Optimizing the sale of your property with home staging
Last update : 2023-03-09 09:19:14
Originally introduced in the United States in the 1970s, the concept of home staging (or "valorisation immobilière" in French) has gradually made its way to Quebec. The term also experienced a big boom in the 2000s, no doubt spurred on by the increase in interior design programs.
Today, home staging remains a popular concept and is often used by homeowners who want to sell their home. This real estate valuation technique allows individuals to sell their homes more quickly by causing feelings of love at first sight amidst potential buyers during on-site or virtual visits.
How to sell faster with home staging
Home staging is a process of optimizing real estate sales that promotes the enhancement of the property. It employs a variety of decorative tricks to create a scene and atmosphere aimed at capturing the interest of the potential buyer.
It provides visitors with a neutral and uncluttered environment by arranging furniture and decorative elements in a precise manner to create a positive effect. However, home staging should not be confused with traditional interior design, despite the apparent similarities.
Although both types of work use the same tools, they do not have the same goal. Interior design aims, above all, to create an environment that will appeal to the resident(s) of the property, while home staging, on the other hand, tries to appeal to as many people as possible, stripping the house of its 'personalized' elements.
The methods used to showcase your home
This is perhaps the most important aspect of home staging: rooms have to be de-cluttered so that they can be presented in an appealing way. It is then a question of clearing the kitchen and bathroom counters and storing all personal items (toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, cosmetic items, etc.) in the cabinets somewhere else, also removing any other personal objects that are usually in view (photos, diplomas, toys, etc.)
Once personal items have been removed from sight, the furniture is arranged in such a way so as to take up as little space as possible. Some pieces can also be removed in order to maximize the space.
De-cluttering the property allows visitors to better visualize the living spaces' potential. It also allows for easier circulation within the rooms and gives the impression of a larger living space.
But home staging does not just involve moving furniture and objects. It may also involve:
- Adjusting the lighting to make the rooms brighter;
- Painting the walls and ceilings with neutral colours;
- Carrying out minor repairs (sanding a damaged floor, filling any holes in the walls, etc.);
- Creating an aromatic atmosphere (by lighting scented candles or baking pastries).
Home staging therefore acts on several elements to create the ideal atmosphere and décor that will allow you to hook a potential buyer and to sell your property more quickly.
Hire a property valuation specialist
While you may be able to carry out most of the above tasks on your own, you can also hire a professional to save time and to make sure that everything is perfect.
Remember, however, that home staging is not regulated by any law and there is no recognized official training. That means that anyone can claim to be an expert in the field! Take the time to verify the skills of the individual you want to hire to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Here are some suggestions to consider when validating a specialist's expertise to avoid any unfortunate situations:
- Ask them if they have received any training and if they have a certificate from a school or organization proving so;
- Request a portfolio of their previous work;
- Ask about the amount of money they have had previous clients invest, their sales results, etc.;
- Require a written contract whenever subcontractors are involved;
- Check that the contractor holds a licence from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec before carrying out any renovations;
- Demand proof of payment at all times.
Note that a good professional will try to maximize the use of the objects and furniture that you already own in order to avoid unnecessary expenses.
How much should you invest to enhance the value of your property?
The amount of money you invest in staging your property primarily depends on how much you are willing to spend. There is no definitive cost, as it may vary from one situation to another, depending on the décor and current condition of your home.
However, experts agree that your investment should be around 1% of the market value of the property. The amount invested to refresh the décor should therefore be around $3,000 for a property valued at $300,000. Of course, these costs may increase if your property is several years old and has not been kept up to date.
Note that you will also have to pay an amount for the specialist's fees, since their salary is not included in this 1%.
The relevance of home staging in an overbidding real estate context
Since home staging is primarily used to facilitate the sale of a property, the relevance of this strategy can be questioned against current real estate contexts, where demand clearly exceeds supply and properties are selling like hotcakes.
This imbalanced situation also comes hand in hand with another phenomenon in real estate: that of outbidding. In addition to selling quickly, some homes in popular areas (Montreal, for example) often sell above their asking price because of fierce competition among buyers. Why would homeowners need a real estate valuation professional then?
Simply because, even in the context of a booming real estate market, presentation remains vital to the sales process. It allows the seller to give themselves the best possible chance of selling their property quickly and at the best price. So, there's no reason not to.
Nevertheless, you should not assume that home staging alone will ensure that the property is sold successfully. Instead, look at this type of work as an extra support measure and not a miracle solution to sell your property!
To help you with your real estate project, consider hiring a real estate broker. They are the experts best suited to help you sell your home.
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