Home Staging…the Fredericton NB version!
I started home staging in my little city – Fredericton, population about 60,000 and the capital city of the Maritime province of New Brunswick – last year.
I consider this career change as not so different from my prior occupation of social work. To put it simply I am still a helper. I am always mindful that selling a home and moving a household are considered two of the most stressful life events and are often prompted by other extremely stressful situations such as divorce and death.
Home staging has been a fascinating adventure. And, similar to my former life as a social worker, my clients are teaching me the importance of validating and normalizing their concerns, listening carefully to their stories, and informing them of the process, each step of the way.
I realize too that successful home staging, like most professions is only achieved through real life experience and not through “book learnin.” Each home is as unique as the individual living there!
So back to Fredericton, a lovely community…it is brimming with positive features, such as an extensive system of walking trails, a vibrant downtown, tree-lined streets and parks, two universities and a craft college, a vibrant art community…the list goes on.
I am lucky to live in the downtown heritage area, where the vintage homes in the leafy, character-filled neighbourhoods within walking distance to downtown shopping and nightlife, the universities and the river are protected by local by-laws.
According to statistics published by the CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association the average price of a Fredericton home is $164,370.
Wow! Fredericton homes are a bargain!
To put this in perspective, the average price of a Toronto home is $566,696 and the national average is $431,812.
Right now, the real estate market is busy, busy, busy – every day in my city new homes are coming on the market! Unfortunately the Sold signs are not keeping up with the new listings.
According to CREA the overall supply of homes for sale on the market in New Brunswick is running at historically elevated levels. Active residential listings on MLS are up 10.4 per cent from levels at the end of January 2013.
There were 16.7 months of inventory in New Brunswick at the end of January. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
Savvy home sellers and Realtors recognize the value of Home Staging and how essential it is for selling homes in a slow real estate market. As Home Staging Pioneer, Barbara Corcoran says:
Home Staging used to be optional. Today it is a necessity in selling a house.
Three homes that I staged with my Realtor partner in the last few months have sold in the past couple of weeks in this tough market. This period includes December and January, the two slowest months. One home I staged a month ago has an accepted offer. What is gratifying for the Realtor and I is that this house was listed for several months last year with another Realtor and had very few showings according to the homeowner.
So, we have three very happy sellers who are all declaring their success in selling in such a competitive buyers’ market as due to a team effort between the Home Stager and the Realtor, and specialized services which include a stellar online photo presentation consisting of professional photographs, and home staging geared to show off the home’s prime architectural features.
What else can I say but Staging works!