Two weeks ago I showed a town home in the terrific Bella Vista Town home community at Thunderbird and 94th St in Scottsdale. This lovely gated community has a great central location to the 101, Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, McCormick Ranch, great schools, recreation and more. My clients really liked Bella Vista, and loved this unit.

What was not to love? It was beautifully staged with the owner’s personal furnishings, was very tastefully upgraded, and showed to perfection. There were only two issues. It was a two story residence – my clients preferred one level, and it backed to 94th Street, a busier road, but not terrible. My clients overlooked both of those issues.

But as it turned out, there was a third, and bigger problem – it sold right away.

Then, a few days later, a new listing came up in the community right after that, so my clients wanted to see it. On paper, this new listing looked like it could be the one – it was a lower level unit, my client’s stated preference, and it didn’t back to 94th St. Plus it was slightly less in price.

We had to wait until Saturday to see the home as the tenants were moving out and it was being cleaned. Though the home was what I call renter-deposit clean, we prefer deep cleanings to get in show-ready condition. If nothing else, we want the buyers to remark, “Boy, this house is clean!” My clients were only in the home for a few minutes before wanting to move on. Though nice, it had zero appeal.

This home would benefit with the use of professional staging. It will cost $3000 – $4000 to stage it, but could well be worth it. This is a community of primarily first and second homeowners, so these potential buyers want to “feel” what it will be like living there. Proper staging of a home can help accomplish that and help get the best price. As part of our marketing presentation we hire a professional staging consultant, at our expense, to go room to room and outside to provide the seller with their professional recommendations. Most of the time, subtraction of some personal items and the rearranging of furnishings is all that is needed for a great look.

Great photography is the final key to getting great buyer exposure. The best home staging can be lost with poor photography. Conversely, poorly staged homes can get a boost with great photography. We don’t leave this to chance. As part of our marketing, we hire (again, at our expense) a professional photographer who knows the right lighting, the best angles, and who will take their time to deliver a great look. With over 90% of buyers viewing prospective homes on the internet, it makes sense (and dollars) to “do it right.”