To Stage or Not to Stage.... that is the question!

Selling your home is one of the most stressful times for a family (or single) to deal with. People you don't know traipsing through your home - your private space - the judgments. Most people cannot stand the idea of having their privacy invaded during the home sale process. What if there was a guided way to remove clutter, remove your personal effects and increase the sale price of your home? Without that awful feeling the neighbors all just came to your open house to check out how you live!

Hire a Home Stager! Did you laugh or gasp at the idea - the potential cost - most people I have talked to who have never had their home "staged" think this service is for the rich. But in today's competitive home/condo sale market it is a mistake to not at least consider it. Here's why...

First impressions are everything! And in home sales first impressions are usually emotional. What your prospective buyer is thinking from the curb, to the front door, throughout their tour of your home is "Can I see myself and my family living here?". If your home is all about you - and it should be when YOU are the one living there - how can someone new find themselves fitting into your home? At the point your home is listed for sale - the "YOU" in the home - or most of it - should be packed away - leaving a clean tidy slate in which your future buyer can see themselves. Doing this seemingly simple task can both increase sale price and timing dramatically. When you consider that most homes can be staged for less than $1000 - why do people hesitate do it? The reason is not the money as most home owners anxious to sell will spend the money to increase the sale price. What the real issue is sellers don't know where to begin. And that is why you need to engage an expert.

Here's a brief outline of how the process works...

1. Book a consult. Two hours is more than enough time to get you on your way to de-cluttering and de-personalizing your space. Next steps will be discussed and your expert will make a list of tasks to complete to be ready for the next phase. The task list can include minor repairs and painting. If you don't want to tackle these items - your expert can recommend quality trade people to do the work for you. You will be guided to pick a neutral palette and for good reason. Don't fight to keep the wall colour YOU love so much - YOU won't be the one living with it. Again - this is all about creating an environment where your prospective buyers can fall in love with how they see the house. They are not falling in love with YOUR house. It is a given that your task list will include closet organizing and packing of non-essentials - AND - you will be asked to remove most small collectibles and pictures.

2. Now that your home is freshly painted (if needed), purged of your personal effects and uncluttered the fun begins. Your expert will provide a list of items that are missing to make THE home (note how I went to THE home here - not YOUR home?) current and styled in a way that will be appealing to prospective buyers. You may be asked to buy specific bedding, pillows and decor items that will help the home sell. Or your expert might purchase the items on your behalf to keep the process simple. Anything you purchase you can keep to take to your new home or sell. Most experts will work with the furniture you already own and rent larger items that will fill in gaps or create a specific look. Set a budget with your expert and let them do what they recommend to ensure the home sells quickly for a great price.

Realtors are excited to sell homes that are STAGED and highly recommend it because it makes their job much easier. It is a fact that staged homes sell more quickly and for more money - which means hiring a home stage expert more than pays for itself. Regardless of the size or sale price of your home or condo the staging process is a win/win for everyone.

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