Hiring a Professional Home Stager
Realtors know that professional home staging works! A properly staged home nearly always sells faster, and sometimes sells for more money, than one that is not staged. Many people think that staging is only for large, luxury homes, but it works for all types of properties, including the smallest condos. Staging is now so popular that some realtors are offering to do the service themselves. Most industry experts agree that realtors should focus on selling houses, and leave the staging to professional stagers.
What is Staging?
Home staging meaning: The activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers. ‘home staging has become a huge trend in the real estate industry‘. Source
Home Staging Cost:
Professional home staging can be expensive. There is typically an initial meeting, when you meet the stager, and walk them through your home. This typically costs about $200 dollars. Then the stager will provide you with a written report with their suggestions.
Oftentimes, the report will be broken down into sections covering each room, as well as the exterior of the house, in categories such as
1.) initial repairs/touch ups
2.) a series of suggestions to be completed before the real estate photographer shows up
3.) a series of suggestions to be completed before any open house
The first section is something that most people can do on their own – repair a dripping tap, re-caulk the bathtub, replace a burnt out light bulb, and so on. The second category is where it gets interesting. Professional stagers have a innate sense of what makes a home appealing, and what will tug at a potential buyer’s heartstrings. They know where to place furniture, and what kind of furniture and accessories will fit any given home.
Professional stagers create “focal points”, where buyers’ eyes are attracted to areas of the house, and where an emotional response is created. A simple example might be a comfortable living room chair placed before a picture window that has a nice view, with a side table to place your coffee on. They create these “focal points” with great skill.
Home stagers will give you suggestions of where and how to place your furniture, but will also show you a catalogue of furniture and accessories that you can rent from them. This is where the cost comes in. You can then rent each piece that you want, and pay a monthly fee for that rental. Although most pieces only cost a few dollars a month, if you rent an entire house worth of furniture, depending on how long it takes the house to sell, the bill can sometimes reach into the thousands. Nevertheless, many people feel that a couple of thousand dollars is a small price to pay, with house prices in the GTA being what they are. If you elect to order any furniture and accessories (i.e. mirrors, pictures, plants, etc.) the staging company delivers and sets up what you ordered, and then picks it up after the house is sold.
Typical Home Staging Checklist
The type of suggestions given by stagers include maintenance and tidying, de-cluttering, and furniture placement. Here’s a typical sample of what you might see:
- Wash baseboards
Spot clean carpet
Wash walls (touch up paint if needed)
Repaint front door
Clean and repair caulking
Wash blinds or curtains
- Pack up personal photos
Remove unneeded furniture
Store seasonal items
Pack up small, unused appliances
Pack any unnecessary personal items
Hide toys in living areas
Clear refrigerator magnets
- Hang mirrors
Plant fresh flowers
Put out fresh towels in the bathroom
Open blinds and windows for fresh air
Rearrange furniture to maximize space
Finish any incomplete projects
Outdoor Home Staging
If you live in a house, know that the exterior of your home needs staging as much as the interior. After all, the outside of the house is what buyers see first. You might see the following on a stager’s list:
- Clean the eavestroughs
- Put away items that make the outdoors look messy.
- Make your front door and entrance look inviting – paint the door or buy a new one.
Staging Vacant Homes or Condos
Vacant properties 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.
De-Cluttering the House
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.
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.
Free Home Staging Offer
Sold on the idea of hiring a professional home stager? If you are in the Greater Toronto Area, and are thinking of selling your home; you can get started on the right track by getting the first step – getting a FREE STAGING CONSULTATION* provided to you FOR FREE: – my gift to you – and this service is conducted, not by me, but by a top professionally accredited staging company in your area.
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