Myth Busting: The Six Myths of Home Staging
We all have that neighbour who scoffs at calling in the professionals to get a job done at home. You know the one; he’s the only person on the street that reseals his own driveway, and then wonders why he needs to re-do it before anyone else does. If only you could debunk those myths he holds so near and dear in regards to hiring a professional around his house. Professionals are trained in specific areas; training enables an individual to learn a particular skill through sustained practice and instruction. By that definition alone, your neighbour should realize why his resealing efforts didn’t pay off. Home staging is all about creating a first impression to appeal to the widest array of buyers. It is a profession with a few myths of its own, but that does not diminish its power when selling a home.
Myth #1: Our neighbour’s brother is thinking of selling his house and is contemplating hiring a professional home stager. Our neighbour scoffs at that idea (as he so often does) and tells his brother that the stager will make him throw everything out. A Certified UltimateStager™ is trained to transform a home into an appealing property for sale. The goal is to create mass appeal as opposed to individual appeal. It is important to remember that how we live in our home is not the best way to market our home. A seller must not think of it as his home any longer, but rather, he must think of it as a marketable entity. Thus, we must de-personalize. A seller cannot take this process personally; hence the importance of hiring a professional stager. He or she will enter a home with a neutral, objective viewpoint, knowing that the presently furnished home may not appeal to the majority of prospective home buyers. A professional home stager is trained to edit, depersonalize, and declutter.
Although decluttering is a very hot topic right now, its importance should not be diminished. Putting aside the stress it produces for the present homeowner, clutter has the potential to make a room appear smaller, and the potential to make a prospective home buyer question the amount of available storage space. Clutter can also make a home appear unkempt, unclean, and may suggest that home maintenance has not be kept up. In other words, clutter is a distraction that gets in the way of a remarkable life, and a remarkable home.
Myth #2: A misconception is that home staging is the same as home decorating. It is important to realize that the mindset of a professional stager is different from that of a decorator. A home for sale must attract buyers, and in so doing, must be devoid of individual, personal décor. Whereas decorating appeals to the homeowner, staging appeals to the prospective home buyer. Decorating is designed for a specific individual’s taste and style. Staging is designed to appeal to the widest array of potential buyers.
Myth #3: Remember our neighbour? He is continuing to advise his brother on the merits of hiring a home stager, and according to him, anyone can stage a home. A Certified UltimateStager™ is trained to look at a home to determine its best features, and know not only how to highlight them, but how to use them as a distraction so as to minimize a home’s flaws. In this way, a home’s space, functionality and its features are all emphasized. Furthermore, a professional home stager is trained to understand the psychology of the potential buyer. For instance, after viewing a professionally staged home, buyers felt it was 81% easier to visualize the property as a future home. A trained professional home stager has the ability to apply this knowledge and leverage that into the sale of a home.
Myth #4: Our neighbour advises once again that hiring a home stager will cost his brother money. Home staging is an investment. In fact, having a home professionally staged home can yield a 390% return on that investment. As well, hiring a professional home stager ensures your home will sell faster. In fact, a recent survey found that professionally staged properties spent 73% less time on the market than un-staged homes.
In the current real estate market, most potential home buyers utilize the internet as a way to view homes. A professionally staged home yields better photos, which makes a home appear more attractive online. What this does is encourages more prospective buyers to schedule a walk through. Having your home professionally staged gives you a competitive edge and increases the chance that your home will end up on a potential buyer’s “must see” list.
Myth #5: Home staging is just for vacant homes, right? Wrong. One of the main goals of professionally staging a home is to showcase a potential lifestyle. Home stagers transform a home, occupied or vacant, into an appealing property for sale that prospective buyers can see themselves living in. Buyers have very high expectations, and it takes a professional to achieve a professional presentation. It is all about creating that perfect first impression. Most buyers start deciding about a prospective home within six feet of entering it. It is essential that they like what they see immediately.
Myth #6: Our neighbour has one last argument for his brother: buyers can visualize the potential of a home without staging. The truth is, only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of an un-staged property. Professional staging theory dictates that each room in the house should show its purpose and function as it was originally intended to be. Most prospective buyers have great difficulty envisioning themselves using the space differently than how it is shown. For instance, a dining room should be professionally staged as such, rather than leaving it as a children’s playroom. For while this may work for the current homeowner, it does not appeal to the masses; the goal is to create broad appeal for a property.
Professional home staging helps to sell your home faster, for more money, and in so doing, helps to reduce stress. Our neighbour may still reseal his own driveway, but at least we have debunked the myths surrounding the merits of hiring a professional home stager.