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Here’s how to maximize a showing’s potential

A group of people standing in a hallway in a new home.

Arguably the most integral facet of selling a home is showing it to interested buyers, but not everybody realizes how much attention to detail is actually required.

Chris Messecar, a sales representative and owner of Exit Lifestyle Realty in Midhurst, Ontario, always has staging consultations with clients because their spaces need to be defined and understood. Larger spaces like houses are harder to define, but they’re that much more imperative.

“People are very visual creatures and by staging a room in its best light it defines that room’s purpose,” said Messecar. “The living room is where people tend to congregate, so it’s about staging it so that it fits the home without cluttering it. You want to make sure that the furniture you’re placing in there highlights that room and doesn’t take away from anything. If the show piece is the fireplace, you want to cater around that focal point.”

A common mistake that people make during the staging process is bringing in more furniture. Messecar recommends rearranging furniture instead.

“A lot of times, there are lots of pieces in people’s houses you can work with, but they’re not being utilized properly,” he said. “As an example, someone may have a grand sectional couch in the living that might be comfortable, but it doesn’t work in that room, so we’ll take something like that out of the living room and put it in the basement rec room. We’re taking things away, but also using what homeowners have in different ways.”

Proportion is what stages bedrooms best, according to Messecar. King size beds don’t belong in small rooms and twin bed should never be in master bedrooms. “A lot of ‘depersonalization’ is also important in bedrooms, like removing family photos. Linens usually need to be changed, and they should match tiles and toiletries in the bathroom. We’ll add accessory pillows and toiletries are usually brought in as well.”

Staging a condo is vastly different than staging a house, says Ferro Payman, a sales agent with REMAX Infinite. He says natural light and functionality are the most important considerations to make when staging smaller homes.

“Layout in a condo is the most important thing when you’re looking at it from a buyer’s perspective,” he said. “From a seller’s perspective, you have to make it look functional. You have to make sure the sizes of the rooms are right and sometimes, especially with condos, the layouts are so weird that it’s hard for you to put the furniture where you’re hoping to put it, so it’s important to get the right kind of furniture for that particular layout.”

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About the Author

Neil Sharma is the Editor-In-Chief of Canadian Real Estate Wealth and Real Estate Professional. As a journalist, he has covered Canada’s housing market for the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, National Post, and other publications, specializing in everything from market trends to mortgage and investment advice. He can be reached at neil@crewmedia.ca.

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