Selling Your Okanagan Home? 7 Tips For Staging Like a Pro

The Okanagan real estate market is competitive. If you are considering selling your home it’s important to take measures to ensure that it presents well and its best assets are highlighted. Not only do you want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible, you want them to feel at home during a showing. If you have staged your listing successfully, people will be able to envision themselves happily living there.

We’ve put together 7 of the most important staging tips to get you a quick sale at top dollar when listing your luxury Okanagan home. 

1. Declutter & Depersonalize

Your environment significantly impacts your mood. Clutter has been shown to cause feelings of stress, fatigue, and unease. That is the last thing you want intending purchasers to feel as they walk through your home. 

Think like a minimalist. Pack up any unnecessary items, clean out closets, put away shoes, out of season clothing, sports equipment, and small appliances. Remove most of your decor items, reduce the number of books on bookshelves, and don’t leave anything on the floor. 

The same goes for all personal items and family photos – pack those up as well. You don’t want the families that are viewing your place to feel like they are in someone else’s house. If storage is an issue, rent a small storage unit until your house is sold.

Hand with yellow rubber glove wiping a white countertop with a blue microfibre cloth.
Cleaning is arguably the most important part of staging a home.

2. Clean, Clean, Clean

It’s time to make your house sparkle and shine. You are going to want it to be cleaner than it has ever been before. Cleanliness has a huge impact on the perceived value of your property. Just as important is your choice in cleaning products. Steer clear of harsh chemical smells and opt for natural or subtle smelling cleaning products if possible. You want your house to smell like a home, not a hospital.

In addition to your typical housework, make sure that all of the extras inside the house are taken care of. Whether you have hired housekeepers and yard maintenance professionals, or you are doing the work yourself, you’ll want to make sure the following list of things are done:  

  • Wipe walls
  • Clean doors and door knobs (don’t forget to dust the tops of door frames)
  • Clean baseboards 
  • Clean windows inside and out (this includes cleaning window seals and sliding door tracks)
  • Make sure window coverings are dust-free
  • Dust chandeliers and light fixtures
  • Vacuum vents
  • Wipe cabinets and handles
  • Steam clean carpets

If you have pets you’ll want to ensure that there aren’t any pet odors lingering and there aren’t any animal-related messes. Make sure to:

  • Launder pet beds
  • Clean food bowls
  • Put toys away
  • Eliminate pet hair throughout the house
  • Pick up any pet waste in the yard

Don’t forget your yard and house’s exterior. You will want to:

  • Sweep the garage 
  • Sweep patios and outdoor lounging areas
  • Wipe down the front and back doors
  • Clean railings
  • Dust or wipe outdoor furniture 
  • Clean your pools and hottubs
  • Cut the grass 
  • Rake any leaves
  • Trim bushes and shrubs
  • Pull weeds
  • Dispose of garbage and yard waste
  • Tuck away any garbage cans
  • Clean gutters
  • Powerwash driveways and walkways
  • Make sure nothing is leaning against the outside of the house
  • If it’s winter, shovel snow in the walkways, driveway, decks and patios.
Kitchen with grey cabinets and grey marble countertops with all of the clutter removed in preparation for home staging.
Clutter free counters create a feeling of ease.

3. Repair & Renovate

First, take care of major repairs. If you aren’t sure where to start, invest in an inspection to identify the most important problems that need to be addressed. Likely any buyer that is interested in your home will want those taken care of as a condition of the sale. It’s best to be proactive and deal with them prior to listing. Most common major repairs involve electrical, plumbing, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, roofs, foundations and heating and cooling systems.

Beyond that, you’ll get the highest return on your investment if you renovate kitchens and bathrooms, paint, and fix up the yard and the exterior. The extent to which you renovate is also market dependent, so be sure to speak to your realtor to determine what renovations are worth making. 

4. Go Neutral

If you plan on painting or doing any renovations, stick to a more neutral palette. Neturals tend to feel serene, modern and appeal to a wider audience. You’ll also leave intending buyers with a clean canvas that they can personalize once they move in. To create visual interest, use decor items to add small pops of colour.

5. Focus Where it Matters

First impressions matter. You want buyers to be delighted as soon as they pull into your driveway and enter the house. Make sure your yard, shrubs, stoop, stairs and foyer are in tip-top shape. In the house you should focus your staging efforts on common areas like the living room, kitchen, master bed and bath. 

Neutral bedroom that has been staged with no clutter.
When staging, add pops of with cushions and other small decor items while keeping the walls and larger furniture neutral.

6. Rearrange Furniture 

Get rid of any items that are damaged, discoloured, and don’t fit the colour scheme or style of the room. Then, aim to rearrange your furniture so every room feels as spacious as possible and easy to walk around. This helps buyers visualize their own furniture in the space. When choosing the layout of your furniture, try to create balance in the room. Take into consideration what looks best instead of what would be the most practical for you if you were using the space.

Celan, open concept rec room.
Using furniture, create visual lines where the buyers can see through to areas you want them to focus on.

7. Let the Light in

Before every showing, open all of your blinds and curtains and turn on the lights. Make sure every room has sufficient lighting, whether it be natural or artificial. It will make the spaces in your home feel clean, airy, and spacious. 

You can also use lighting to showcase your home’s best features, and detract from less desirable areas. Lamps and adjustable spotlights are fantastic tools to use to direct people’s attention where you want it to go.

The Okanagan’s Luxury Home Experts

Looking to buy or sell your home in the Okanagan? Trusted luxury real estate experts Dave and Jason Domeij are here to help. We’ll show you how you can maximize your home’s value to get the best return on your real estate investment. Then, we’ll use our years of experience to negotiate a successful transaction on your behalf. 

Contact us today to get started.