Cathryn Tracy ~ Setting The Stage ~ Home Staging & Interior Decorating
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What Exactly is Home Staging?

Home staging is the art of decorating a house to sell quickly for top dollar and to appeal to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers . A staged property becomes a hotter property to sell whether in a slow or hot real estate market.

A home stager’s job is to highlight the home’s strengths and downplay its weaknesses. This can be achieved by simply de-cluttering, re-arranging furniture and adding decorative items or, as complex as furnishing an empty home from top to bottom. Most projects lie somewhere between these two extremes.


1. Like all consumers, homeowners shop with logic and buy on emotion. Home staging creates a setting where more people can make a strong, emotional connection with a house, which can often lead to multiple offers and, sometimes, bidding wars.

2. Not many homebuyers can see past unattractive, disorganized or crowded spaces in a home. Home staging creates an ideal environment so that people are not distracted thus becoming fault-finding. In other words, a homebuyer does not want to look at a home and start making a ‘to do’ list of things that need to be repaired or changed right away which, ultimately, would subtract dollars from a potential offer.

3. Many prospective homebuyers can be quite critical. Who wouldn’t be when investing in such a major purchase as a home? This is both true when real-estate prices are high and also in slower markets where buyers have the time to pick and choose.

4. Some homebuyers often feel pressured for time when looking for a home to buy. This is especially true for two-income families, which drives demand for ‘move in condition’ homes. That said, one goal of the home stager is to create a backdrop where a buyer can see their family moving in and ‘living’ in their home right away.

5. Many people are aware of and watch decorating shows on TV, read decorating magazines and so on. In doing so, those ready to buy are already sensitive to how things should look when they begin the hunt for their ‘ideal’ home. A stager comes as close to that ‘ideal’ as possible no matter the price of the home. They, of course, want to give their client’s home an advantage over those that have not been staged.

*See sample before/after images below:

1. Master Bedroom (the homeowner moved out but left a few pieces behind so it would look furnished)

2. Living room (the homeowner was elderly and lived here for almost 20 years, which left the home looking dated)

To see more rooms before and after home staging, please click here.


Each Home Stager operates their business differently.

I know of a home stager who does have a massive inventory of finer things. This stager focuses her projects on high-end, vacant homes only. A rental fee for the furniture would come directly from the stager.

There are also stagers who hold some inventory and also offer new inventory (furnishings and décor items) for sale to their clients. Other Stagers hold a small inventory of decorative items only they often use to accessorize rooms.

Then you have a few stagers like me who prefer not to hold an inventory of furniture because if they did, they would have to put the same items in every client’s home. Instead, what I do is, I come to a client’s home and look at what would be most appropriate for their home and the largest market who will be most interested in buying it. Then I source items that are specific and unique to the home. Most stagers have designer discounts at retailers and those savings are normally passed on to the client.



When the supply of homes exceeds demand, prices are lowered because there are many homes for sale and fewer buyers looking for them. Buyers have more power in this “buyer’s market” because they feel little pressure to make an offer when there are so many homes for sale.

Home staging is especially important because it gives the individual seller more of an advantage over their competition. By decorating the house to appeal to buyers, they are more motivated to take action before this more desirable home is sold.


When the demand for homes is higher than the supply, it is known as a “seller’s market.” In this situation home sellers have more power than buyers, which is why a seller's market drives up asking and selling prices. Too many buyers compete for too few listings, leading to bidding wars.

Home staging is equally important because not only does the seller have more power that power will escalate with a professionally staged home. In other words, in a market where listings tend to sell quickly, home staging still gives the seller a definitive advantage. The more buyers you have competing for your property, the higher the final selling price as each prospective buyer tries to outbid the others.

* For information on up to date real estate markets in Nova Scotia, visit

Bottom line… when it’s time to put what is likely your biggest financial investment on the real estate market, you want to do it right.

Contact me to get started today!

Cathryn Tracy ~ Setting The Stage ~ Home Staging & Interior Decorating
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