Centre Stage

Staging a home isn’t just about making it look nice — it’s about creating a space that buyers can see themselves living in. The International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) has found that 88% of staged homes sell at or above list price and two to 11 times faster than homes that are not staged. Jennifer Walker, owner and lead stager for Pearl Street Home Staging in Newmarket, Ont., shares what you need to know about hiring a home stager.

By Laura Bickle | 2 minute read

May 27

Jennifer Walker

“Most real estate agents have a stager they work with and some agents cover the cost, so ask about staging when you’re hiring an agent.”

Jennifer Walker

Why should homeowners consider working with a home stager?

About 97 percent of people who are looking for a home, begin their search online. So, if you really want your home to take advantage of that first impression, staging it will make it stand out.


The purpose of staging your home when selling is so homebuyers can envision themselves living in the space.

What should homeowners expect from the process?

A home stager will typically come to your home and do a walk-through. Some stagers will do what is called a “Walk-and-Talk” consultation where the homeowner needs to take notes and or the stager provides a consultation report afterward. In either option, the stager will tell you what furniture they suggest be removed or edited. Homeowners will also be asked to complete tasks prior to staging day such as repairs, cleaning, painting and garden maintenance. On staging day, it’s expected that the staging team can complete their work without any contractors, homeowners or pets at the property.


Some home stagers will walk through your home with you during the consultation to advise you on what needs to be done ahead of staging.

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How can you find a home stager and what questions should you ask?

Most real estate agents have a stager they work with and some agents cover the cost, so ask about staging when you’re hiring an agent. If you want to pick your own stager, check RESA.ca. You can also Google “home stager” in your area and explore websites to see their work and read Google reviews. Ask prospective stagers about their consultation process, staging day process and their availability.


What are common misconceptions about home staging?

Some believe that home staging is interior design or decorating. Staging is bringing in furniture, art, lamps and accessories, among other items, that will make your home appeal to the largest possible pool of buyers. It is not about appealing to the homeowner’s taste. The choices are at the discretion of the stager as they know what appeals to buyers in your market. It’s not a collaborative process.


Home staging is less about decorating your home and more about trying to appeal to the widest pool of potential buyers.

What is the typical cost of home staging?

You can expect to pay $250 to $500 for a consultation report. Many agents cover the cost of a report. The cost of staging is dependent on the size of the house and how much is required to be brought in, and the time it will take to stage the property. There is also a variation in price between homes that are occupied — the stager works with most of the homeowners existing furniture – and those that are vacant, which requires everything to be brought in. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, for a 2,500-sq.-ft occupied home where minimal furniture is being brought in except for bedding, art, lamps and accessories, expect pricing to be between $2,000 and $4,000. For a vacant property of the same size that requires furniture as well as bedding, art, lamps, towels, and accessories, expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,000.


The cost for staging varies depending on whether the home is vacant or occupied.

Laura Bickle

Wahi Writer

Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Walker


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