Decorators And Stagers Share Their Tips For Staging Homes To Maximize Appeal

Shakespeare didn’t intend to use Ottawa’s heated real-estate market as a metaphor when he wrote: “All the world’s a stage.” It’s not uncommon for sellers to seek professional tips for home staging or home staging services if they want to sell quickly and get top dollar. Their job is to show a property for maximum appeal online and in person.

Canadian real estate associations are yet to research staging. However, the National Association of Realtors in America recently reported that 82% of agents believe Home Staging and Decor positively affect buyers. Nearly two-thirds of these agents said that they stage all sellers’ homes before listing them for sale.

Some agencies in Canada have hired Home Staging and Decor professionals in-house.

Light staging is an option, but “a vacant property,” where a complete makeover can be done, “is the goal of any staging expert.
Staging is complicated. The seller’s level of comfort with staging is the starting point. Some people are happy to see their homes staged from beginning to end. Some people hope that we will use their existing furniture and artwork to save them the hassle of moving everything out. Others are just interested in light styling to make their property more habitable while on the market. A vacant property is, as you can see, the ultimate dream of any staging professional.

Once the seller has established their parameters, a more important player comes into the equation: the buyer. The buyer is determined by the location, type, and size of the home and the demographics of the area. Therefore, staging will be more of a chicken/egg proposition because the home’s appearance will appeal to the most likely visitors, regardless of their typological similarities.

A downtown trendy one-bedroom condo will be staged differently than an Orleans one-bedroom condo.
Most interior designers specializing in staging homes say that the main determinants of a property’s appearance are its target buyers. The goal of staging a property is to make it as attractive as possible to as many people” so the agent can start bidding wars and get lots of people excited.

Staging with neutral colours

Staging designers will use neutralized spaces primarily composed of “beiges, and greys” and then add setting-specific accessories geared towards prospective buyers.
Neutralizing a room is home staging science. It’s a blend of subtle aspirational cues in an attractive but innocuous stage set that nearly anyone can see themselves inhabiting. The art of staging is all about distinguishing their work and spaces without making it seem too difficult for potential buyers.
Most designers will insert at least one dramatic gesture in the plans, “because you want people to remember a house, to say, Remember that orange sofa in the house?’

Stagers also love to add art from local artists to staging designs. Anything overtly religious or aggressively erotic is a no-no for most stagers. While alcohol display was prohibited in the past, bar carts are now standard, especially downtown.
Most stagers will agree that the boutique-hotel style of the past decade is “tired,” but they both agree that it’s best to avoid using large amounts of bold colours, like red walls. Selling a house painted pink is difficult.
Studies show that staging a home is essential to make a first impression. Regardless of the design, it must be convincing.
Most staging designers will agree that it must be perfect for photographs, noting that the ultimate setting, ironically, is uninhabited. Lately, we’ve been asking owners to leave their homes so that the houses stay perfect during viewings and also because of COVID. When we make a bed, we’ll steam the linens to make sure there isn’t a wrinkle in them. It’s hard to achieve that type of perfection if the owner is living in a house.”


Sandi Branker is a Real Estate agent and a Think Ely Real Estate Team member at Zolo Ottawa. She can be reached at (613) 408–7935 or by email at Facebook| Google My Business |

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