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Banks Turn to Showhomes Home Staging Franchises to Help Sell Foreclosures

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Foreclosed homes may be an opportunity for buyers and investors, but for banks they are a mess with no end in sight. Foreclosures cost money to maintain, create insurance problems, invite vandalism and devalue neighboring homes. Showhomes home staging, a nationally franchised network of home stagers, provides an increasing number of banks with a tidy solution: Showhomes places a live-in home stager, called a Home Manager, who occupies the home and keeps it in show condition until it sells.

"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." Distressed real estate sales accounted for about 48% of all U.S. home sales in 2010, according to Campbell's Surveys, a strategic research firm. A recent RealtyTrac report estimated banks repossessed more than a million homes last year, not including up to delayed 250,000 foreclosures. The four largest U.S. banks alone hold $7 billion in foreclosed houses on their books, RealtyTrac says.

Showhomes 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 service is attractive because Showhomes picks up utility bills, handles minor maintenance and takes care of cleaning. Best of all, banks don't pay don't pay monthly staging fees, making it an inexpensive staging option for banks handling foreclosed homes.

"We got our start 25 years ago helping banks stage foreclosed homes and today, our service is just as valuable," said Kelton. "Nationally, banks can save millions by using Showhomes. It's a no-brainer for any sized bank."

Published February 2, 2011

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