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Hydrogen Bombs, Hound Dogs And Polio

Strange bedfellows to be sure: The testing of the first hydrogen bomb, Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog became a number one hit, and Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was distributed on a mass basis. Seemingly totally unconnected, but in fact each one of these events shared a common element – they all occurred during the year 1956. And today we have become connected with that memorable year as well.

The government has just reported that 2.9% of U.S. homes up for sale were vacant during the first quarter of 2008; not including any rental properties. This is the highest rate of vacancy in the U.S. since we started keeping records back in 1956. If you do the math that equates to 2.28 million homes.

“It’s the worst piece of housing news that we’ve heard in the past couple of months,” said Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at Global Insight in a Wall Street Journal interview. “It means that home prices will continue to drop at least for the remainder of 2008.” What that all translates to is lots and lots of vacant rooms staring a limited number of buyers in the face. Spring is just around the corner and we are now approaching what should be the hottest part of the real estate market yet the number of houses coming on the market keeps increasing.

If your client is sitting on a vacant home you face some real challenges in becoming memorable for that buyer you have worked so hard to find. The last thing you or your seller need is for the buyer to walk out and within 2 more house visits forget that you exist. This is especially challenging for a vacant home and while home staging is a key element – it’s what you stage that counts.

One of the key elements the Andy Capelluto brings to her staging clients is the importance of getting the buyers to focus on key architectural elements of the house. Certain room features such a crown molding and coffered ceilings can go unnoticed if there is too much furniture in the room. A stunning view needs to be a key focal point but it won’t if you don’t draw the buyers’ eye to it. Her answer is to use “vignettes” in vacant homes that highlight or accentuate the room’s unique features.

With “days on the market” growing and the number of houses for sale growing, home staging has become a critical element in today’s market. The need to catch the buyers’ eye with a memorable architectural feature is a must. With the number of options available it’s easy to get your client’s house lost in the shuffle. Remember – less is almost always better.

If you want to learn more about the staging process and do it on your schedule, anytime 24x7, you should check out the Accredited Home-Staging (AHS) course from RealtyU that is now available online in a highly interactive format. You can learn more about the staging process by visiting
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