Stage your House on a Dime

Family-room-fireplace1Spring is the busy season in real estate, so if you are planning on selling your home, you avail yourself of more buyers. The problem though- is that there are generally more sellers as well.  How can you get top dollar for your home and make it stand out from the competition?


No doubt you (like most of the rest of North America) have at least been exposed (if not completely addicted to) the steady stream of design and décor TV, websites and magazines. That being said, you are likely already familiar with the concept of home staging- and on the transformative effect it has on a space.

It is important to remember, when preparing your home for sale, potential buyers have likely been exposed to the same design information- and their expectations are likely pretty high.

Bottom line-when listing your home with an eye to achieve top dollar, you must look through the eyes of the potential buyers. That is why arranging your home – and staging it appropriately – is crucial.

DIY Staging?

There are professional, accredited home stagers, who bring their expertise- but also a potentially hefty price tag. Remember, every little bit you pay out is eventually going to erode the profit you realize in selling your home.

This is an area, where knowing what matters- and how to do it- can factor large into saving some money up front.

Better yet, if you are using a realtor, select one who offers a staging service or advice as part of their comprehensive service. Some realtors offer this as a competitive means- that is to your benefit.

If you are planning on going it alone, there are a few basic, easy and relatively low-cost steps to take to bring the best version of your property forward for buyers to see.

Pare down and Purge

Nothing will make a room or space feel smaller than having it be overcrowded with stuff. The idea is to promote the sense of light, space and air- which can be accomplished by removing all but key elements and/or objects from a room.

Take this opportunity to purge unwanted belongings. Be ruthless. Sell what you can and donate what you can’t. Pack items that you plan to keep, but that are occupying space, and store them elsewhere. The end result will be more room- which will contribute directly to your ability to grab top dollar for your space.

Oh- and you make it easier to pack when the time comes to move!

Clean, Clean, Clean

Scrub your home top to bottom. And then do it again. Make sure your home looks and smells clean. Nothing will communicate worth, and the sense that the home is well-taken care of (therefore worthy of your asking price), than a super-scrubbed environment.


You may cherish your summer at the lake, or be proud of your child’s sports accomplishments, both documented with photos across the wall, but this will deter buyers.

The idea is to create a space that they can imagine themselves in- which is why you should remove (temporarily) personal items. Replace them with neutral, understated art or mirrors (which are a great trick to use to make a smaller room seem bigger).


Chances are, you are going to have to spend a little bit of money to make some money in selling your home. Investing a few coats of paint can completely re-vitalize and re-fresh a room- as well as bring it into the current décor mode.

Choose neutral, subtle colours that will appeal to a broad base of people. Burnt orange, zany purple and accent walls are super cool- but are definitely a distinct taste.