A hot topic at a recent home and design show I attended was "which real estate agents provide free staging"? Home staging has rapidly become a recognized way to sell your home quickly, and perhaps even for a higher price. Does staging a home for sale make a difference? We believe it does. As a full service realtor, I am very pleased to offer a FREE Home Staging Consultation (a $200.00+ value) with a recognized, accredited professional staging company, to my Mississauga, Oakville, and GTA real estate customers who entrust the listing and sale of their home to me.
In recent years 'home staging' has become a popular practice in the real estate industry, and discerning sellers seek out the added value benefit that a few select Mississauga area realtors are providing as part of their services - a FREE STAGING consultation. But what exactly is home staging, and how can it benefit you when you are selling your home?
Many popular television shows today focus on home staging. If you have not watched any, do yourself a favor and tune in. They all tend to say the same thing: don't even consider putting your house on the market until you have taken a close look at its condition. Experienced sales people know that you only have one shot at impressing potential buyers, so take some time to prepare your home for showings. You will be rewarded with a faster sale and a higher offer. We used to call this simply "preparing your house for sale", but home stagers today have taken this concept to a new level.
Professional home stagers typically will first have an initial consultation meeting with you the home owner, where they review the property and prepare a report, suggesting things that you can do to make it show at its best. What you do with their recommendations is up to you - you can stage your home on a budget, where costs can start with buying a can of paint, or you can go big, and rent an entire house full of furniture. Whatever you do can help you in preparing your house for sale. Here are some of the tips that a home stager will typically discuss with you:
Home Staging Checklist
Home Staging Basics
Here's a few home staging tips when you are preparing your house for sale. Everything from floors to windows must be spotless. Remember to clean the oven and other major appliances. Skylights should be crystal-clear, too. Kill any offensive odors. They're the first thing buyers notice, and can be a deal killer. Eliminate excess clutter. Put away small kitchen appliances and other items that are sitting on countertops and tables. Remove photographs from table-tops. Organize the closets.
Outdoor Home Staging
The exterior of your home needs staging as much as the interior. After all, the outside of the house is what buyers see first. Little things like cleaning the eavestroughs. Buyers almost always comment if gutters are full of leaves and it makes them question other maintenance issues. Store or organize items that make the outdoors look messy. Make your front door and entrance look inviting. Decorate it, paint the door or buy a new door. Small attention to detail can make a big difference.
Staging Tips for Vacant Homes
Vacant homes are terrific candidates for professional home staging, as an empty home is often difficult for a buyer to connect with emotionally. Properly placed furniture - which can be rented from the staging company - conveys a lived-in, inviting atmosphere. Vacant houses, especially if they have been vacant for some time, sometimes smell stale and stuffy. Airing out the house before you put it on the market, and strategically before open houses and showings, can make it show better. Also, watch the temperature. Leaving the heat or air conditioning running while a home is on the market reduces odors and makes the house more inviting. Keep the lawn and landscaping tidy, even if you have to hire someone to do it.
This is one of the more controversial concepts which home stagers bring to the table - that you must remove items which strongly identify the property with you, the current owner, and by doing so, you make the house attractively neutral. The idea is that there may be some items in the house which are unique to you and your life - but which may distract the potential buyer. So a professional stager may recommend that you remove, say, a doll collection, or a collection of family photographs. Your house is now a commodity on the market. Stagers look at the house from the perspective of the home buyer, their impressions when they first see the house. What changes would make immediate improvements? What are the home's best features and how can you show them off?
Create a Mood, Highlight a Focal Point
Home stagers are experts at creating a mood - they know that when this mood is felt by the Buyer, they will be more likely to make an offer. There are different moods that you can create in summer, and in winter. I've seen a Stager place a shawl and an antique book near a rocking chair, right beside a crackling fireplace, and in front of a bay window that looked out over a gentle snowfall...very artistic, very skillful, and it worked, the house sold that same day! Stagers also typically work to highlight a focal point in each room. Here's one example..
Stagers know that removing excess furniture makes rooms, hallways, and closets appear more spacious. They will often suggest that you remove clutter from each area of the house to show it at its best. One of the many great house staging ideas - store boxes offsite or rent a temporary storage unit so you can de-clutter every part of the house. De-cluttering is a fundamental principle of staging any house.
Highlight Desirable Features
Remove rugs if they’re covering up nice hardwood floors. Remove heavy drapes that keep out natural light, especially if there's a great view out the windows.
Add Some Life
Living (not artificial) plants and fresh cut flowers always add to any home staging enterprise. Staging companies will rent you furniture, and they will also rent you houseplants, till the house is sold.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
How about a coat of fresh paint? Are walls in the house dingy? Are the colours dated? Should you clean curtains or other window ornaments? Stagers will often make suggestions such as these. Home stagers have favorite paint colors which they would be happy to share with you.
Engage the Senses
Lots of old real estate tricks here - and the funny thing is, they work! Baking bread during showings or before an open house, or placing a fresh loaf in a basket on the counter to create a warm and homey atmosphere. Classical music playing softly in the background is nice, but choose something that enhances the mood you are trying to create. Smooth jazz, easy listening, and no hard rock, please.
Enhance your Curb Appeal
In addition to keeping the lawn nicely trimmed, there are other things you can add to grab a buyer's attention before they walk in the door: Use outdoor lighting. It does wonders in the evenings when many homebuyers do drive-bys of properties. Buy an attractive doorknob set. Sweep the driveway; pressure wash the house or sidewalks if necessary. Enhance landscaping. And maintain snow removal for both the driveway and the walkway during winter months.
Real estate professionals know that creating a great overall impression is often enough to make a buyer more lenient about minor repairs that may be required. You want them to fall in love with the house as soon as they see it from the street. Staging companies know this too, and they bring their valuable expertise to the real estate sale, helping to make this happen.
I hope you have enjoyed some of the home staging ideas and tips in this article. Whether you have a large or a small home to sell, staging can really help you to get the best price, in the shortest time. Staging a house really works.
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topics: free home staging Mississauga, free home staging Oakville, free staging, staging your home