Home Staging: The Inexpensive Investment with the Big Return

By
Home Stager with Seize the Day - Rent to Own

Home Staging has become the hottest new trend in Real Estate sales and marketing tactics across the country and Nanaimo is getting on board. TV shows such as "Buy Me", "House Hunters", and "Sell This House" have piqued our interest as we watch people around the world transform their dull and dated homes into classy, modern charmers that sell quickly and for top dollar. But is all this really a trend or is it actually a smart business investment?

Statistics are showing that staged homes sell about 50% faster than non-staged homes and for an average increase in price of 6.9%. Okay, so what does all that really mean in dollars and cents? Let's take the average selling price of a Nanaimo home (as of this summer) at $350,000 and spend the recommended 1% to stage for sale. Now, if this house sold for the average increase in value of 6.9% that would be a $24,150 gain. Minus your staging investment of $3,500 and your total profit would be a stunning $20,650 or an unbelievable Return on Investment of 600% in only one month! Try to do that in the stock market! Now factor in your time (time is money) and efforts of maintaining your home in "show" condition while it sits on the market for many months and Staging for a fast sale really becomes a lucrative business investment.

Forward thinking Realtors like Remax's Rhonda Heaslip believe that Home Staging is the way of the future and often offer it as a value added service to their clients.

"In my experience, it is far easier to sell a home that has been properly staged and presented", says Rhonda. "These homes generally will move more quickly and for a better price and are perceived as better cared for by the prospective buyers. My advice is: fix it, stage it, and sell it."

Rhonda knows that you don't have to break the budget to have a dramatic improvement. A young couple in Ladysmith had a very tight budget but knew they needed help. Rhonda arranged for them to have a consultation to give them the tools they needed to get started. With only $500 and the help of friends and family they painted walls, installed new light fixtures, hung new drapes, and added accessories as suggested by their staging consultant.

"I couldn't believe the difference," Rhonda said. "This place is so cute now."

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 (Far too much furniture and clutter made this Living Room seem cramped and uncomfortable. By clearing out the clutter, re-arranging the furniture and adding lighter drapes and modern accessories - this room feels larger and more inviting.)

If your target market is the out of town buyer a "Photo Styling" might be all that you need. A north Nanaimo home we visited recently looked great but lacked the extra attention to detail that makes a picture on the MLS stand above the rest. With a few accessories, some mood lighting and the eye of a professional photographer both master bedroom and ensuite bathroom became sexy, romantic retreats. For just a few hundred dollars a "mini stage" was performed on the critical areas to be photographed. These photos attracted Calgary buyers and very quickly multiple offers were received. You only get one chance to make a great first impression - you want to make it count.

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Even a Full Stage, including painting, repairs, and furniture rental does not have to be expensive and in fact, when you consider the alternatives, it becomes quite a bargain. This lovely Brechin Bungalow had been sitting empty on the market for 4 months without a single offer written. Although the house was in great condition, perspective buyers were turned off by some exposed wires and the feeling that there was too much work to do. In order to avoid a substantial price reduction the owners decided to have the home staged. It took a couple of weeks and approximately $3000 dollars to change the home from empty and unloved to warm and welcoming. It sold for almost full asking price in the first week!

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(Buyers have difficulty imaging how their furniture will fit into an empty space. Placing appropriate but neutral furnishings helps them to "mentally move in.)

With Real Estate prices soaring and the family home being the single biggest asset most of us own, it is critical to get the highest possible price when you sell. Staging could be your best investment yet. Spend a little to earn a lot!

Written by

Pam Moreside

Center Stage Design

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