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Set the Stage for a Sale

August 21, 2019

There is more to selling a home than price and neighbourhood. You have to sell a dream. In order for someone else to find their dream home in your house, it shouldn't look too much like your home.

Over time, we personalize our homes with decor, family photos and our kids’ drawings proudly displayed on the smudgy refrigerator. A lived-in house is often a happy one, but that’s not a good selling point.

Home staging is a selling strategy that aims to declutter and depersonalize your house in order to highlight its best features while allowing potential buyers to imagine what it could be if they owned it.

A home, for buyers, should look like a clean slate. To achieve that, you need to give it a minimalistic makeover. This means using muted, neutral colours, getting rid of clutter, such as knick-knacks, cleaning everything from top to bottom, and paring down and rearranging the furniture.

While keeping your home looking like the pages of a glossy home decor magazine can be a struggle, especially for busy families, there are some other benefits aside from the obvious.

Home staging benefits for sellers

Unless you’re selling a secondary property that isn’t your primary residence, it’s safe to assume that you’re selling the house so that you can move someplace else. Moving means cleaning, donating and packing. Home staging allows you to get a jump on those steps, as you need to clear your space.

Before your home can be staged, you need to clear out all non-essentials. As you do this, you’ll be cleaning. You can determine whether or not you should donate, sell, throw out or keep items as you begin to pack. This means when your home finally sells, you’ll already have all your favourite items packed and ready to move.

Pro vs. DIY

Many Realtors either work with or double as professional home stagers. It’s a fairly common service offered these days, and most will highly recommend that you do it. That said, if you want to save some coin or are confident in your abilities to arrange a room, you can certainly do it yourself.

Keep in mind that many professional home stagers bring in furniture and accent pieces from their own collection, meaning many of the items they use are borrowed. If you choose DIY home staging, you will have to purchase a lot of things or be limited to the items you already have. While it seems strange to remove your own things just so that they can replace them with other things, it makes sense for depersonalizing the home.

Common items brought in include wall art, plants (or faux plants), lamps, throw pillows and rugs. These items tend to add bright pops of colour, which will contrast nicely with the neutral walls and furnishings. Staging isn’t just about how it looks in person, but also how it photographs.

If you’re going to DIY, look for items at discount stores. You don’t need high-end accent pieces to make an impact. Try to upcycle or reuse your own stuff rather than buy new.

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