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Platinum Home Staging Design

(905) 561-1916

 

 

"If you're looking to score in the real estate market, your best investment may just be two hours with Julia Fedak." She dispenses advice to homeowners wanting to change their dÈcor or wanting to sell their property faster and for more money. And with results like these, it's no surprise a growing number of home sellers are hiring consultants like Ms. Fedak. The certified Canadian Staging Professional and owner of Platinum Home Staging Design, works with homeowners and real estate agents to prepare the maximum appeal to homes and listings being sold in today's market. "Staging is to optimize or enhance a room, space or house, utilizing paint, furniture placement, accessories, etc. in order to make it more appealing to the general buyer," said Ms. Fedak. "Staging gets the house in 'move-in ready' shape, allowing to secure more equity into the home. A professional stager has the background knowledge and design abilities to make this happen." Ms. Fedak's service, like most professional stagers, typically begins with a two-to three-hour consultation, from which she formulates a list of recommendations. These may include painting, moving or removing furniture (tip: if you put a table on an angle, it makes a narrow room look wider), repositioning artwork, hiding knickknacks and changing the lighting. After this consultation, home sellers have the option of executing her recommendations on their own or hiring Ms. Fedak and a team of stagers to come in and do the work them. Once this work is completed, Ms. Fedak returns to "showcase" the home sellers' rooms. "Depending on the size of the house, this can take a few to five or six hours and entails moving furniture around - using as much of the client's existing furniture and accessories as possible and then if needed," she says, "I'll bring in my own rental furniture or rental accessories and this is all done before the house goes up for sale." Ms. Fedak says she believes staging has become so popular because of the competitive real estate market. "It's good for the real estate agent to hire a stager because it gives them a competitive edge, especially in a slower market, which we're in right now. They can hire a stager and they attract more listings this way, so from the real estate agent's point of view, it's good in a slow market," she said. From a seller's point of view, says Ms. Fedak, a house is, for most people, their biggest investment and it only makes sense to make sure you get a bigger return from that investment. "It's a fact that staging attracts more buyers and more offers," she said. "It also eliminates buyers chipping away at the 'asking price.'" According to stagedhomes.com, staging increases a home's selling price by an average of 6.9 per cent. As for staging advice, Ms. Fedak says the most important tip is to declutter and depersonalize. "All those little touches that make your home special to you detract from your home's marketability," she said. "The idea is to avoid making potential buyers feel like guests in your house. You want a person to walk into your home and say, 'You know what, I can see myself living here.' If you've got family photos everywhere, for example, the person cannot visualize themselves living there." Another tip, says Ms. Fedak, is, "Paint is inexpensive. If your walls are scuffed or if they are marked up, if they're not in the best condition, paint them," she said. "You wouldn't believe the return of investment that you get just on paint alone." Ms. Fedak believes the homestaging trend will continue to grow. "I think it's definitely going to be here to stay and it's definitely going to be incorporated in most sales of houses, whether it be expedited from the stager itself or from the seller or a combination of both." Staging, she added, is very reasonable. "I want people to know that it is really reasonable in cost, even a consult gives them so much information of what they can do, if they don't want to hire a staging team themselves," she said. "We work within people's budgets, so if they have a very small budget, we just utilize whatever we can." Ms. Fedak says, it is definitely a good investment. "Perhaps, it is the only service in the real estate industry that is provided that gives measurable value," she said. "The buyer feels secure knowing that their best investment is a staged property and provides you, the seller, with the assurance you secured the best possible deal." (ARTICLE FROM STONEY CREEK NEWS, APRIL 2006)

Laura Lennie, Journalist for Stoney Creek News
Stoney Creek, Ontario