By Rebecca Wissink

As outlined in the article 7 Reasons You Should Stage Your Home Before Selling, staging works and it is worth your time and effort. The data is clear: staged homes sell more quickly and for more money. Yet only “28% of home seller’s agents say that they stage all homes before listing,” so staging will give you an advantage in the marketplace. If you don’t know how to change your home from homey and cluttered to neutral and polished, and can’t afford to hire a professional, this article will walk you through how to stage your home, and what spaces to stage. It’s best to conserve your budget and energy by focusing on areas that will provide the best return on your investment.  

Buyers are generally attracted to bigger, open spaces, so trick the eye into maximizing space by minimizing clutter, excess furniture, and your personal touches. Professional home stagers maximize space by removing all unnecessary items. This helps buyers notice the beautiful features of your home rather than being distracted by your decorating style or family photos. As one industry expert reports, “you want a home to feel like a hotel” so that the potential buyer feels positive about the space. This means your home won't look like your home anymore. Buyers can more easily picture themselves in a place if it’s less personalized. The best way to de-personalize and de-clutter your home is to remove boxes, personal pictures, mail, knickknacks, or any other item that might be distracting.  

Staging Looks Like: 
  • Cleaning the entire home, including cleaning the carpets. If you can, hire professionals who won’t overlook details.  

  • Reducing clutter (see above) - and don’t forget the closets! 

  • Removing personal items (see above, but children’s artwork on the fridge, vacation souvenirs, and personal photos are the obvious starting points). 

  • Removing and/or rearranging furniture in order to create a layout that is spacious and accentuates focal points. 

  • Neutralizing bold or bright spaces (such as painting that red accent wall to a pale shade of grey or beige – whatever is trendy). 

  • Painting walls that are dirty or dingy, or have peeling paint. 

  • Removing outdated wallpaper. 

  • Mending the obviously broken, such as cracked baseboards, holes in the wall, and broken cabinet doors. 

  • Choosing decorative pieces that make your home look stylish, comfortable, and inviting.  

What Rooms Should You Focus Your Staging Efforts on?  
  • The two least important rooms to stage have traditionally been the home office and guest bedrooms. However, because of the changes COVID-19 brought to our working world with remote and hybrid work, if you have office space, you now need to stage it! “Prospective buyers should be able to see themselves working in your home.” 

  • The most common rooms to stage are the living room (90%), kitchen (80%), master bedroom (78%), and the dining room (69%). But what is the flow of your home – what will the buyer’s eye be drawn to first as they first enter the home? That is your chance to make a great first impression. 

  • In terms of buyer’s feedback on what impressed them the most regarding staged rooms, the living room is the most important (46%), then the master bedroom (43%), and lastly, the kitchen (35%).  

But Don’t Forget to “Stage” the Exterior of the Home!   

You only get one chance to make a good first impression on a potential buyer, and that begins with your yard, walkway, and entrance way. According to studies, landscaping works wonders for supporting a fast and financially beneficial sale - “increasing ... [the homes] value by about 20%.” Which makes sense if you think about it. The yard is what the buyer sees first. Sources report “many buyers will drive by a home for sale before they make an appointment to see it.” And some buyers won’t even go into a home if they’re turned off by the exterior. But there is more to curb appeal than just cutting the grass and weeding. One professional suggests: “take a walk outside and do an assessment of your home's exterior for yourself. Does it trigger excitement for you?”  

  • Ensure that all lights are in working order.  

  • Does the siding need a power wash?  

  • Are the windows filthy or sparkling? 

  • Freshen the paint on your front door if needed.  

  • Ensure there is no garbage or dog poop anywhere.  

  • Create a sparse and inviting flow along your walkway up to the entranceway. 

  • Use monochromatic pops of colour. 
How Does Your Home Smell?  

Other staging articles available on indicate that professional home stagers have identified that for a home to attract buyers, it must appeal to all five of the senses. You can give your home a selling advantage by shifting the buyer's attention to the small details that satisfy these senses. Staging takes care of the visual but don't overlook details that could turn off buyers like odours, particularly pet odours or stinky gym equipment. Don’t smoke in the home once you’ve had your carpets and the home cleaned. If you smoke in the home, wash or steam clean any soft surfaces like your drapes and furniture if possible. There are tips and tricks in this article for creating scents in the home that will sway buyers' positively. Remove your pets from the home if possible when a showing occurs as the sound of dogs barking can be distressing to some people, and of course, you don’t want to trigger an allergic reaction in a potential buyer.  

What if Your Home is Vacant? 

Vacant homes particularly benefit from staging as they “sell for an average of $11, 306 less and spend six more days on market compared to staged and virtually staged homes.” Staging can combat the fiscal loss associated with longer times on market. One study suggests that approximately 41% of top real estate agents believe that vacant homes benefit the most from home staging.”  

Digital Staging 

Technology now allows realtors to virtually stage homes after the fact, by adding neutral and quality furnishings to a photo of an empty room. This is an option you may want to discuss with your Realtor® in order to present your home in the best light. One statistic indicates that 97% of buyers search for homes on the internet and expect to see quality photos. Good photos, digitally staged or not, help a buyer notice your listing and help them imagine the space in perspective. Digitally staging your home will only produce better photos. Because buyers may scroll through dozens, if not hundreds of listings online, they “need to be sold twice – online and in-person.”  

Read this article to learn the seven reasons you must stage your home for a fast and financially lucrative sale.  

Or speak to an experienced Ross Pavl ELITE Real Estate Group Realtor® today regarding any questions you have about staging your home, digitally or in person, or the Calgary area real estate market in general. 

Photo via creative commons courtesy of MyWallArt - 3d Wallpanel

Posted by Ross PAVL ELITE Real Estate Group on


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