Home Staging making its move into Nova Scotia
Authored: Tim Harris
Publisher: Trade Winds
In Nova Scotia, we have our own home stagers in Metro Halifax. Amie
Walton recently obtained her ASP (Accredited Staging Professionals
There seems to be the right time for everything and it nows seems
to be the right time for Home Staging. A brief description. Unlike
decorating, Staging is a series of researched, proven techniques
that increase the sales potential of a property by making it appeal
not to the current owner-but to the potential buyer. Staging works
by minimizing items that can distract a buyer and creating an environment
where buyers can easily imagine themselves living in the home.
No longer do you have to rely on your Realtor to help you get your
home ready for the market. Realtors have expertise, but it is usually
in the marketing of your home, not expert interior reorganization.
Sure a Realtor can show you the obvious, like get rid of the clutter,
replace the worn-out kitchen vinyl floor, or get the kids toys picked
up. But really, there is more to preparing a home for sale than
In my experience as a Realtor, I had many people ask me my opinion
on what they should do to "spruce up" their home for a
sale. I would give them my take on things and in many circumstances
my suggestions were ignored or just not doable within their budget
or abilities. Home Stagers have been trained to access the whole
package your home presents to the buying public and tailors a makeover
to suit you and your budget.
What I like about the presence of Home Stagers is the fact if my
client is going to pay for the expertise of a Home Stager, they
are showing motivation in selling their home and most certainly
take the advise of a professional Home Stager, rather than my rag
Home Staging seems to have originated out of California in the
70's and has gathered a lot of momentum, with Accredited Staging
Professional designations affiliated with what seems to be
a very organized North American association called StagedHomes
with web sites in the US and Canada.
web site offers pages of tips
and Lori Matzke of Centerstagehome.com
offers up some printable
tips page .
Also there are a number of articles written lately on Home Staging.
A US article
"Home Staging Equals Quick Sale" by Jerry Fowler,
gives a good review of the US market and Sharon Dunn has written
a very recent article (Jan 15, 2004) "'Stage' home for quick
sale ". In the article Sharon states "Christine Rae
,[Ontario] Canada's regional director for stagedhomes.com , and
owner of decoratingsolutions.ca , puts it this way: "Decorating
is personalizing a home, usually you have a budget to work with,
and you add things to the home. Staging is just the opposite --
you're taking things away, depersonalizing, so a buyer can see the
space. It's about selling the space, not decorating it." As
for costs Christine, who is located in St. Catherines, Ontario,
says "Staging a 2,400-square-foot home would take, on average,
five hours, and at a rate of about $75 an hour, would cost the homeowner
some $375." But prices vary in areas and services
requested. Best to check with your local home stager, they are happy
to quote there rates, by the hour or flat fee, depending on the
An American web site offer advise also on Home Staging, RealEstateABC.com
Home staging is not a new term, but for many homeowners
and real estate agents the concept of professional home staging
is shedding new light on how to promote a home in the real estate
marketplace. In past years, homeowners were left to their own discretion
as far as preparing for home showings. Though they could occasionally
rely on an agent for instructions, more often than not real estate
agents were just as perplexed at working out the details as the
homeowner. While agents are experts in the field of selling and
closing, many are not design savvy. Agents usually know exactly
what factors can help sell a home. Its just not always easy
to get a home into selling condition in a timely manner without
some sort of experienced assistance.
Professional home stagers are practiced in the art of preparing
a home for resale. They work with the flow of a home,
eliminate clutter, edit and arrange furniture, and even assist in
enhancing curb-appeal. With the aid of a professional home stager,
your house can make a notable first impression on potential homebuyers."
In Nova Scotia, we have our own home stager in Metro Halifax. Amie
Walton recently obtained her ASP designation. I have met
Amie professionally several times and I am always very impressed
with her energy and ideas. Amie already has a web site called Xstreamstaging
and burgeoning career as a home stager. Amie offers up her own staging
TIPS page "Top
ten reasons why staging is important to selling your property! "
and the balance of her web
site explains in detail all her services. Amie's consultation
price is based on square footage of the home plus the surrounding
property, starting at a minimum of $200. Well worth the investment
in selling your home.
And for you "do-it-yourselfers" there is a downloadable
book out there
"The Art of Home Staging (e-book)"
STAGING TIPS from the Staged Homes web
Try looking at your house THROUGH THE BUYERS EYES
as though youve never seen it or been there before. Any time
or money invested on the following will bring back more money in
return, and hopefully a faster sale.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the
house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture restricted to
groups of 1, 3, or 5 items.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops.
If it hasnt been used for three months... put it away! Clear
refrigerator fronts of messages, pictures, etc. (A sparse kitchen
helps the buyer mentally move their own things into your kitchen.)
- In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops,
tubs, shower stalls and commode tops. Keep only your most needed
cosmetics, brushes, perfumes etc., in one small group on the counter.
Coordinate towels to one or two colors only.
- Rearrange or remove some of the furniture if necessary. As owners,
many times we have too much furniture in a room. This is wonderful
for our own personal enjoyment, but when it comes to selling we
need to thin out as much as possible to make rooms appear larger.
- Take down or rearrange certain pictures or objects on walls.
Patch and paint if necessary.
- Review the inside of the house room by room, and
- Paint any room needing paint.
- Clean carpets or drapes that need it.
- Clean windows.
- If you need room to store extra possessions use the garage or
rent a storage unit.
- Leave on certain lights during the day. During showings
turn on all lights and lamps.
- Have stereo FM on during the day for all viewings.
- Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans,
discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., into the
- Check gutters for roof moss and dry rot. Make sure they are
swept and cleaned.
- Look at all plants... prune bushes and trees. Keep plants from
blocking windows. YOU CANT SELL A HOUSE IF YOU CANT
SEE IT. Plants are like children they grow so fast!!
- Weed and then mulch all planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut
and fertilized. Remove and dead plants or shrubs.
- Clear patios or decks of all small items. such as small planters,
flower pots, charcoal, barbecues, toys. etc. (Put them in the
garage or a storage unit.)
- Check paint condition of the house especially the front
door and trim. CURB APPEAL REALLY WORKS!