Just about everybody today knows the importance of preparing a property for sale by staging or styling. The practice of staging property prior to listing was once the realm of the ultra-wealthy and/or high-end real estate developers; today it has become one of the foundational basics of real estate sales.

Empty, vacant homes leave too much to the imagination and offer little help in the way of helping buyers to see the decorating possibilities or functionality of the spaces. These days, buyers expect to see a home or apartment “dressed” in such a way that even first-time buyers with very little imagination can see the property’s potential and see themselves actually living in the place.

It is this “move-in-ready” factor that helps to seal the deal in real estate sales. It isn’t enough anymore that the house is clean and freshly painted. Now the house needs to feel as if it were ready to host a housewarming soiree that very evening for the buyer to act on his immediate inclination to make an offer to buy.

That inclination to buy is something that takes seconds, not hours or days, to develop. Real estate professionals know that the “love at first sight” moment happens within 10 seconds of the buyer walking into the house. That leaves little time for hesitation. There are deal-breakers, however, that can rain on the romance between buyer and property. Here are a few of the worst:

  • Dirt – any dirt, anywhere. Whether it’s hiding in the tracks of a sliding shower door or between the side of the kitchen stove and the cabinet, visible dirt is something that signals more dirt lurking in not-so-visible places.
  • System Signals – whether it’s a gurgling plumbing system or a rattling fan in the heating unit, strange noises coming from the appliances and fixtures make a prospective buyer think there are hidden problems elsewhere. To the buyer this means money – either they will seek to reduce the price of the property or they will anticipate repair costs and the worry that goes along with them, making your perfect home seem less than perfect after all. In other words, if the buyer sees evidence of poorly maintained systems, he or she will devalue the property. So much for a top-dollar sale.
  • Dark/Dim – If the property doesn’t pass the “light of day test” – meaning that the property looks dazzling in the daylight and/or when it is brightly illuminated artificially, it must be hiding something. The more light you can shed on the home, the better off you will be. Buyers recognise that you have nothing to hide and, as a bonus, the light makes rooms look larger, giving the buyers the feeling they are buying more space.
  • Roses and Lavender – As a society, we think that fragrance is a necessity. We perfume everything from our pets to our garbage bin liners. Unfortunately, buyers are wise to the fact that perfume occasionally hides other, less palatable odours. Your home should smell clean and fresh, not like the fragrance counter at your local department store.
  • Props –When you’re staging property, keep it professional and straightforward. It’s best to avoid overdoing it with touches such as scattering rose petals on the bed in the master suite.


There are so many possible pit-falls, in fact, that this may be one of the best reasons to seek the help of a professional property staging company to complete the preparation of your home for listing.

When you bring in a reputable staging company like Urban Chic Property Styling, you’ll be dealing with a team that has been around the block a time or two and knows precisely where the pot holes lie. Our years of experience have taught us to avoid the over-staging mistakes as well as the under-staging errors. We know how to add the perfect touches to dress your home in the perfect way. Sophisticated. Classic. Irresistible. Call us today to see what we can do to make your property perfection.


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