Showhomes Use “Live-In Stager” Service to Sell Foreclosures

Showhomes home staging, a nationally franchised network of home stagers, is working with bankers and asset managers to help them preserve foreclosed listings, minimize costs, reduce insurance exposure and sell homes for higher prices.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company places a live-in stager, also called a home manager, as an occupant in the foreclosed property to keep it in show condition until it sells.

Showhomes’ business model is based on the fact that well-furnished homes kept in show-to-sell condition sell faster, and for higher prices, than vacant houses.

“Once a home is foreclosed, banks want it off the books as soon as possible, but too often just the opposite happens,” said Matt Kelton, Showhomes COO. “So many distressed properties, especially the high-end houses, sit empty and deteriorate quickly. They don’t stand out and they attract low-ball offers that lower property values.”

The live-in stager service picks up utility bills, handles minor maintenance and takes care of cleaning for the banks. Another feature of the service is that it does not make banks pay monthly staging fees, making it an inexpensive staging option for banks handling foreclosed homes.

A recent RealtyTrac report estimated that banks repossessed more than a million homes last year, not including up to delayed 250,000 foreclosures. RealtyTrac said the four largest U.S. banks hold $7 billion in foreclosed houses on their books.

“Nationally, banks can save millions by using Showhomes,” Keaton said. “It’s a no-brainer for any sized bank.”