+ Why should I choose Becky Freeman vs other home stagers in Toronto?
The simple answer- Becky has more applicable experience in home repair and a more refined style than the average Toronto stager. Her fix-it strategies are backed by a decade of successful home renovation projects founded by an accredited diploma in interior decorating. The icing on the cake is her implementation of showstopping decorative finishes - which some hire her based on alone!
Hiring amatuer help, although less-expensive initially, is filled with risk leading to higher costs as a result of mishap repairs, misguided suggestions etc. If you ask yourself, "Can we afford to work with Becky?" ask yourself, "Can we afford to work with an amateur?"
When you choose to work with Becky, you should count on higher booking rates for realtor showings; a faster sell; a higher sale price, and most of all a happier experience overall.
+ I don't believe home staging is worth it or necessary to change a buyer's decision. What can you say to convince me otherwise?
Becky does not simply stage a listing, she styles it into a lifestyle scene that she envisions with the qualities of the home’s architecture, neighbourhood, age and the future buyer’s interests. It becomes a home worth the pages of a magazine cover instead of an ‘obviously staged’ property that buyers can't live without.
How does she do this? Becky brings the emotional YES into your listing.
Although many sellers may believe that a fresh coat of paint and a handful of inexpensive ‘quick fixes’ sell a property by achieving an attractive ‘enough’ appeal, today’s design & tech savvy buyers expect well above this once good-enough norm. They are looking to be wow-ed, to quickly fall in love with a new home rather than having to search for hidden potential.
Becky activates the emotional parasympathetic nervous system of the buyer through inviting and beautifully curated interiors. The synaptic reaction of an emotional ‘Yes’ can translate into pursuing the buying relationship further.
Advances in brain imaging science have proven that without a shadow of a doubt, emotions are the guiding force behind nearly all of our decisions. In fact, emotional reactions to brand-related stimuli have been measured by neurobiologists to be processed 80% faster than cognitively filtered reactions- meaning that one's instant, emotional reaction to a stimuli inevitably influences the more 'logical' secondary reaction. This research finds that it only takes 3 seconds (or less) to decide if a product (or a house in our case) is right for us, or not. Three seconds! This lends support to the fact that home buying may not always stem purely out of logic- it's in fact pure emotion.
When Becky styles your property, the reaction she aims to hear from buyers as they enter the front door is;
Yes, this is what I am talking about...
Yes, this is what I was dreaming about...
Yes, I want to live here...
Yes, I want this house.
+ How long does the whole process take?
There are two parties working together to prepare a property for listing-ready status. Becky's role acts as a scaffold from start to finish to provide experienced guidance to the homeowner. The homeowner's role is to prepare the property with Becky's recommendations for the final styling stage where Becky will then return to highlight the property's restored appeal and potential with her styling prowress.
How this works: Within 48 hours of the Discovery Visit, Becky presents the Discovery Report for the ‘restorative process’ of home repairs to be completed by the homeowner. The timeline to implement these recommended tasks is completely up to the homeowner based on how quickly the property needs to list.
TIP: Becky has every trade available to help tackle any job to increase efficiency during this stage!
Once all tasks are complete and the property has been cleaned, it can now be handed back over to Becky for she and her team to achieve the final stage of styling. This last stage can be achieved in as little as one full work day, taking up to two full work days depending on the number of rooms to be styled.
+ My house is clean, in good repair and well designed, should I still consider calling you before I decide to list?
In the words of self made millionaire entrepreneur and president of the International Association of Home Stagers, Barb Schwartz: “staging is preparing a home for sale so that the buyer can mentally move in”. Even the most beautiful homes need to go through a de-personalization process to eliminate even the most subtle touches that your eyes don’t register since you live in the space every day. If you agree that selling a home is emotional, it is important to understand that buying a home can be even more so. Buyers look for an emotional connect before they can dedicate themselves to a new home and this can be difficult if they can feel that someone else still has their signature stamp on it. I help you clear the air of any hints of this. And remember, it's not personal, it's marketing!
+ I hear that everyone should stage their house for sale but I’m still not convinced, what can you say that may ease my fears?
When I find myself questioning the efficacy of anything, I find that cold hard numbers help put everything into perspective. Take a look at these recent findings; Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. found that staged homes spent half the time on the market than non-staged homes AND sold for SIX percent ABOVE the asking price. A National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey found that the longer homes stay on the market, the further the price drops, however because staged homes spend 73% less time on the market, they avoid any chance of a price decrease. The same NAR survey finds that with a staging investment between 1 & 3 percent of the home’s asking price, in turn it generates a home-staging ROI of 8 to 10 percent. These are just scraping the surface of several other pro-staging statistics that I’d love to tell you about, particularly my company’s statistics, just ask! The simple answer- you can not go wrong with staging your house to sell in today's market! Sources: Realtor.org, nytimes.com, parade.com, realtormag.org
+ Do you guarantee your work will sell our home for more money and faster?
Although I can’t formally guarantee my services will sell your home for any determined number or on a definite timeline, I do guarantee that the repairs that I suggest and the decor that I install will be to my highest standards that have been recognized for their effectiveness in past similar selling scenarios. With my extensive experience in high-end custom interior design including decorating with Brian Gluckstein's design firm, I approach real estate styling with the same level of detail and eye for taste as my custom interior design projects. I do promise you will appreciate the designer selected furnishings, art and accessories I use in each project- and so will your buyer. The strategy works wonders, I will promise this!
+ What financial return on my property can I expect when I invest in your services?
I believe that the best way to look at answering this tough question is by asking another tough question; what is the cost of NOT staging your home? The investment of staging your home to sell will always be less than the first price reduction if your home does not sell on the market unstaged. History shows that listings that sell in the first month receive the best offers. I'm excited to share that my company's statistics show that 98% of listings that I have styled have sold within an avery of 7 days!
There is also the possibility of the added emotional toll on you and your loved ones if the house lingers on the market - the stress of additional mortgage payments, the strain of keeping the property in ‘showing’ condition, or the possibility of the house selling for less than you’d budgeted for if you’ve already purchased a new home. Not only can you guarantee you'll have the financial return on your investment when you decide to stage your house, you'll also be someone's hero.
+ My property is completely vacant, should I still stage it?
Funny you ask, I dedicated a chapter in a book about this (view here)! There are a few simple reasons though why vacant properties require staging, sometimes even more than occupied properties. As I've mentioned before, buyers look for an emotional connection towards their new purchase. Often when visiting a vacant property, it can feel cold, uninviting and leaves a feeling of unpredictability instead of comfort in the buyers eyes. Also, a buyer’s focus can fast forward past the potentials directly to inadequate features of the home such as an oddly-shaped room, poor natural light, or lack of architectural details just for a few examples. As Barb Schwartz said, 'staging is preparing a home for sale so that the buyer can mentally move in'. The art of staging is offering an instant mental picture and emotional connection for a buyer to start envisioning their life within the beautifully appointed space without becoming dissuaded by the small details that can be overcome with the proper room design. It's simple, we want to make it easy as possible for a buyer to say yes instead of leaving it up their imagination. It's the laws of merchandising operating in their finest form. Next to hiring a great agent, staging is the best marketing tool a seller should invest in!
+ Where do you work?
Born and raised in Toronto, and a current Leslieville resident with a young family in downtown Toronto's east side, I like to remain true to what I know best, the Toronto Core neighbourhoods. If there is a special project outside of this area, please still inquire and I will let you know if it fits into my scope and capabilities!
+ How do I know if we're a good 'fit' to work together?
First of all, I think this is a fabulous, time-saving question to ask. There are hundreds of home stagers in the GTA, how do you ever choose the 'right' one? Of course I'd LOVE to work together, but I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't let you know what I'm all about! Truth is, I don't just work with anyone who comes my way. I like to think that I am different than other stagers, that I offer a premium service with my honed professional background and level of customer service. This being said, I'm ok with saying that I'm not going to be the most economical choice on the market. So, if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful service, I'm happy to say we may not be the best fit to work together. If you are looking for radically transformed interiors (and exteriors) paired with unparalleled customer service and follow through with qualified & quantified techniques that in turn not only increase your listing price, but your selling price, you've found the right girl. I also look for client's who are willing to trust in my vision to select & implement the interior furnishings & decor. Trust is a big part of my ask. If you're willing to trust in me, I am more than willing to go above and beyond for you!
+ Is Becky Insured for work done on my property?
Yes, I don't take my work lightly and I have a comprehensive insurance coverage plan should anything go awry while I conduct work on your property. This covers my well being and the safe condition of your property.
All trades hired to complete work on the property are solely the responsibility of the homeowner and I do not take any responsibility for their well being or the safety of your property or goods during their contract on site.
+ How can I pay for Becky's services?
The Property Stylist is happy to accept any major credit card (including AMEX), Email Money Transfer or Cheque. Please inquire upon booking and the appropriate forms will be supplied.