Think of staging as the beautiful packaging of your home, and the professional photos like the marketing. Staged homes sell quicker and for more money, the same way premium brands with beautiful packaging and innovative marketing sell for a premium. (Think of Apple, Tiffanies, and Nordstrom, which all sell products 100-1000 times cheaper than a home in the GTA).
I took a quick look at the sales within the last 90 days, and saw some revealing statistics. In Oakville, staged homes sell 37.5% quicker, and the sale price to list price ratio is 6.7% higher for staged homes too.
Buying a home is one of most significant purchases buyers make in their lifetime. Showing them the true potential of the home, helps them justify the price, and reduce buyer’s remorse.
Take a lesson from companies like Tiffanies Jewelry, who are known for their beautiful packaging and client sales experience. Tiffanies gives every buyer an experience, regardless of the price of the product they purchase. Even a $300 Tiffanies bracelet comes with their legendary service and packaging.
If a $300 Tiffanies bracelet comes with their legendary service and packaging, then we think every home should be staged and professionally photographed. After all, a $300,000.00 home is 1000 times more expensive than that bracelet.
What does staging cost?
To get an idea of whether or not staging is worth the cost, you need to know what staging actually costs. To hire a professional to come out and give you a consultation is usually around $90-180/hr. If you want full staging like you see on HGTV, it’s between 2-3$ per square foot. That’s the average cost of our past sales. But in reality, the cost is completely dependant on the actual furniture you need. We had a luxury 3000 square foot home staged for $4500, and a few weeks before had 1000 square foot bungalow staged for $2500. But why does staging work?
buyers lack imagination and have a short attention span
Most buyers cannot see a home’s maximum potential. They see 10+ houses a week, and spend maybe 10-15 minutes in each home. That’s not enough time to envision the potential that a stager can show them.
Stagers do a lot more than we realize. Stagers are basically interior designers, except instead of creating a space for you, they create a space to appeal to buyers. They spend days preparing a staging plan that takes into account the size of each room, the flooring, the wall colors and the potential buyers. They then pick the design pieces that work best together, and with the style of your home. The stager takes a lot into consideration, like the lifestyle of the potential buyer.
For example, family homes in the suburbs are often staged with a children’s room, a desk for homework, and shoe storage at the front door. Condos in downtown Toronto are often staged with a small work area because most buyers in downtown Toronto are business professionals.
Everyone knows good product design sells products, just look at Apple.
staging is like branding the home with a specific lifestyle
Tiffanies, world’s most renowned jewelry store, has some of the most iconic branding in the world. It doesn’t matter which product you buy at Tiffanies, that product is packed in a beautiful, light blue box with a white satin ribbon. That packaging is one of the ways Tiffanies enhances their client’s sales experience. The packaging is also how Tiffanies creates their brand value.
Why does this matter? Tiffanies’ branding elevates the customers’ shopping experience and helps them justify the price they paid. Think of staging as the beautiful packaging of your home. A home that is staged with furniture that elevates it, will enhance the buyers’ viewing experience, and justify the asking price.
Think of the process of buyers purchasing a home… Buyers view it online, and see the beautiful staging and photographs. Out of the 10 homes that are available for sale, they choose yours and 3 others to go view. In person, they are wowed by your home and place an offer. During the negotiation process, you sign the offer back to them and ask for more than their initial offer… the buyers go look at the pictures one more time before deciding whether or not to accept your counter offer. They see the staging and professional photographs, and that helps them justify the price you’re asking. They accept your counter offer.
How does staging a home differ from furnishing a home
A staged home’s furniture is very different from a home that is lived in. While you might need 4 couches in your living room to accommodate your large family, maybe the living room looks best with only 2 couches. A stager works to make your home look big, spacious and full of potential.
A staged home is created with a particular buyer in mind. The stager creates the space needed to fulfill a buyer’s lifestyle, needs and wants. That’s why you see homes staged with desks, dens, bar carts, candles and cook books.
Staging faux pas
Being in the industry so long, we’ve seen our fair share of staging faux pas, like green apples in the kitchen. Today, staging is a strategic art, to help buyers envision themselves living in the home. The home has to look like it fits their needs and desires. That’s not to say some stagers take it a notch above tacky, and karate chop the pillows.
Hiring a stager is like hiring a Realtor. Except, if you find a good Realtor, they probably work with a good stager. We are also registered with the stager’s warehouses, so if you’re our client, and only need a few specific pieces, you can pick them up at the warehouse on your own and save money.