Suite 1708 at 99 Harbour Square is a property I have sold twice now. Both times I had it staged by my trusted stager, Ella, from The Last Detail. And the result? Both times we sold it earlier than scheduled, and for a whopping ‘never seen before’ record price.
What is Staging?
First, understand what staging is, and what it isn’t. You don’t just simply move a bunch of furniture into a home in its current state and hope for the best — that’s not staging. In fact, if you’re not willing to do at least some of the suggested work to your home ahead of the furniture arriving, then I say don’t bother.
Staging is an investment you make, and it’s one that is statistically proven to bring a handsome return. The statistics on this don’t lie.
The First Step
Before staging, the stager visits the property well ahead of time for a consultation. I always tell my clients that she’s a bit like Madonna getting set to perform in the SuperBowl. She will walk through the home and spot every tiny detail that she wants fixed inside before moving her furniture in. She’s seeing your home through the buyer’s eyes.
In all truth, the furniture is actually the easiest part! She’s got an extremely talented and pleasant crew for this. She points, they do!
“This wood trim is aging this kitchen and needs to be painted white.”
“The light fixture here is hanging too low and is bringing the whole kitchen ceiling down, you see? It needs to go up.”
She’ll scroll through her phone and now show a picture of the exact light she wants which is flush to the ceiling which is $30 at most. It’s usually NOT major money that is needed, it’s SMART money. Do understand that she is NOT trying to burn your money. Her goal is exactly in line with my goal — to get you the highest possible price for your home! This should be your goal too. What she is doing is improving our probabilities for success, by encouraging you to take care of every last detail.
Trust The Experts
Some sellers will do absolutely everything she asks, which is ideal. She’s three steps ahead already when she’s asking you to paint that bedroom Edgecomb grey. That colour looks best with the furniture she’s planning on bringing.
Trust her. She knows what she’s doing! In cases where there is a limited budget, she will help identify where the money invested will have the biggest impact.
“I asked for the moon, the stars and beyond before that Super Bowl knowing they wouldn’t let me do everything but at least they gave me the moon, right?” — Madonna
The very best results I have seen after staging have come when a seller fully commits to what the stager wants done inside before the furniture arrives.
Here are the 7 reasons why you should stage your home:
7. It Puts You In The Best Position Possible
We can only control what we can control. There’s not a chance we can stop someone else in the building or neighbourhood from listing at the exact same time as you are. So why not get your space into the best possible appearance that you can and increase the probabilities that your home beats any and all others? Staging gives you a competitive edge, should your competition show up.
6. Photographs POP!
Photography is the first step in getting the maximum number of buyers to your home. “I love Ella,” says my trusted photographer Julian. “She always gives me my corners.” When she is staging a home she’s already thinking ahead to how it will photograph. This is critical because nowadays every buyer’s search begins online. Gorgeous photos = greater number of people coming to see your property = higher probability for success.
5. Unforgettable First Impressions
Ninety-five percent of a buyer’s decision is made within the first 30 seconds of stepping inside a home. Duncan walked into #1708, looked around, stood in the living room, and took out his phone. “I’m calling my wife,” he said. Followed by, “This is probably going to be a mistake.” Boom! He was already ready to buy it! First impression success! Double boom! (His wife loved it too!)
4. The Pressure Is On
With the staged furniture and the home in ‘showroom condition’, there’s now pressure on the buyer to act fast! At this precise moment, a prospective buyer is thinking, “Holy smokes this place is hot and if I don’t jump on it someone else surely will!”
3. Highlights Potential and Minimizes Faults
I’ve shown this ‘08’ layout for two decades now and the buyer ALWAYS instantly points out an architectural flaw in the design. Why did they put a little corner window there instead of a full window? It’s true. On floors 25-38 there is indeed a double window (double the space inside, too) but from the 24th floor down, we’re dealing with a shortcoming.
There is nothing you can do about this silly quarter window. But then I met Ella. It’s counterintuitive to completely block out a window, but in this case, it worked magically. She draws the buyer’s eye away from the bad (the useless quarter window) and toward the GREAT (the full window). Brilliant! We just removed a major historical complaint about this layout.
2. It Answers Buyers’ Questions
When you stage, you are taking the ‘thinking’ away from the buyer. “They need to be spoon-fed,” says Ella. How many times have you walked into an empty bedroom and wondered if your King or Queen size bed would fit?
The stager takes that question away. It’s clear to see; no thinking needed. The more questions or doubt you take away from the buyer the more comfortable and excited about the property they will be, which leads to…
1. A Higher Sale Price in Less Time
Statistics show that staged homes will sell for between 6% and 14% more money. That’s ‘on average’ though, with likely some ‘average’ agents in there. Get some agency skill in there and now we’ve got the one-two punch!
I first sold #1708 in 2015 and then sold it again in 2019 for that first buyer. Looking at the percentage gain over the prior ‘08’ sale, our average percentage gain here was a whopping 22.3% higher than the last sale!