In this real estate market, the concept of "professional home staging" is important to many homeowners and real estate agents to help get top dollar when selling your home. In the past realtors have often provided tips for home owners and left them to their own effort and ambition to prepare a house for sale.
Real estate agents have a good sense of what helps sell a particular house, but they are experts in promoting, negotiating and closing a deal, not necessarily experts in interior design and decorating. Home stagers are specialists in preparing a home for resale by improving "the flow" of the home and each room, reducing clutter, and giving the house a more contemporary appearance. Even improve exterior features and a home's curb appeal.
When a home is "yours" you personalize it with various furnishings and decorations that reflect your family's and pet's needs and preferences, your experiences and travels, and your family and cultural history, and of course, your personal taste.
A professional home stager can help your house create a strong and favourable first impression on potential homebuyers. The goal of staging is to sell a home quickly and for the most money possible, by making a home appealing to the largest number of potential buyers. Staging can correct or help hide a home's flaws, and make rooms appear larger by decluttering & depersonalizing, reduce the perceived move-in work and upkeep by cleaning, improving the condition of some items, and enhancing the landscaping. For vacant homes, staging furniture is used to make rooms appear livable, or in some lived-in ones update the style to current standards.
A U.S. survey of real-estate agents indicated that home staging can reduce a listing's time to sell by one third to half, and could increase the selling price as much as 10-15% (compared to an empty home or one not properly staged)
First Impressions: Most buyers decide they love it or leave it within 10 seconds of walking in the front door. Some even decide while turning into your driveway.
Costs of Staging: Most home stagers will provide an estimate. Some costs are based on an hourly rate, some add extras for furnishings bought or rented, and some will change a flat rate. Typically the staging price varies with the asking price, since larger homes have more rooms, or require more rental furnishings and décor items. Ask about all the items included in the estimate, and what variations they foresee. Keep in mind that staging should improve your selling price, so balance the cost with your expected revenue improvement.
Get Referrals: Ask friends and neighbours who they have used, Ask your realtor for their recommendation. Realtor recommendations are often screened by their office for professionalism, security, and results.
See For Yourself: There are a number of TV shows focusing on home staging. "Sell This House" on A&E is a popular program, where you can see the before and after. The Stagers is on HGTV in Canada & the US.
As a selling home owner it is often tough to invest time and or money for a house you are hoping to get rid of, but its often worthwhile to pay somebody else do the work, reducing your emotional commitment to the house you are selling. (on one "Sell This House" episode, the family liked the staged house so much, they realized their current home still met their needs and decided to stay in it!)