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The Importance of Staging and Design | Discover the Best in Toronto Real Estate

Blog by Heather Harris, Broker | November 23rd, 2016

Conversation with Zoya Zaidi, Interior Design Professional on the Value of Staging Your Home

We are fortunate enough to know well and work with the exceptional Zoya Zaidi, whose keen eye and practical approach has brought significant value to our clients over the years.

We sat down with Zoya recently to discuss what exactly is involved in staging, the possible expense and the value it might bring to someone considering selling their home or condo.

Heather:  Many people have ideas of what staging might bring to their bottom line when selling their house, and it’s not always positive.  When is staging really helpful?

Zoya:  Any time you’re about to list a property, it is a good idea to call in a home stager for a consultation.  Staging and design is reflected in the photographs featuring your property and can convince buyers to make an appointment to see your home. As all properties have positives and weaknesses, the stager can highlight the selling features of the property, and work with the weaknesses. 

Heather:  Isn’t staging a home very expensive?  Why is it worth it?

Zoya:  A stager can help potential buyers see your home in a whole new light, creating a lifestyle impression, that can translate into a higher asking price. 

An initial consultation fee is usually between $250-$300.  This results in a list of suggestions for the home owner, which may be all that they even need.  Should it be desirable for the stager to bring in items of furniture or repurpose existing furniture, then a budget should be discussed at the outset.  Generally, it is common to spend between 1-3% of the listing price.

Every property is unique and the total cost of the staging is really dependent on the condition of the house and the number of rooms to be staged.

I have been called in to assist home owners who originally declined the opportunity to investigate staging of their properties, and failed to realize their hoped-for results when they listed their properties.  After being open to some staging and design suggestions, we were able to market the property in a way that allowed the buyers to visualize the life they could have there.  Ultimately, the properties sell more quickly, and often for a higher value.

Heather:  What is the difference between staging a condo versus a home?

Zoya: The most important thing in staging either a home or a condo is to keep the principles of design in mind.  The objective should be to create a balance in a given space with the right use of objects, colours, textures so that the property appeals to a majority of buyers.

Condos can be challenging spaces for staging, particularly those with open concept layouts.  One should attempt to clearly define areas to eat, sleep or entertain to allow prospective buyers the ability to visualize the potential of the space.  The appropriateness of scale of the furniture or objects used to stage a condo is equally important.

Houses can be easier to stage because the interior spaces are generally more defined.  However, houses can also present unique challenges.  Curb appeal is very important.  The main entrance should look warm and inviting in order to attract potential buyers.

Heather:  Even if a home owner is not preparing to sell, is there value in consulting an interior design professional as an investment?

Zoya:  Everyone has certain ideas or a vision of how they want their home to look but they do not necessarily know how to execute it.  Designers can help translate that vision in the right way to potentially increase the value of the home and improve the quality of life while the home owner still resides there. 

A designer can help tell your own unique visual story, as well as help you save time and effort, keep on budget and avoid costly mistakes.  A designer also helps to bridge the gap between the home owner and the contractor or architect, which can often be very useful and much less stressful.

Heather:  How does one find a good stager or interior design professional?

Zoya:  It is similar to finding a good doctor or mechanic.  Seek referrals from friends, neighbours and interview several people before deciding on working with someone.  It is important to feel a comfortable connection with that person who will be transforming your ideas and dreams into a reality.