We’re big fans of home staging before selling – in fact we own a company, UPstaging Toronto and include it in our standard services for Sellers. Today, we’re answering all your burning questions.
What is home staging? What’s involved?
The term ‘staging’ encompasses a lot of activities that help a home look its best. It might involve:
- Decluttering and depersonalizing
- Minor repairs and home improvements like painting or landscaping
- Deep cleaning
- Optimizing the use and flow of every room
- Rearranging furniture or switching out furniture
- Partially or fully furnishing an entire home
- Adding or subtracting accessories, linens
- Enhancing lighting
- Adding greenery and colour
What are the benefits of home staging?
- Staged homes sell for more money. According to a 2017 National Association of REALTORS survey, 32% of agents believe that staged homes sell for 1-5% more; on a million dollar house – that’s $10,000-50,000 more money. 21% of agents believe staging adds 6-10% to the price of a home.
- Staged homes sell faster. According to the 2015 Home Staging Report staged homes sell 87% faster than unstaged homes.
- It’s easier for Buyers to picture themselves living in a staged home. When we optimize room use and flow, declutter, depersonalize and clean and make design a priority, homes look their best. 77% of Buyers believe that a staged home makes it easier to “visualize the property as their future home”
- Staged homes look better in photos, which is how most Buyers first see the home they eventually buy.
What are the most common rooms that get staged?
According to NAR’s 2017 Report:
- Living room (83%)
- Kitchen (76%0
- Master bedroom (69%)
- Dining room (66%)
What home improvements should I make before selling?
According to NAR’s 2017 Report:
- Decluttering – 93%
- Home cleaning – 89%
- Carpet cleaning – 81%
- Minor repairs – 75%
- Depersonalizing – 72%
- Landscaping – 68%
- Painting walls- 68%
- Paint touch-ups – 62%
- Grouting – 42%
How common is home staging?
In the US, 38% of homes are staged before selling. While Canadian staging statistics don’t really exist, anecdotally, I’d say a similar percentage of homes in Toronto are staged.
Should I be home while the Stagers work?
No! It can be a chaotic time and professional stagers work best when they aren’t distracted by the homeowner.
How will I feel after it’s done?
Most of our Sellers, after seeing their homes staged, wish they’d always lived that way. It’s not unusual for the Buyers of our listings to try to buy our furniture or hire our designers. That said, it’s also hard to see your home stripped of everything that made it ‘yours’. Of course, that’s the point of it – to help everyone else see themselves living there…but it can be an emotional roller coaster for the Seller.
How much does home staging cost in Toronto?
It can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars if you do it yourself, to $10,000 or more for a large or vacant home. The cost depends on what services are provided. Some Toronto REALTORS (including the BREL team) include professional stagers as a core service at no charge to their Sellers.
My agent says they are going to stage my house; what does that mean?
It’s important to ask your agent that question. What’s included in ‘staging’? Who is doing it? Is cleaning and home prep coordination included? Is there a cost for furniture rentals? How long will your home be staged? Is the agent simply repurposing their personal art and throw pillows and calling that staging?
Home staging in Toronto comes in all shapes and sizes and while some agents are skilled at providing design guidance, most agents (including me!) aren’t. Truly professional staging is performed by accredited stagers and designers who are experts solely focused on their craft.
Should I stage my home myself or hire a pro?
If you can afford to hire a professional stager (or hire a REALTOR who provides it), you’ll certainly see the benefits of their expertise and save time. Many of the homes we sell are already gorgeous and well decorated – and yet our designers always add value and help remove some of the stress of selling.
Who pays for staging when selling a house?
In most cases, the Seller pays for, though sometimes, the agent pays for the consultation. Some Toronto agents and teams (including us!) provide full complimentary professional staging.
Is it better to sell a vacant house empty?
While the answer depends on the home and circumstances, it’s been proven that staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes. Vacant homes make it hard for a Buyer to visualize themselves in. They wonder: where does the TV go? How big of a bed fits into the bedroom? How could I use that basement? Staging helps answer those questions for Buyers. If you can’t stage your entire vacant home, consider focusing on just the principal rooms. Exception: homes that are being sold as “fixer-uppers” are usually best left as a blank palette.
Do staged homes sell for more money?
Yes! Research shows that staged homes sell for 1-5% higher, or more. In our own experience, we’ve watched identical condos listed at the same time, sell tens of thousands of dollars apart, with the only difference being staging.
Should I stage my home? Is it worth it?
In our (totally biased) opinion, yes. Staged homes sell faster and for more money – the two things that Sellers are most concerned about. Whether you take it on yourself, hire a professional Stager or work with a REALTOR who brings in a professional and pays for it, the investment you make will pay back in your bank account.
How long does it take to stage a house?
It depends on the level of staging and the size of the home, but usually, it takes between 5-10 hours, not including the time spent decluttering, cleaning and planning. Large or vacant homes can take 2-3 days to stage completely.
Do you have any before and after photos?
You bet! You can see some of the BREL team’s Before & After photos here.
How does staging work when I sell my home with the BREL team?
We own our own design company and have a warehouse full of furniture and accessories, a moving truck and full-time design staff. When a Seller lists their home for sale with BREL, staging is included in our commission.
Related: You can read all about our approach here.