spring market here in Houston!    Houston homes are selling quickly, at full price, and many listings are generating bidding wars.   Houston Realtors have recognized the value of a de-cluttered, attractively presented listing, and are demanding high standards from their clients before accepting the job!   HAR.com, has revolutionized the online presentation standards and  delivered irrefutable evidence that staging works!


So, where are some listings going wrong? 



We don’t have a crystal ball, but to see our future, let’s look into our past!


Historically, November through early March are great times to sell Real Estate here in Houston.   This is in large part to the influx of an international clientele, who are being transferred by their energy corridor employers to Houston.  These buyers are coming to Houston with cash-in-hand, and they’re snapping up the best properties, and offering the best prices!   Coincidentally, those ‘best properties’ tend to be staged properties.


From Spring break through Easter/Passover, things tend to slow a little bit.  But then, native Houstonians start entering the Real Estate market as both buyers and sellers.   They do have something of a home-court advantage.  They have knowledge about the market that outsiders don’t have and they are not as likely to overpay for a property that doesn’t meet or exceed the value that they seek. 


So, Seller’s and Realtors who have seen and heard of a boomtown market, become understandably ambitious about the pricing and presentation of their listings.  The new appraisal system is doing its job and keeping prices reasonable, and many buyers recognize that they need to bring more money to the table to secure their deal.   However, if a listing doesn’t clearly communicate its value, it won’t find a buyer at any price.






Homes that have a ‘to-do’ list attached, will have a difficult time conveying their value.   It is, after all, a market that has an appreciation for ‘turn-key’ conditions.   A professionally staged property will turn ‘look what we have to do’, into ‘all we have to do is…..’!  


We’ve seen clients walk away from a listing because a toilet needs repair, only to purchase a property that needs a gut-rehab on the kitchen.   Why would someone not choose the less-expensive repair?   Because the property that they purchased had some other intrinsic value that made the kitchen rehab, a walk-in-the-park!




During the recession, many Realtors told us that they could not afford our services.   As spring blossomed, they then informed us that they didn’t need our services.  Now, with the specter of a good, but competitive market approaching, our Realtors are back, telling us that their client’s demanded the services of a professional staging company.




The seller’s market was created by a country that has embraced home staging.   At Houston Home Staging, we’ve always had a seller’s market for our staged homes.  Even during the worst of times, our staged listings, sold on the first day, with multiple offers, cash, full-price, with quick closings.   That so many homes are selling quickly is not a surprise, because so many homes are being professionally groomed before they hit the market!





The finish work that you see in these photographs are unlikely to be achieved by amateur, or weekend warrior stagers.   The staging that you see, directs attention to the listing.   It energizes what had been a lingering listing without overwhelming the buyers with gimmicks.   This look is achieved by our team of staging technicians: people who have been trained in advanced staging/merchandising techniques. 




An amateur stager would have added more and more to this listing.   Our staging technicians not only knew what to add, they knew what to leave out!




Our professional photographer added the icing to this staging cake.   If your Realtor whips out a camera-phone to photograph your listing, you’ll need to thank them, and hire a professional real estate photographer.   Most homes are being purchase ‘on-line’ and the walk-throughs are really only a validation of what they’ve seen on line.   If they’re on-line and seeing cluttered, disorganized listings, with poorly placed furnishings they’re not likely to visit your listing with an intention to buy!   They’ll visit, but just to make sure that your house, is NOT the house that they want!




So, what did happen to our seller’s market?   It’s still out there.  But wise sellers, and Realtors will recognize that all of the skills and steps that we utilized during the recession are still necessary ingredients in today’s market!



To learn more about our pricing and staging packages, please visit our website





Houston Home Staging… a moving experience!