Mike McCarthy Hamilton Realtor

hamilton home staging servicesWhat is Home Staging?

Home Staging is the art of decorating a home to sell quickly and for more money on the real estate market. Home stagers in Hamilton and around the world set the stage for potential home buyers to imagine how they could live in a property and make it their home. This can be as “simple” as rearranging what the home seller already has. Or it can include bringing in new furniture, accessories and art to make the home appeal to more buyers.

There is a vast spectrum of what home staging can mean, and likewise, there is a vast spectrum to what someone (be it an agent or a stager) can mean when they say they provide staging services. It is important that you find out exactly what you are getting.

Is Home Staging Just Interior Decorating?

Short answer? NO. You may have the most beautifully (and expensively) designed house in Hamilton, but that does not necessarily (actually rarely) mean that it is also properly staged for a profitable and quick sale. As my preferred stager says, "We decorate to dwell, but we stage to SELL!"

Here are the THREE main differences:

Interior DecoratingHome Staging
Who it is for
  • For the homeowner
  • Personalized, what THEY want
  • For the widest # of buyers
  • Controlled, neutralized
The pupose of it
  • Expresses who the homeowner is
  • How THEY like/need to live
  • Make ANYONE feel comfortable
  • Move-in ready, blank canvass
The psychology behind it
  • Speaks to the homeowner's tastes & put into design
  • How it satisfies THEIR needs
  • Inspire confidence in buyers to make a large investment decision
  • Stand out from competition
  • Envision the possibilities of owning it
  • See it as their own home, not the current owner's

Bottom Line - Interior decorating is about the homeowner while home staging is about appealing to as many potential buyers - and the eventual buyer - as much as possible.

home staging earns you moneyWhat Do the Numbers Say About Home Staging?

If you're keen on A) maximizing the profitability of your sale, and B) selling your house as soon as you can and getting back to normal living, then this is where you're really going to get excited.

I am a "numbers guy", and I try my best to be as rational as I can, especially for my clients, and I see no other way to sell a house (outside of a small minority of circumstances) than to include staging as part of the prep. I believe in home staging so much, that I not only insist on it, I PAY FOR IT. Yes, it is included in your commissions. This includes a full consultation with a written report from an accredited stager, as well as actual staging services, not just me buying you a handful of new pillows. (Read more about my staging services here)

Why am I so keen on home staging? And why do I think you should be as well? Here are the stats:


There are many reasons to stage your home, but they all boil down to two critical stats:

  • Staged homes sell for 2.6% MORE than comparable un-staged homes.
  • Staged homes sell in half the time of un-staged homes.
  • What does this mean to you? For a typical Hamilton home, that would mean an increase of $15,600 in the selling price and 15 less days on the market.
  • Conclusion - Staging A) helps maximize the profitability of your sale and B) minimizes your time on the market.

Why & How does it work?

Look, there is indeed a buyer for every single home on the market out there. That cannot be argued, but the point of spending money on staging is not to be just any other place out there, the point is to stand out and attract as many buyers as possible.

So how does staging contribute to this goal? It is a fairly simple and logical reason - it matches what buyers want and do. 

  • In 2019, 93% of home buyers used the internet to search for their home, and is expected to continue to grow. Overall, for 44% of home buyers, their first step was looking online, which far outranked the #2 "first step" of contacting a real estate agent (17%).
  • The #1 valued feature of a website feature is photos. If a picture says 1,000 words and those words contain "meh" or "gross" or "really?", then the buyer simply swipes to the next one.
  • Conclusion - Staging A) helps maximize the profitability of your sale and B) minimizes your time on the market.

Other Powerful Stats in Support of Home Staging:

  • 83% of buyer agents say staging a home makes it easier for their clients to visualize a property as a future home. If they can't see themselves in it, they're not buying it.
  • 63% of buyers prefer higher-priced homes that are move-in ready vs. lower-priced homes that are "fixer uppers".
  • Buyers are 38% more likely to walk through a home they saw online that was staged versus one that was unstaged.
  • 23% of buyers are willing to overlook other faults of a home that was staged.
  • Staging a home is 3x more likely to decrease listing time than increase it, and overall decreases listing time by an average of around 50%.
  • A buyer's opinion of a home IN PERSON is formed in approximately 7-10 seconds, making curb appeal an essential element of effective home staging.
  • In a 2018 study, 68% of staged homes sold for at least 9% more than a neighbour's similar and unstaged home AND there was a positive correlation between the amount spent on staging and the eventual selling price = the more invested, the more returned (obviously, to a point - excess staging can occur).
  • Perhaps the biggest - The #1 characteristic of a home on the market that buyers are willing to compromise on is PRICE. Despite the fact we all like to believe we are rational, the reality is that when a buyer FALLS IN LOVE with a home they are most likely to pay more for it than they had planned. Home staging is the biggest reason for this phenomenon.
  • Conclusion - Staging A) helps maximize the profitability of your sale and B) minimizes your time on the market.
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