Staging to Sell – Six Ways to Do it Right

Staging to Sell – Six Ways to Do it Right

In Halifax’s hot seller’s market, you might be wondering if it’s really worth the time and money to stage your home before putting it up for sale. After all, buyers are facing stiff competition for the few properties on the market, and desirable homes are being snapped up within days. While that’s true, real estate agents like Cheryl Cook still say staging can be the ticket to a faster sale and higher price.

 “Staging is about attracting potential buyers, allowing them to easily imagine themselves in the home and then making it clear why your home is worth what you’re asking for it,” says Cheryl, an agent with RE/MAX nova. Before starting in real estate, Cheryl had her own design and decorating business. She loves houses and knows how to make them look great, which is why we asked her to pass along some of her top tips for staging a home to sell.

 Don’t mistake staging for decorating

The first thing, Cheryl says, is understanding the difference between staging and decorating. They may sound similar, but they have completely different purposes. For instance, the purpose of decorating is to put your own stamp on a place and make it homey for you. Staging is about making it homey for someone else.

 “The intention of staging is to sell your home, so it’s showing the home’s best features and helping buyers see the function of a given space,” she says. “It has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with everyone else.”

 Cheryl’s six steps to staging success

1     1.  Declutter – The first step in staging is getting rid of the clutter. That includes everything from excess toys to most of your personal belongings. You also need to take a hard look at each room and ask yourself if there’s too much furniture in it. Cheryl recommends being ruthless. If it’s not needed, remove it and pack it away.

2.      2.  Keep function in mind – After the excess items are gone, you can start rearranging things to make the best use of each space. The key is to ensure each room functions like it’s supposed to. That means the spare bedroom that you’ve been using for storage will need to set up as a bedroom or sitting room, so it’s easy to see how the space can be used.

3.      3. Stage don’t renovate – Staging isn’t about putting in a new kitchen or bathroom – that’s renovating and it’s costly and time consuming. However, Cheryl does advise doing a bit of work to spruce things up. A little painting, for instance, can make a big difference, especially if the colours in your home are dramatic. You’ll want to go more neutral to make the home appealing to more buyers. Try to think like a potential buyer who’ll be looking around and trying to imagine how much work they’ll have to do when they move in.

4.      4. Make things sparkle – You’ll need to deep clean everywhere but pay special attention to the bathrooms and kitchen. In the bathroom, make sure the tubs and showers glisten and there are fresh, clean towels out on display. In the kitchen, the countertops and cupboards should be spotless and free of clutter.

5.      5. Show off top features – Whether it’s a fireplace, big windows, great views or a stunning kitchen countertop, your home likely has a few wow features that you’ll want to show off. Make sure that stunning countertop is decluttered, curtains are pulled open to allow light to shine in and don't forget to clean the windows. 

6.      6. Seek help and inspiration – If you don't have the ability or interest to stage your home, consider getting a professional stager to do it for you or at least advise you on how to get started. You can also find staging ideas on Pinterest, and if you’re really stuck, Cheryl says Ikea is a great place to go for inspiration on how to make each space in your home more appealing. When it comes to doing things like painting your living room or making minor repairs around the house, if you don't have the skill or desire to do the work, hire someone to do it for you.


Ready to sell your home? One of our agents would be happy to work with you to help you make your house the best it can be. Contact us today. 

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