Brampton Real Estate Blog

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To Stage or Not to Stage? There is Only one Answer...

When we really think about it, what do we do every day before we leave our homes?  We STAGE our appearance so that others see only the best of us during the course of the working day.  Let's face it, if people saw what we really look like in the morning, most would run far and fast!

So why is it that sellers don't see the value in preparing their home for sale so that during the course of the sale buyers will see only the best features of their home?  Well, I think I may have the answer and that is because most real estate sales representatives will tell their clients that

they need a consultation with a professional home stager who will then charge them for their time PLUS the furniture and accessories that are placed in the home.  Don't get me wrong.  There are circumstances where that consultation and the use of furniture and accessories is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and a great real estate sales representative will have an expert on speed dial.

The same way I may need someone to guide me in the right direction of colour and pattern when buying a new suit and accessorizing it, so may a client need guidance about colour and pattern in their home when putting it on the market.  So if you are willing to keep an open mind and listen to your realtor, there are three key things he or she will tell you:

  1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS are always lasting and personal decor is the OPPOSITE of staging a home for sale.  Those deep red walls that you love in the dining room because they remind you of your favourite Bordeaux may completely turn off a potential buyer.  You have less than 60 seconds to make a lasting positive impression when someone walks into your home and the last thing you want them to think is, "loved the layout of the house but I'm going to have to paint every room".  To a buyer painting means TIME and WORK and most people want TURN KEY, even if only for the first few months in a new home.  Before you list your home for sale, remember neutral colours for walls and flooring are best.
    Neutral Walls and Flooring Are Always Best!
  3. Less is ALWAYS more.  Most, if not all, fashion designers or personal stylists will tell you the following:  If you put on three accessories with an outfit, look at yourself in the mirror and remove one or two; and always accentuate your best features.  The eye is always looking for a place to focus.  Give buyers a place to focus so that they can admire the best features of your home.  For example, if you have five pieces of furniture in a small room, remove three of them or; if you have a beautiful bay window that can fill a room with natural light and a good view, the last thing you want to do is cover it up with dark heavy draperies or big, heavy furniture.
  4. Once your home is for sale, it is a PRODUCT that you must make appealing to the widest possible audience.  You've probably already guessed that I am somewhat of a minimalist but my recreation room is a place where I love to display old and new family photos, souvenirs and artwork from our travels.  We have a "feature wall" displaying MANY photos of our kids at different stages of their lives.   During the course of day-to-day living this is OK.  Our personal style is in part a tribute to our family.  But, if I put my home up for sale tomorrow, ALL of it must come down.  Why?  Because, when someone walks into that room I need them to take mental ownership of the space and imagine themselves and THEIR family photos gracing our walls.  This can only be achieved if they have a blank slate to look at.
So, while the value of professional stagers is undeniable, the expertise of your realtor is invaluable and is something that every seller should take advantage of.  Remember, we see hundreds of homes!  We always look at a home from a buyers perspective and our goal is the same as yours:  To sell your property for the highest possible price in the shortest possible time so that you can achieve your goals!  Won't that be great?!

I welcome your feedback and questions.  Look for follow ups to this post with time and money saving tips for staging your home to sell.  Are you or someone you know thinking about selling?  Call me for a FREE market evaluation of your home.

I look forward to hearing from you.