Myth's And Realities:

You cannot live in a Professionally Staged Home.

Not true. Statistics from the Real Estate Staging Association Manitoba Chapter show that the largest percentage of staged homes in Winnipeg are, in fact, owner occupied while staged and throughout the showings.

Home Stagers stock furniture and accessories for rental purposes

We are trained to work with as much of your own furniture as possible in order to keep costs down. Quite often we will move your own furniture from one room to another in order to complete a design scheme, to best showcase your home. More often than not we ask you to remove excess furniture, which is not required. There are cases when we suggest you rent a few pieces of furniture to better showcase your home. For example, quite often families use the formal dining room as a make shift office and do not have dining room furniture. For the purposes of showcasing your home for sale a formal dining room suite makes the home "show" much better, so we recommend rental of the diningroom suite. At times furniture may be mis-matched or not color coordinated. In cases such as these, we may recommend rental of some pieces in order to coordinate a design scheme to best showcase your home.

Home Staging is extremely expensive

Not true. The average costs of home staging typically ranges between $1500 - $3500 depending upon the amount of rented items. For a fully vacant home the cost can be higher, as all furniture would have to be rented. When you consider your first price drop in your list price is a MINIMUM of $5,000 and quite often $10,000 ... seems not staging a home costs you more money....

Home Stagers want the Home Owner to remove pets from the home

This is a reality. If there is rented furniture and your pets damage the furniture, you are now in the position where you are required to replace the damaged piece. More importantly, not all buyers are pet lovers. The percentage of households with cats and dogs are in the 30 - 40% range. This means there are significantly more buyers without pets. Not all buyers want a pet friendly home. Some have allergies, sometimes pets will bark or growl at buyers during showings. This does not leave a positive impression on buyers. In order to attract the highest number of buyers to try to generate those bidding wars, it is best to remove the pets from your home.

Home Staging is done in a day, so why is the cost so high?

The final showcasing is often completed in one day. However, there are at least one or two trips to the home prior to stage day to give recommendations and take measurements, or inspect paint colors after painting has been completed to ensure the design scheme works with the new paint colors. There are hours put into the design of each room at the office. There may be shopping required if the Stager needs to rent furniture or purchase items to complete the design. Packing the items beforehand typically takes anywhere from 2 - 5 hours depending on the size of the job, and then destaging takes another 3-4 hours and then unpacking the items and returning them to stock takes another 1-3 hours. Then there is the cost of the movers if large furniture is required. So although you may only see your Home Stager for a short period of time, there are significantly more hours spent on your Stage job away from your home than in it!

Home Staging is just about cleaning and decor, I can do that myself I have a friend who has a good eye for that thing.

Not True. Home staging is a systematic approach to showcasing property for sale. A keen understanding of Real Estate, home renovations, and creative design principles are coordinated to attract buyers and obtain top dollar for properties. We address basics like cleaning and de-cluttering. However, we also tackle the more important issues of repairs and key upgrades before we even begin the design process. It is the systematic well coordinated approach of ALL key factors that ensure homes sell for top dollar!

In the hot Winnipeg market, my home will sell without me having to do all the extra work or expense.

Of course it will sell. Any property will sell if it is priced according to its condition. What many sellers do not realize is that a 3BR 2 Bath 1200 sf bungalow can range in price in the same neighborhood by tens of thousands of dollars, based on the maintenance, upgrades and conditions of the property. Our job is to bring your home into the top range of homes selling in your neighborhood to ensure you receive Top Dollar for your home! The fact is that staged homes show better than non-staged homes. Staged Homes are "move-in" ready, which is what busy families with children and dual incomes are looking for. They would rather spend a bit more for a home that didn't require any work, than have to spend the time, money and frustration doing upgrades or repairs! That's is what generates the bidding wars! Multiple families wanting the "move in ready" home! Quite often we see homes that require some updating, repairs or that show poorly, sitting on the market and then dropping their price. It makes more sense to spend a little time and money to prepare your home for sale and benefit with a fast sale and a higher selling price. Not to mention the fact that your home will also list for a higher price initially if you have these things completed! You could list for $225,000 and let the new owner look after those things. Or you can spend $2,000 on repairs, minor upgrades and accessories. List for $234,900 and have it sell in a bidding war for $255,200 !!! (An actual example of a client from February 2011). Hmmmm......

I want to "stage" but I would rather do it myself. Can I get advice ??

Absolutely! Home Stagers offer a consultation where we will go through your home room - room with a full list of recommendations from paint colors, to de-cluttering, to re-arranging your furniture and accessories to best showcase your home. We will suggest where to purchase items if you need a "few" things to top off the deisgn for that Maximum Impact! A consultation will typically take between 1.5 - 3.5 hours and will range in price from $150 - and up based on the square footage of your home. A 700 sf condo takes significantly less time than a 3000 sf home!

Professionally staged homes "stand out" in buyers minds. They are perceived as well maintained and move in ready!

True! Because Home Stagers help address the repairs and basic upgrades, staged homes are well maintained and move in ready! Buyers will pay more for this, which generates those all too sought after bidding wars!

Professionally staged properties can increase the number of offers and selling price, even in hot markets!

Absolutely True! The 2010 Real Estate Staging Association, Manitoba Chapter staging statistics clearly showed that staged homes sold in 11.7 days, while the average MLS listing took 27 days on the market. Yes! Less than half the time! In addition, Staged properties went into bidding wars and sold OVER list price 66.75% of the time, whereas only 38.3% of MLS listings sold over list price. We must remember that the MLS statistics do not separate staged properties from non-staged properties. Thus, their statistics INCLUDE staged homes making the gap even larger if the staged homes were removed!

I really want to stage my home and NEED every penny from the sale, but I just can't afford the up-front costs of Home Staging.

Not a problem. Some Home Stagers offer payment options through the proceeds of the sale of the property or can take payment in the form of a credit card or other payment arrangements. There may be minimal financing costs involved, and there is a written contract that goes to your lawyer. Ask your Home Stager about options.

Can anyone be a Home Stager?

No. As with any profession, it is always best to ensure you are dealing with a professional business. The Business should be a member of local associations, have a business license, and carry adequate insurance. You want to ensure that if there was a problem and an accident occurred, the Staging Company had proper insurance to cover the liability. If not, you may find yourself having to cover the cost! As with any business, ensure they are a fully functional business with proper insurance and references.

If I call you today, can you stage my home tomorrow?

Almost never! We need to be able to see the property first so we know what colors will go best with your existing paint and furniture. It takes time to plan out the design, arrange for the proper accessories, and pack up all the items for the job, before we ever arrive to stage! At an absolute minimum we, would require 2 - 4 days notice, assuming we are not already scheduled with other jobs! The best results come from planning in advance. With planning, we have the ability to spend the time necessary to really give your home that "WOW" effect. We can still make it look good with less time, but it will never have the same effect as a home that has given us adequate time to plan the deisgn with those extra special touches that really "Grab" buyers!