The way in which home owners sell their homes has changed and evolved over the last twenty-five years. Due to increasingly busy lifestyles, dual income families and a tremendous rise in TV shows about all aspects of design, a new breed of home buyer has emerged. These buyers are smart, savvy and they are willing to invest more money in a home which they can just move into without making any significant changes to the property. Less and less of the ‘fixer-uppers’ are being bought by these buyers, primarily due to the fact that they simply don’t have the time – or the resources – to renovate their new homes. Homes which need work are being bought by property flippers who, recognizing the potential value of these houses and having the connections, resources and time to get the repairs and renovations done, can make these homes turn-key and sell them for a profit.
Enter home staging. With grass-roots tracing back almost twenty-five years, this emerging field is changing the way home owners get their homes ready for sale. If you aren’t aware what home staging is, it’s a proven method of getting a house ready for sale so that it has dramatic broad appeal to buyers. I should also mention that home staging is a highly successful tool which has proven results – sometimes intensely crazy results. Many professional home stagers have success stories detailing homes they have staged which have sold in hours with multiple offers for thousands of dollars over the list price. It doesn’t happen every time but every staged home stands out – in a great way – to buyers thereby shortening its time on the market and justifying the home’s list price to those same buyers.
As home owners, when it comes to selling your home, there are lots of things which are NOT in your control. The location of your home for instance, is something you cannot change. Either its in a great neighbourhood or it’s not – unless you have figured out how to transplant your property then you have to make the best out of its current site. Another item which is not within your control is the list price for your property. Pricing is determined by a multitude of factors but the bottom line is even if your home is super-duper renovated, the market will only bear up to a certain price point for your home.
What is in a home owners control? The overall appearance of their home. This one factor is vital to understand because many sellers opt to not take control of this one aspect and then get frustrated because the property lacks the appeal to get an offer. Or it gets an offer but not one which comes close to what the sellers will consider. Even if a home owner does understand that the appearance of their home is what makes their property stand out from the competition, many of them don’t know where to start. They don’t have a plan and they don’t know how to make one. In the absence of a plan, most home owners turn to their realtors for advice and assistance.
This is why it’s so important to choose a realtor who understands the importance of a home’s appearance and sees the direct correlation between a property’s appeal and how fast it will sell. Realtors who have taken the time to learn more about home staging, have met with and interviewed professional home stagers so that they can add them to their team is another vital piece of the home selling puzzle. Being able to offer their clients a home staging consultation means that the agent is extremely invested in ensuring the seller‘s property sells fast – and for the most money possible. I’m not advocating sellers choose a realtor who offers to do the staging themselves either as professional stagers are experts at what they do – just as a good realtor is an expert at selling properties – and most stagers have an inventory of modern furnishings and home decor accessories which can transform a home in mere hours. In addition, realtors who partner with a pro stager understand that staging isn’t just moving furniture around. Staging is a multi-layered process which touches on everything from creating neutral colour palettes, de-cluttering and smart upgrades to the final presentation. It only makes sense to choose to work with a realtor who chooses to focus on what they do best – selling homes – and who partners with a pro stager who has the talent, experience and resources to ensure their listings are staged to impress.
Realtors who partner with a professional stager also tend to be very pro-active and savvy about ensuring the property looks great in all aspects of its marketing. From virtual tours to Facebook ads, these savvy realtors understand how the home selling process has changed and they know that in order to attract those demanding and picky buyers, their properties need to look amazing both in person and online. To find realtors who offer the services of a professional home stager, savvy sellers should shop around. Don’t be afraid to ask about home staging and get the agent’s take on the topic. If there is a particular home staging company you want to work with, you can contact them to ask them for a list of their realtor partners. After that, it’s all about interviewing the agents and finding the one which you think can do the job.
Lastly, if you are going to sell your home privately, it’s even more important to work with a professional home stager. Whatever marketing you are going to do has to be highly effective to get buyers in your front door. Some of the for sale by owner companies offer home staging consultations so take advantage of them. If the company does not offer a home staging consultation – and quite a few don’t – then source out your own professional home stager.
For a list of the realtors with whom Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. works with, please contact us. We work with a wide number of realtors in Stratford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph.