Manhattan real estate brokers Joel Moss and Samantha Rose Frith are actively using Instagram to sell property. The agents, who recently advertised a listing on the app, had a cash offer the next day. Though the bid fell through, they secured a second offer above asking price days later.
“I was really shocked by it,” Moss told Forbes. “Instant results from Instagram!”
Moss and Frith, however, aren’t simply sharing pretty pictures of apartments on social media. Their recent ad was a time-lapse video that displayed the transformation of the property from an empty space to a move-in ready oasis. The staging used by the brokers has been an industry tool for years, and according to the Home Staging Resource, staged homes tend to sell at a rate of 6 to 25 percent more than unstaged properties.
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Moss and Frith developed a stockpile of furniture and home goods that they use to stage their homes. “Staged homes typically sell quickly and fetch a higher sales price,” Frith says. “Time and again, I’ve seen staging make a difference.”
The agents, who recently took over a listing from another firm that had been on the market for months, were able to get an offer in days after painting and properly staging it.
“Even a seasoned buyer can have a difficult time imagining how a home will look if it’s cluttered, dark, vacant or in need of repair,” Frith says. “Staging removes the guesswork and essentially presents buyers with a blank palette so they can easily envision their furniture and belongings in the home.”
Empty homes, which can be quite difficult to sell, benefit the most from staging. “The rooms seem smaller than they actually are when they’re vacant,” Moss says. And although staging can be expensive, the returns make the investment worth it. For example, unsold properties are usually discounted by 10% after a period of time, therefore, a typical $1 million Manhattan apartment can lose $100,000 if not sold, which is much more than the cost of staging. “Staging might cost a bit up front, but it is nearly always less than a price reduction,” Frith says.
Frith, who grew up in England and Australia, has lived in New York for the past twenty years. A trained vocalist, she began in resales and condo conversions and is known for working for demanding upscale clients who appreciate her dedication. Moss, an Atlanta native and Manhattan resident for the past 13 years, started in real estate in 2004. She is specialized in new developments and resales and is an accredited staging professional, which has significantly helped her sales.
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