The business of "house staging" has caught the imagination of the Toronto selling public the way "home inspectors" once caught the imagination of the buying public. There is a tantalizing notion underpinning this new business. The notion is that staging will bring a faster sale at a higher price. The question is "faster and higher than what?" The Doubting Thomas asks: "How can you effectively weigh the benefits of staging without selling your house twice: once as-is and the second time staged?"
The positive perspective on staging is that such preparations put the best face on the product in question. Consider what wider aisles, beautiful display cabinets and theatrical lighting have done for the retail food industry. Presentation clearly plays a big part in sales. The same may be true for the real estate industry. A house that is clean, neat and fresh-smelling is inevitably going to have more appeal than one with dirty windows, cluttered spaces and stale air.
When you are getting ready to sell, you may receive various opinions on the subject of staging your house. At the end of the day, the decision you make must reflect your true feelings about the matter if you are going to stay happy throughout the process of selling. Here are some "questions-to-self" to help your thinking:
1) When I go to an open house, do I like to see family photos and children's art on the refrigerator door?
2) If there are books on tables do I think "untidy" or "informed people live here?"
3) If I see pet dishes on the kitchen floor I think...?
4) If I smell animal odours I think...?
5) Eclectic furnishings make me think...?
6) When there is no art on the walls I think...?
7) When I walk into the dining room and the table is set for 6 people I think...?
8) When the kitchen counters are clear and there is a glass bowl of granny smith apples/yellow lemons/mixed fruit on the island I think...?
There is much to decide where the subject of staging is concerned. Don't let anyone undermine your self esteem. Your house and the way you live are unique to you. For every person who would alter your style there is someone else who will feel they have permission to live as comfortably as you do.
The real estate market was active and functional long before the advent of home inspectors and home stagers. Both however have proved to be value-added services in some situations and will doubtless continue to be of value in the years to come.