By Natalie Belovic

They say presentation is everything when you’re trying to convince someone of something.

This is probably most true when it comes to selling your house. It’s certainly more true now than it was 20 or 30 years ago, before the Internet was a common place to start looking for a home. Potential buyers usually get their first impression of your home from the photos they see online.

This is where presentation comes in. It starts with the look of your house, and the look of every single room in it. Buyers are looking for something they can imagine for themselves. They can be negatively distracted by your furniture, your pictures, your “stuff”.

If they don’t see what they like right away in that first search online, they often just move on to the next house for sale without going any further.

Once they do visit your home, they’re looking for cleanliness, order, and a place where all their stuff will live. If photos online are important, first impressions are even more important when they walk through your door.

Many sellers choose to hire a staging company. If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s something you might want to consider.

Stagers know how to make your house look bigger and more welcoming. They know how to set it up so buyers can look at it and imagine themselves living there, with their furniture, their decor. They can help transform your home from saleable to WOW ‒ to a home everyone wants. And a home everyone wants commands higher offers and faster sales.

Stagers have different approaches and techniques. They can use your furniture, or they can move it to storage, then rent furniture that gives the home the impression they’re trying to achieve. It sounds inconvenient, and it is, but it can also make your move to your new home more efficient. Staging forces you to decide what and what not to keep; to get rid of clutter; and, if you move your furniture into storage, in a way you’re almost halfway there. (It’s easier to move big items from a flat storage space than from a two- or three-storey home, for instance.)

It might be weird to see your home as if someone else lives there, but that’s the point of the exercise ‒ to let potential buyers see it, not through your eyes, but through generic eyes, so they can go one step further and perceive it as their own.

You don’t have to stage your home, of course. But experience shows that it’s worth it, that spending the extra time and money on setting up your home for potential buyers gives you a big lead over many, if not all, other homes on the market.

Natalie Belovic is a Broker with the Urban Ottawa Team, part of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, Brokerage