Home stagers do not hide problems!

Amen. Great article !

Home staging does not hide anything significant. As an inspector I’m going to locate and open the electrical panel as a matter of course. I’m not looking at furniture, art, wall colour or window treatments. I will note significant paint or floor finish defects.

What can ‘hide’ things from inspectors are repairs, repainting and renovations that are done prior to listing the home. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that, but often evidence of past or recurring problems can be covered of masked, even inadvertently.

The words of wisdom here are ‘declare any known or suspect conditions of the home or it’s systems and its’ history of past events’; “ice storm damage” for example.

As for Mike Holmes, I watch his programs with interest and amusement, but those of us in the home service – real estate field have to remember this is ‘entertainment television’. The shows format and the channels that air it give you the impression of ‘public service education’ but that is not accually the case.

I have great respect for Mike and the values he espouses on his shows. They show real problems, give good advice and platform many ‘best practice’ techniques and good products.

But you’ve got to expect a sprinkling of head turning, declarative statements that are meant to grab your attention (that’s just good television). “How did the inspector miss that?” “What was he thinking?” “I can’t believe the inspector didn’t see this?” (Naturally they don’t emphasize or even mention that the inspector is not permitted to demolish significant parts of the building to inspect it.)

If you watch the segments behind the ‘headliners’ there is usually a fair (and far less dramatic) discussion of the subject. However your feeling of being stung is correct because viewer walk away with those impressions.


Home stagers do not hide problems! 

I know many of you believe that we do, because I’ve seen the surprise on your face when I refuse to do it.

And who can blame you for believing this when even the revered Mike Holmes, TV star and general contractor extraordinaire, puts out an article in The Montreal Gazette stating “…staging suggestions…hide real problems.”  (Which is too bad, because the rest of his article on getting your home inspected before it goes on the market was bang-on.)

Oh for the love of God.  Enough already.

If your home stager suggests that you hang a piece of art in the upper right hand corner of the wall so that it will cover the hole your sons made playing baseball in the family room, RUN AWAY!  Fast.  This is not the person you want preparing your home to go on the market.


Professionally staged Montreal condo.It’s true that home stagers bring out the best in a property.  It’s true that we help show its full potential.

But we don’t use magic or sleight-of-hand to accomplish this.  We use colour to make a home feel fresh and warm, smart furniture placement to show the space in a room, accessories that bring life, light so you can see, art to touch your heart.

BUT BEFORE WE DO ANY OF THAT, we tell our clients that the best bang for their buck will be to take care of outstanding maintenance issues, to fix the things that need fixing, to clean up!, to de-clutter (yes, we all have clutter) and to paint where needed to freshen things up.

At least that’s what good stagers do.

If you’re in need of a good Montreal West Island home stager, I happen to know one. She can also sell your home for you.

And she’s pretty passionate about what she does – and doesn’t – do. You can see some of that passion in this here blog of hers.

This article was originally published @ www.readysetsold.ca/blog



Did you know?  I stage all my listings…at no extra charge.  It’s part of my service package as a Montreal West Island real estate agent.  I also hire a professional photographer to take photos of your home for the MLS.

Professional home staging and professional photography: two critical factors to making sure your home looks its best, both in person and on the Internet, and neither of them cost you a penny when you list with me.


Tanya Nouwens

Montreal Real Estate Broker, JJ Jacobs Realty Agency jjjrealty.com 

Owner & President, Ready, Set…Sold! Inc., a Montreal Home Staging Company  www.readysetsold.ca  T. 514-919-8468    tanya@readysetsold.ca

Logo for JJ Jacobs Realty Inc.Logo for Ready, Set...Sold! Inc.

This blog is written with my opinions. My opinions are presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Please talk to a professional before making any real estate or financial decisions. Tanya Nouwens – 2010. If you want to reprint parts of this, just email me for my permission at tanya@readysetsold.ca.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post