Is Home Staging Worth the Investment?

Is Home Staging Worth the Investment?

You only get one chance at a first impression, and nothing could be more true in a competitive real estate market like Vancouver. With new properties available all the time, professional home staging has become a vital part of the home selling process. Not only does it help to reveal the true potential of your home, it can also help to achieve a higher sales price, and shorten your listing time to boot! It does, however, come at a cost, which leaves many people wondering if home staging is worth the investment.

What Is Home Staging?

Although some facets of the real estate industry are out of your control, ensuring that your listed property presents well is crucial to a successful sale. It is possible to do this yourself, however, most people lack the ‘eye for design’ that can truly bring out the potential of your home.

Instead, many sellers opt for the skills of professional home staging companies, and in some cases your agent may also be able to offer these services. Utilising your agent in this process will also ensure that the property is staged correctly to appeal to your target market. For example, a condo that is typically viewed by millennials will be staged differently from a family townhome.

Staging your house usually includes:

  • Updating the interior paint and colour scheme

  • Removing clutter and personal possessions

  • Restyling artworks, shelves and furniture

  • Making the best use of, or redefining, rooms and spaces. This may include rearranging furniture, adding lighting and mirrors, accentuating views etc…

  • Creating a neutral canvas so that prospective buyers can easily visualise themselves living there

Typically, home staging will also remove any evidence of pets (including their potential smells), professionally clean floors and carpets, and ensure there is enough lighting to make the home feel large, open and clean.

Can I Stage My Own Home?

Whilst it is possible to stage your own home, it can be difficult to remove personal attachments to the property. In most cases, this acts in detriment to the sale, as your ‘personal touches’ are usually to your own preferences, as opposed to the target market.

When it comes to home staging, you want the property to feel as new and modern as possible. You want the property to have the aesthetic that the target buyers are the most drawn to, and the best way to achieve this is with professional staging services. Professional staging can:

  1. Maximise the perception of value. Great staging should make a home feel like it’s worth as much as it can possibly feel. It will utilise quality, attractive pieces to elevate the property and perception of value.
  2. Mask or distract from downsides to a property. Too little natural light? Great staging would include a lot of lighting. Odd layout? Great staging should create a layout that makes sense to buyers, so they aren’t left questioning where their furniture would go.
  3. Emphasise the best features of the property. Nice view? Additional mirrors strategically placed could make this view even more striking by reflecting it. Quality flooring? Removing bulky furniture can accentuate these features too.
  4. Create that ‘feeling’. Buyers usually need that ‘feeling’ in order to get excited and begin to form an attachment to the property. Effective staging accentuates a home’s best features and brings it to life. When prospective buyers walk through your door it should not only feel like a home, it should feel like an aspirational home. In other words- a home and way of living that the buyer finds appealing.

How Much Does Professional Home Staging Cost in Vancouver?

There are a few variables that can affect the cost of staging your home.

First and foremost is the current condition of the property. Has it been maintained over the years? Is the property relatively modern, or does it need considerable work? Does it just need a coat of paint, or will the property require a full make-over? Is there a large amount of clutter and personal items to be removed?

Second, the size of your property will also affect the cost. Staging a four-bedroom home will often require more work and furniture than a one-bedroom condo, for example. These costs can be reduced if your current furniture is suitable, however for the most effective staging it is often necessary to rent furniture and accent pieces. Depending on the service provider this may be included in a package price, however is something to discuss with your agent or staging company.

Third, you need to factor in storage costs for your current possessions. This may need to include costs associated with pet kennels, and extend to temporary accommodation for yourself as well, to ensure the property stays presentable while it is listed. Allowing the property to be vacant whilst it’s on the market removes any scheduling restrictions, and opens it up to more potential viewings.

When it comes to the actual cost, this could range between a few hundred dollars for a consultation, up to 1% of the listed price, per month. These costs should be considered part of the marketing expense to sell the home, rather than an additional investment.

In our experience, for professional staging services you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of:

  • 1-bed condo: $2,400-$3,000 for month 1, drops by 25-50% for subsequent months

  • 2-bed condo: $3,300-$4,000 for month 1, drops by 25-50% for subsequent months

  • 2,600 sq ft house: $4,500-$6,500 for month 1, drops by 25-50% for subsequent months

  • 4,200 sq ft house: $5,500-$7,500 for month 1, drops by 25-50% for subsequent months

In Vancouver, the seller pays for the cost of home staging. Most agents will include some sort of c
onsultation in their listing fees, or can at least help you to understand the process to give you an accurate expectation of the costs to present the property. At the West Haven Group we offer professional staging services, and would be happy to discuss the process and associated costs with you.

So Is Home Staging Worth the Investment?

Whilst home staging is dependant upon the property itself, the statistics do confirm that effective home staging can have a positive impact on the sales price and can shorten the amount of time a property is listed on the market. 

Some reports say that “staged homes sell 50 percent faster, and for six to 13 percent more” whilst others have said that as much as “17% additional profit is attributed to a staged home (over a non-staged home) with 95% of staged homes selling in 11 days or less.” Moreover, a recent report from the Real Estate Staging Association looked at more than 1000 homes and found that staged homes spent 73% less time on the market.

It’s easy to see that the quicker your home sells, the fewer costs you will bear when it comes to its listing (holding costs, temporary accommodations, storage, marketing expenses, mortgage payments etc…). Choosing not to use professional home staging services may also result in your listing sitting on the market for longer, which can lead a reduction in the sales price over time. With the evidence pointing to faster sales of staged homes most properties in Vancouver will benefit from professional staging services.

Effective home staging should therefore be considered an investment rather than a cost, especially as it may help to achieve a higher sales price when done properly.

When it comes to whether your property needs to be staged your agent will be the best source of information and advice. If you’re interested in home staging services, listing your property for sale, or would simply like a consultation, reach out and connect with us!