Proper staging impacts the way potential buyers experience your property. Staging means preparing your home for sale by organizing the space to showcase its best assets and appeal to buyers—which can help you to sell your home faster and for more money.

First impressions matter

A potential buyer may drive by your home before coming in for a viewing and make assumptions about the house before they even see inside. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so boost curb appeal with a well manicured lawn, a clean front porch, and these other useful grooming tips:


  • Wash front windows and address chipping paint.
  • Mow the front lawn, weed the garden, and trim any hedges or dangling branches.
  • Make sure the walk is salted and well shoveled for easy access if you’re selling in the winter.
  • Make sure your house number is clear and easy to read.
  • Repaint and repair the front steps and any noticeable flaws on the front of the house.
  • Consider leaving one or two welcome lights on in the evening in case potential buyers drive by at night.
  • Don’t forget to look next door; your neighbour’s overgrown hedges or a porch next door overflowing with garbage can affect how buyers see your property.

Clean from top to bottom

Showcasing a clean home that looks and smells great is one of the easiest and most important steps when it comes to staging your home. Even if you’re someone who regularly sweeps and cleans, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Cleaning tips for staging your home:


  • Sweep and mop floors, vacuum carpets, and clean windows.
  • Deep clean inside cupboards, under the stairs, and inside closets. Don’t assume that hidden places will remain unseen. 
  • Follow your nose. Pet smells, mildew, and lingering fragrances can be a turn-off for potential buyers. Ventilate the space well and get rid of smells at the source instead of masking them with air fresheners.
  • Keep the garbage empty, and make sure the fridge and freezer are clean.
  • Put out fresh soap and make sure any items you’re showcasing are clean as well.


Getting rid of extra clutter makes your home look spacious and appealing; rooms feel bigger, closets look roomier, and that empty space will allow the viewers to imagine themselves living in the home. Remember that decluttering benefits you, too — the less you keep, the less you’ll have to move to your new home.

Decluttering tips:


  • Consider offsite storage units or use a friend’s garage for anything taking up extra space.
  • Involve your kids in the process. Encourage them to donate or give away toys they aren’t using.
  • Keep a healthy balance. Your space should feel livable, not so sparse that it’s hard to imagine anyone living in the house.
  • Make sure any items visible to guests are clean, fresh, and look new. Hide your worn-in sneakers, but leave your designer heels on display on a shelf to show off a closet’s potential.

Set the scene

Potential buyers want to imagine themselves in their new home. That might mean family dinners, evenings curled up on the couch, entertaining guests, or working productively in a home office. Since you don’t know what the new buyers will be imagining, set the scene for warm, comfortable living that appeals to most people.


Consider swapping out any decor or furniture that’s quirky, vintage, or avant-garde. Leave a bowl of fruit or fresh-baked bread on the kitchen table, drape a cozy blanket on the couch, or light a nice candle in the bathroom.

Potential buyers want to imagine themselves in their new home. Since you don’t know what the new buyers will be imagining, set the scene for warm, comfortable living that appeals to most people.

Think outside the box

Perhaps you’ve been using the extra room as a spare place for your clutter or kid’s toys, but remember that your buyers might have different intentions. Consider staging an extra room as a home office or a guest suite to suggest possibilities.

Who can help me stage my home?

You might want to consider hiring professionals to help your home stand out. 


  • Professional home staging isn’t cheap; the cost of hiring an interior staging expert in Canada can range from $1,400-$5,000 depending on the size of your home. But research indicates that properly staging a home can drastically decrease the amount of time a house spends on the market and increase a home’s value. If you’re not ready to hire a staging expert, think about renting furniture, use decor magazines for inspiration, ask your real estate agent for ideas and resources, or ask a friend with great taste for advice.
  • Outdoor maintenance can help make a good first impression. If you have an unruly lawn, you might want help landscaping or gardening to refresh the front yard or prune trees.
  • Professional repairs or painting to repair holes, mend fences, and refresh walls with a new coat of paint can have a transforming effect.
  • Cleaning professionals offer deep cleaning services for an extra charge. You may also want to professionally steam clean carpets instead of just vacuuming if they’re had heavy wear.

Set the stage with OJO

OJO provides personalized guidance for your real estate journey. Work with top-rated, local real estate agents and gain access to financial insights and advice from RBC Home Advisors.

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