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Sell High. Sell Fast. Sell Smart.

"I feel like we've won the lottery! Thanks to Debra Gould's Home Staging advice, we sold in a day for $100,000 more than we expected. I know we never would have come close to that without her great ideas!"

Jim C., East York

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Answers to questions commonly asked by homeowners considering Home Staging

home stagers ensures every detail of your home romances the buyer

Detail from a staging project by Debra Gould

What's the difference between home staging, house fluffing, property styling and real estate enhancement?

There is no difference, all these terms mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. In some geographic areas, one term is more common than another. For example, property styling is a more common phrase in Australia, while house fluffing is more common in Toronto.

What is Home Staging?

Home Staging is the art of decorating a home to sell quickly and for top dollar.

It may be as simple as rearranging what you already have or as complex as bringing in new furniture, accessories and art. Most projects lie somewhere between these two extremes.

Why does Home Staging boost the selling price of my home?

Living Room Staged by Debra Gould

Staged by Six Elements Inc.

People shop with logic but they buy with emotion.

If your home looks fantastic and the buyer can immediately imagine living there, they are more likely to make an offer.

In a slow real estate market this is critical because you need to do something to motivate a buyer to make an offer. If the buyer is afraid someone else might buy their "dream home" they will take action. Otherwise, they'll feel no pressure to buy because there are lots of properties on the market and prices are dropping.

In a hot real estate market, home staging helps because if enough buyers are bidding on your home, the selling price goes up way past your asking price.

Most buyers can't look past unattractive or disorganized rooms or figure out how their furniture might look in an empty room.

Home staging creates the "dream home" environment for buyers so they don't have to use their own imagination and can immediately fall in love and say "this is home!"

For more on this concept, read House Hunting a Bit Like Speed Dating.

I can clean and declutter, why do I need a Home Stager?

It's incredibly difficult to view your own home with the eyes of a highly critical buyer. A professional Home Stager can objectively assess how best to use what you already have and determine if anything else needs to be added.

You're emotionally involved in your home and the contents so it's hard to be completely objective. It's hard to see your collection of beloved family photos the way a stranger will when they're trying to imagine themselves living in your home.

You've been living there so long there are many things you don't even see anymore. Have you stopped noticing that really ugly wallpaper in the kitchen? Have you become used to tripping on the large carpet wrinkle running down the center of your living room? Did you stop caring that your bed looks like it belongs to the dog or your kids?

You don't necessarily have the designer's eye that a Home Stager will.

You may not have the time or patience to deal with all the details the way a professional Home Stager will. Just the idea of moving can be overwhelming. It's natural to want to pretend everything is OK the way it is because you have no idea how to deal with it otherwise.

Home staging usually goes beyond cleaning and decluttering and into decorating and rearranging furniture, art and accessories.

Maybe your bedroom has always looked like this . . .
bedroom before staging by Debra Gould
And it's never occured to you to rearrange in like this . . .
home staging by Debra Gould
Photos from a home staging project by Debra Gould for Six Elements Inc.

The real estate market is hot. Why should I bother with Home Staging?

In a sellers market where more buyers are chasing fewer listings, homes sell quickly and often above asking price. Imagine in such a market, if your home is well staged perhaps you have 10 bidders on your house instead of the 2 or 3 offers you might have had without staging. Naturally your home will sell for more with more buyers bidding on it!

Home Staging by Debra Gould Can Home Staging help me in a cooling real estate market?

CNN Money did a story on 5 strategies homeowners can use to get top dollar in a slower real estate market.

Home Staging was the top strategy and they interviewed Home Staging expert Debra Gould, also known as The Staging Diva to explain why.

Basically, the slower the market the harder you have to work to get a competitive edge over the other similar houses for sale.

Take the weekend and check out all the houses for sale in your neighborhood and decide how yours will stack up against them.

Don't you owe it to yourself to do what you can to blow away the competition? Wouldn't it be great to get a bidding war going because your home looks so much better than everything else in your price range?

Why should I spend money on a house I'm selling?

Home Staging is an investment in getting a higher return when you sell your home. It is wrong to look at home staging as an expense on your old home. How many other legal ways can you think of to spend $1000 now and get $10,000 back, often in a matter of days or weeks?

Would you try and sell your car without having it detailed? Why would you try and sell your single largest investment without first making it look as appealing as possible?

Read home staging success stories and proof staging works

Will having my home staged change the list price of my home?

It should change the price. The magnitude of the change depends on what your house looks like now, and what it looks like after staging.

Debra Gould, also known as The Staging Diva, and president of Six Elements Inc. staged the house on the right for a client at a cost of $5,000 (including fees and some rental furnishings). The agent had originally planned to list the home for $759,900. When she saw it again after staging, she increased the list price to $799,900 (that's a $30,000 increase in the list price).

The home sold in days with multiple offers for $820,000. That's an increase of $60,100 after investing only $5,300. From start to finish, the project took two weeks.

How else can you make a 1034% return on your money in 14 days, without breaking the law?

How do I find a Home Stager in my area?

We get requests for home stagers from all over North America and as far away as South Africa and Israel. We have a database of over 1400 home stagers who can help you no matter where you live.

Please check out our Directory of Home Stagers.

How do I prepare for a Home Stager's visit?

A Home Staging Professional can look past your clutter and any other problems. Some people like to clean up before their cleaning lady arrives, or feel they need to get in shape before they can be seen at the gym. Don't fall into that trap. It wastes your time and causes undue stress.

You do not need to prepare for a home stager's visit.

However, if you think some of your rooms may need to be repainted it would be best to replace any burned out light bulbs and increase the wattage of bulbs where possible before the home stager's visit. That's because it's best to choose paint colors in the proper light.

Should I contact a Home Stager before I call real estate agents?

If your real estate agent is willing to reevaluate the price they recommend listing your home at after the home stager has finished transforming your home, you can see the home stager after you've hired your real estate agent.

On the other hand, having your home completely staged before having a few agents in to evaluate your home and make list price recommendations, will allow them all to see your home in the "best light"!

More real estate advice.

Despite the $1.5 million asking price and the client having little furniture, his agent did not recommend staging this home until the client requested the service. At that point the agent contacted Six Elements Home Staging.

Will my agent pay for the Home Stager?

Some agents will pay for an initial consultation with a home stager as part of their package. Others will reimburse you for a portion of the fees once your home is sold and they've collected their commission. Obviously, the higher the price point of your home, the larger the commission they'll be working toward and the more money they'll be willing to spend on your listing.

Some agents are afraid to recommend staging because they're worried that their client will be offended at the suggestion and they don't want to jeopardize the relationship. Other agents may discourage you from using a stager because they're afraid you'll want them to pay for it.

If your agent doesn't suggest consulting a home stager, ask their opinion and see what they say.

Do not let your decision of which real estate agent to use rest on whether or not they will pay for a stager. You should pick your agent based on their expertise in your neighborhood, whether they are strong negotiators and what kind of job they'll do marketing your property.

In the end, it's the homeowner who has the most to gain or lose by how well their house shows and whether they've picked an effective real estate agent.

How much does Home Staging cost?

It can range from a few hundred dollars for an initial consultation to thousands of dollars to furnish an entire home. It completely depends on:

  • the current size and state of your home
  • how much of the work you're willing to do yourself once you have the home stager's advice
  • the price point is of your home

For example, it costs more to furnish a million dollar home than a $250,000 home, because of the square footage and the calibre of furnishings that would be required to fit the home's target market.

If your home is already furnished, you may be able to stage it for $250 to $800 depending on the experience level of the person you are hiring, and how much needs to be done.

The important thing to remember is that you are making an investment in a potentially significant financial return.

Don't base your choice of stager purely on price, look at who you think will do the best job.

Read 5 mistakes to avoid when hiring a home stager

Will a Home Stager make me repaint my house?

Repainting may be recommended, but it's up to you whether you want to act on that advice. Not all homes need to be repainted before going on the market.

It all depends on how fresh the current paint looks, whether the walls can be cleaned or touched up, the price point of your home, and what the current colors are.

home staged by Debra Gould

A home stager sees this . . .
Master Bedroom before staging by expert Debra Gould
And creates this . . .
Master Bedroom after home staging by Debra Gould
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva and President of Home Staging firm Six Elements created this look with rental furnishings and items purchased for the homeowner which would be reused in their new home.

How do I decide which Home Stager to hire?

There are no official credentials to be a home stager. Make sure you see before and after photos of projects they've worked on, check out any references or look at testimonials.

Interview the home stager by phone and see if you feel comfortable with them and whether they seem confident about their business. Do they have any success stories they can share with you?

If you need furnishings for staging purposes, can the home stager provide what you need? They don't necessarily need their own inventory.

Home staging expert Debra Gould does not keep an inventory despite staging hundreds of homes like the ones you see throughout this site and Instead she prefers to source items specifically for a client's home and its target market.

Do not base your decision on price. This is penny wise and pound foolish.

A more experienced stager may charge more per hour, but they probably work faster. Hourly rate is not necessarily the final determining factor in how much the project will cost.

If you need help finding a home stager in your area, we can recommend one. However, we do not guarantee the quality of their work, you still need to decide for yourself whether you think they can do the job for you.

More Information for Home Owners

Why Home Staging works

Living room staged by Debra Gould

Note: All photos on the Staging Diva site are of projects completed by Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, President of Six Elements Inc.

Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers

Looking for a home stager in your neighborhood?

Our Directory features a number of Staging Diva Graduates. And, our network of over 1400 Home Stagers extends throughout most of the US and Canada.

If you don't find someone in your area in the Directory, use our Home Stager Locator Service and we'll find a home stager for you at no charge!

Visit for additional information on Home Staging, Real Estate Enhancement also known as House Fluffing.

"Wow, after 6 weeks on the market and no offers we sold the week after Debra Gould spent the day rearranging our house. We had 3 offers and sold at 98% of our $949,900 asking price. I'm glad we didn't take our agent's advice and drop our asking price $50,000!"

John W., The Kingsway

Wondering if home staging can increase the value of your home? Take the Staging Diva Challenge!

Spend a weekend going to a bunch of open houses. Pay attention to which homes are most appealing. It's the homes that show well!

If you saw empty homes, was it easy for you to imagine how your furniture would fit in them?

Notice after looking at 6 or 8 houses in a day: Which ones stay in your mind? What stays in your mind about them? Our guess, you'll remember the ugliest things you saw and the most comfortable homes that had something you loved. The rest will be a blur!

Do you want potential buyers to fall in love with your home?

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