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Real Estate Talk:
Staging to Sell

The better a home shows, the quicker it will sell

By Joseph Marovitch

Updated December 20, 2018

Staging is a marketing tool that enables the seller to show the house in the best possible light. In many cases, especially in higher end homes, staging is not necessarily required. In many homes, the house has live-in help to maintain the property in excellent condition or simply the owners maintain the home in top form.

However, most homes have a lived in feeling if they have younger to middle aged couples with children living in them. Mom and Dad work all day, kids play and the house can get messy. Or, the owners are retiree’s and do not have the energy to maintain the home in top form. One other factor is that we are not all home stagers as much as we are nesters who come home, throw the coat on the chair and put the feet up at the end of the day.

Some homes with furniture already in them, can benefit by simple staging. By simple staging I mean place the chair and couch at the right angle, move the lamps around a bit, throw a nice blanket over the rocking chair and ad a few pictures to brighten up the place. Other times, a home can use much more than moving a couch and placing a picture. If the owner has lived in the home for 60 years and the property looks like 1960 then the home can benefit by bringing in a professional stager to clean the house, and bring in rented modern furniture that is strategically placed.

Professional home stagers do nothing but home stage and if they have been in the business successfully for a considerable time, they know what works.

Other times, a large beautiful home with rich wood work, beautiful mouldings, high ceilings and large rooms can benefit by placing nothing in the house. This can allow potential buyers to see the natural light and spacious surroundings and therefore use their imagination to conceive the perfect home.

The fact is the better a home shows, the quicker it will sell and the higher the value it will receive. It would be great if everyone had a vivid imagination that would enable them to see the possibilities in any house, in any condition, and some do, but the majority do not. Therefore, if the house requires a cosmetic up-grade, do it. If you’re not sure what works, spend a few dollars for a professional stager and upgrade. You may spend a few dollars but the return will be worth the investment.

Professional home stagers do nothing but home stage and if they have been in the business successfully for a considerable time, they know what works. In other words, do not make the mistake of using a family member or friend simply because you think they have a good eye and home sense. Professional home stagers go with neutral colors and arrangements that they know will suit most everyone’s taste. The home staging should be tasteful but neutral and allow the buyer to see and imagine the potential possibilities of the house as it suits them, not the home stager.

A good home stager cost anywhere from $150 an hour to $500 per hour depending on the extent of the project they are undertaking.

When you interview a professional stager ask the following:

  • Cost?
  • How long have you been doing this?
  • Do you only home stage or do other things as well?
  • Can I see a website or portfolio of pictures of other projects you have completed?
  • What is the average time a home has sold in, that you have staged?
    (Keep in mind home staging to sell quicker and higher is only effective if the house is priced and marketed properly.)

Next article: the effectiveness of open house and ads

Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. As well, to view past articles, click here.

Have a great week!


State of the Market

The Canadian Real Estate Association indicated that home sales have dropped across Canada, but not in Quebec. In Montreal, headlines include:

Families flock to off-Island Suburbs
Montreal Housing starts expected to drop by 2019
Montreal real estate prices climb un-abated
Montreal real estate; Prices likely to keep climbing in 2020

And the list goes on and on. These headlines are due to the fact that there is less room on the island to build and the population is rising.

There are many opportunities to purchase condos, single homes, income property and commercial property on the island. Buyers must look long term though, in order to realize the benefit.

Many buyers buy in the present and think prices are high in some cases, so they pass the opportunity. Developers in Montreal do think long term which is why, while we were all wondering why so many condos were being built in past years, now we are scratching our heads wondering how there could be a shortage of condos. Property is the best, most risk-free investment if done right and there is an opportunity to make money in the present market if investors can plan long term.

Image: Emily May via StockPholio.net

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Read also: Real Estate Talk: The Selling Process


Joseph Marovitch - WestmountMag.ca

Joseph Marovitch has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. His first career was working with families from Westmount and surrounding areas, hosting children between the ages of 6 to 16 as the owner and director of Camp Maromac, a sports and arts sleep away summer camp established in 1968. Using the same strengths caring for the families, such as reliability, integrity, honesty and a deep sense of protecting the interests of those he is responsible to, Joseph applies this to his present real estate broker career. Should you have questions please feel free to contact Joseph Marovitch at 514 825-8771, or josephmarovitch@gmail.com


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