Last year, we sold our condo in the Toronto area and decided to stage it ourselves before selling. I’ve always had a keen interest in home decor, and we decided to save as much money as we could in the selling process as possible. We hauled out all our personal items, touched up the paint, and added some fresh decor items from Ikea. Finally, we hired professionals to give the apartment a good clean before the open house. It worked for us, and we sold our condo within two weeks!

However, if DIY isn’t your thing, you can call in the professionals – a home stager.

What is a home stager?
A home stager is similar to an interior decorator, but rather than focusing on your personal tastes for decorating the condo, they will focus on making your condo appeal to a wide range of buyer tastes and preferences. They highlight the best pieces of your home, choosing the colours, fabrics, and textures that give it a wow-factor.

To do this, the stager will first arrange for an initial consultation to examine your condo. They will make recommendations on whether or not to use some of your existing furniture and decor, or to use rented items. Stagers typically have warehouses filled with matching pieces of furniture that are ready to fill a home. Just be prepared to move out your own furniture and store it until after your condo has sold.

The stager may also make recommendations for repairs, and put you in touch with contractors or painters to get the job done. Some will also bring fresh flowers or candles for the finishing touches to make your condo look its best. Ultimately, a stager wants to make your condo as attractive to buyers as possible and help get it sold quickly.

Do you really need to stage your condo?
If condos are selling quickly in your building or in your area, it may not make sense to take the time to buy or rent everything you need to stage it. Another option is to leave the condo empty, and allow buyers to imagine the space with their own furniture or ideas for optimizing the space.