Staging Tips - Stephanie Catcher and Brad Gosnell
Re/Max Logo

Staging Tips


While we do strongly suggest you seek the assistance of a professional stager to maximize your return on investment when it comes to staging, there are few tips and tricks that we would suggest anyone can do to their own home to make it more attractive to potential buyers.  Often when sellers complete the work needed to sell their home they are extremely satisfied with their home and say they fell in love with their home all over again.  Don't wait, do some of these things now and enjoy your home for yourself while you still live there.




A potential homebuyer needs to picture themselves in your rooms, and quirky decorating or pictures of the kids hurts the illusion. Remove all family photos and, if necessary, paint brightly coloured walls a more neutral shade.?  Family photos are very distracting in a home, especially when someone is looking in the same neighbourhood they live in, buyers always exclaim; "Oh I know them, they work out at my Gym" or "I've seen this guy before, but I can't place it"  When buyers get distracted by photos and who they think they know, they are no longer focusing on your homes great features.

Make sure everything in the house is in top condition

No torn screens, cracked plaster or burnt out pot lights. You may have gotten used to seeing them, so tour your house with a critical eye (or ask someone else to), and repair anything that needs it.?  Often these little fixes which can include touch up paint, re-caulking a tub or sink are quick jobs that don't take more than a weekend to complete your entire home, do those small tasks it makes a huge difference.

Be aware of scale in the house when it comes to furnishings

You might have a giant sofa that you love, but if it makes the room look small, it has to go. Aim for small groupings of furniture (ideally more than one in a room, especially a large one), with plenty of space around them.  We often see dining room tables that are not sized property to a room, this makes the room look unusable if the table it too large, or makes the buyer feel that they won't be able to entertain if it's too small.  If you have to rent some furniture to make sure the rooms are properly filled, it's worth an investment for a month.

A clean kitchen

Kitchen counters should be clear and clutter-free. A single bowl or vase holding cooking utensils is okay, but that's about it. Store small appliances in cupboards if you must.  If your fridge is covered in magnets, schedules and children's artwork, remove them.  Often you are selling the appliances with the home too, so make sure they are clean both inside and out, yes this means your oven too.  If you hang dish towels over the sink, or tea towels over the stove or cupboard, remove those as well.  Pet food and water bowls should also be removed, there is nothing worse than showing a house and knocking over a bowl that the homeowners know to avoid but the buyers don't.

Replace boring or worn cabinet pulls with high-design new ones

Consider brushed steel, which look great with stainless steel appliances, or decorative ceramic.?  Thus is a small job that can be done easily and on a low budget but can modernize an older kitchen and breathe a little extra life into it.  Another job that you might want to consider on the weekend is a backsplash if you don't already have one, this will give your kitchen a finished look.

Get a hotel-chic look

Replace bathroom towel bars with well-designed ones from a designer bath boutique. You can get matched ensembles that include toilet tissue holder, wastebasket, trays, etc. Aim for the hotel chic look: Crisp white towels neatly stacked in a towel holder, small trays on the vanity holding attractive toiletries or soaps (wrapped or unused) and scented candles.  Please don't light the scented candles however, remember you won't be in the home when it's being shown and if you light candles and leave your home, you don't want to come home to the fire department at your front door.  All personal bathroom items, including  makeup, hair brushes and toothbrushes should also be put away, we understand they are part of your daily routine, but are distracting and take away from the space.

Fix up the Master Bedroom

Continue the luxury hotel look in the master bedroom: Multiple new pillows with shams or toss pillows in front, crisp white linens and a throw at the end of the bed. Keep end tables uncluttered, with matching lamps and nothing else except, perhaps, a tiny vase of flowers.  Nothing is worse than an unkempt bed with your favourite old blanket thrown on top of it.  Your bed should look like an untouched hotel bed.  Your bedroom should be free of all personal photos and dressing items such as shoes, necklaces, hats, etc...  Not only should your valuables be put away so they won't be an easy target, but less truly is more in a master bedroom.

Stage your Closets Too

Closers are being sold with the house too and buyer's want to be able to visualize all their things in there, how can they do that if it's packed with all your things.  Pack up any clothing that is out of season, you'll be moving it anyways when the house sells, so get a head start.  When staging a master closet, put the short sleeve clothes in the front and the long sleeves in the back, it gives the illusion of more space.  Make sure all your closets smell great, try a bounce sheet or two, closets should smell like fresh laundry and not musty old closets.