Home Staging: Why Bare Isn’t Always Better
By Marina Vykhodtseva
We have all browsed through various magazines that display beautifully designed homes. Although some people are naturally talented when it comes to decorating, life still takes over. Eventually we all accumulate clutter. You know, those framed photos, books, furniture and children’s toys you may have lying around the house. Though home owners may see these items as prized possessions, potential home buyers see this as clutter. So when Lisa Morgan-Long from Urban Glamour Home Staging Inc. walked into the offices of Forest Hill Yorkville it was like a breath of fresh air. Her years of experience staging homes in Toronto and excellent taste was evident right away.
So what does home staging do? Overall it accentuates the positive and minimizes the negative while promoting a luxurious and photo ready home. Home Staging is comparable to mannequins whose clothes are perfectly pinned in store display windows. The clothes appear to fit perfectly, but when you look at the back of the mannequin you realize the mannequins have had some help.
While some agents may find it hard to convince home buyers to stage their home due to cost. It’s important to note that home staging plays a big part in the overall marketing of your home. 90% of people who come to view a space, cannot see it any other way than the way it is presented. Lisa Morgan-Long presented us with a few facts that sellers might find interesting. For starters “investments in Home Staging provide, on average, a return on investment of 400% in less than 30 days and homes that are professionally staged sell for 10-15% more money than upstaged homes”.
So what should sellers do? Sellers need to remove any personal items as well as anything else that is dated. Family photos, dog bowls and children’s toys, all remind prospective buyers that these items do not belong to them and that they are in another home and not their own. Too much clutter can make a room appear smaller. In the opposite spectrum, completely empty spaces also appear smaller than they are. So furnishing a room with the proper amount of furniture is the most accurate way to showcase the size of a room. When a room is properly staged it demonstrates how a space can be used effectively.
If you want to get top dollar for your home, everything must appear photo ready, like a featured home in a magazine. After all buyers preview MLS listing photos to determine which property to visit and buyers are more likely to look at homes with more appealing photos.
In the end, buying a home is an emotional decision as much as a financial one. A buyer needs to see themselves in the new space, they need to see the luxurious elements that are featured in the home and also sense an emotional connection when walking into a prospective new home.