Stories from Home Staging Pros: The Importance of De-personalizing Your Property Listing

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Home Staging Stories

In our years of home staging, we’ve come across enough staging projects to have a good collection of stories. Some of these stories come from our own home staging experiences and some come from our industry colleagues in real estate and home renovations… But all really serve to prove why staging a home for sale is always a smart move!

So sit back and read on for some good home staging stories!

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Toddler having tons of fun cleaning a window with the text "prepping your home for a spring listing 6 tips to help you get an early edge."

Get Your Property Ready for the Spring Real Estate Market!

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Even though it’s not officially spring yet, if you’re planning on selling your house in the spring then right now is the perfect time to start planning.

Thinking of selling your property this spring, but not sure how to even start preparing it for the market? Then this is the blog post for you! With a healthy smattering of interesting facts, we offer 6 key tips to guide you in to the path of successfully listing your property in Calgary’s competitive real estate market this spring.

Read on for the full scoop…

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Image of a white chair in a blue room with the text "confessions of a Calgary Home Stager: How & Why We Do It" and Transcend Staging logo

Confessions of a Calgary Home Staging Company: Our 3 Most Commonly Asked Questions

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As home stagers who work with Calgary’s competitive housing market, we regularly get a variety of questions about our job… But it’s surprising how often we get asked these 3 specific questions:

  1. What exactly is it that we do?
  2. How do we do it?
  3. What can people do to make their own homes more presentable?

We’re asked these same questions over and over again at parties, coffee shop conversations, and even from our own families!

It seems that while the concept of home staging is easy enough to grasp, the practice and purpose of our work isn’t always as clear.

Yet while we’re always happy to talk about staging Calgary homes, we’ve been asked these 3 questions enough times now that we thought a blog post dedicated to them was in order!

With this in mind, what follows will tell you what it is that we really do, a bit about how we do it, and some more tips for how you can become a mini “home staging yogi” yourself.

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Image with photo of dad and toddler painting a wall with the title Statistics of Home Staging on the right side.

All-time Best Improvements to Ready Your Home for Sale

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Home Staging Stats.

We like to say that effective home staging is both an art and a science, but when it comes to the returns you get from investing in professionally staging your home, it’s strongly on the science side.

A recent survey performed by HomeGain, for example, stated that hiring a professional home stager offered a whopping 196% return on investment. Yes, 196% ROI just from professionally staging your home. This is the kind of (comparatively) short-term investment return that stock brokers dream of… But what does it actually mean?

What it means is that for every $724 you spend on having a real estate listing professionally staged, you’ll see an average return of $2,145.

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17 Elveden Point SW Vacant Staging

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This magnificently handcrafted country craftsman style home is located in Calgary’s Elveden community.  This spectacular house incorporates elegance, style and family comfort.  Upon entry, you are greeted by the custom handcrafted curved staircase and the feeling of luxury home grandeur.  The vaulted ceiling and abundance of windows allow for natural light to brighten the space.  The solid teak floors throughout are stunning. Home staging just brought it to the next level, helping it sell for a good price to a very satisfied buyer!

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How can realtors get their clients on board with home staging?

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While sectors of the Canadian real estate market are booming (Vancouver and Toronto), the market in Calgary has slowed considerably.  When a real estate market softens and houses are sitting on the market for longer, home staging should be an essential part of the marketing strategy for any property.  Supported by statistics provided by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), a staged home spends 72% LESS time on the market and receives offers 7-10% HIGHER than an un-staged property.  What does this mean to the average builder, realtor or homeowner?

The benefits of a property turning over faster are numerous.  As a builder, if your projects are turning over quickly, you are reducing your financing costs which leads to a direct increase in your ROI.  All other associated carrying costs, like property taxes, insurance, utility expenses as well as maintenance and up keep costs, will also be reduced.  As a home builder you are able to see your profits faster and this gives you the ability to reinvestment your profits or begin other projects.

Realtors also reap benefits from having a property turn over faster.  Not only do they receive their commissions sooner, they also increase their client satisfaction immensely.  By partnering with a home stager, it demonstrates to clients a serious commitment to marketing their home to its full potential and providing the client with a value added service that is ultimately going to lead to a quicker sale with a higher priced offer.  The faster a home sells, the happier the clients are, and the less money a realtor has to invest in marketing the property.  And of course, happy clients will provide more referrals for those realtors in the future.  Staging is the ultimate win-win scenario.

Homeowners often feel pressure in a challenging real estate market.  Property owners are concerned with the amount of time their property could be on the market and what the carrying costs could add up to.  They could be seeing the return on their, most likely, biggest investment, declining.  In return, homeowners are often hesitant to spend money up front on a property that they are planning on selling.  Homeowners may not realize that home staging is an investment and not an expense and that the cost of home staging is much less than a price reduction.  By staging their house, they reduce their marketing time and end up with more cash to either reinvest in a new property or to put towards other investments.

Though real estate staging cannot change everything about a property, like the location, it will increase the marketability of a property so it sells quickly and with better offers to purchase.  When professional staging is part of a property marketing plan, the statistics demonstrate year over year that these properties sell faster and for more money.

Why using a home stager is so important… Have you ever cut your own hair?

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Let’s admit it, at some point in our life, most of us have cut our own hair.  Why did we do it?  To save money, or save time, or we figured that we’ve seen our hair get cut enough times that it can’t be that hard right?  Let’s talk about the results of that do-it-yourself haircut…

Did it look stylish?  Did it highlight your positive features and downplay your least favourite features?  Did at look as good as that time you went to that amazing salon?  Probably not so much…

Why is that?  Whether we want to admit it or not, sometimes you get what you pay for.  Becoming an expert in any industry is not an easy accomplishment, and there’s a reason people will pay for a good haircut, instead of trying to do it themselves.  An expert has the training and ability to see what you don’t see and most importantly, they know how to bring it to fruition.  They can guide us and offer advice and take us from ho-hum to va-va-va-voom!  How are they able to do that?  They have skill and experience, their business is to stay on top of current trends, and they have a creative eye. They might convince you that its finally time to get rid of your 80’s mullet, or talk you out of a spiral perm—and yes, you may not want to hear it, but eventually you’ll thank them for it.

So, if you wouldn’t walk around with a do-it-yourself haircut because it isn’t the best representation of yourself, why would you not apply the same philosophy into the selling of your house?

Since your house is most likely your biggest investment, the decision to sell your house is a life-changing moment.  Once the decision is made to sell, most buyers ultimately, have the same goal:  to sell fast and get the most money for their house.  The same principles mentioned above can be applied to home staging.

Staging your own home can’t be that difficult right?  Throw some colourful pillows on a couch, add a bouquet of flowers and ta-da!  Not exactly.  A professional stager will formulate a design plan which includes targeting the right demographic, space planning & traffic flow, coordinating existing furniture/art/accessories and bringing in new pieces, if necessary.  All of these things are specifically customized to accentuate your house’s best features and create an emotional connection that will make someone walk in to you house and fall in love with it.

Since your home is your biggest asset, please do some research first.  When you’re doing your due diligence on successful home selling techniques, what inevitably pops up?  Home staging of course!  The more you research, the clearer your selling strategy will become, because the answer is the same for almost every property, from a tiny condo to a sprawling estate home…

Step 1:  declutter
Step 2:  clean
Step 3:  hire a professional stager
Step 4:  hire a reputable realtor
Step 5:  get professional photos done

These 5 steps will give your house the BEST POSSIBLE chance of getting noticed online and will absolutely create more interest in your property and give you a huge competitive advantage in the marketplace.  All of which will ultimately lead to you selling faster, for a higher price—these are indisputable facts.  Research has shown that on average, a staged home will sell for 6.7% more (National Association of Realtors), and will spend 73% less time on the market (Real Estate Staging Association).

So please put down the scissors and call a professional!

Tara Bergdoll, CCSP
Transcend Staging Ltd.