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home_stagingRISMEDIA, December 31, 2009—With a $569,000 Tampa home sitting on the market for a year and a half and no signs of a sale, Tracy Truitt was a disheartened Realtor looking for a new approach that would help her sell her listing.

Truitt, a Realtor with Century 21 Elite in Tampa, discovered Showhomes, a home staging company, with what it calls a unique spin on traditional home staging: the nationally franchised company finds people to live in and help stage vacant homes so that they show better and sell faster. Given the declining real estate market, mansions and just about every other type of home are difficult to sell, the company reports.

Showhomes says it staged Truitt’s home and it sold in eight days. “I had an almost full price offer within a week of Showhomes’ staging, and a 25% higher offer than the two offers that had come in previously to the home being staged,” Truitt says.

Showhomes Tampa owner Linda Saavedra says Truitt’s experience isn’t a fluke.

She says the company’s staged homes are selling in a fraction of the time most homes are taking to sell. So are homes all over the country staged with Showhomes’ system, she adds. According to the company, a typical $850,000 home in Florida is taking well over a year to sell in today’s market and the average time it has taken Showhomes to sell these homes is 132 days.

“Recently we’ve had six major success stories with homes that have lingered on the market for over a year,” she says. “Three homes sold within 35 days and two others were contracted within seven days of staging. The home that sold in 8 days has been on the market for over two years and the sale price was 20% more than the offers they received when the home was vacant.”

“Our approach is working,” says Thomas Scott, VP of operations at the Nashville-based corporate headquarters of Showhomes. “We are experiencing similar home sales results in southern California, the Midwest and Northeast. Despite the glut of inventory, there are buyers in the market and they are choosing to purchase homes we have staged.”

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