written by Jenny Hilborn, President of Centre Staged Inc.

Home Staging is helping to pave the way for homeowners to achieve top dollar when selling their property.  As stated by real estate mogul and Shark Tank celebrity Barbara Corcoran, in a recent interview with the CEO of the Real Estate Staging Association, “Home Staging used to be an extra and now it’s an essential”

Home Staging is providing the homeowner and their realtor with the tools they need to showcase their home at its full potential…not to mention it also offers on average a 343% return on investment! As homeowners we make the single biggest investment in our lifetime in purchasing our home and like any other investment we might make along the way, say in an RRSP or in an expensive piece of art or collector’s item, it needs to be nurtured and cherished in order for its value to grow.

At some point in our lives we have all either experienced or are going to experience the act of selling a home, choosing your next home and moving all of your many belongings to your next location. Sounds stressful doesn’t it? Therefore, who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to make their life a lot less stressful in one of those areas…but which one?

Your first thought might instantly gravitate to the moving process, which is generally the most stressful. Well, thank goodness we already have lots of professional moving companies to help us with that! So in that case, could we make choosing your next home easier? We already have a wide variety of successful real estate agents to choose from for that right? That just leaves the process of selling a home. As you’re reading this you’re probably thinking “I would use a real estate agent for that too”, correct you would, but unlike the act of choosing your next home, where you have your wish list in hand and know exactly what you’re looking for, do you or your realtor know exactly what someone buying your house is looking for? What is their wish list and more importantly does your house have what they’re looking for?

It suddenly dawned on me one day as I was walking through a house we were interested in buying, that I was mentally tallying up the cost of all the renovations it was going to take to get this house to a clean, liveable standard, and I fully intended in knocking the total off the asking price of the house with valid reason. How many other people are doing this same thing to houses they view and what if they weren’t given a single reason to offer anything less than full asking price?

Realtors are highly trained in fulfilling the needs of each individual client they’re working with at that time. Whereas, Home Stagers are highly trained in fulfilling the needs of as many people as possible at one time. On average 30-40 people will walk through your house within the first few weeks of it being listed. You may ask yourself “how is it possible to please everyone?” Fortunately, Home Stagers have vast knowledge in the psychology of buyers and the expertise and vision to decorate a home that will appeal to the masses.

Local Guelph realtor, Gia Lucchetta of Royal Le Page Royal City Realty, gave her experience of working with Home Stagers.

“Today’s Buyers have a very difficult time visioning what a home could look like. So it is important to create a neutral and uncluttered look that will appeal to many. I believe that the condition of your home is a critical piece in achieving a successful sale and I can honestly say that those sellers who stage their home have a greater chance of selling quickly with the possibility of multiple offers, therefore achieving top dollar.”

Houses and cars go hand in hand, in the category of worldly possessions we own and treasure. We need the car to get to work, and we need to work to earn the money to pay for the house we live in, so in most circumstances, neither one we can live without. So that being said, I’ve often wondered why, when it comes to selling our ‘second hand’ homes, do we not treat them the same as a car dealership treats selling a ‘second hand’ car. In nearly-new condition and gleaming with cleanliness and instant appeal!

We wouldn’t go to a brand new home builder, looking to make a large investment in a brand new home and expect to see untidy, dirty, cluttered rooms, so why do we think any less of our current homes. Do we undervalue them just because they have been used for a few years? Or do we think that our home is the way we live and people should take it or leave it?

Have you ever heard the quote, ‘You can have everything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want’– Zig Ziglar? In other words givers gain. Home Stagers help realtors to help their clients achieve a fast sale for full or over asking price, and by investing in home staging the clients are also helping their buyers to get exactly what they’ve been searching for in a home. It’s a win win situation!


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