Myths Vs Facts

Misconceptions abound among home sellers and real estate professionals about the value/cost/importance of staging homes to sell. Do you know the FACTS?

Myth #1: The house is beautifully decorated so it will sell quickly and for top dollar.

Truth: It may be decorated very nicely... but in the home owner's taste. More often than not, their style/decor will not appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. Buyers' tastes are so varied it is better to start with a neutral palette and work from there.

Myth #2: It is better to sell the house vacant because it looks roomier in the buyers' eyes.

Truth: Most buyers are more confused by empty homes because they have difficulty visualizing how the home could look with furniture...'Would my sofa fit here? Not sure my bed will fit in this bedroom." Take all doubt from their mind... SHOW them.

Myth #3: Most people cannot afford to stage their home to sell.

Truth: They cannot afford NOT to stage their home. Staging brings back a 300% ROI according to HomeGain's latest statistics. And the cost for staging will never exceed the first price reduction.

Myth #4: Most sellers do not need a stager, they can do it themselves.

Truth: Some people may be able to stage their home effectively, but MOST sellers cannot have an objective eye about their home. A stager CAN have an objective eye because there is no emotional attachment and they can view the house as a commodity that needs to be sold as quickly as possible for as much money as possible.

Myth #5: The exterior of a house is not as important as the interior.

Truth: Curb appeal is HUGE. Did you know that most buyers will do a drive-by before even contacting the realtor/owner? What they see outside will either entice them to come inside or cause them to drive on to the next home.

Myth #6: Staging is not needed in a hot market.

Truth: Generally speaking, staged houses in a hot market will sell for more money than a comparable unstaged house. Also, often they are listed at a higher price.

Myth #7: The price is the only thing that determines if a house sells or not.

Truth: In one way this is true... lower the price enough and ANY home will sell. The three things that determine the 'sellability' of a house is location, price and condition. Obviously the location cannot be changed, but the price and condition CAN be changed... and one is directly dependent on the other. Better condition, higher listing and selling prices, poor condition means lower listing prices and lower selling prices.

Cathy Tarrant is a Canadian Certified Professional Stager (CCSP) serving St. John's, NL, Canada. HOMESTYLING BY CATHY specializes in preparing homes for the market so that they sell quickly and for top dollar. Cathy will work within your budget and time line to help you meet that goal. HOMESTYLING BY CATHY is competitive in pricing and committed to a job well done. Call or email Cathy today to set up an appointment and check out her website

Phone: (709) 341-7115

Tips For Selling Your Home

Preparing for a home staging is like creating a resume. The goal of resume writing is to create a concise document that highlights all your skills, previous accomplishments and references. You do not want it filled with useless information that does not pertain to the position you are applying for. You want the reader to be impressed by the first scan and satisfied with a deeper read.

The same characteristics apply to home staging. You want your house to look its best when it is shown. You want your home's best architectural features to shine. When a potential buyer wanders through your home, you want them to focus on the rooms themselves, not the items in them (they have their own furniture). You want the buyer to be impressed with the details and excited with the larger view.

To create that personal excitement, it is important to format your home for public viewing.

Here are a few quick tips for home staging preparation:

1. Paint

Fill all picture holes, scratches and cracks with putty. Then paint your entire wall. If you only have a budget for touch-ups, have a professional*match your wall colours.

2. Hire a handyman/woman

Have them fix all those small issues you have been neglecting. Have the faucet fixed and the step repaired.

3. Improve the Lighting

Install modern fixtures and increase the wattage in your bulbs.

4. Spruce the Exterior

Have the grass mowed, the leaves raked and the bushes trimmed.

5. Clean Everywhere

Vacuum, dust, polish, wash and scrub every corner of your house. You need it to shine! Appliances often get overlooked. Stainless steel looks great on the counter-tops, so put your old coffee maker away and bring out the stainless steel food processor you never use.

Make all of the beds with fresh, clean sheets. Try to eliminate all offensive odours. Lightly scented candles are an easy quick fix.

Maintain this atmosphere.

6. Neutralize Your Home

Remove all religious or political symbols. Borrow or buy some neutral pieces of art. Put your family pictures in storage.

7. De-clutter

Remove all unnecessary items and put them in storage. Do not stuff them in your closet. Every nook, closet and crawl space is fair game; so if you need to, rent a storage locker to hide all your excess clutter.

8. Open the Windows

No one enjoys walking through a stuffy house, open up windows to make clear air routes.

9. Have a Friend Do a Walk-Through

Ask them where their eyes naturally travel. Use this information to re-organize your space.

10. Flowers

It's an oldie, but a goodie. Fresh flowers are a sign of vitality and growth. Place a large bouquet on the living room table. Make sure to replace them every few days.

For more selling tips, speak with Vancouver real estate agent Anthea Poon,

Staging Master Bedrooms

You may think that, by the time they've reached the master bedroom, potential buyers have already made the buying decision. Of course, by the time the potential buyers get to the master bedroom, they've seen a lot of the house. But that doesn't mean this room isn't important or won't make a difference in the purchase decision. And the reason is simple.....we are all looking for a sanctuary. Sure, the comfort of the living/family room is important. You want your buyers to picture themselves spending quiet evenings at home with their families. Or entertaining during the holidays. But you also want them to picture a space where they can go when they need quiet time. Like somewhere to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Or to read while enjoying a cup of tea when there's a noisy football game on the family room television. And that room can definitely be the master bedroom.

To stage the master bedroom effectively, think of a bed and breakfast. Remember how the bed looks when you first open the door? It's usually positioned opposite the door so it's the first thing you see. And it's dressed in beautiful linens that invite you to come in and rest a while. There's also a small sitting area - or at the very least a comfy chair. Just the place to enjoy the first cup of coffee in the morning, or that glass of wine in the evening.

That's the vision you want to create in the master bedroom of a house on the market. The bed and the bedding should be pretty but not overwhelming - just inviting. Put a cozy comforter and a few fluffy pillows (don't overdo it)on the bed. Find room for an upholstered chair, if possible. Add a throw to it for maximum effect. Place lamps on either side of the bed and turn them on. If there is a window, open the curtains to let in the light and the view (unless it's bad). If the floors aren't carpeted, add an area rug that's large enough to fit under the bed and extend on each side. (Smaller rugs will break up the space, making the room feel smaller than it is.) Declutter bedside tables, leaving only a vase with a single stem or perhaps a candle.

A beautiful master bedroom will help buyers forget other possible concerns about the house. Make sure yours is a knock-out!

Ann Anderson is the owner of Rooms Reborn (, a decorating, staging, and redesign business serving Connecticut. She is also the founder and Director of the School of Interior Redesign ( a private occupational school teaching staging, decorating, redesign, feng shui, and working with relocating seniors. She is also the co-creator of the Ready2Sellin30Days system which is designed to help do-it-yourself home sellers prepare their homes for sale with less stress.