I recently listed an REO: a spacious 3 Bedroom/2 Bath condo. This condo was "aesthestically-challenged", with drab colors on the walls, ceilings that were painted shoddily, crown molding installed upside down, some faux-pax rooms, and even some crown molding used as chair rail in the dining room. The Asset Manager agreed to have it freshly painted and professionally cleaned - and then to lure buyers with photos, I decided to stage the property (absorbed into my costs).
Obviously I can't absorb the costs and stage every property, but this was a test for me as I wanted to see if it would bring in additional Buyers. We all know Buyers love photos - and the photos of empty, vacant rooms were not helping tell the whole story of how nice this place could be. Plus the number of competing properties in this area is very high. I have all my residential listings staged, and I market REO listings with the same type brochures and same websites as I market a residential listing (plus a few additional REO sites)
The outcome: The property is still listed, after 121 days on the market, 2 small price reductions and a dismal 7 showings. It actually had a chance of selling at the higher price when it was first listed, but the declining market (in this particular area) has not helped. Add that to the fact that Buyers can find attached townhomes (a few REOs) in the area for the same price.
So my question: has anyone else tested this and staged any of their REO listings? And would you do it again?