How much will home staging cost in Toronto?
You might have stumbled upon this article because you live in or own a home in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that you are looking to sell, are looking to stage your home, but are not sure how much it will cost to stage your home, and if it is worth investing the time, money, and energy into staging your home to sell? The Toronto real estate marketing has grown during the past few years as Toronto has become more popular and people are flocking to the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) from all over Canada and abroad. This means that selling property here in this competitive market is harder than it may have been in the past and buyers might be even more demanding than ever before. Given that you probably already know this and want to sell your home quickly, this is where home staging comes in.
Related article: The Ultimate guide to selling a Toronto home
For the purposes of this article, home staging is a process where you and a professional stager determine and emphasize your home’s best features to help ensure that your home appeals to as large as an audience as possible. The objective of home staging is to distinguish your homes from all of the others, so it will stand out in photos and shine during viewings, so potential buyers will see it and visit, and want to live there so you can attract more offers and get more money for your home. You might be reading that statement and considering home staging and the first thought that comes to your mind is dollar signs, you might think why should I spend money for a place when I am trying to move out, and/or you might be thinking this is another expense that I cannot afford right now, these are perfectly reasonable responses.
However, you can also consider home staging as a savvy marketing strategy that you can use to help sell your home more quickly and hopefully for more money since you are presenting an idealized version of your home. Like all marketing strategies, in order to effectively harness the power of home staging, you will need to invest some time, money, and energy in order for it to be effective. If this helps calm your nerves, you can usually see a return on your investment that is greater than the money you invested in staging your home to sell.
While you might be able to sell your home for money after staging your home, it is common for homes that have been staged to sell more quickly and for more money than homes that have not been staged because they can appeal to a wider variety of potential buyers. While there are some risks involved in investing in home staging like there are for any investment, the risk involved in staging a home to sell tend to be small with the potential for seeing a high return on your investment.
Selling your home? Learn why staging is important
Staging increases the dollar value offered by buyers and the speed with which your home is sold. Justo provides a free staging consultation for our clients.
This guide is meant to help you gain a greater insight into what home staging is, what is involved in staging a home to sell, what professional home stagers do, what is and is not included in home staging, and the approximate costs for staging a home in the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Hopefully, after reading this article you will be walking away with a greater understanding of home staging, how it could help you, how much it might cost, and things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers. Ideally, after reading this guide you will be in a better position to decide whether or not staging your home is the right decision for you and whether or not it will be beneficial for you on your home selling journey. It is important to remember that not everyone will want to and/or be able to afford to bring in a professional home stager to stage their home to sell. With this in mind, there are some tips in this guide that you can follow to help make your home more appealing to a wider variety of buyers no matter your budget.
Related article: GTA home buyers and sellers are overpaying by thousands
What is involved in staging a home to sell?
While staging a home to sell, i.e. making it ready to put on the market is one important part of home staging, part of the magic of home staging is creating a mood in all of or certain rooms of the house depending on how you are staging a home. The magic of staging your home happens after you have done things such as hiring a professional to deep clean your home, painting to ensure that there are only neutral colours, and making any necessary minor repairs. You can think of home staging as dressing your home to sell. It is dressing your home in such a way to present it in the best light possible, so your home will photograph beautifully to attract potential buyers’ interest in brochures and listing photos and shining during visits. Home staging is meant to help create an amazing first impression, getting buyers excited about living in your home to outshine the competition.
A common analogy or metaphor used when explaining home staging to people who are not home stagers is likening your home to a movie star or celebrity who will be walking down the Red Carpet at an awards’ ceremony or premier. It is common knowledge that professional actors, celebrities, etc. have stylists, makeup artists, hairdressers, and other professionals who dress them for important formal events, coaching them, and doing other things to help them put their best face forward, so they will photograph beautifully at a given event. Therefore, staging a home can be considered doing all of the little things and attending to small details that will make a home outshine the competition, that will help ensure your home is presented beautifully and feels well-arranged so the widest variety of buyers will find it appealing.
While some might see home staging as cleaning, decluttering, doing minor repairs and/or decorating, home staging serves a different purpose since this is what you want to be doing after you have cleaned and decluttered your home. The process involved in staging a home to sell is meant to help you seriously consider how your house feels and how its interior elements are presented. You might be wondering what this might look like, here are some examples of what types of things might be involved in staging your home in order to make it seem as large, bright, and updated as possible:
- Repairing or replacing anything that is worn or outdated such as carpets or light fixtures that buyers will notice and not for a positive reason.
- Repurposing or reworking space that might have worked for you in the past. For example, if you were using a dining room as a home office, you might rework the space to make it more appealing for potential buyers, you might make this space look more like a dining room again.
- Highlighting a room’s best features to emphasize the visible space and minimizing any potential flaws
- This may involve rearranging any existing furniture, taking out existing furniture and replacing any awkward or large pieces with more appropriately sized pieces. Staging also might also involve bringing in new pieces and decor to make your house feel and look more updated, current with popular lifestyle and design trends, to help mirror potential buyers’ lifestyle and taste.
- Finally, staging will definitely involve doing a deep clean inside your home, decluttering, painting the inside of your home using more neutral colours, doing minor repairs, and de-personalizing your home. This might involve removing extraneous clutter and personal items to help broaden your home’s appeal to help the largest number of prospective buyers imagine living in your home.
Related article: I’m Selling My House. What Do I Need to Know?
What do professional home stagers do and why should I consider working with a professional home stager?
It is important to remember that home stagers are trained professionals with an eye for design, they can take a blank slate in a vacant home and paint a beautiful picture without ever actually painting their canvas. Excellent stagers have the abilities of an excellent designer, with the knowledge and expertise necessary to create a scene that appeals to potential buyers’ sensibility and imagination. If you (a seller, real estate broker, agent, builder, or developer) are bringing in a stager you are bringing a professional consultant to provide personalized, advice, is instructing you on what needs to be done in each room to ensure that potential buyers are seeing the best first impression possible. Professional stagers provide a useful service in that they also understand the local real estate market, buyers’ psychology, and current design, lifestyle, and decorating trends.
As an impartial third party, stagers can identify objectively a home’s strengths and weaknesses, so they can remove anything distracting potential buyers to emphasize a home’s best features and improve the spaces that are being presented to prospective buyers so that even the awkward spots in a home might not feel and appear to be so awkward to potential buyers. It is important to remember that staging a home, whether you are a professional stager staging a client’s home or an individual staging their own home, is difficult and time-consuming. Even if you have an eye design, hiring people to do repairs, paint your home, finding the right accessories and pieces to help a home feel complete can be time-consuming and exhausting.
While staging your own home can feel overwhelming and be challenging since it is difficult for anyone to be objective about their own space. Hiring an experienced professional to help you with this process can save you time and stress so you can focus on other things. Enlisting a professional to stage your home might even help to increase your home’s value and allow you to sell your home for more money.
It is important to remember that when you are selling your home it is about the buyer not about you. So staging is great because it sets a mood and creates a setting that is designed to help potential buyers imagine themselves living there. Having a professional home stager can also help you to create a good first impression of your home when people see it in photos online for sale in the MLS, on real estate websites, or when they come to see it in person. Over 90% of potential home buyers begin their search for a new home by looking at homes on the internet, and staging helps to emphasize a home’s highlights and biggest selling points, which can help ensure that its photos, virtual video tour, and your agent or broker’s marketing materials distinguish it in a positive way from all the other homes being sold in your area. A 2019 study conducted in the United States by the National Association of Realtors found that more than 83% of home buyers found it easier to visualize a property they were looking at as being their future home when it was staged.
It is important to remember that many people are looking at homes online before they go and see them in person since this usually is the first step for buyers in the home buying process. In other words, if your home does not look amazing and captivates a potential buyer’s attention, a potential buyer may decide not to go see your home in person. Working with a professional to stage your home can help it to photograph beautifully and ensure that you are generating more interest from potential buyers.
A staged home can help ensure that a buyer will have a favourable first impression of your home and like it. Potential home buyers form first impressions within the first few minutes upon entering a home. You have one shot to make a great first impression and staging can help ensure that your home is making a great first impression. You do not want to be the only home for sale on your block or in your neighbourhood that was not staged when the other homes for sale on your block were staged. You have one shot to get buyers to come through your home’s door and staging can help your home stand out from the others so a buyer will want to return to see your home again.
Finally, many homes have some selling points such as architectural details, a great view, lots of storage, a great location, etc. But if your home is not presented to buyers in such a way to enhance these features and highlight your home’s selling points you run the risk that a buyer might not notice them. Or what might be a positive attribute in your home might be perceived as a negative attribute if your home is not presented or staged appropriately. Working with a professional, experienced home stager who understands the art of playing up a home’s highlights while minimizing its flaws can help ensure that your home’s highlights are emphasized and that you are making an excellent first impression for buyers with your home helping buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
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What is included in home staging?
If you are working with a professional home stager to professionally stage your home. Initially, they will come to your home for an initial consultation, this should last somewhere between one and three hours, and should cost anywhere from $250 and beyond. During this period your stager will walk through each room of your home, checking all of the cabinets, drawers, and closets, even under the kitchen sink providing you with personalized feedback on how to make each room and space more appealing for potential buyers i.e. should you add furniture, take things away. You will also discuss your needs with them, their payment schedule, how much it might cost, how long it might take for them to stage your home. Ideally, a stager will be able to provide you with a written report that includes the information and their recommendations for each of the spaces in your home. If you do not want to hire a professional, you can stop with this and then stage your home yourself or continue to work with them.
If you decide to continue working with a certain stager you will probably pay some type of deposit or more to cover their fee, sign a contract to hire them for their services, and speak with them further about how this is going to work, look like, how much it might cost, how much furniture rentals might cost, etc. After this, they will develop a personalized strategy to stage your home and you will be working with your home stager to do any minor repairs, clean all of the glass including the windows in your home, paint as necessary, implement their recommendations and strategies for staging your home to sell your home and more.
A stager might remove some of your existing furniture, work to depersonalize your home to create a mood and replace some of your belongings with furniture rentals and add accent pieces, artwork, and accessories such as throw pillows, rugs, throws, knickknacks, accent pieces, etc. they keep for such a purpose. You might rearrange the furniture and other items inside of your home to make it look more appealing. You might add some upgrades such as new light fixtures and/or have an electrician come in and add additional lighting since having a well-lit home can help it sell more quickly and make it more appealing to buyers.
It is possible your home stager might work with you to improve your home’s curb appeal, providing suggestions for landscaping your home’s exterior, bring in plants for your deck, patio or porch, repainting your home’s exterior and trim, adding garden decorations, etc. All of these will help your home photograph beautifully, create a good first impression, make it feel welcoming and add curb appeal to attract potential buyers. What a home stager does to your home’s exterior will depend on the type of home you have, it’s size, what it needs, etc.
Finally, depending on who you are working with and what you agreed to do with them, your stager might be present on the day that your home is photographed for the MLS. They might add finishing touches, spruce things up, put things in place, make beds, folding towels, bring fresh flowers, etc. to your photography session. However, this will depend on your situation, the stager or staging company you are working with, and other factors.
Related article: How to stage your Toronto home to boost prices?
What is not included in home staging?
Every home and every situation is unique, while you will always begin with an initial consultation and strategy for effectively staging your home to sell, each staging strategy will be different. As a general rule, home stagers are not going to provide you with general tips related to redecorating your home, recommend painting a room or making a change just for the sake of it. They provide specific, personalized recommendations related to adjusting and rearranging furniture changing light fixtures, colours, and spaces that are meant specifically for your property, given that they should know what will work best with the tools and resources you have at your disposal.
It is important to remember that home staging is not a home renovation or addition, it is a marketing strategy you can use to transform your home from being your lived-in personalized home, your own asset to an attractive asset that buyers will want to see. They will take your home from being your home to the home that buyers dream of finding, a place where potential buyers can imagine themselves living when they see your home online in photographs or in person for the first time.
An experienced stager is meant to work with you to ensure that you are able to sell your home or property quickly and for as much money as possible. An experienced stager as a general rule will not be making recommendations for expensive improvements, changes, or upgrades that are unnecessarily time-consuming and/or expensive. They will focus on providing you with actionable and useful feedback that you can use to make your home more appealing to potential buyers and help ensure that your home will outshine all the others. Ideally, a stager wants to help you get a variety of offers and ensure that your future buyer will at least be paying your asking price or even more.
The benefits of staging a home to sell
Whether you decide to stage your home yourself or hire a professional home stager to help you stage your home to sell there are some benefits you can enjoy from staging your home. When you stage a home, deep clean it, take out the unnecessary clutter, and depersonalizing it you are making it easier for potential buyers to imagine living there and you are making it more appealing for a wider variety of potential buyers. For example, if your home is filled to the brim with your clutter, personal effects, and bold colours, it will be harder for a buyer to visualize this space with their belongings and imagine living here since they probably will be distracted and might struggle to see your home’s potential and selling points.
Home staging is a strategic tool that combines design, decor, and marketing that you can use to market your home since you are creating and selling buyers a lifestyle and an experience in your home. Home staging is important in that it helps to depersonalize your home, eliminating things that could potentially distract buyers. Staging your home allows you to define each space in your home, shifting focus from your style and decor to your home’s features and selling points, which helps to sell buyers a lifestyle. This allows you to market your home to the largest possible demographic of home buyers, maximizing your home’s sale potential and appeal.
Staging might be as simple as reducing your clutter, painting, doing a deep clean, rearranging some furniture, removing your personal effects, and reorganizing different spaces to developing and implementing a strategic plan complete with furniture, accessories, accent pieces, and any other items needed to make a stager’s vision a reality. It is important to stage home since something like only 10% of people can visualize a space, the other 90% of people looking at space cannot visualize and imagine what a space without clutter and other items might look like. If you stage your home properly, you are making it easier for potential buyers to imagine living in your home, you are making it easier for your real estate agent or broker to sell your home, which can help you to sell your home more quickly.
While the benefits of staging your home to sell are clear there are some financial incentives for staging your home. For example, Home Staging Resource reports that when people spend 1% of their home’s value on staging their home, they saw on average a 1000% (one thousand percent) return on their investment (ROI). Staging your home will also help to decrease the amount of time your home is on the market, Zillow reports that for each month that your home is on the market, your final sale price will decrease by 1%. A study by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) and stagedhomes.com discovered that 95% of staged homes on average sell in 11 days or less, compared to unstaged homes that sell on average sell approximately 90 days after first being put onto the market.
Buyers have a higher perceived value for professionally staged homes than unstaged homes which means that professionally staged homes tend to sell for more than unstaged homes. While on average a staged home will 17% more than a comparable unstaged home. On average buyers will only spend 5 minutes in a vacant home, but they will spend at least 40 minutes touring a furnished home, providing time for them to be emotionally connected to your home.
No matter how the real estate market is, whether it is competitive, moderate, or slow, ensuring that your home is well-staged and presented is critical in helping ensure that your home is sold as quickly and for as much money as possible. If your home is well-staged when the real estate market is slow, you are bringing more attention and potential buyers to a home, shortening the number of days your home is on the market. In a moderate market, home staging can increase sale prices anywhere from two percent to ten percent. Those selling luxury homes will see the biggest advantage from staging homes or those in a competitive market where bidding wars are common, where a properly staged home can increase your home’s final sale price anywhere from 20% to 50%.
Finally, if you decide to hire an experienced, professional home stager to come in and stage your home, you are taking a huge responsibility and worry related to selling your home off of your plate. By putting this into their hands, you can save time and headaches related to staging your home, finding the right accessories and pieces to set a mood and the appropriate professionals to make their vision a reality. You are also taking action to help ensure that your home sells quickly and at the minimum for your desired asking price. This will allow you to relax and focus on other important tasks and things related to selling your home since a professional stager will help ensure that you are creating an excellent first impression with your home and appealing to the largest possible number of potential buyers who would be interested in purchasing your home, so you can sell your home quickly. The more quickly your home is sold, the less likely that you will need to later reduce your asking price and get less money than you want for your home.
Selling your home? Learn why staging is important
Staging increases the dollar value offered by buyers and the speed with which your home is sold. Justo provides a free staging consultation for our clients.
Things to keep in mind when staging your home
While there are many advantages to investing the time, money, and energy into staging a home to sell, whether you are doing this yourself or are hiring a professional home stager to stage your home, there are some things you should keep in mind.
First, staging a home to sell can be expensive and time-consuming, whether you are doing the necessary work to stage it to sell yourself or are working with a professional home stager to stage your home to sell.
If you are doing this yourself, doing the basics such as hiring a professional to deep clean the inside of your home, to clean the glass inside your home and the windows, renting a steam cleaner for carpets, decluttering, doing any necessary minor repairs and painting the walls using more neutral colours all of this will add up. And staging a home all by yourself will be time-consuming, what you might save with money, you are spending time and energy making this happen. The larger your home is the more time, energy, and money it will take for you to stage your home.
If you are working with an experienced, professional home stager, it will be even more expensive than doing some of these things yourself. However, it might be easier and faster to hire a professional to help you since they will know who to call to make necessary repairs, paint the home, where to get pieces they might be bringing into your home to create a specific ambience. If you are having a stager, stage an unoccupied, vacant home with furniture and more, it may end up costing you a lot of money to have them working with you and renting all of the necessary furniture for each room. Even if you are working with a professional or a team of professionals, it takes time to get a home staged and ready to show. It might be prohibitively expensive for some people to hire a professional home stager, which means this service might be out of reach for some people. However, you might be able to afford to bring one over for an initial consultation and implement their suggestions and feedback before you stage your home.
Another thing to consider is that it will be more difficult to stage a home that is currently occupied and difficult for occupants to live there full time. It might be easier and more convenient for everyone if you are staging a home that is unoccupied or totally vacant. It is recommended that if you can stay somewhere else while your home is being staged and take your personal belongings with you while it is on the market that you do that, but this is not possible for everyone to do. However, on the other hand, it can be expensive to completely stage a vacant home that requires furniture rentals and more for each room and space. The more furniture that you have to rent and the more rooms you will need to furnish, the more expensive that this will be.
Finally, there are risks for home staging like there are for everything. If you are hiring a professional to stage your home, you might not find an excellent professional to stage your home and they might do a poor job. There is also a small risk that you might not see a return on your investment at all (ROI) or the return on your investment (ROI) was not the ROI you were expecting or hoping to receive. You also run the risk that your home does not sell for any more money or any more quickly than if it had been staged. If you are considering hiring a professional home stager to come in and stage your home, you will need to ask yourself this, will hiring a professional help me to sell my home more quickly and for more money?
Golden rules for staging your home on any budget
De-personalize your home
In order to de-personalize your home so buyers can imagine themselves in your home, you will need to remove and store any family photos or photos of loved ones, clear your closets, cupboards, drawers, clear any unnecessary clutter.
It may feel odd and be time-consuming to remove all of the personal touches, photos, knick-knacks, etc. from your home and evidence of your presence, but potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. You may love looking at your family photos, but these will feel distracting to buyers and make it harder for them to imagine themselves in your home. You want to do as much as you reasonably can to help buyers imagine themselves in your home since the more that they can imagine themselves living in your home, the better your chances will be to sell your home more quickly. You can use this as an opportunity to declutter your home before moving if you have not already moved or will be moving into a new home.
Maximize the available space in your home
If you are decluttering and purging items, a la Marie Kondo, you will be maximizing the available space in your home. Overstuffed closets, cupboards, cabinets, and drawers make these storage spaces appear insufficient, so you might consider storing some of your belongings off-site.
You will want your home to spotless and sparkling clean before putting it on the market since buyers are definitely turned off by dirty and messy homes, spotless home is also more appealing for potential buyers. Before putting your home on the market, you should have your home deep cleaned, this means cleaning from top to bottom, from the ceiling and ceiling fans, the mouldings, going down the walls, to the baseboards and the floor. Sanitizing and really thoroughly cleaning your home are the easiest and most economical ways you can stage your home to sell and make it appear more attractive to buyers.
You would also benefit from clearing clutter and unnecessary items and clutter off of your countertops to make this space look larger. You can make your space look cleaner by displaying clean, white bath and hand towels. You really need to have a clean kitchen and clean bathroom(s) since these two areas of a home can make or break a sale.
If your home looks dated this means that you will not be able to get as much money as a more modern home. In other words, do what you need to do to update and modernize your home wherever possible. You can update your home’s look by replacing gold or brass fixtures and wooden cabinet hardware with nickel, chrome, brushed silver, or stainless steel. If you want to easily and quickly make appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators look new, you can buy stainless steel stick-on coverings or specialty appliance paints, so they look they are stainless steel. When you are in your kitchen, you should take this time to declutter cabinets, drawers, and your oven if you keep anything inside there because buyers will be looking inside every nook and cranny in your kitchen. You can also make your kitchen appear larger by removing rugs.
Finally, you will want your home to feel neutral with a neutral colour scheme so potential buyers can imagine themselves living in your home. You will want an especially neutral colour scheme in statement rooms such as the dining room. You can also add lighting and emphasize any natural light coming into your home using a mirror and subtle lamps.
Remember to adjust your window treatments to maximize your home’s staging. You will want to have any curtains and window treatments you are using to have neutral colours or subtle designs. Sheer curtains can be nice since they let more light into a room which makes it look more appealing. You will want to position any curtain rods as high as possible and use thinner curtain rods to maximize this space.
You can also use window treatments to make a room feel bigger. If you are in a room with a low ceiling, you might consider hanging drapes that go all the way down from the ceiling to the floor on each side of a window frame. This will help make the windows appear larger and the ceiling appears taller. You can use neutral coloured curtains and thin rods to hold these curtains.
Related article: 5 Year Forecast Shows Canadian House Prices are to Rise
Tips for making certain areas of your home more appealing
With your closet, you will probably want to clear about 50% of the items in them so buyers can get a better idea of how big they are. You will want to use matching hangers to help your closets have a greater visual impact if you splurge on matching hangers
You can easily make a bedroom more appealing for potential buyers by using a gender-neutral colour scheme in the room with the room’s accessories. A headboard, cohesive colour scheme and some decorative items can improve a bedroom’s look. If you remove extraneous clutter such as office furniture, power strips, computers, televisions, etc., this will help a bedroom to feel like a more relaxing and inviting space since you are supposed to feel and be relaxed in your bedroom. You should be colour coordinating wherever possible with the walls, headboard, bedspread, sheets, curtains, etc. Ideally, you would want your colours to have a clear theme.
You might consider adding a headboard if there is not one already here since a headboard provides a visual focal point for the room and is a relatively inexpensive way to make a bedroom seem more sophisticated. You can add more focal points by adding some decorative items, this is especially true for decorative items placed at eye level on the dresser.
If your bathrooms are looking grimy you should definitely clean them and eliminate any unnecessary clutter, so they are immaculate. If your bathroom walls are grimy you can clean the walls by creating a mixture with one part bleach and one part water, putting this into a spray bottle and spray to clean the walls. After this, you can repaint the bathroom walls. Do not waste any money replacing grimy or gross shower doors, you can make a solution with muriatic acid (which you can find at hardware stores) and 10 parts water to clean them and make them look good as new.
You can refresh any dated looking cabinets for less than $200 by applying another coat of stain if they are stained or you can always have them sanded and repainted. You can replace dated looking cabinet knobs with brushed silver, chrome, nickel, or stainless steel. You will want to clean and declutter the inside of your refrigerator and your oven, clean your sink and go through to declutter any kitchen drawers and cabinets. You should expect potential buyers to peek inside every nook and cranny to inspect the spaces.
Finally, you can remove any kitchen rugs, especially rugs by the kitchen sink since these rugs tend to catch the eye and break up this space. Removing kitchen rugs will help your kitchen to feel larger.
You will want this room to feel neutral, with a neutral colour scheme. Setting your dining room table can create a focal point in a room that might feel a bit boring after you declutter and depersonalize the space. But you do not want to over stage this room and set out every piece of China that you own on your dining room table. You can also create a focal point by adding a vase of fresh flowers to the centre of the table and removing any additional leaves in the table, as to maximize the space in this room.
Buyers are looking for living rooms that are bright, airy, and filled with light. In order to make a living room feel bright, you will want to open any shades before buyers come to visit and if possible, stage this room with light coloured furniture, this will help the room to feel brighter and make it feel bigger. In particularly large or empty living rooms, you could consider using a strategically placed plant to create a focal point to draw the eye.
If your living room has a hardwood floor that needs to be updated, you could consider replacing only the damaged floorboards. Then you could update the rest of the floor to make it match by sanding it and staining the floor using a hardwood floor stain instead of removing and replacing the whole floor.
Which rooms or spaces are the most important to stage?
The following rooms in the home are ranked in order for most important to the stage to least important for staging:
- Living Room
- Master Bedroom
- Dining Room
- Children’s Room
- Guest Room
Approximate costs for staging a home to sell in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
When staging your home, it is recommended that you consider spending at the minimum somewhere between one percent and three percent of the home’s total value on staging. However, if you hire a professional stager to stage your home before putting it on the market, how much you will end up paying them will depend on a few factors: where your home is located geographically, your home’s size (square footage or square meters or how many rooms you will be staging), if you have a multi-storey home this will increase your home staging cost, your home’s listing price, the type of staging, who will be supplying the furniture and accessories used to stage your home, and your home stager’s fee structure (hourly rate vs. flat rate). You can expect an initial consultation to last between one to three hours and cost you at least at $250 to $300. Depending on a variety of factors you can expect to spend somewhere between at least $3,000 to $8,000 to have a professional come to stage your home.
It is important to remember that your home might sell in less than 24 hours or less than a month, but depending on who you have staging your home, you might still be on the hook for paying them for a set of amount of time, even after your home has sold. For example, if your home sold in 11 days, but your staging contract is for three months, expect to pay the stager for the remaining months even if your home has sold.
The larger and more expensive a home is, the more it will cost to stage. Generally, most stagers charge $600 to $800 per month per staged room. You can expect a 2,000-square-foot home to cost somewhere between $2,400 to $3,600 per month to stage. Keep in mind that many professional home stagers require you to sign a three-month minimum staging contract, which means your final bill might come to somewhere between $7,200 and $10,800.
You might be able to expect to pay anywhere from zero dollars to over a thousand dollars to make any necessary minor repairs, $250 to $750 dollars on paint and $0 to $5,000 on labour, at least $300 to $800 for lighting and anywhere from $0 to $700 on labour, and anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour for handyman services.
However, it is important to note that it is difficult to find a clear estimate for how much staging a home in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) might cost since it appears that many of the home staging companies do not publish their hourly prices or prices for packages on their websites. What one person might pay to stage a condo in downtown Toronto versus what another might pay to stage a large mansion in Rosedale might be totally different and prices change over time. In other words, these are approximate estimates for what you can expect to pay to stage your home, this information on the costs for staging a home should be taken with a grain a salt and not as gospel since prices change over time.
If you are lucky, especially if you own a home that could be categorized as a luxury or high-end property your real estate agency or broker might cover the costs for staging your home to sell as a benefit of listing your property with them. This is the case since they understand the value that properly staging a home can provide, reducing days on the market and the offers you will receive from prospective buyers. Chances are that you, the seller/homeowner in this situation will be paying to stage your home and paying for any repairs yourself, do not count on finding a luxury brokerage who will cover this cost for you.
Here is an idea of the cost breakdown for when you hire a professional home stager:
- Storage space rental fee
- Overhead for staging furniture, lighting, accessories, and upkeep
- Cost for movers for delivering items
- Designer fees and installation
- Cleaning costs
- Costs for any repairs for the home or unit
- Renting or purchasing any new pieces or accessories as needed
- Light fixtures and other small updates
- Miscellaneous Costs
When should you hire a professional stager?
Ideally, if you will be enlisting the support of a professional home stager, you will want to hire them before you even list your home for sale. The best time to hire a home stager is before you list the property. Although, it is not uncommon for people to hire a home stager after their home has been on the market for at least 30 days. However, hiring a stager after your property has been on the market for a while means that it’s possible that the sellers might have lost a large portion of their potential audience of prospective buyers who won’t be returning to see their home after it has been staged.
Many stagers recommend only clearing away items from your home that you will not be taking with you when you move and leaving your home as it is before your consultation with them. This way you can avoid doing things such as picking a paint that will need to be painted over or removing too many items that they will need to replace with staged pieces which can make staging more expensive.
A 2016 report from the Real Estate Staging Association reported that pre-listed staged homes (homes that were staged before they were listed) spend 90% than comparable non-staged homes. When one considers a home’s monthly carrying costs, i.e. mortgage, taxes, utilities, etc. if you stage your home before listing it to sell, you could save a lot of money if your home was staged and ends up spending less time on the market. However, it is better to hire a stager later in the game if your home has been on the market for a while and it has not yet sold than never hiring a stager, since better late than never when you are bringing anyone in if you could benefit from their feedback.
Related article: How to Pick an Agent When Flipping a House in Toronto
How do you go about hiring a professional stager and what you should be looking for?
When looking for a professional home stager to stage your home to sell, you will want to look for a stager who is certified, licensed, bonded, and insured, who has experience successfully staging homes similar to yours. This person should be someone that you like, believe you can trust, and work well together with. You should also be looking for people who have positive reviews or testimonials from their past clients since this is an indicator of the quality of their work and the service they are providing, you should also like their past work. You should be able to afford to work with them and not be breaking the bank paying their fee.
If you are not sure where to look, you can always Google professional home stagers in your area [insert your area here], ask your real estate agent or broker, ask anyone you know who staged their home recently and liked the person or company who staged their home, check local or national home staging professional associations for people or companies in your area, and social media. Hopefully, if you decide to have your home professionally staged you will find a qualified professional in your area who will be able to help you sell your home.
Making the decision to stage your home to sell is a personal decision, involving an investment of your time, energy, and money. In other words, deciding to stage your home to sell is not something that should be taken lightly, it is something that should be taken seriously and done with care. While it is tempting to only consider our needs and tastes when selling a home, it is important to remember that the most important person in this scenario is the buyer. If you want to sell your home quickly and hopefully see a return on your investment, you will need to consider their (the buyers’) wants and needs. It probably will not be a particularly scintillating or joyful process to do things such as depersonalize your home, declutter, and deep clean it, but taking such actions can mean the difference between selling your home this month or having it sell months later. This could mean the difference between saving thousands of dollars on carrying costs each month that your home sits on the market unsold.
It might feel and seem silly to spend money on upgrades or doing things for a home where you will not be living or able to enjoy them, or you might feel that your home is just right the way it is. Even if your home’s exterior and interior are so beautiful that it could belong in a spread in the pages of interior design magazines, home magazines, or Architectural Digest, does not mean that you should not consider staging it to sell. Even if you are unable or unwilling to hire a professional home stager to come to your home, for a consult, to advise you, and/or stage your home does not mean that there things that you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers. Home staging can cost you anywhere from zero dollars to thousands of dollars, this is all dependent on whether or not you are hiring a professional to stage your home with props, doing repairs, painting, cleaning, etc. The choice is yours in this situation, but it is likely that everyone can probably learn something about making their home more attractive to buyers,
You should not shy away from doing the work to make your home appealing in photos and viewings, do the work, even if you are only using this as an opportunity to declutter your home, put away personal effects and knick-knacks, and thoroughly deep clean in the interior of your home. This point cannot be emphasized enough, potential buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. So if you have not already done so, put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes when walking through your home and really consider what you would want to see in a home you are looking to buy, what would you want your potential new home to look and feel like?
If you are putting yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes, would you want to a home that is cluttered, dirty and appears that is not cleaned frequently, that needs some obvious repairs, with cupboards, cabinets, closets, drawers, and other storage spaces filled to the brim with someone else’s stuff? Or would you rather see clear countertops in the kitchen, storage spaces that are not filled to capacity which will allow you to see how much space there is, a home that is spotless and sparkling clean, without photos of a stranger’s family and friends? In this scenario, you should really be considering what you would want to see and want your home to look like if you were a potential buyer.
Making repairs, adding upgrades, hiring professionals to do a deep cleaning for the interior and exterior of your home, painting your home with neutral colours, and maybe bringing a professional home stager to help you to stage your home might seem like unnecessary expenses at the beginning. But these expenditures can pay dividends down the road. If your home is staged for potential buyers, you have a greater opportunity of appealing to a wider variety of buyers, generating more interest in your home, selling your home more quickly, and if you are lucky, selling your home for more than the initial asking price. There are a multitude of benefits you can take advantage of if you decide to stage your home and invest in staging it well.
In the end, if you do decide to hire a professional home stager and have them stage your home and it sells more quickly than you originally anticipated, you are saving money on carrying costs since your home would have sold more quickly. In this hypothetical scenario, the money you spent on bringing in a professional, making upgrades and repairs to make your home more appealing will have been well worth it. If you stage your home and it sells more quickly than expected this also frees up the time and energy you that you would have spent on worrying about selling your home, finding potential buyers, potential buyers and others tromping through your home. This also will free up headspace and energy that might have been consumed by thoughts about selling your home, so you will have more time, headspace, and energy, to focus on other important and pressing matters that are not related to selling your home. The choice to stage your home to sell and hire a professional home stager to help you with this is yours. Hopefully, you will make the right choice for you, your home, and your situation.
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