With the real estate market in Ontario continuing its feverish run, our clients often ask us about home staging – and we are more than prepared to help them out.

First off, it only makes common sense that one should do whatever possible to maximize a home’s appeal. And home staging is definitely a good start. What is it, exactly? Well, besides being a growing trend, it’s a marketing tool that ends up showing off a home’s features and personality.

But there’s no one-size-fits-all way to go about it. This often varies from house to house, client to client. We can help sift through the options and pick the plan that works for you.

The bottom line: You will likely want to showcase your home by staging it effectively, to help increase the final selling price without breaking the bank.

So you need to look at your options.  In the Burlington, Oakville areas, and elsewhere in the GTA, the sky’s the limit.

Before getting started, you have to decide whether to hire a professional home staging consultant or handle the process yourself. And that’s a big decision.

Whether you bring a third party into the mix or do it yourself, a general rule of thumb says that the cost of home staging typically depends on the list price of your home. We think that you could spend anywhere between 1% to 3% of your listing price in order to speed up a sale. How you budget that depends on the overall condition of the house, the amount of staging inventory and labour required and the number of upgrades required.  You could be looking at $500, you could be looking at $5,000.

This might seem daunting, but if you sit down and plan, making a list of things you need to do, then the entire task doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Dressing up a home can take many shapes and forms. For example, on a very basic level, simply packing up and moving piles of stuff you’ve accumulated over the years will make your home look better.

But to really show off the home, much more should be done. And the requirements vary from house to house.

Here are a couple of realities to consider:

1) Staging in vacant homes has become popular. This strategy can pay off big-time because buyers tend to have difficulty dealing with empty rooms. But, remember, staging in a vacant home could be expensive, with the need for furniture rental;

2) In the case of an occupied home, it’s important to deal with clutter and personal items.  You may have to rearrange furniture to create the right flow and balance throughout your home. You might have to reorganize your things to create the most appealing look. Remember, what you want is for people to become emotionally involved in your home; hence a higher saleability factor.

We do offer insider tips to help you along. And we welcome your inquiries.

Generally, it’s best to opt for lighter or brighter shades of neutrals when it comes to colours in the home.  And always maximize natural light. Take down dark drapes, for example, and open up the blinds, or change the wattage of light bulbs – anything to liven up the effect.

Perhaps one of the most astute moves would be to spend a bit more on a professional real estate photographer. Yes, it’s true that a picture is worth thousand words, but a fantastic photo is worth much more than that – it gets people excited and brings them through the door.