Real Estate Talk:
the importance of staging
What to do and why it can be difficult
By Joseph Marovitch
As professional realtors, brokers are aware of what generally appeals to a buyer and what does not. Factors that appeal to buyers are space, light, kitchens, bathrooms, ample storage space and parking, to name a few. After that, buyers know and like their own taste in decoration but for the most part, not everyone else’s preference in decoration. This means many buyers, not all, cannot see what a property can look like and what the potential is.
As professional realtors, brokers are aware of what generally appeals to a buyer and what does not.
If the buyer visits a property that suits their taste in its decoration, including colour of the walls, window treatments, furniture and arrangement, then the seller is lucky and may have a sale. If a buyer visits a property that does not suit their taste but has a structure and location they want, and the buyer has a vision of what can be done to make the property their own, again the seller is lucky and may have a sale.
However, most of the time, when a buyer visits a property that does not suit their taste, the buyer tends not to have an idea what the property could look like if it were decorated and renovated. These buyers tend to have short visits and make no offer.
‘… when a buyer visits a property that does not suit their taste, the buyer tends… to have short visits and make no offer.’
There are three solutions to offset a buyer that may not be able to envision what a property could look like.
The first solution is to make the property as neutral as possible. If the walls are all different colours, especially bright oranges, reds, yellows and blues, it would help to paint the property a neutral off-white color. This will make the rooms appear larger and brighter. If the rooms are cluttered with books, pictures, and other paraphernalia, it may be wise to choose a room to store as much as possible, so the rooms appear open and ready for the new owner. Remove as much clutter as possible.
Smells are a large factor that can affect a potential buyer. Flowers can be good odour as can freshly baked cookies, however incense, spices, cigarette smoke, animal smells, cat litter, these are all deterrents that can send the potential buyer away.
‘Smells are a large factor that can affect a potential buyer. Flowers can be good odour as can freshly baked cookies…’
The neutrality solution may not provide the buyer with a sense of the property’s potential, but it will not deter the buyer either and there will be things in the property that will appeal to the buyer such as light and space.
The second solution is to have knowledge of interior design or have an interior designer on hand to provide potential buyers a vision of what the property could look like. The interior designer may ask the buyer where they live currently and what the buyer would want in a home. With this initial information, the designer could begin to provide vivid ideas of what can be done to make the house more to the buyers liking.
The third solution is to either hire an interior designer or a broker and allow them to stage the house. This means the broker or designer will rearrange the furniture. Sometimes they will remove or add furniture. Other times the broker or interior designer will add flowers, change bed spreads, rearrange the kitchen. They will do what ever it takes to sell the property and get the most money.
‘Unfortunately, most buyers either do not have the vision or the time to determine what a property could look like and be.’
As a professional broker, there is one issue that at times makes it difficult to sell the property. That issue is the preferences and taste of the seller. Sometimes a seller will indicate that they are not the best at decorating their home because it is just not a priority. The seller is busy with work or children and for the seller, the property is functional and comfortable. These types of sellers will allow brokers to do what is best.
Then there are sellers who think their home is perfect as is, which it is to the seller because it is their taste. In this seller’s mind it is unthinkable that buyers would not like their home. In these cases, it can take longer to sell the property because the seller has reduced the demography of buyers to those that either have the same taste as the seller or buyers who have creative vision of what the property could look like. Unfortunately, most buyers either do not have the vision or the time to determine what a property could look like and be.
The rule to selling anything is to sell what the buyer wants and needs.
Next article: Vacation rental condos
State of the market
Quebec elections are approaching and so is winter. House and condo prices continue to rise as inventory continues to fall. Montreal mayor Valerie Plant has suggested financial incentives for developers so they can create more housing to counteract rising prices and lack of living space. It is more likely that future rising interest rates along with winter and the holidays will curb the market to a degree. September to the end of November is an excellent time to sell property because the property shows better in the fall then in mid-winter. In December the market will quiet down until mid-January and then pick up again for the spring market signings.
‘Montreal mayor Valerie Plant has suggested financial incentives for developers so they can create more housing to counteract rising prices and lack of living space.’
The only factor that is unknown and can affect the market is politics, both in Quebec and the US. The provincial elections can have a strong impact on the housing market. People invest where markets are stable. This means a leaning toward Quebec’s separation, even if it is just talk and not legislation, can weaken the real estate market in Montreal, causing property value to decrease.
The United States is approaching critical midterm elections. The US midterm election will determine if Democrats or Republicans control the house. Depending on the outcome of these elections, Canada can be affected either positively or not at all. Let us hope not at all.
Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. As well, to view past articles, go to the search box at the top right and type in Joseph Marovitch.
Have a great week!
Image: Terje Sollie de Pexels
Read also: Real Estate Talk: Proper photo shoots
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 firstname.lastname@example.org