Top 10 Reasons to Stage Your Property in a HOT Market

Hey wait a minute, they are the same reasons to stage in ANY MARKET!

  1. BE COMPETITIVE! You always want your property to look better than competing properties, or recently sold comparable properties so that you can justify/demand an even higher price.

    Regardless of Market, Which House Would You Buy?

    Regardless of Market, Which House Would You Buy?

  2. MAXIMIZE ROI! A property/home is usually a home-owner’s single most valuable asset—by investing in taking it to its full potential, you will maximize your return on selling that asset.
  3. MORE INTEREST—MORE OFFERS! A staged home will look better in photos and attract even more buyers, leading to a faster sale and higher chance of even moremultiple offers, driving the price higher still.  So what if every property is already selling “over asking”.  You should sell yours for “way over asking”.
  4. BE CATALOGUE-READY! It is not uncommon in a hot market for buyers to purchase a property sight unseen, especially if purchasing internationally.  So at least if the pictures of the property listing look incredible, it will attract more attention among these buyers, and drive the price up.

    Click and Buy Me!

    Click and Buy Me!

  5. ALLEVIATE HESITATIONS! In a hot market, buyers don’t have the luxury of time to think through whether or not they want to buy a property. They need to be ready to make an attractive bid to the seller that will win them the property in a multiple offer situation.  A staged home will make that buyer ready to pull the trigger without hesitation.
  6. YOU’VE GOT THE POWER—SAVE YOUR MONEY! With vacant properties, in a hot market, you want your buyer to give you the soonest closing date possible in order to minimize potentially thousands of dollars in carrying costs (e.g. property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, condo fees if applicable, etc.). A staged home will create more competition among buyers to give you the best offer, with no conditions, and an ideal closing date.
  7. OFFSET ANY NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF THE PROPERTY! Even in a hot market, not every property will benefit.  Location may play a factor, for example (not all neighbourhoods are created equal). A staged home will increase the value of the property to offset some of those factors.
  8. BE THE FAVOURITE! Other real estate agents are more likely to show the property to their clients if it shows well and looks move-in ready—an easy sell!
  9. CREATE GREATER MASS APPEAL! For occupied properties, a staging consultation provides an objective opinion about the property, and staging will help to ensure the property appeals to the target buyer. The key is to neutralize the property so that it appeals to as many people as possible.
  10. SELL A LIFESTYLE THAT PEOPLE WANT INSTANTLY! For vacant properties that would otherwise feel empty, staging creates an inviting atmosphere and makes a property feel more like a home. It helps the prospective buyer to visualize living in the property. In addition, empty rooms tend to look smaller when they are not furnished.
    Welcome Home!

    Welcome Home!

    At the end of the day, if your home is not at 100% when you sell in this HOT market, will you regret it and always wonder if you could have done better? Have no regrets and make the most of your most prized possession.

Happy selling!

Erin Lazer

Owner, SpaceStyle Home Staging, Organizing and Design

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at, or suggest a topic for a blog post.




Creating an Inviting Entryway

The entryway of your home is the first impression for guests, or prospective buyers if your home is for sale. In those few seconds when others enter, consciously or not, they will form this impression. Not only that, but when you yourself walk into your home from a long day, wouldn’t it be great if it was a nice, welcoming space? Here are a few tips on taking that entry from drab to fab with a few simple additions.

Entryway 2-sm

1) Seating: It’s always great to have a bench or stool where you and your guests can have a seat to put on or remove shoes.  It also says, “come in, sit down”, which is warm and inviting. In the example shown located in Vaughan, Ontario, we’ve used an ivory leather bench (easy to clean!) with amazing chrome nail head studding, complete with reclaimed wood base and legs.  You could also invest in a storage bench if you are short on space. The bench could hold winter accessories like hats and gloves, pet supplies like leashes, or handbags year-round.

bench, entry seating

2) Textile: Most entryways will have a hard flooring surface like tile, in addition to the hard walls, doors, and windows. Bringing in a great entry rug will instantly warm the place up with a soft surface. While functionally, the indoor/outdoor rugs you can buy at any big box store will work, you can actually be more dramatic and make the space more impactful with a beautiful area rug. And don’t be scared to go big! Especially if you have a large entryway–you don’t want a 2×3 mat for all your guests to try to balance on before taking off their shoes. Make sure it’s large enough so they can come well into the home to allow everyone in the party inside. In the example shown, we’ve used a gorgeous rug that is relatively thin. Because this home has a mudroom where the occupants generally enter from the garage, the front entry is used mainly for guests, so investing in a nicer rug makes sense as it is not exposed to everyday traffic.

Textile, rug, area rug, fabric, warmth

3) Console Table: It’s always great to have a table of some kind right by the entry. Functionally, it’s somewhere you can put a few things down as you take off your coat and shoes. But it’s also a great place to showcase a few decorative pieces, again, to add warmth and personalization to the space. In the example shown, we’ve used a bowl where people can leave their keys or loose change, a family photo of the owners, and a sculptural piece.  It’s would also be amazing to have a large vase of fresh flowers for when you are entertaining–a great way to bring life to the space any time of year. The console table shown here is glass and chrome, however, there are many options out there. You could even get one that does double duty as a storage unit, with some drawers, or a cabinet area to store hats, mits, handbags, and even shoes.

Console table, entry table, sofa table, decorating entry

4) Art: Adding art to any space in your home is the way to perfectly finish it off.  Without art, a space can seem empty, drab, and impersonal. Adding a fabulous mirror or large piece of art right at the entry is a great way to create instant impact. In the example shown, we had a challenge with the light switch and alarm key pad being located right in the center of the feature wall, making it impossible to install a large scale piece of art. Instead, we opted to create a gallery of black and white architectural photos that camouflages these unsightly, but necessary, things. (What was the builder thinking?!) The photos themselves were actually taken by the owners on their various travels around the world, again, making this feature very personal.  You could also do family photos.  We purchased matching frames in a few different sizes. You could also do a grouping of mis-matched frames for a more eclectic feel.

Wall collage-sm

5) Flow: When decorating your entry, take into account the look and feel of the rooms that it flows into. In particular, if the home is open concept, you want to ensure the design works with the rooms visible from the entry. In our example the entry opens right onto the living/dining room, so we used the same pallet of neutral colours, but played more with the pattern in the rug to add some interest.

As you can see, transforming your entry can actually be very simple, and not involve a huge investment. But the impact can be huge given its importance in forming the first impression.  So while you might be decorating other rooms in your home, don’t forget about the very important entry!  It’s a place that can not only be functional, but stylish too!

Happy Styling!

Erin Lazer

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at, or suggest a topic for a blog post.


SpaceStyle Recognized Among Top 10 Rising Star Home Stagers of the Year North America by RESA

Home Staging Association Award Finalists and Top 10 Lists Announced

Erin Lazer of SpaceStyle Home Staging & Organizing in Vaughan, Among Them


RESA Award Winner Erin Lazer

RESA Home Staging Industry Award 2013
Top 10 Rising Star Professional Stager of the Year Erin Lazer

Vaughan, Ontario- December 20, 2012 A Vaughan business woman, Erin Lazer, owner of SpaceStyle Home Staging and Organizing, and a member of the Real Estate Staging Association, the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers, was named as one of RESA’s Top 10 Rising Star Home Stagers of the Year™ North America.

Erin Lazer will go on to compete for the overall title of RESA’s Rising Star Home Stager of the Year™ North America.

Erin Lazer operates SpaceStyle Home Staging and Organizing and has been a professional real estate stager since early 2012. Lazer services the Greater Toronto Area.

In support of our ever-growing industry, we are pleased to announce that the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is recognizing leaders within the staging industry for their outstanding contributions and personal accomplishments in 15 total categories.

“It is an honour to be recognized by the industry association for my accomplishments in the one year I’ve been in operation. I am truly passionate about what I do which is why I believe I have experienced so much success in such a short period of time. With my background in Marketing and my passion for real estate, interior design and organization, marketing properties through home staging has come as a natural talent. I am very much looking forward to 2013 and all of the opportunity it holds for my business, and myself personally”, said Lazer.

“We would like to thank everyone for their participation in the awards process. Without the support of our membership we would not be able to recognize so may well deserving people in our industry. All of the finalists in all categories can be seen at . All of the winners will be announced at the annual Home Staging Industry Awards convention and banquet January 31 to February 2, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, just outside of legendary San Francisco” said, Shell Brodnax, President/CEO Real Estate Staging Association.

About The Real Estate Staging Association®

The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) is the trade association for professional real estate stagers and re-designers.  For more information about the awards please visit   For more information about real estate staging, contact Shell Brodnax above, or visit the RESA® Web site at or the Canadian site at

About SpaceStyle Home Staging & Organizing

SpaceStyle offers a wide range of services, including home staging consultations, staging of vacant and occupied houses and condos, furniture and accessory rentals, and assistance in managing repairs and small renovations that will increase the value of a property.  In addition, SpaceStyle offers design services and professional organizing services for clients looking to improve their existing spaces. SpaceStyle is owned and operated by Erin Lazer, MBA, Certified Staging Professional® (CSP®), and a member of RESA, and the Professional Organizers in Canada® (POC®). For more information, please visit, or contact SpaceStyle at 289-597-3321, or


SpaceStyle is in the Houzz!

SpaceStyle at Houzz event in Toronto

SpaceStyle attends Houzz event at SOFA in Toronto

If you haven’t already heard about, then now is a good time to check it out. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s going to be huge and could really revolutionize the interior design industry. On November 29th, I attended a great event hosted by SOFA–the Source of Furniture and Accessories, (@visitSOFA) where Houzz (@Houzz_Inc) presented some great research findings. My biggest takeaway was just how big this online platform can be not only in helping design professionals, including home stagers like myself, showcase their work, but also helping home owners to define and communicate the vision that they have for their spaces.

Are you thinking of tackling a home renovation, decorating or design project?  Are you looking to sell your home, or purchase a new one? Houzz should definitely be your first stop.  You can browse through hundreds of thousands of photos of projects completed around the world.  Be as specific as you’d like in your search. You can select a specific room that you’re thinking of working on, and specific style of design that you like (e.g. traditional, modern, etc.)  If you see something you like, you can simply click “add to idea book” and save it. You can make notes on exactly what you liked in the picture so you can remember what it was later.  Maybe you just really loved the chandelier in the picture of that dining room. No longer do you need to rip articles out of magazines and save them in an inspiration binder (if you’re organized like me). You can create as many idea books as you want, say, one per project.

One of the great features is that you can share your idea books. And you can use them to collaborate. For example, if you’re thinking of hiring a designer or decorator for your space, you can share your idea book with them. If you allow it, they can add photos to your idea book as well if they think they’ve found something you’ll like. It’s an amazing tool to help you better communicate with the design professional you have hired. Rather than saying, “So, I want to redesign the living room, but I can’t explain what I want”, creating an idea book in houzz will save tons of time and in the end, money, because you can pinpoint the type of look you are going for right off the bat.  I know I’ll want my clients to create an idea book so that I can understand better what they’re looking for.

Of course, the design professional who posted the original photos that are viewed and saved will be given credit, so if you find a design that you love so much, you can actually locate that designer if you wish.  You can also use Houzz just like any directory to find the professional that’s right for you. Again, using a search function, you can search for the type of professional you are looking for, like a Home Stager, Designer, Landscape Contractor, etc., and of course you can narrow your search by location, like Toronto, or Vaughan, as well to find local professionals.

SpaceStyle currently has a Houzz  profile which can be viewed at  Up until now, we haven’t been too active on Houzz, but given all I’ve learned today at the Houzz event, I can’t wait to dive in deeper and have some fun!

If you’d like to share your idea book with SpaceStyle, feel free! We’d love to see what you love!

Happy surfing!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at, or suggest a topic for a blog post.


Creating Broad Appeal When Selling a Home

One of the most important things I tell clients, or prospective clients (i.e. home sellers) and real estate agents is that staging is about creating broad appeal in order to attract as many buyers as possible. Many believe that home staging is the same as decorating, but that could not be further from the truth. When I am working with a client to design or decorate their home for them to live in, the most important thing is to appeal to their personal tastes and likes, and to create a space that will feel like home to them. When I am working with staging clients who are selling their home, the most important thing is to appeal to everyone else.

As a case in point, I recently staged a condo in Toronto. My client was a lovely, single woman. One of the first things that I recommended be changed were the paint colours in her 2 bathrooms and her kitchen. The bathrooms were both painted in a soft pink colour, and the kitchen was painted in a dark, intense orange.  She loved those colours, and could not understand, at first, why they would have to be changed. I tried to explain to her exactly what I spoke about earlier–that we are trying to appeal to as many people and demographics as possible, so neutral colours would be more effective at doing that. What if the prospective buyer was a young, single male? would he be able to picture himself shaving in a pink bathroom. Likely not.

By painting the bathroom in a neutral colour, replacing the feminine shower curtain with a crisp, fresh white one, as well as adding accessories to give the space a spa-like feel, we were able to create a space that would appeal to any buyer.

Master Bathroom-Before Staging

Master Bathroom-Before Staging

Master Bathroom-After Staging

Master Bathroom-After Staging

For the kitchen, the first step, of course, was decluttering. Taking everything off the fridge and most items off the counter created more space. The orange paint and coordinating orange-striped window treatment made the space feel small, like it was closing in. By brightening it up with a neutral colour, changing the light fixture to a more modern pendant, and accessorizing with hints of green to add freshness, the space was completely transformed.

Kitchen-Before Staging

Kitchen-Before Staging

Kitchen-After Staging

Kitchen-After Staging

We also removed an office desk and instead brought in a shelving unit from another room to create an area for more kitchen storage which did wonders to make it a true chef’s kitchen.

Kitchen Eating Area-Before Staging

Kitchen Eating Area-Before Staging


Kitchen Eating Area-After StagingKitchen Eating Area-After Staging

So after all was said and done, the condo sold in FIVE DAYS, my client got the price she wanted and was able to purchase the property of her dreams for the next phase of her life.

Happy Selling!

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at, or suggest a topic for a blog post.


A Great Day of Home Staging in Markham

Wow…What a transformation in this modest Markham home. Although the 40 degree heat made it challenging for a staging day yesterday, this property turned out amazing! After our consultation, this family of four worked really well together to execute the recommendations I provided them with.  Less than a week later, this property was ready to be staged.  We brought in select key furniture pieces that seemed to be missing to create a more inviting living room. We also brought in new linens for the extra bedrooms–our client made the investment in two new double beds which was a great decision. Finally, we took the home to the next level with artwork and accessories, and by rearranging existing furniture to create better flow and showcase the great space and selling features.

The client was so happy, she wants to know where she can buy some of the accessories, and how to book a consultation to decorate the house they’re moving into.

Here are a few before and after shots.  To see more, visit or click on any of the photos below. Enjoy!

Occupied Home Staging-Living Room Before

Living Room Before Staging

Occupied Home Staging-Living Room After

Occupied Home Staging-Dining Room Before

Dining Room-Before Staging

Occupied Home Staging-Dining Room After

Dining Room-After Staging

For more pictures, please visit:


Demystifying Home Staging

I came across this article by Jason Van Steenwyk of and thought that he did a great job of really explaining the benefits of home staging, what it is, and what it’s not. He discusses how, at a minimum, home staging is “the process of cleaning the place up to look great for the buyer”, but then elaborates to say “staging is the art…” (I like that!) “…of taking a bare home and presenting it to the potential buyer in such a way that they want to live there…” This is what I always have in the back of my mind when staging a home. I always try to create a feeling in the home that communicates a lifestyle–I want people to aspire to live the type of life I am showcasing. I never over-do it because that can sometimes come across as contrived. My goal is for the prospective buyer to mentally and emotionally move in within the first 10 seconds of viewing a property.

Jason also eloquently defines the difference between interior design and home staging, and this is something I try to explain when people ask what it is that I do. He says “[Home Staging] is a very different skill than doing an interior makeover to please the owner. The owner has specific and identifiable tastes and will likely be there for years. The home stager has to anticipate the average taste.” Home staging is all about appealing to the broadest range of buyers. Some homeowners may be insulted or upset by a home stager’s comments to remove their personal items, artwork, and decor from a space. Home owners should never feel this way. There may be nothing wrong with their taste, but the problem is that it’s just that–their taste, not the taste of the average buyer.

Jason also talks about diminishing returns of home staging. It’s definitely possible to spend too much on home staging. Some stagers will make recommendations beyond what will really add value to the home. When I’m working on a project, I always focus on the key rooms that matter most to buyers, and of course, am respectful of the seller’s budget. Sometimes a seller has great furniture and accessories, but the way they are showcased is all wrong. In those cases, I simply work with what they have to maximize the appeal of the home. Other times, bringing in some accessories is all that is required to give the home a bit more character. And many times, especially with vacant or semi-vacant homes, we recommend bringing in furnishings. Every case is different, and presents a new and wonderful challenge.

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Keep styling!

For Jason’s full article, go to this link: