In this age of buyer’s markets when it comes to selling one’s home, a home stager can make all the difference. But, how specifically? This week, we’re thrilled to feature a guest post from Heather Stewart. Heather is a professional home stager and principle of HS Homestaging based in Langley, British Columbia, who will fill us in on the benefits of hiring a home stager, whether you’re selling, or staying …
What is a home stager exactly?
Home staging is the process of preparing a property (residential or commercial) to sell, aka property presentation, house fluffing, house doctoring, property enhancement.
Home Staging to Sell
When staging to sell, preparation will include all or some of the following: cleaning, repairs, maintenance, decluttering, depersonalising, painting, landscaping and furniture and accessory placement highlighting features of the property.
Here are some reasons you should consider the services of a home stager to sell your property:
- At least 90% of buyers now start their search for property online. Photos of professionally staged listings stand out in buyers’ minds and look better online and offline.
- Staged properties, vacant and owner occupied, “show”better than comparable properties that have not been staged, including higher priced properties and new construction.
- Buyers perceive staged properties as well-maintained and move-in ready. Savvy real estate professionals recognize these perceptions and are inclined to show staged listings.
- Compared to properties that have not been staged, professionally staged listings sell in less time from the date of listing to closing date. (For more detailed information and statistics, the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) has put together two great booklets: The Consumers Guide to Real Estate Staging and Real Estate Staging Statistics Report (Released February 2010)
- In slower markets, staged homes sell more quickly than those not staged. And in hot markets, staged homes can garner more offers. Either way, and in any market in between, the seller is saving time and getting a better return on their largest investment by investing (usually) less than a price drop if their home doesn’t sell. When carrying costs are taken into account when a home doesn’t sell, home staging becomes an even better investment.
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Home staging to Stay
Staging to stay in your home may be a less obvious application of a home stager’s talent, but it comes into play in two ways.
One, home stagers help homeowners consider the future sale of the property when making decisions about décor and renovations. Two, home stagers use their fresh objectivity toward a property to improve the flow, energy and feeling of a space, efficiently and quickly.
Most often referred to as redesign, this method of home staging involves using furniture and possessions homeowners already have and love, colour consultations, organizing and bringing clear functions and focus to each room.
Redesign consultations are relevant when it’s time for a change, as in renovations or new furnishings and when a space has changing functions or has never felt right. New family members or empty nesters, downsizing or upsizing, lifestyle changes and cocooning are all opportunities for tenants and homeowners to put a home stager’s abilities to work for them.
By definition, redesign is an eco-friendly, or “green” practice. It starts with what you already have and reuses, re-purposes, recovers, or repaints these items whenever possible, before suggesting new purchases that can be made to enhance the space. “Move-In” consultations and services give you a model home feeling from the start in your new home.
So, you can hire a home stager to stand out from the crowd and get a better return on investment when you are ready to sell, and you can hire a home stager to live better in your space when you are home to stay.
Heather Stewart is a home stager at HS Home Staging. She brings her experience in property evaluation, retail merchandising and the design and manufacture of soft furnishings, as well as a Marketing Management – Real Estate Diploma to the craft of home staging. Heather is a Graduate of the Staging Diva ® Home Staging Training Program.
Heather was the recipient of the 2009 New Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a Top 5 Finalist for the RESA Rookie Stager of the Year Award.