First impressions are very important, and in real estate, there are no exceptions. Why is home staging important? Organized and staged homes stand out in photos and shine during showings. Simply put, they increase the likelihood of selling a home faster and at a higher price. One important thing to remember is that our homes are personal, yet how we live is not how we sell.
Think of how builders sell their model homes or how IKEA presents their furniture. Staging is imperative to getting you top dollar in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of stress. When potential buyers can picture themselves living in the home, they will be more motivated to make a competitive offer. Depersonalizing the home of family photos and other such items helps buyers see the space as “theirs.”
The concept of staging sounds good in theory and there are even research studies that confirm that theory.
In 2021 the National Association of Realtors did a research study with buyer’s agents on home staging, below are the results.
- 43% of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ views of the home.
- 83% per cent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
- Staging the living room was found to be the most important for buyers (47%), followed by staging the master bedroom (42%) and staging the kitchen (35%).
- 25% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1% to 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged. While 19% of buyer’s agents said that a staged home had an increased dollar value of more than 6%.
What is the process of home staging?
Home staging begins with a consultation with a professional that provides an objective look at your home. She will give you tips on how to prepare your home for sale and we will come up with a “ROOM-BY-ROOM” plan of what the next steps are. Once we have a plan in place, we will take action. S
Some of the things that you may need to do
- Clean! Thoroughly
- De-clutter! Make it look organized, even if it really isn’t
- Remove personal photos and religious items.
- Fix minor flaws and imperfections
- Take out any awkward or existing furniture (as per the stager’s recommendation)
- Change dated lighting fixtures and replace any burnt-out light bulbs
- Keep closets tidy! Prospective buyers will want to evaluate your home’s storage
What we will do
- Bring in our own furniture
- Rearrange any existing furniture
How much will it cost?
Since home staging has become more popular over the years in Toronto and the GTA it has taken on a variety of definitions. There are a number of aspects to staging and we will look at all of them in detail along with the costs associated.
- Home staging consultation (complimentary when you list with me) – An in-house professional stager will look at your home objectively and will give you tips on how to improve your home to make it show-ready. Having this done several weeks prior to listing your property is advantageous in order to achieve the best possible results.
- Cleaning of your home (approximate cost $0 – $500) This is a very important step as the cleanliness of the home is often correlated with the seller’s care of the home in the buyer’s eyes.
- Minor repairs (approximate cost – $0 – $1000) – We will take a good look in and around the home and recommend possible minor repairs, fixing loose handrails, leaky faucets, faulty doorknobs, etc. These minor repairs can add significantly more value to your home than it costs you to fix them. If you don’t have a handyman, I’d gladly refer someone.
- Organizing and de-cluttering (approximate cost $0) – This is something that most people choose to do on their own and there are no costs but can have the same significance as cleaning from the buyer’s perspective.
- Rearranging or removal of furniture (approximate cost $0- $500) – Depending on the recommendations of our stager some furniture may be rearranged or removed from your home. If you have to store the furniture there may be storage facility costs.
- Adding furniture and accessories (complimentary when you list with me) – Based on our stager’s advice we will bring our own furniture and accessories as needed to make your home feel and look more updated, and current with popular lifestyle and design trends. This service is complimentary to my clients in most non-luxury listings for the most important rooms in the house (living room, master bedroom, dining room & kitchen)
- Changing of light fixtures (approximate cost $500) – Light fixtures are another inexpensive way to spruce up your home, especially considering that a good percentage of your showings may be during evening hours (9-5 buyers).
- Painting neutral colours (approximate cost $500 – $5000) – Freshly painted homes with neutral colours simply show better and it’s the most effective staging technique there is. Based on the furniture and style/type of home our stager will give you recommendations on what colours to choose. The most expensive part of this is the actual labour so if you can, call in some favours from friends and family to save some money.
Can I stage my home myself?
Absolutely. There are some aspects of the things described above that you can and should do on your own. If you are handy you can do cleaning, minor repairs, painting, decluttering etc. and save yourself some money. As far as most of the rest goes, it’s complimentary anyways.
Do I have to stage the entire house/condo?
Some parts of the staging process have to be done in the whole house/apartment. Cleaning, minor repairs, organizing, de-cluttering, rearranging or removing of furniture should be done throughout. As far as adding staging furniture and accessories it would be done in the most important rooms according to NAR’s study. Namely the living room, master bedroom, dining room & kitchen.
Should empty houses/condos be staged?
Empty spaces tend to feel cold and uninviting. With staging, we can create a warm inviting home that buyers can start to imagine living in. That’s the feedback from NAR’s study and my own experience in dealing with buyers for many years as well.
Pack it & store it
Plastic storage bins are great for items that may need to be stored for an unknown period of time. Store these off-site if possible. Consider renting a portable storage unit. Many companies provide these large containers that can be stored in their climate-controlled warehouse until you are ready to have them delivered to your new home!
Mistakes to avoid
- Don’t spend a lot of money. Be resourceful.
- Don’t paint everything white. Opt for soft neutrals.
- Don’t cover up architectural details such as windows or the fireplace.
- Don’t try to hide odours with overpowering air fresheners and candles.
Staging challenge – kids
In children’s bedrooms, decluttering is paramount. Moving can be tough on anyone, especially kids. Make this process easier on them by including them in the process. Put them in charge of picking up and putting away their toys and games every day. In their bedrooms, declutter as much as possible. Clear toys off the floor, organizing them in baskets and bins for a quick clean-up. Children’s rooms are often colourful and busy. Tone it down by removing personal photos, music posters, and most plush toys.
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE ROOM-BY-ROOM STAGING GUIDE
Don’t like filling out forms? Feel free to call, text, or email me. My cell phone number is 647-830-5210 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
This is what we do – which presentation would you prefer as a buyer?
For more tips on how to get more for your home? Check out these posts for sellers.
- Understanding the buyer
- How to prepare your home for photography
- How to properly price your property
- Top 6 things that you can do to sell for more!