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Home Staging – Part 1: The Basics

The real estate market in areas like the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) over the last few years has skyrocketed. If you are lucky enough to have been able to get into the market, if you have decided sell, you will want to get top dollar for your home. The reality is, most of the people that are selling are selling to buy something new.  

  • Looking for a bigger place as your family is growing
  • Looking for a smaller place as you become empty nesters
  • Looking to change cities due to work or family changes
  • Your current home may simply not fit your needs anymore

Whatever the reason, most sellers are looking to buy and the value they sell their home for impacts what they can afford for the new home. And if the value of your home has gone up, the cost to buy a new one has likely gone up as well. 

Selling can be stressful. A home can stay on the market anywhere from a couple days to several month. To add to that, there are thousands of new homes listed every month across Canada.

In a competitive market, you need to:

  • Stands out from the other homes in the area
  • Show potential buyers that your home fits into their life
  • And of course, you have the right Realtor

A good realtor will know how to market you home and they may suggest bringing in a specialist to help with staging your home. 

What is Home Staging? 

A Home Stager is someone that is hired to style and furnish a seller’s home in such a way to enhance the home and attract potential buyers. The level of service can vary from a simple report to fully furnishing a vacant home. Each Stager will offer different service, at different rates.

Statistics show that homes that have been professionally staged sell 2-3 times faster and up to 6% high than homes that have not been staged.

3 Basic things to do before listing your home 

1. Check your Emotions: It’s not personal 

The home is where the heart is. Moving can be a very emotional time for some people but when you are listing your home, you need to separate those memories from the business transaction (the sale of the home). Your favorite colours, your favorite chair. Your style may not be the popular style for your target market. In order to sell your home for top dollar, you may need to make some changes to better attached the right buyer. It’s important that you don’t take it personally. It’s not a reflection of you but it is a marketing strategy to sell your home.

Staging tip: Remove or at the very least reduce the number of personal photos you have up around the home. The goal is to get potential buyers to envision themselves and their family in this home. Having personal photos around the house can be distracting for some buyer. You want to keep them focused on your amazing home, not distracted by your amazing family.

2. Reduce the Clutter

Your home is a representation of you. When you are selling your home, you want future buyers to see themselves in the home. Before listing, go through and pack-up family photos and nick-knacks. Clear off table tops and counter tops – either pack these things or put them away, where they belong. Now’s a good time for a purge!

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Your Stager may also suggest that you remove some furniture. Removing furniture will make the space feel bigger and it will show stronger. General home staging rule – remove 50% of the furniture in the room.

Staging tip: Don’t just put things in the closets. Potential buyers will look inside all closest. If your closets are full (or over-full) it can appear that the home is lacking storage space which may deter some buyers. If a storage unit isn’t in the budget, use plastic storage bin to organize your items. These are stack-able and will keep your items contained and clean.

3.Repair and Clean  

Walk your home and look for any nicks or damage in the drywall, floors, doors and baseboards. Doing these little touch-ups will clean up the house and show much better. This will appeal to those buyers that are looking for the move-in-ready home.

Give your home a deep clean before listing it. We are talking around toilets, appliances (inside and out), grout lines, baseboards and carpets especially.  If you have the budget to do it, a professional cleaner is a good investment at this time in the sale.

Staging tip: Be cautious of smells in the home. Especially any pet odors. These will be the biggest deterrent for any future buyer. If you have carpets and pets it is strongly recommended to have the carpet professionally cleaned before any open house or showings. Further to that, more and more people now have sensitivity and allergies to smells. Don’t use cleaners with strong perfumes or burn scented candles before showings. Although these smells may be comforting to you, they may not be for others. Remember it’s not about you right now, it’s about your customer.

For more information on Home Staging, add your questions below or email us at design@letskissdesign.com

Be sure to check back for Part 2, coming soon! Sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out. 

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