In a competitive housing market, if you want to sell your home faster and get your asking price, a degree of home staging is a must.
“In my opinion, staging is mandatory,” said Robyn Moser, a REALTOR® and team lead with Robyn Moser & Associates, members of RE/MAX Realty Professionals.
“We’ve actually studied the difference staging a home can make and the result was that staging, on average, was worth another $3,000 to $5,000 in the selling price.”
Staging can encompass a wide variety of actions, she says, from a few easy tricks to bringing in new furniture or even a professional home stager who will provide their own furnishings.
“You want to have just enough furniture so that people can see what it’s like furnished, but not cluttered or with too many personal items on display,” said Moser.
“Staged actually sells better than empty, so for some people, it might even be worth it to buy some inexpensive furniture on Kijiji and then resell it afterwards.”
She says the investment of a few hundred dollars up front could be well worth it when the home sells.
“YOU WANT TO HAVE JUST ENOUGH FURNITURE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN SEE WHAT IT’S LIKE FURNISHED, BUT NOT CLUTTERED OR WITH TOO MANY PERSONAL ITEMS ON DISPLAY.” – ROBYN MOSER, RE/MAX REALTY PROFESSIONALS
It’s OK to leave some family photos out, she adds, but not so many that it comes off as cluttered.
“People still want to buy from real people,” said Moser. “They want to know that real people with real lives lived there.”
She recommends “hiding” all pet items, religious items and things like ashtrays that might have a subconscious impact on potential buyers who don’t subscribe to those lifestyles.
In addition to the common-sense moves mentioned above, Moser offers the following five tips for successful staging:
- “Use all white sheets, towels, bedspreads and shower curtains. Nothing says ‘clean’ like white.”
- “Paint has an 80 to 100 per cent return, so freshen it up if you can. Get rid of bold colours and try to keep things neutral.”
- “Plug in an apple-cinnamon Glade air freshener and turn all your lights on before showings. Try to engage as many of the buyers’ senses as possible.”
- “Turn the heat up, so it’s a little warmer than usual. You want people to be comfortable, not cold – especially in winter.”
- “Have some soft music playing. Spotify even has an ‘Open House’ channel.”