Moving? How to Transform Your Home to Centre Stage

What’s all the Buzz about Staging?

Although “Staging” is the buzzword that we are now hearing on a regular basis with Real Estate, the concept of staging has actually been around for many years.

The first people to use the process of staging a home for sale were builders. They recognized that it was very difficult for people to connect with an empty home. By staging or setting the home up in a welcoming and inviting way, they discovered that potential buyers would form emotions with the home and that increased sales. It became their #1 marketing tool, and the entire building industry changed.

As the styles of houses changed from the basic box bungalow to the custom built homes of today, builders realized that they also had to change the process of how show homes were staged. It wasn’t just about putting a few pieces of furniture into a room and some art on the wall. They needed to hire professionals who knew how to best use the space, with the proper size furnishings, as well as showing options for how the additional rooms (such as lofts, the home office or den and bonus rooms) could be used.

Making that emotional connection between the potential purchaser and the home become the utmost of importance. Is Staging just a Fad promoted by Television?

The onslaught of shows on HGTV and DIY channels, has done a lot to promote staging in the re-sale marketplace, unfortunately they promote it as a new trend at de-personalizing your house for sale. The theory behind this is people don’t want to move into someone else’s house they want to purchase a home for that is especially for themselves. While I agree with this theory in part, I believe much of what is being portrayed or taught is actually missing the point.

While the potential purchaser is looking for a home for them, it is still the “Emotional Connect” that guides them to choosing which one to purchase. Depersonalizing a home to the point of a minimalist can actually feel cold and unwelcoming. Staging a home to show it at its best potential and warmth rather than an open slate can actually bridge that sale faster.

Then, there are the DIY shows that tell us that by following these simple rules anyone can stage their home for sale. While this definitely can help, unless you have a good grasp of spacial awareness, an understanding of how colors work with emotions, and a good eye for balance and design principles you might be left feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, ending up with the same as what you started with. Ultimately, in most cases, if you knew how to do it, you would have already done it…

What’s the difference between Staging a home for Sale and Staging a home for Living?

This is easily explained. When Staging a home for living, it is all about you… all about your lifestyle, the things in life you value, and honoring those things. When staging a home for sale it is all about preparing a home to sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time. Your personal taste in color and decor are not important, the decor and colors that are in style and desired by the broadest selection of new home-buyers is going to sell the home faster.

Why is Staging more important now than ever?

While it is always important to have your home present at it’s very best to sell, it is even more important in a balanced or buyers market. When the market has more houses listed to sell than buyers to purchase, your house has to stand out above all the competition if you want to make that sale.

Bringing in a professional staging company can help you prepare your home to show at its very best.First and foremost, do your homework… cheapest is not always best, neither is the most expensive. Look for reputable businesses (preferably registered with the BBB, and affiliated with reputable Staging Associations). Check for testimonials and view photos etc. Then, meet and talk with a Staging professional.
Most will come and do a “free evaluation walk through” prior to giving an estimate. This is the perfect time to “interview” the staging company. If you connect with the stagers, and you have checked out their work, it is likely a good fit.

There are many options available to you the homeowner in preparing your home to sell. The staging company can come in and prepare a “room by room” recommendation report. I strongly recommend using a company that provides both the verbal walk through as well as a written report, as statistics show people typically only remember about 20% of what is heard vs. 100% when written. This is typically done for the DIY type personality (often custom packages can be prepared for the individual client, that may want to do part but not all).

As well, it is not always necessary to remove all of your furnishings etc. And re-furnish with rentals. Usually, the staging professionals can recommend areas that can be “improved upon” this can be supplemented with rentals while using your own furnishings.

Finally, there is the option of “vacant staging”, if the homeowner is planning on moving into their new home prior to the sale of the current home, many companies offer complete rental furniture and accessories to completely furnish the vacant home (showing the homes potential rather than potential flaws… )

To learn more about “Transforming your home to Centre stage” feel free to give us a call.

Janet Voth is the owner of Designing Spacez, and as head designer she proudly holds the accredited title of “CRSS” Canadian Real Estate Staging Specialist. As a CRSS, Janet has completed in depth training and the design requirements necessary for successful Real Estate Staging in Canada. As well Janet holds credentials and is a member in good standing with both the CRDA- Canadian ReDesigners Association and PRES – Professional Real Estate Staging Training in Canada.

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