If you are selling your house, you want to help prospective buyers picture themselves staying in it. Decorating your home or staging it to make it more appealing to potential homebuyers is an effective way of doing that. It will help your property stand out in the GTA online searches, shine during open houses, and most importantly, secure a competitive offer sooner. So, how much does home staging cost in Toronto?
The home staging cost in Toronto can be confusing for some property owners, as prices vary from one staging company to another depending on their location, capabilities, and other factors. Let’s break down the core factors determining the cost of staging homes in Toronto.
1. Home staging consultation cost
This is an appointment where a professional home stager will walk through your house long before it’s listed for sale. The stager will advise you on how you can improve the overall marketability of your home for sale. This isn’t an interior décor rampage or a task that will cost you a lot of money. The stager will ask questions regarding your home staging budget, timeline, and goals to create a feasible staging plan.
The primary goal of any level of home staging is to make it look as big as possible, as bright as possible, and as updated as possible. The initial consultation may also include a highly detailed action plan for the property owner to follow.
Who pays for the home staging consultation?
If you choose to hire a full-service realtor, the cost of this consultation will be included as part of their services, but it’s recommended to ask. If you’re choosing a low-commission or flat fee realtor, you may need to cover these costs yourself. Be sure to hire a professional stager skilled at creating a reliable strategic plan to add the most value to your home for the lowest possible staging costs.
Generally, all property sellers can benefit from the initial consultation. After all, it’s incredibly difficult for any seller to evaluate their property with a critical eye for design to create a realistic plan. Most homeowners accept their houses as they are, and it’s perfectly livable. However, first impressions are what’s at stake if you don’t get an expert opinion from a home staging professional.
Remember, you get a few seconds before prospective buyers form a solid opinion of your house and spend the rest of the open house or showing period finding reasons to validate that first impression.
2. The cost of essential home staging activities
During the initial design consultation, a staging expert will recommend various upgrades to increase the value of your house. Most professional home stagers recommend investing 1% to 2% of your property’s total value to prepare it for sale, but some staging companies can get the job done for much less.
To keep staging expenses low, focus on decluttering, repairs, lighting, painting, and depersonalizing your home – remove personal items that aren’t improving the overall ambiance of the house. Given the right circumstances, other staging activities may come into play. A professional stager will help determine the key areas that require upgrades to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Here are other costs that fall under essential home staging activities.
If you plan to sell your house, the easiest and cheapest thing you can do is begin packing before listing your home for sale. Start thinking about making your house look like a true model home with enough furniture to show the square footage and function of each room.
So, donate, sell, or hide the excess items in your garage or basement. But please start decluttering before your initial home staging consultation because an empty house is worse than one with too much stuff.
Before the onset of the staging process, professional home stagers recommend handling repairs first. Staging is like lipstick on a pig, particularly if your house has visible repair issues. And if you must choose between repairs and staging, choose repairs. After all, home staging cost in Toronto depends on what needs to be done.
So, if you notice a rusty kitchen sink, broken countertop, mismatched electrical switches, missing baseboards, broken transition strips, chipped porcelain tubs, exposed electrical wires, wobbly handrails, or cracked tiles, work with your home stager to get those issues addressed. Note that some issues are actually deal-breakers while others are simple, and buyers can easily overlook them.
Your staging expert will show you what buyers HATE and the repairs to focus on to make your house visually impressive.
Are some of the repairs listed above beyond your skills? While you can opt for the DIY approach, hiring for all repairs means a job done right and saves a lot of time. Various repairs such as fixing floors, plasterwork, hanging drapes, replacing kitchen counters, and more require a skilled handyperson. These expenses often add to the total home staging cost in Toronto but make your home more visually appealing to potential buyers.
Adding fresh paint is the most effective staging activity that makes a home feel new and look fresh. Every potential buyer wants a house that feels new, even if it was previously occupied. Your property stager will help you consider all fixed elements and light fixtures and choose the right paint colors (coat of paint) for the entire house.
To determine the total home staging cost in Toronto, you must factor in the cost of paint and painting activities (labor). If you want to save money, rely on your home stager for painting, as most companies offer a comprehensive staging service that includes such activities.
Upgrading your home’s light is associated with the following benefits;
- Increasing the number of light bulbs makes a room feel bigger – this is an added value
- Adding ceiling fixtures (if they’re absent) could set a home apart from other comparable ones
- Stylish lights often add a focal point to rooms that have none
- Beautiful lights are memorable and communicate elegance and quality to buyers
- Upgrading a home’s lighting is associated with a high ROI
Who pays for essential home staging activities?
Suppose you have left little fixes to pile up in the house unattended over the years. Perhaps you didn’t have the time to handle such fixes, were not sure how to handle them, or secretly didn’t want to try. Regardless of the reason you have left cracks and other issues unfixed, the most important thing you can do for your house before listing it on the real estate market is to ensure it’s perfectly maintained.
A good home stager (who runs a reputable staging business and isn’t desperate for cash) will offer you ongoing guidance on the necessary staging activities and connect you with a reliable contractor to handle all necessary repairs. The stager will work with you to create a plan that focuses on the staging activities that will get you the highest possible sale price for your home.
Be sure to hire a home staging professional as early as possible. This will ensure there’s enough time to evaluate your home and identify the key areas that need upgrades to optimize your home’s sale price. Also, addressing all repairs on time will give you a chance to estimate the average cost of the staging service you have hired. Remember, you will need to pay for all essential home staging activities to reap the benefits of staging homes for sale.
3. Additional home staging services
Home staging cost in Toronto also includes all additional staging services provided. Depending on the current condition of your home and the level of staging you desire, the following home staging services may be necessary.
Bringing in a ton of elegant props is a reward for your hard work in preparing your home for sale. You can spend money on paint and lights. However, you can let your stager bring the linens, art, small furniture, throw pillows, and all accessories needed to make your home visually appealing to the average buyer. The cost of props will also include the cost of the hired mover to load the props in and out of your home, furniture rental, and more. It’s a lot of work, but staging sets your house miles apart from all unstaged homes on the market.
Design consultation and renovation planning
Before you begin renovating your home, consult with a home staging professional to determine if renovations are necessary. The last thing you want is an overpriced house (due to expensive renovations) that won’t sell. Fortunately, a professional home stager can determine specific renovations that will net high profits and advise you accordingly.
Staging vacant homes
Empty rooms rarely do a good job selling a house. This is because scale and perspective can’t be understood from photographs. And confusion is never a desirable first impression. Fortunately, working with an experienced home stager gives you the opportunity to fill the house with furniture, art, and various accessories. Remember, stagers have excellent design skills and know various rental companies that can provide everything you need to stage your vacant house.
Making the decision to stage your house to sell is entirely a personal decision. However, it is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, given the benefits of staging a home before listing it. Sure, repairs, renovations, and other staging activities add to the overall home staging cost in Toronto, the benefits of staging outweigh the costs.