Preparing to Sell

Why stage your home? Why not!

The Okanagan was such a hotbed for real estate sales in 2021, it didn’t seem to matter what your property listed for sale looked like: it would still garner offers. There were homes listed for sale on the MLS featuring shocking photos of not only well-used and unkempt kitchens and bedrooms but photos of rooms full of garbage bags and junk. Everything that made it to market seem to sell quickly! However, the days of multiple offers above listing price for any real estate will certainly not last if past real estate markets are any indication of potential future trends.

Nothing says “move in ready” to potential buyers like a well staged home. And a recent study found it could increase your return! "Home staging is about selling ideas and potential," according to Judy Darling, co-founder and chair of the Canadian Association of Property Stylists (CAPS). "A home has to say something about the type of person who would own it."

Darling says there are three top general tips for home staging.

  • Conceal personal items:"While selling a property can be an emotional experience, you want potential buyers to picture themselves in the space. Start by removing family photos, children’s artwork and painting bright-coloured walls a more neutral shade."
  • Details, details, details:"Be sure to replace burnt-out bulbs, repair any nicks or dents and tighten leaky faucets. Once the fix-ups are done, then focus on aesthetics like fresh linens in the bathroom or flowers in the kitchen."
  • Curb appeal:"You know what they say about first impressions! You want buyers to be impressed before they enter the home. Remove dead plants, cut the grass, trim bushes and repair or stain the porch floor as needed."

A 2021 study by the US National Association of® (NAR) found that 82% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. "Staging also increased the sum buyers were willing to spend for a property," according to the NAR report. "Twenty-three percent of buyers' agents said that home staging raised the dollar value offered between 1% and 5%, compared to similar homes on the market that hadn't been staged."

Judy Darling’s advice comes from the Canadian Real Estate Association website.

For more information about finding and hiring a property stylist or staging company, head to the Canadian Association of Property Stylists website.