The Importance of the Real Estate Consultation

By Cynthia Delve, CCSP

What is the value to the Seller or Realtor? What is a Room Ready Hand Book (RRHB)? What is the purpose of this book? Is it worth the money to pay for a Consultation? Can I have a RRHB without the consultation? Why use a book and not technology?
From time to time as a new stager, when meeting with clients, above are some perpetual questions I field.  Some agents have said to me that they don’t think anyone would pay for the service and yet they still want us to go in and stage a property. The type of questions ultimately stems from a lack of understanding of the concept of staging and the purpose of the Consultation and the RRHB.
I spoke with Christine Rae, founder and President of CSP International™ Staging Business Academy to get clarity on these questions.

1.       What is the value to a Seller and or an Agent?
The misnomer for comprehension is the word consultation, it implies it is a conversation or a
meeting with an expert or professional to seek advice.  It isn’t. In the real estate staging process this can be visualized as a meeting with a professional to uncover the areas in the property which will detract from sale. Think MARKET preparedness review. Benefit for the seller is they have an opportunity to right wrongs before any marketing starts. Benefit for an agent: their marketing efforts are magnified because the property is ready to be sold, not sit on the market waiting for a “lookie-lou” to stop by and offer less than all parties want and or need.
Value: priceless

2.       What is a Room Ready™ Handbook; what is its purpose?
It is a tool, developed for CSP graduates to succinctly and professionally provide the necessary “to do” items to a seller. I was in the field for five years before I created this tool. The practice was to write the observations/recommendations down on paper by hand, leave the seller’s house go back to the office and type it up then either email or print and hand deliver the document. This practice is time consuming and inefficient. The concept of the RRHB is simple. We know sellers tend to get overwhelmed with tasks needed to be completed before open houses so this makes it easy- bit size chunks, room by room and it is driven by task satisfaction. As the seller completes a task it gets checked off; a constant reminder of how far they have come and what is left to be done. There is only one copy which makes it confidential…protects the sellers’ privacy.

Majorly it is a time saver; the booklet is completed on site and left with the seller that same day, which means the seller can get started right away, not have to wait one to two days. This in turn minimizes wait time for agent. VALUE: Priceless

3.       Is it worth paying for a consultation?
Absolutely! Without it you do not have a clear understanding of what needs to be done to secure a buyer faster and one who is willing to pay what is being asked (or more). The average of a buyer today is 32. We know from research buyers want “move in” ready; they don’t want a “to-do” list AND they are willing to pay more to get what they want. If you as an agent fail to recommend (or provide as part of your service) you may find yourself losing listings or the ones you secure will expire. The consultation is like a route map for a journey; it is an important foundation for getting property sold.  Can you showcase (stage) without it? Sure, but it’s sort of like putting lipstick on a pig though. Buyers are savvy to that sort of practice though; remember you will pay for the recommendations anyway. Either now when you are in control or later when a potential buyer offers way less than you expect.

4.       Can I have a RRHB without the Consultation?
The short answer is no; what good would it do you? Honestly, we find most sellers cannot be objective enough to do their own observations/recommendations. It is a proprietary tool available only to CSP graduates to help differentiate them in the marketplace, provide a professional tool to leave with the seller and a fabulous tool for expediency.

5.       Why Use a Book and not Technology?
Great question and one simply stated as the average seller is older, has been brought up to value books (hence it won’t get lost) when we didn’t have apps for everything we had To Do pads so the RRHB is familiar territory, easy to use, portable, confidential and  satisfying. Nothing gives a feeling of accomplishment like Check! Check! Check!

                                                                        I am dedicated to helping you accomplish your goals so that you can move on and they can move in.
                                                                                                                            Call me at 250 208-2466 or email me.