Home Staging Can Help Move Short Sale Properties
“A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to allow a homeowner to sell a home for less than what is owed on the property,” Gould explains. “This typically happens because the seller has a hardship or because the mortgage is more than the home is worth. A short sale allows both parties to avoid the lengthy and expensive foreclosure process, and while a short sale often has a negative effect on a homeowner’s credit, the impact is typically less than that of a bankruptcy or foreclosure.”
According to Gould, home staging can play an important role in short sales, but timing is a critical factor. She explains that lenders often require that a buyer submit an offer at the same time the seller submits the short sale paperwork to the bank. In these situations, Gould believes that it may not be in the seller’s best interest to stage the property since the lender will likely require an appraisal before approving the short sale.
“Home staging has been proven to raise the value of a home, so it could work against a seller who is counting on a low appraisal in order to obtain short sale approval from the bank,” says Gould.
Gould, who founded the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, explains that in other cases, a lender might approve a short sale before the home is put on the market. A home might also be considered an “approved short sale” if it has already gone through the required process but the buyer chooses to cancel the contract.
“In situations like these, home staging can be beneficial for the seller in order to better compete with other properties on the market,” Gould says. “While the seller will not benefit directly from an increased sales price since the bank receives all proceeds of the sale, there is still an important reason for homeowners to put their best foot forward. The short sale process can take a long time with many frustrated buyers dropping out along the way, so it’s important to create a scenario where a serious buyer falls in love with the home and is willing to see the process through from beginning to end.”
As an example of how home staging can improve short sale results, Gould tells the story of Staging Diva student Peggy Harrington of Wow Factor Home Staging. Harrington staged her property after it was approved for a short sale, and she received four offers within one day.
Harrington says, “We did not get anything at closing nor did we bring anything to the table. We did, however, get out from under the financial burden and were able to move on with our lives very quickly. To us, that was priceless!”
Gould covers the topic of short sales in her free report: “Ask Staging Diva: Should I start a home staging business in this economy?” which can be downloaded from the Staging Diva website.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
Six Elements Inc.
About Staging Diva
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained over 4000 home stagers to start and grow their own businesses.
Debra has gained international recognition through features in major media in the US and Canada including: This Old House, HGTV, CNN Money, CBC National News, CBS Radio, Global TV, City TV, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Day, Reader’s Digest and more.
Staging Diva/Six Elements
2255B Queen Street East, Suite #364
Toronto, Ontario M4L 3S8 Canada
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