Many people scoff at the notion of "staging" a house before offering it for sale, but award-winning realtor, Lisa Borsato, isn't one of them.
"I always tell my clients, 'It's cheaper to pay for home staging than it is to reduce your price'," she says.
Lisa successfully uses mini-stages to sell homes for her clients.
"A mini-stage is where I use the client's furniture and fixtures," Lisa explains, "but I bring in bedding, pillows, and extra lighting to turn a run-of-the mill property into a show home."
The staging helps give a client's home an updated look and brings it in line with current trends in the market.
"It lets prospective buyers see what the property would look like if they lived there," says Lisa. "Any house that has been staged usually will sell quicker and for more money."
Lisa discovered the value of staging, and her knack for employing it, about four years ago when selling a house that was less than desirable.
"I ended up bringing a lot of stuff from my own home and putting it in the house to update it," she recalls, "and I sold the home in a weekend!"
A recommendation Lisa gives her clients when listing their home is to take a look at the amount or size of their furniture.
"Often, they have too much furniture," she says, "or it's too big. I advise them to take this piece out or move that piece somewhere else. Then they either give the furniture away, sell it, or move it into storage. "
A key thing to show your home off to its full advantage, according to Lisa, is lighting.
"Lighting is key. You'll often find me up a ladder changing the bulbs or even the fixtures themselves," Lisa laughs. "You can't underestimate the advantage of good lighting to help show off your home."
While Lisa usually recommends mini-stages using your own furniture and fixtures, if needed she can bring in a professional company to supply furniture to replace outdated or worn pieces.
"I work with a couple of companies to come in with larger pieces," she says, "then I can bring in the accessories. Any property that is staged is going to sell."