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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Home Staging-an Investment NOT an Expense

I just destaged the home in Halifax Nova Scotia that was featured in my previous blog entry. The good news is that the owners accepted an offer the day before Christmas Eve. I'm thrilled as are the owners who had already offered conditionally on the home of their dreams prior to listing with Christeen Chiasson and so needed a quick sale to ensure they did not lose the house they so desperately wanted. While hesitant at first, their decision to paint based upon my recommendation paid off!! This spurred me on to write today's entry entitled `Home Staging- an Investment NOT an Expense'.

For the most part, when individuals first decide to sell their homes they have no desire to spend another penny on a property they have chosen to vacate. Many view home staging as a decorating service and home improvement as an expense they should not have to incur.

BUT.....the reality of today's real estate market is that most buyers are willing to pay more for
'move in ready' homes. They do not have the time nor the inclination to repair or update their new homes. They want freshly painted walls, current flooring and up to date light fixtures. They shy away from homes that have well worn walls and flooring, chipped sinks and stained counter tops, dated lighting, dripping faucets and dark crowded living spaces. They simply want to move in and get on with their lives.

Savvy real estate agents who have their clients' best interests at heart know the value of home staging. They know that staged properties draw in buyers who want turn key homes. They know that 90% of the buying public choose properties to view via the internet.

Because they know that the photos of their listings must portray their sellers' properties in the best light possible, they understand the advantages that professionally staged properties have over those that have not been prepared by a trained home stager.

They know that home staging is a marketing tool and not a decorating service. They know that staging is not just decluttering but is both an art and a science.

They know that a trained specialist such as myself is capable of opening up living spaces and highlighting the features a home has to offer by rearranging furnishings.

They know that I am able to brighten up dark spaces and make architectural features come alive through the recommendation of paint colours, window dressing or undressing, and lighting placement.

Like all services, there is a financial cost to the client. But .....the fee for a home stager's service should be viewed as an investment and not as an expense. Still skeptical??? Look at the results of the 2009 survey carried out by HomeGain, a website designed to both connect the
buying /selling public with agents and to disseminate real estate information to agents, buyers and sellers alike.

The HomeGain chart and bar graph I've included in this blog entry compare the average cost of each home improvement with the resulting average increase in selling price. A $300.00 to $400.00 investment in my professional Home Staging services can on average add $1500.00 to $2000.00 to the final selling price. That is a possible 586% return on the cost of the services I provide. If that is not a good investment, I don't know what is?????

When I carry out a preliminary consultation of a lived in property, the recommendations I make can include any one or all of the Home Improvements mentioned in the HomeGain survey. And while there is a cost incurred by the home owner for every improvement undertaken, the investment not only can bring in monetary gains but can result in a speedy sale as well.

Based on the recommendations I made during my initial 2 hour Home Staging Consult, the owners of this property had their main bathroom painted, changed a dated lighting fixture and replaced the nondescript mirrors with ones I purchased for them. After they carried out my recommendations I returned to 'ice the cake' so to speak. Their investment in home improvements and my hands on staging paid off........

Their house sold 4 days after it was staged for more than the asking price in a city where buyers traditionally offer less than the list price.

Yes........ Home Staging is AN INVESTMENT and not an expense.

You'll garner many a Rave Re:view when you invest in my services here in Halifax , Dartmouth and surrounding areas to prepare your property for the real estate market. My satisfied clients, both real estate agents and sellers will attest to that!

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