Home Staging in Today’s Housing Market
By Sam McDadi
I have been in the real estate business for approximately 30 years and I have been fortunate to
have achieved a high level of success in the industry. One of the keys to having longevity at the
top of this field is to always be looking at innovative and creative ways to provide clients with the
maximum value added service options.
Offering my clients home staging services is one of those value-added services that I have
recently incorporated in my business model.
Years ago, I first began realizing how important the tool of home staging was in selling our
clients’ homes. I remember the eureka moment very well. There was a new townhome
development being built in Mississauga. Construction and interior finishes were just being
completed when I first visited one of its units. The homes were appealing on their merits. They
were bright and large and open. Three weeks later, however, when I revisited the site, I was
blown away. The units were staged exceptionally well and the transformation was eye
opening. The homes were warmer, more inviting and immensely appealing. They went from very
nice townhomes, to incredible homes. They went from possibly being able to sell in a relatively
short time frame, to definitely being able to find a buyer right away. I decided right then and
there that I needed to incorporate home staging into our business model.
Home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace.
The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers,
thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques generally focus
on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that
anyone might want to buy. This temporary redecoration of the property can include reorganizing
the existing furniture, decluttering rooms, adding decorative accessories (such as art work and
lamps), and repainting and re-carpeting the home.
When my team and I originally started off with offering staging to our clients, we were
outsourcing home staging consultants. I knew some reputable designers through my business
contacts so I decided to hire them as consultants. They were employed to assist our clients on a
case-by-case basis. This in itself proved to be a big help in assisting our clients in selling their
homes. Our clients were happy with the service and we were happy to provide it.
It wasn’t long, however, before it became apparent that there were many instances where we
needed to have furniture and accessories available to our clients. My clients needed to have the
right furniture, in some cases, to make their homes show their best. We tried the furniture rental
option, but we didn’t want our clients to incur any additional costs beyond the real estate fees.
made the decision that I needed to take this staging opportunity up one level and I began buying
my own furniture and accessories, and investing in a Mississauga warehouse to accommodate
Over the years, our inventory has steadily increased. We have paintings, bedding, table lamps,
mirrors, chairs, headboards, throw pillows, vases, and tables that our clients have full access to.
We have invested several hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we continue to invest in this
part of our business. It is a worthwhile cost in our business and a worthwhile investment for our
Additionally, I have hired two full-time stagers who are exclusive to my organization. I began
with one exclusive stager about five years after starting my staging services; it quickly became
so busy that I needed to hire a second stager. My clients are continuing to request my staging
Here, at Team McDadi our clients’ staging experience begins with a full assessment of their
property and an evaluation of their home’s market appeal. During staging, an objective third
party – our stager – is tactfully and respectfully conveying to the homeowners all the important
issues that need to be addressed in order to prepare their property for sale. One of our home
stagers personally visits the property and discusses flooring, walls, ceiling, windows, furniture
arrangement, and focal points. They also discuss anything else that needs to be pre-packed,
re-arranged, repaired or replaced in the home before it goes up on the market. Each client of
ours receives a personalized report based on their specific needs and requirements.
will explain what should be done to the home before the sale sign goes up. Every home should
show its best before any showings occur. Staging can range from extensive redecorating that
requires the seller to move out, to a more modest approach that just requires some cleaning,
clutter-removal and color. It is all about ensuring the home is enhanced to its full potential. Good
staging considers the style of the home and ensures that the staging is done in moderate taste
to appeal to a wide range of people.
Our clients are thrilled with our staging department. I can’t tell you how many times we have
taken on a new listing that previously had been on the market for months and, in some cases
years, without selling. We have helped our clients achieve a sale in a quick time frame because,
in part, we brought our stagers into the home and they did their magic to transform the home
into something wonderful. Before and after pictures reveal the full effect of why home staging is
I tell all of my clients that they only have one chance to impress potential buyers. Buyers’ first
impressions are formed as soon as they step inside the home that is for sale. It is easier if a
buyer can immediately picture themselves living comfortably and nicely in the home. Staging
highlights the full potential of any property by incorporating design techniques to create a
lasting, positive, first impression.
I am also of the opinion that staging a home can not only minimize the number of days the
home is on the market, but it can maximize its selling price. The difference between the selling
price of a home that is staged and one that is not, can be thousands of dollars. I know
first-hand. I have helped numerous clients sell homes that reside within subdivisions that consist of exact replicas of homes. One such home
that I sold had a selling price of almost $25,000 more than an exact same property just down
the street that sold without being staged. Properties that have been staged will have a distinct
marketing advantage over non-staged homes because they are more appealing.
Also, vacant properties really benefit from staging. Potential buyers will find it hard to make
sense of a floor plan without furniture as a guide. Adding specific pieces allows potential home
owners to visualize themselves in the home and in the room, undertaking their usual daily
In today’s housing market, home staging has become an important tool in effectively selling
homes, townhomes and condominiums. It focuses on improving a property and transforming it
into an attractive product for sale. Even beautifully decorated homes need to be turned into a
merchandised product that enhances the home’s best features. The goal of staging is to sell a
property quickly for a high return, appealing to a greater number of prospective buyers which
will in turn lead to more offers, or even multiple offers.
There is no question that staging plays an important role in today’s real estate market. Staging a
home before putting it on the market is like icing a cake. It makes everything look better.
team and I have embraced the benefits of staging for our clients. My goal is to secure a
homeowner’s equity and to sell each home for top dollars. Selling a home can be a very
stressful time and it is very important to me that I provide all my clients with excellent customer
service. Providing home staging is one aspect of that.