Home staging expert, Debra Gould, shares recent US and Canadian real estate statistics that indicate a strong market for home stagers in 2010.
North American real estate markets look strong for home stagers
Towards the end of 2009, reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) indicated that the market looks excellent for North American home stagers in 2010.
NAR has reported that by the end of November, sales of existing homes had reached their highest level in over two years.
Obama’s $8,000 tax credit for qualified first-time home buyers has likely been a driving force behind these high sales levels. The tax credit deadline was extended to April 30 which will give more first-time buyers the chance to dive into the real estate market and take advantage of this tax credit. That is great news because it will help boost demand for staging in these first few months of the year which are generally slower for stagers.
Gould says, “These buyers often have the strongest emotional response to homes that have been staged. Since they’ve never had the experience of buying a home before, this is the group most worried about the responsibilities that come with being a homeowner. They are also the least realistic about how great a house they can get in whatever their price range is.”
A well-staged home is not plagued by a bunch of repair projects, ugly wallpaper or an abundance of clutter that would scare off many first time buyers. Home staging helps them see the home in its best light and it helps them imagine themselves living there. Not only that, it creates the “I can just move right in” feeling that would comfort a nervous first-time buyer.
Things are also looking up in the Canadian real estate market, though Canada’s economy has not been hit nearly as hard as its southern neighbor. Based on sales activity towards the end of 2009, CREA has adjusted its forecasts for 2010.
In Canada, sales records were set every month from July through November and national sales in average showed a 6.6% increase from 2008. CREA has forecast that MLS sales will increase by 7% in 2010 which would make 2010 the second highest year for sales on record.
According to CREA President, Dale, Ripplinger, buyers late in 2008 and earlier in 2009 were putting off buying or selling until the economy improved. In a report released by CREA,Ripplinger said, “With the economic outlook having improved since then, the release of that pent-up demand will boost activity over the rest of the year (2009) and in 2010.”
Many sellers were taking their homes off the market in late 2008 waiting for market conditions to improve. Others who might have listed their homes in 2009 held back. At the same time many first time buyers were jumping into the market due to low interest rates, the fact that prices had dipped, and bidding wars were no longer the norm.
With higher demand and lower supply, of course home prices started to rise again. In fact based on results to date, the year is forecast to be up 4.2 per cent in 2009 and a further 4.7 percent in 2010. With strong price increases, new listings are likely to continue to increase as well.
Naturally this increases the demand for home stagers as more homes come onto the market. As a home stager (or real estate agent) it’s critical to educate home sellers about the importance of staging and especially why it’s most effective with first-time buyers. For more information on why this is true and a more detailed explanation of how demand and supply in the real estate market effects a home staging business, download Debra Gould’s free Ask Staging Diva report: “Can I grow a home staging business in a depressed economy?”
About the author
The creator of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, Debra Gould has staged millions of dollars worth of real estate, including seven of her own homes. She is the president of home staging firm SixElements.com and has trained thousands of home stagers to start and grow their own businesses. Gould created the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and real estate agents locate staging services in their area.