HGTV Effect on real estate 

Diane speaks to increasing your home’s appeal among younger buyers. The ROI of one the homes we readied for sale is featured in this Toronto Star business article.

Staging used to be largely about refreshing a tired-looking home by removing clutter, painting walls & replacing worn carpets,” says Diane Black, who stages more than 200 homes a year in Peel and Halton regions, as well as Toronto’s west-end.  “Now it’s all about evoking a lifestyle and making a home appear move-in ready….A new generation of buyers, on average 15 years younger that the sellers, don’t want to do the work, or don’t have the imagination or money after scraping together down payments on pricey homes.  I want to give that wow HGTV factor….The stakes have been raised since MLS house listing went online and buyers have been able to do more looking on their own.”


 Holmes on contractors


Here, Diane takes on the role columnist to gather Order of Canada winner Mike Holmes’ tips on how seniors can better protect themselves if hiring renovators in seniors’ magazine, Forever Young.

Contractor red flags

  • Demands full payment before work complete
  • Asks for cash  or requires money upfront
  • Quotes price without seeing a project
  • Doesn’t provide a written quote, or contract
  • Doesn’t detail work on paper or a timeline to complete 



Home sellers look for a ray of sunshine

This Star article asks us about weather’s impact on suburban sellers’ decision to list.

In family friendly neighbourhoods, the best time to sell is often February or March. These months give sellers a good time window to sell, buy and close on a new property by summer. This way, their own kids and their buyers’ children can get accustomed to their new neighbourhoods before school starts. But when blustery winter conditions drag on, sellers can become reticent to list their homes.

“Everyone was optimistic that we would see an upswing in the market in January and February, but it didn’t really happen…we got hit by the weather,” say Black.  “Our curb appeal [in the suburbs vs. cities] in some ways has to be higher because there’s more of it,” says Black, of bigger suburban lots. “But it also becomes more of an eyesore when trees and shrubs haven’t filled in. Of course, you can use pictures to what it usually looks like, but that’s not quite the same.”



 Staging helps to sell your home


In this News Canada series, we speak to misperceptions about staging homes.

Homes that present as move-in ready have strong buyer appeal. These properties sell more quickly which helps protect them from price reductions. Still, some sellers resist the idea of home staging. “Sellers often confuse decorating with staging. They worry the stager will be critical of their belongings,” explains Diane Black, a home staging expert. “If they’ve lived in their home for years it becomes difficult to view the space with fresh eyes, from a buyer perspective.” According to Black, sellers often equate stagers with furniture and art placements. “Experienced stagers know that helping sellers attend to home preparations basics to make their properties move-in ready is our first order of business.” This often includes have homes freshly painted with upgraded flooring.