I recently helped sell a home that was lovingly cared for for many years. It was very nice, seriously – very nice. It was decorated quite well, everything was clean, and all the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and appliances worked, even the rooms were decorated appropriately (All bedrooms had a bed and a dresser in them, The dining room had a lovely dining room table table, hutch, and sideboard, … you get the idea).
When I offered staging as part of my listing services, the owner was quite surprised, and I think a little bit offended. They were worried about having to pack away furnishings and renting other pieces. They had a lovely home, and I assured them that if the stager suggested that they rent furniture or art it would be optional and entirely up to them. I also told them that if they had to pack things away it was really just packing a little early for their move.
When the stager came, she and her assistant spent about an hour and a half with my clients walking through each room of the house. At one point she turned to me and said “Why did you hire me? This house is gorgeous”. The end result, however, was well worth the price, and my clients seemed very happy with the service.
A few days after the staging consultation I received a very professional room by room report. There were a couple suggestions for each and every room. When I told my clients this over the phone they were more than offended, I’d say close to hostile. Things calmed down a little when they actually read the report. Phew!
Some suggestions were as simple as “move the bed away from the wall so that there’s room to stand beside it”. It went on to explain that this will for a few different reasons, will help make the room feel bigger. Others were a little more subtle. The house was in an area that is dominated by one ethnic community, and some of the suggestions based on this fact alone.
The lifestyle suggestions had the most impact. Here’s an example to illustrate my point. In Toronto people often live in homes that were designed at least 30 years ago, many homes are over 100 years old. Gone are the unfinished basements, wood paneling, wet bars, and shag carpeting. Today basements are often used for home theaters, apartments, and wine cellars.
You may not think that you need a stager to sell your home, but I do. Having a home staged highlights the positives of your home and makes it much easier for today’s potential buyers to imagine themselves living in it.