In the current property market, it has almost become the norm for real estate agents to suggest to their clients that they have their home professionally staged prior to putting it on the open market for sale. What was once, just a few years ago, considered a trend reserved for those with very high-end properties to sell has now become affordable for – and within the reach of – the average Waterloo Region homeowner who is interested in the idea. But is it really something that you absolutely need to invest in?
The very simple answer is no, home staging is not mandatory. And yes, you can still sell your home without it. The fact is though that the benefits offered by home staging are pretty impressive, and most home sellers who do opt for professional home staging feel that the return on their investment is more than adequate.
What is Home Staging?
As home staging is a relatively new concept in Canada (versus say, the US, where it has been popular for well over a decade) it’s not unusual for home sellers to be a little unsure about what home staging even is. Essentially, the name describes it very well though. Home staging brings out the best in a home, emphasizing its best features, its functionality and makes it feel cleaner, brighter and certainly more appealing to the visiting buyer and one who may only be at the ‘browsing listings online’ stage.
Should You Consider Home Staging?
Not every home needs to be staged. But most will certainly benefit from it. The property may not need to be fully staged either – there may not be a need to rent furniture or revamp a room from the ground up – in which case partial staging may be appropriate, a process that sees a professional come in and help the homeowner make the most of what they already have in place.
But, going back to the biggest question of all; do I have to stage my home? To try and answer that question in more detail, here are some points to keep in mind as you make a decision.
Are You Hoping for a Quick Sale?
Most people who put their home up for sale are hoping that the process of selling their property and moving on will be as quick and painless as possible. No one involved – not the homeowners, no the real estate – wants a home to be on the market for too long. Not only does that hamper future plans for the owners but the longer a home is on the market the more likely it is that potential buyers will think there must be something wrong with it.
According to statistics from the US, compiled by their Housing and Urban Development Department “Research indicates staged homes spend 73% less time on the market than non-staged homes and sell for up to 17 percent more than a non-staged home.” And while statistics are harder to come by in Canada right now because of the newer nature of the concept according to many in the real estate business those rather eye-opening stats hold true for our market here too. 73% is a lot of time saved, and who wouldn’t want to do that?
Are You Hoping for Top Dollar?
Going back to those stats we just mentioned. 17% more. 17% of, let’s say, $200,000. That’s $34,000. Full home staging costs somewhere, on average between $2,000 and $4,000, partial home staging even less. We’d say those figures indicate a rather good ROI, wouldn’t you?
Do You Want Sellers to See Your Home At Its Best?
You may be leaving your property, but that does not mean you don’t still love it, it’s just time to move on. Most sellers harbour a desire to see their home go to someone who loves it as much as they do and as home staging can help potential homeowners really ‘see’ themselves in the space more easily, then it will likely attract those kinds of people exactly. And the fact that those people are then more likely to make the quick and attractive offer you are hoping for is even better.
Still on the fence? Talk to a professional home stager about what they do and what they might be able to do for your home. The right decision for you is easier to make when it’s an informed decision too.