Real Estate Talk:
The art of staging

The better a home shows, the quicker it will sell

By Joseph Marovitch

Updated March 2, 2023

Staging is a marketing tool that enables the seller to show the house in the best possible light. In many cases, especially in higher-end homes, staging is not necessarily required. In many homes, the house has live-in help to maintain the property in excellent condition or simply the owners maintain the home in top form.

However, most homes have a lived-in feeling if they have younger to middle-aged couples with children living in them. Mom and Dad work all day, kids play and the house can get messy. Or, the owners are retirees and do not have the energy to maintain the home in top form. One other factor is that we are not all home stagers as much as we are nesters who come home, throw the coat on the chair and put the feet up at the end of the day.

Some homes with furniture already in them can benefit from simple staging. By simple staging I mean to place the chair and couch at the right angle, move the lamps around a bit, throw a nice blanket over the rocking chair and add a few pictures to brighten up the place. Other times, a home can use much more than moving a couch and placing a picture. If the owner has lived in the home for 60 years and the property looks like 1960 then the home can benefit by bringing in a professional stager to clean the house and bring in rented modern furniture that is strategically placed.

Professional home stagers do nothing but home stage and if they have been in the business successfully for a considerable time, they know what works.

Other times, a large beautiful home with rich woodwork, beautiful mouldings, high ceilings and large rooms can benefit by placing nothing in the house. This can allow potential buyers to see the natural light and spacious surroundings and therefore use their imagination to conceive the perfect home.

The fact is the better a home shows, the quicker it will sell and the higher the value it will receive. It would be great if everyone had a vivid imagination that would enable them to see the possibilities in any house, in any condition, and some do, but the majority do not. Therefore, if the house requires a cosmetic upgrade, do it. If you’re not sure what works, spend a few dollars for a professional stager and upgrade. You may spend a few dollars but the return will be worth the investment.

Professional home stagers do nothing but home stage and if they have been in the business successfully for a considerable time, they know what works. In other words, do not make the mistake of using a family member or friend simply because you think they have a good eye and home sense. Professional home stagers go with neutral colours and arrangements that they know will suit most everyone’s taste. The home staging should be tasteful but neutral and allow the buyer to see and imagine the potential possibilities of the house as it suits them, not the home stager.

A good home stager costs anywhere from $150 an hour to $500 per hour depending on the extent of the project they are undertaking.

When you interview a professional stager ask the following:

  • Cost?
  • How long have you been doing this?
  • Do you only home stage or do other things as well?
  • Can I see a website or portfolio of pictures of other projects you have completed?
  • What is the average time a home has sold in, that you have staged?
    (Keep in mind home staging to sell quicker and higher is only effective if the house is priced and marketed properly.)

Should you have questions or comments, please refer to the comments section at the bottom of the page. As well, to view past articles, click here.

Next article: How effective are open houses and ads

State of the Market

CPI today (inflation rate) 5.9%
Bank of Canada interest rate 6.7%

I have been asked many times lately if now is a good time to sell from an investment point of view. If the property is an investment, there are two options.

The first is sell now. Property values have decreased significantly with multiple interest rate hikes. However, the inflation rate is still 5.9% and not near the 2% the Bank of Canada is aiming for, which means we can expect further interest rate hikes in an effort to reduce the inflation rate. The higher the interest rate goes, the lower real estate values go. To avoid future reductions in value, selling now may be a good idea.

‘If all goes well, we may expect rates to reduce, inflation to reduce, real estate values to rise and demand to increase.’

The second option is to wait until the inflation rate reduces in the next two years or more. The assumption is that with lower inflation, interest rates will decrease as well, causing real estate values to rise. The second option is very uncertain since we do not know what the future holds in this very unstable world. Inflation and interest rates are influenced by war, pandemics, and politics.

If all goes well, we may expect rates to reduce, inflation to reduce, real estate values to rise and demand to increase.

If one is a buyer, now would be a good time to purchase since lower interest rates in the future mean higher real estate prices. If selling for investment purposes, depending on one’s financial situation, holding may be a good idea. If selling for other reasons such as upsizing, downsizing or relocating, the present is always a good time to sell.

Have a great week!

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Other articles by Joseph Marovitch

Joseph Marovitch -

Joseph Marovitch has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. His first career was working with families from Westmount and surrounding areas, hosting children between the ages of 6 to 16 as the owner and director of Camp Maromac, a sports and arts sleep away summer camp established in 1968. Using the same strengths caring for the families, such as reliability, integrity, honesty and a deep sense of protecting the interests of those he is responsible for, Joseph applies this to his present real estate broker career. Should you have questions please feel free to contact Joseph Marovitch at 514 825-8771, or

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