Perfectly Staged Homes

As quoted in the September/October, 2005 issue of “West of the City” magazine.
By Kelly Putter

Think about how much money you spend on grooming your hair, your nails, even your pets.

Now think about how much you spent grooming your home before putting it up for sale.

If the highlights and manicures won out, you might want to put your money on those domestic divas known as home stagers next time. These professional primpers will rearrange your furniture, bring in their own props and recommend decor changes that will transform your house into one fit for model-home heaven.

Inspired by the popularity of TV shows such as House Doctor, Buy Me, Designed to Sell and Sell This House, home stagers say their work nets you more money for your home and a quicker sale…

So what are the rules of staging your home for a quick and profitable sale? Get rid of the clutter and depersonalize.

Your collection of owls may not be telling the potential house buyer what a wise old bird you are. So it’s best to pack up your books, refrigerator magnets, the kids’ artwork and family photos.

The reason it’s important to strip your home of your unique personality is because it prevents a potential buyer from seeing his or her things in the new house.

“Who cares what deodorant you use – hide it,” says Felicia Gimza, an Oakville Interior Decorator who also primps homes for the real estate market. “The house should feel like a model home. It’s the psychology behind mind trickery.”

Besides chucking your collection of ceramic frogs, Gimza also recommends reducing or eliminating any strong cultural and religious references in the home. Clients of hers had a Buddhist shrine in their living room but were reluctant to move it to the basement as she had requested. In the end, she finally convinced them to turn off the string of red Christmas lights that shone around the statue.

“One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is overdoing their decorating”, says Gimza. In today’s home interiors, keep in mind that less is really more.

Home staging comes in various incarnations and can cost as little as $150 to several thousand dollars depending on how much you need to change. Sometimes realtors pick up the fee.

Homeowners are commonly told to remove wallpaper, paint walls neutral shades and carpet or fix damaged floors. But some houses need much less and can do with a bowl of green apples, a vase of fresh flowers and a vanilla-scented candle.

(for full article, pick up a copy of the Sept/Oct. 05 issue of “West of the City”┬ámagazine)

West Cover

West Of The City Cover