When I get interviewed by home sellers, one of the most common questions I get asked is “who pays for home staging?”.
It’s part of my service.
I find it shocking that some agents don’t include staging in their service. I find it equally shocking when I find out a seller agreed to pay an agent 5% commission and didn’t get any staging at all.
Home staging is a no-brainer in this day and age, especially with COVID-19. Coupled with professional property photography and a virtual tour, it’s a valuable marketing piece for the benefit of the home sellers.
Staging is Marketing?
Most agents, I believe, see home staging as an expense rather than a marketing tool. This couldn’t be any further from the truth.
True, it is an expense that a real estate agent pays upfront (should), but that’s what an agent is being hired for, to promote a property in its best possible way to attract the most amount of potential home buyers.
If there is no staging or the staging sucks, it’s a disservice to the sellers.
Buyers Need To Be Excited
If the staging doesn’t grab the interest of the buyer and get them visually excited, they won’t be motivated enough to get out of their comfy pants and leave the house to physically visit the property.
Once buyers are in the house, good home staging will have them picturing what it would be like to live there.
Not All Home Stagers Are Good
I’ve had my share of fly-by-night home stagers trying to convince me to use them to stage my listings. Heck, a photography company that I used to use introduced their own staging service. When I saw what they considered staging, I quickly stopped using any of their services (I was on the hunt for a new photographer because theirs began to get worse when they expanded to more photographers).
Staging is more than having white area rugs, grey couches, and colourful pillows. It has to suit the home.
Recently, I listed a townhouse loft in the Scarborough Town Centre neighbourhood. Condo sales are down everywhere across Toronto so I knew I needed this one to really pop.
The plan was to take advantage of the massive 2-story window and open concept while making the bedrooms appear bigger or more functional than they actually were.
My preferred stager (she goes by Property Stylist, thank you very much), knocked it out of the park as you can see in the virtual tour below. She pictured a young urban couple that would love to take advantage of the natural sunlight and host dinner parties.
The result was an offer after only 6 days while condos in the area typically take 47 days to sell.
Good staging is key.
The point I’m trying to get across here is even if an agent does offer to stage, make sure the staging isn’t simply having you declutter and moving furniture around. There needs to be some sort of theme going on throughout the home not an “eclectic” collection of styles in each room.
There will likely need to be some sort of accessorizing in the least. That’s bringing in throws, pillows, wall art, side table accent pieces, and other pieces for washrooms and odd spots.
Another property of mine that was staged (styled!, she yelled.) in Queensville, went with a theme to appeal to an urban family looking to move to the suburbs but still have the modern urban look.
The staging attracted 43 showings in 5 days and 7 “bully offers” resulting in a sale well above anything else that had previously sold in the neighbourhood.
It’s no secret that houses will sell these days, but what would an extra 6% on a sale be for a seller? Stats show that staged houses sell for 1 to 6% more than unstaged homes.
The average home in Toronto (at the time of this post) is $986,313. Wouldn’t an extra $9,800 to $60,000 be nice?
That alone is why I pay upwards of $4,000 to have houses staged – it’s for my sellers. So they get the most amount of money possible. Do you know of another way to make that amount of money?