Practical Empowered Retirement — Staging

 image From time to time I come across excellent examples of how people can “retire” yet continue to pursue something online related to the skills and knowledge they have spent a lifetime accumulating.  Here’s one I have a great deal of knowledge and understanding about, even though I never worked in the industry … the hot buzzword of today in real estate … “staging”.

Basically, staging is doing the things to get a house ready to sell that pay off … have a positive Return On Investment (ROI).  You may think this is a “no-brainer” sort of opportunity, but I can assure you it’s not.  I’ve looked at many houses for sale or for rent in my long-term government career and bought a few/sold a few.  I can certainly assure you I would have bought at least several more had the owners of property I looked at taken even the most basic steps to make their house marketable … not to mention adding the features that return 2 or 3 times the investment in those features.

It’s the real estate agent’s job to do this you may argue.  Technically, you may be right, but you have heard the expression about wining the battle but losing the war, haven’t you?  Many agents know little or nothing about maintenance and construction of homes.  their expertise is (understandably) centered around the complex areas of financing homes, land titles, market issues and such.  Over the years the homes I have looked at and liked, but didn’t buy are in that category for one reason and one reason only … the owners did not make the investment tin either elbow grease or home improvement dollars to make their house stand out … to stage their homes.

Here’s a fantastic article with experiences of actual professionals in the trade testifying to the dedicated staging process adding as mush as 40% extra resale value.  I don’t know about you, but increasing the selling price of a common, high-ticket item like a home by 40% is enough to make me sit up and take notice.

So what’s the empowered online opportunity side here?  Well, have you bought, sold and/or maintained homes successfully over 20, 30, 40 years?  yeah, thought you have.  This is of course tailor made a for a retired real estate professional, loan officer, mortgage broker, home improvement contractor, etc.  But you do not have to be a professional by trade or qualification to help people get smart in this area … you don’t require a real estate sales or broker’s license, for example, because you aren’t handling home sales … you are advising those professionals and their clients.  You don’t need a current electrician’s license to point out to people home shabby electrical service hurts the value of their home. 

Start a blog, a news letter, a forum site or a consulting service that advises people on what to do to get that home ready.  Want a real-world example of the need?

Several years ago my youngest son decided to purchase his first home … a “1946 model” … nearly a sold as me *smile*.  Everything was in good order except the main electrical panel which was the old-fashioned screw-in fuse type.  The closing almost didn’t go through because several insurance carriers refused to sell my son homeowner’s insurance.  Eventually, after getting the owner to knock $2,500 of the price and finding a home insurance company willing to issue a temporary policy conditional on the electric service being upgraded.

After closings the selling real estate agent recommended a local electrician to my son.  The electrician replaced the antiquated fuse box and brought everything up to code for $800.   Now am I dumb, or did someone miss a golden opportunity here .. an expenditure of $800 would have added $2500 to the sale price in one day.  That’s better than a 400%  ROI in one day … had anyone seen the opportunity.  Could you have been the one to show this to people.

Knowledge is power and you have the knowledge … what are you waiting on?  What’s stopping you from making money … using your exhibiting knowledge … right now, this very minute?