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Top tips for using a stager to help sell your property

Posted on 19 September 2016

When browsing real estate listings, buyers are naturally more attracted to listings with well-framed photos of a beautifully lit and staged living room than to cell phone photos of a cluttered living room. That seems like common sense, but people still make that mistake. Hiring a professional stager can pay for itself with a significant return on the investment. That said, allowing a stager into your home can sometimes be an unexpectedly touchy transaction. Here are a few tips on how to best work with your new stager to get the best possible result.

Move out

The easiest solution for your new stager would be if you could simply move out ahead of their work. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but providing them with a blank canvas will allow them to do the best possible job. Without having to worry about your furniture, your décor, or even your schedule when it comes to setting the most effective look for your home, the stager won’t have to work quite so hard at creating an appealing space for a wide variety of possible buyers. If it isn’t possible, that’s not at all unusual, but it is the ideal option. Most of the rest of our tips aren’t even necessary if you’re able to vacate ahead of the staging.


So, you’re not able to move out, that’s fine. Your primary job at this point, then, is to relax. Remember that your stager is not judging you. You’ve set up a home you love with a style that works for you and your family. The stager’s job is not to come in and rubber stamp that look to validate your interior design choices. Their job is to know what’s currently marketable, come into your space with fresh eyes, and figure out how to best present your space to that market. They may in fact love your wall of licence plates from all around the world, but that doesn’t mean they think it will appeal to the widest possible variety of potential buyers. Before you take anything the stager says or does personally, just relax, take a breath, and remember they are doing this to help you.

Plan ahead

Staging a home is most effectively (and economically) done with careful planning. Not only are the best stagers booked well in advance, but their work requires them to coordinate and plan the rental of furniture, design elements, and so forth to present your space. Contacting a stager a week before you’re ready to go on the market is not the best way to start your relationship, and certainly not the best way to get results. Begin looking for a stager a few months in advance.

Spring cleaning

So you can’t move out, but you are going to be moving, so take advantage of this motivation to begin to declutter and get rid of absolutely everything you can. Moving is always a great time to get rid of all that stuff you don’t really need, and if you begin that process ahead of your staging, your stager will be very grateful. I suppose we don’t really have to tell you that a good deep cleaning ahead of your stager’s work is a must, as well, right?


That bright yellow feature wall you painted after your trip to Florida might be your favourite part of the house, but it is going to make your stager’s life difficult. The more you can shift your paint and flooring into neutral ahead of your staging will help to offer a space without imposed ideas, with an open and inviting feeling. Once the stager has a neutral space to work with, they can add colour and décor without having to worry so much about coordinating with what’s already there.

Remember that the stager’s photos will be the primary representation of your home, as most buyers today see homes online first, so you’ll want those photos to present the most open and inviting version of your space, without imposed ideas. You and your stager have the same goal: to get you the best price for your home.



By Darel McBride


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