Why would a real estate agent recommend home staging for someone who isn’t planning to move?
Right now, people are spending more time at home than ever. Because of this, they’re seeing their homes in a new light—noticing all the little things that need sprucing up or realizing certain spaces could be better used in a different way.
When you’re prepping your home for sale, it makes perfect sense to hire a stager. You get the objective eye of a paid professional; they help get your house ready to sell by giving it a fresher look, often through small changes and tweaks.
If you’ve considered moving, or even if you’re not thinking about a move at all, it can still be a good idea to have a stager in. They will point out the things you might want to do in order to sell your home. You might actually love their suggestions and enjoy having those things for yourself. It’s a clever way to get an outside second opinion on how your home could be improved.
'Why would you do all the things you really wanted to have for yourself for the next person who’s going to live in your home?'
“What I find with selling houses is that people do all the things they’ve always wanted to do right before they sell. That’s so crazy to me: why would you do all the things you really wanted to have for yourself for the next person who’s going to live in your home? Why not do those things now so you can enjoy it?” says Andra Arnold, a top real estate agent in Guelph.
Arnold is a firm believer that homeowners should do what they want with their spaces; if that means painting a wall bright yellow, so be it. “Do the things you want to do. Design is changing so much and you shouldn’t be afraid to make your house your own,” she says.
Virtual staging consults have become a regular part of listing a home for sale right now and they couldn’t be easier. Many have concerns about people coming into their home; this way, you can still get the advice, then start plugging away at making some of the recommended changes.
Arnold believes every real estate agent should offer staging services and have resources at the ready. Her team has their own dedicated staging outfit, including a warehouse of furniture and art. “I wouldn’t want my clients to go out and buy things they’re not going to use for themselves,” she says.
About 97 per cent of her clients have some sort of staging done, but Arnold isn’t impressed by numbers or statistics. Her focus, rather, is on clients truly enjoying the homes they’re in. There is always a list of improvements you’ve been wanting to make or meaning to get to, and she firmly believes you should do these things for yourself. Do them now and enjoy your home, don’t just do them for the next person to own your home.
What routinely happens is that clients make the changes they’ve always dreamed of and say, “I always wanted to do this. Now it’s done and we’re selling our house!”
“Sometimes, when staging a house for yourself you fall back in love with it,” says Arnold. It has happened in her career where clients have had their homes expertly staged and received multiple offers. When they sit down to start negotiating, however, the homeowner suddenly confesses they love their house so much they want to stay.
Some of the key components of successful staging include decluttering, neutralizing the colour palette somewhat, and reconfiguring furniture arrangements, which includes removing some pieces while bringing others in. Furniture is often repositioned to achieve the best flow and so photos can look as great as possible online. People don’t often consider scents either, which are big. Most of us are not aware how our homes smell, we’re too used to them.
Arnold, for her part, is less worried about the need to depersonalize a space—removing family photos and personal mementos in order to let prospective buyers picture themselves living in the house. “As an agent, I believe that like attracts like. There’s so much you can learn about people when you’re going through their homes, so I don’t think it’s necessarily about the photos on the walls. You can see what somebody’s reading, learn about their personalities.”
For those who are interested in home staging ideas that they can tackle on their own, Pinterest is great resource, Arnold recommends.