Why I Do What I Do: Home Staging

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When it comes to selling your Niagara home, there are a number of things you probably already think you know that are essential in getting exposure in the Niagara real estate marketplace and getting potential buyers through the door: MLS listings, open houses, and a real estate agent who can make it all happen.

And while I can’t deny that the traditional tactics do drive interest, there are some things that, if you ask me, are the pieces of the puzzle that put that sold sign in your front yard. So, I’m giving you a glimpse inside my strategies so that you can better understand why I do what I do and why it matters when you put your home on the market.

Today I’m talking home staging

If you’ve ever turned on HGTV, you know a bit about what I’m talking about already. Home staging is the act of preparing your home for the real estate market. The goal here is to make your home as appealing as possible to the highest number of potential buyers which will lead to selling your Niagara property quickly and for more money. And, let’s be honest, that’s the end game, right?

Staging techniques focus on improving your home’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone can see themselves living in. So, let’s talk why home staging is so important:

UP your market appeal

Competition is stiff in the Niagara real estate market right now — even in December (must be these warm temperatures)! Buyers have the advantage right now, and they can afford to have high expectations. If your home doesn’t look the way they want it to, it’s on to the next property! Staging your home will ensure yours is the best-looking home on the market. Leaving it in “as-is” condition will just help sell the competition.

Make more money

When your home is perfectly staged and stunning, you will make more money. In fact, the average staging investment can result in an 8-10% greater return. Think of it this way, the investment you make in staging your home will cost less than the first price reduction you’ll have to make if you have a hard time selling an unstaged home. And, according to HGTV’s Designed to Sell, 98% of staged homes sell over the asking price!

Sell your home faster

Staging your home helps to sell it faster with the best price. Homes that are sold within the first 4 weeks see average a 6% higher sale price than those that are on the market for more than a month. In today’s real estate market in St. Catharines, for example, people are generally willing to spend a bit more money on an ideal home that suits their lifestyle. They aren’t looking to spend time and money on renovations — they want to live in and enjoy their new home from the minute they move in. In fact, Maritz Research Staging Polls found that 63% of buyers prefer a higher priced home that does not require any renovation over a lower priced fixer-upper. So, if your home is the one that appeals to these sensibilities, you’ll see a far faster sale!

Vacant home? No problem!

First impressions are huge in the world of real estate. Most home buyers are not interior designers and they love the help of creative visionaries to see just how a home fits their lifestyle. They are looking for a place that makes them feel good and they are excited to start calling home. A vacant home can make it hard to see how a home can be lived in, so I’m sure you can imagine just how vital home staging is for vacant homes. Even if you provide photos of each room on easels that capture what each room looked like before being emptied, or what it could be, you are helping the potential buyer see a home instead of just another house.

As you can see, I think home staging is so important. I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have my home staging designation, but I’m not saying all this as a pitch. I truly believe that even a home stager should have a consultation from another home stager to have an invaluable frank and honest discussion about how others will perceive your home. After all, this is your home we’re talking about. You have created a space that revolves around your own lifestyle, having someone who is removed from the memories and lifestyles that were created and nurtured in your space will help to stage a home that anyone can see creating their own memories in.

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