Guest House, a home staging and marketing services company, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Range Ventures with participation from 87 Capital, Rucker Park Capital, Ludlow Ventures and other unnamed sources, according to a press release.
Guest House offers homesellers high-touch staging services that include a interior designer working directly with a number of national and local home furnishing retailers.
Buyers can choose to purchase any of the items used in the staging. Guest House will deliver, assemble and remove staged items, as well as hang art.
Rooms that can be staged before extra costs kick in include the living room, dining room, kitchen, primary bedroom and primary bathroom.
In an email to Inman, Guest House Founder and CEO Alex Ryden said that actual staging is still preferred by most sellers in the wake of a surge in virtual listing marketing.
“Virtual staging doesn’t elicit that same feeling we are after in buyers,” Ryden said. “That said, our shopping can be done virtually through our marketplace. Buyers can scan branded QR codes in our homes and see the shopping list of products offered in the home, or browse hundreds of premium brands and artisanal makers online.”
Staged homes sell 40 percent faster and for 5 percent more money on average, according to Guest House. A National Association of Realtors report found that 47 percent of buyer’s agents cited home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home, and that 82 percent of buyer’s agents agreed it helps buyers visualize themselves in the home.
Yet, in many markets around the country, staging may not be as necessary. Sight-unseen offers are now more common.
“The trends we’re seeing in average days on market is great for agents and sellers, but Guest House is still helping homes sell for thousands more in the current market,” Ryden said. “We want to be a double-edged sword for agents to not only sell homes quickly, but sell them for more money and have a great pitch to win future clients.
The company facilitates services with customers using proprietary web-based software, allowing sellers and agents to work directly with designers and customer service reps. Services are typically delivered withing a week of commitment.
Guest House also offers professional photography and online marketing services once the home’s staging has been finalized. Images can be used for an array of mediums and additional marketing efforts.
“Our goal is to elevate the careers of listing agents and help them break into higher GCI brackets, building a book of business that captivates the attention of future clients,” Ryden said.