Guest Post by Zoocasa

Congratulations on the next stage of your life! Although having a house big enough to fit the children, furniture and entertaining has likely been both a necessity and a pleasure until now, downsizing comes with its own joys. A smaller house or condo is far easier to maintain and likely newer, giving you more time to do what you really love. No more sweeping out between the gap of a baseboard and floor, weeding the lawn or fighting a losing battle trying to make your fridge white again. Instead, you’ll have time to travel, see the grandchildren or just relax.

This is especially true if you’re from Toronto. Property values have raised so much in the past few decades that it’s likely you can afford to move from your current property to a smaller, but brand-new, condo or townhouse with top-of-the-line appliances and amenities.

This is likely to be true even if you’re from the surrounding areas. Hamilton houses, for example, have doubled in value over the last decade and houses for sale in Mississauga, previously also a bargain; have appreciated incredibly as the city developed in the last 50 years. But although your property has likely naturally appreciated, you also want to make sure you’re getting top dollar.  The only way this is possible is if you present your home properly to prospective buyers.

Sellers must make prospective buyers feel like they, themselves, can live in this house – not like they’re moving into someone else’s house. For prospective buyers to form an emotional attachment to a house, and thus bid highly on it, the house must be presented as a warm, neutral backdrop.

That’s why a home stager is absolutely essential for downsizers. Home stagers can help increase the property value for any home — by some estimates, they can increase the value of your home by 6 to 15 per cent — but they’re especially important for seniors and retirees that are ready to downsize.

At a certain point, homeowners tend to lose perspective of their home. They don’t even see the clutter anymore, or peeling paint or slightly mismatched furniture. Or, they assume, what they value is the same as what prospective buyer’s value. This is exactly where a home stager can step in as an expert advisor. A home stager can tell you, for example, that that couch which was trendy and expensive when purchased 15 years prior, is likely seen as outdated and stuffy by modern buyers, even if it did cost a pretty penny. A home stager can also motivate you to box-up and store all your tchotchkes and clean out your closets, so that when a prospective buyer’s views the property, all they see is a few well-chosen coats hanging in the hall closet, and they can envision their own coat hanging there.  A home stager can help you find painters to repaint the walls, because although you may love purple, some buyer’s just can’t see past it.

Most of all, a home stager is there to hold your hand and make the often emotional and difficult process of downsizing a little bit easier.

Zoocasa.com is a leading real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse real estate listings such on the website or the free iOS app.