DCN ARCHIVES

March 23, 2005

Canadians contemplating improvements to homes

With the busy spring housing market right around the corner, Canadians are contemplating home improvements to help entice potential buyers.

A poll released recently by Royal LePage Real Estate Services, shows the attitudes of Canadians towards appropriate house sale preparation costs and the currency of their home’s décor differs from industry experts.

The 2005 Royal LePage House Staging Poll indicates that 54 per cent of Canadians think that $2,000 or more is the appropriate amount to spend in preparing a house for sale, with a surprising 25 per cent willing to pay over $5,000.

The poll also shows that 75 per cent of Canadians would classify the style of their house as “current” or “somewhat current.”

These findings are counter to house staging specialists, who maintain that although the majority of homes in Canada are in need of updating prior to sale, a significant difference can be made with as little as $1,500.

Although Canadians are unfamiliar with the term, which means preparing a house for sale using cost-effective and non-invasive methods, most consider house staging techniques as part of their selling and buying criteria.

House staging can also be referred to as house fluffing.

“Due to the popularity of home makeover television programs, consumers are more familiar than ever with interior design trends, and average Canadians now expect more when shopping for a new house,” said Dianne Usher, senior manager, Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

“House staging, a tool used by successful real estate agents for decades, is the best way to make a dramatic impact without having to spend a lot of money.”

And, while most Canadians think their home décor is current, experts like Timothy Badgley, interior designer and owner of Acanthus Interiors in Port Hope, Ont., disagree.

“The majority of homes that we visit for consultations are out-dated and in need of a pre-sale makeover,” he said. “The good news is that unlike major renovations, house staging is a simple and inexpensive way to bring your house up-to-date.”

— Grant Cameron

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