How to stage to sell

Setting up a property for market success

Spring has sprung, and just as the temperatures have started to heat up, so has the real estate market.

This season is hot for the industry, as more and more homes come to the market and the competition is budding.

In my last Castanet column, I’d like to share with you how you can set your home apart from the rest with a simple re-staging.

Embrace the Project

Staging itself can be a hard pill to swallow for some homeowners, as the cost can be high in an often financially-trying time.

However, the rewards associated with a successful stage are great, and almost always worth all of the time, effort, and money that are put into it.

Whether you decide to go at it alone or hire a professional stager, the sooner and more earnestly you take on the process will benefit you in the long run

A Clean Slate

Before beginning the process of staging a home for the market, take the time to remove excess clutter. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in the home, and the easiest way to ensure that they will be able to do so is by removing both personal items and random knick-knacks.

An easy rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in a year then toss it out; your new home won’t need to either. This also applies to furniture, take this time to sell or re-home anything that you don’t imagine bringing with you.

The benefits of this part of the process are two-fold, as you’ll thank yourself greatly for this when the time comes to move!

What Matters Most

It can seem impossible to stage your entire property from top to bottom, and for good reason. Be reasonable in deciding which parts of your home to attend most fruitfully in the staging process.

First impressions are key. Put attention to the main living areas and entryway, as this is the first space your prospective buyers will notice. Next, the master bedroom and so on.

A bit more attention in specific spaces will go further than half-hearted attempts throughout.

Keep it Neutral

In the selling process, the aim is to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. While your home can’t be a chameleon, a light and bright scheme throughout will allow for prospective buyers to utilize their imagination and visualize themselves in your home.

If possible, give rooms with more creative colours a quick two coats of white paint, and keep furniture and décor as mainstream as possible.

Further, once you have decided which furniture to keep, consider some subtle rearranging to make each space feel more open and inviting.

The Curb Appeal

At the risk of repeating myself, first impressions truly are key in the selling process. The first thing your buyers will see is the exterior of your home, and a bit of landscaping work can go a long way. Thankfully, the spring and summer make this part of the process a literal breeze.

I hope these few pointers have helped you in the process of staging your home for sale. For a full analysis of the best items to focus on for resale for your home in the coming year to increase the value upon sale by up to five per cent, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout — Salt Fowler Team at
250-549-7258 or [email protected]

After five years, this will be my last article for Castanet. I hope you have enjoyed my articles and I wish everyone the very best of success in their real estate journeys! 




Stress-free rental ownership

Home ownership is a wonderful, albeit stressful, and overwhelmingly rewarding experience.

However, due to a number of reasons (financial, work, flexibility) not everyone who needs a home is able to own. This is where rentals come in.

Around 36 per cent of dwellers rent their properties, a large market that can be incredible profitable for a rental owner, so long as it is done smartly and successfully.

Whether you are considering buying your first income property, or are an experienced landlord struggling to keep your tenants happy, I have compiled a list of five tips for stress-free rental ownership.

Hire a Management Company

There is no denying the return on investment that hiring a property manager can bring to a rental home owner, not to mention the stress-relief.

While financially it can seem enticing to self-manage, there are copious benefits to hiring out. Feel free to shop around, some companies charge a flat fee while others a percentage. Never rule out the advantages to keeping it local also. 

Price Fairly

Similarly to when selling a property, finding the ideal rental price is an art.

You want a price that will attract a number of potential good renters, so you can make your renter decision wisely.

However, unlike the flexible pricing of a home for sale, a monthly rental income is a bit more of a long-term commitment. Whatever price you agree on with your tenant, you will likely be earning for the following 12-24 months, depending on your rental agreement.

If you choose too low, you may find yourself regretting that decision when other homes in your area are earning a higher rent. On the other hand, if you post a competitive price, you’ll likely see fewer vacancies and in the long run more earnings.


Maintenance on a rental home isn’t always an equal playing field with maintenance on a property you live in.

Human nature often persuades us to put off and delay smaller projects at home, but be wary of doing so when it comes to an issue that a tenant calls about. A happy tenant leads to a stress-free rental.

Although it may not be your priority on a holiday weekend to fix an AC unit in a rental, it is your responsibility.


On the flip side, while it is your job to maintain the property that your tenant is renting, it is their job to inform you of any damages and seek approval for any changes they make to the property.

However, tread lightly as to not be intrusive of a tenant’s privacy. Perform regular inspections, but give advanced notice.

Streamline the Process

Gone are the days of chasing down a tenant for cash or a cheque. With a multitude of software and technology available in this day and age, give your tenants the ability to easily pay online and make finding a future tenant a breeze by marketing your property on a real estate site or app.

For more help finding or marketing a rental property, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout.  Salt Fowler Team at 250-549-7258 or [email protected].

Home design trends, Part 2

Part 2: Renovation

Last month, I shared with you some of my favourite cosmetic design trends for 2019.

From the return of vintage and old-world textiles, to the never-ending fascination with white, I hope you found something interesting to blend into your own home’s style.

While paint colours and area rugs are impactful yet relatively easy changes to make to a home; full renovation requires more careful deliberation and decision making.

Whether you are currently in, soon will be, or simply hope to be in the renovation or new build game, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite trends in home design and building materials for you to ponder.

Be “open”

The German design movement, the “Bauhaus,” was a highly influential design movement that focused on the harmony of the function of an object and its design.

I believe we are seeing a resurgence of this in today’s minimalist society, as we strive to lessen the purely ornamental and increase what is both beautiful and useful.

One of the ways I believe we see this style put into play today is with the trend of open shelving. This relatively-easy renovation is being used most commonly in kitchens, but also in bathrooms, living areas, and office spaces.

It allows homeowners to display commonly-used items as décor while simultaneously keeping the design light and airy.

Be “raw”

This next trend in home renovation focuses on texture and material.

For years, home design has focused on hiding the bones of a structure with ornamental layers. Increasingly, we see the layers being peeled away to reveal more organic materials.

From exposed wood beams and unfinished cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms, to natural stone tile floors and back splashes and massive marble slabs, the trend forecasts the use of more raw materials in home renovation.

Be “clean”

To total chagrin of most home buyers today, the trend of the past was tiny, hidden laundry spaces. Ironically, this very commonly used area of the house was often the least considered in the building process.

Today, homeowners are looking for dedicated rooms and spaces for their washer and dryer. Think folding tables, a large sink, and drying racks for the utmost in laundry luxury.

To utilize this renovation trend in a more practical way, consider combining with a mud room or rarely-used bath.

Be “smart”

The smart home style has already been around for a while, but while in the past this technological trend was something used on occasion, now we are seeing it as the standard.

From TVs and refrigerators, to outlets and small appliances, it’s becoming increasingly easy to utilize smart technology in your home.

When renovating or building, ask your contractor about installing LED recessed lighting, smart thermostats, or blinds that you can control from your phone.

he benefits of this are also two fold, while simultaneously making your life easier, smart appliances are a great way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.

For a full analysis of the best items to focus on for resale for your home in the coming year to increase the value upon sale by up to five per cent, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout at 250-549-7258 or [email protected].


Design trends for 2019

There is something about storing away the Christmas decorations and returning my home to a state of minimalism post-the holidays that always triggers an urge to update a room or two — or the whole house.

Along with the New Year come new home design trends, and I’ve compiled a few of my favourite cosmetic style changes that you can seamlessly bring into your space without full renovation.

Out with the new, bring in the “vintage”

This particular trend is nothing new, as Turkish and oriental rugs have been in decorative use for ages. However, while the classic geometrics we are used to seeing won’t be going anywhere, more simple woven textiles are becoming increasingly popular.

Look for the minimal weave and design of flatweave Kilim rugs to add style without overwhelming a neutral space, as well as the clean stripes and lines on hmong fabrics for beautiful throws and pillow covers.

The future of white

There is something to be said for the lovely simplicity of white walls. While providing a shade for everyone’s tastes, the white palate is simultaneously bright, clean, and easy to blend with most home styles.

I don’t believe this trend is going anywhere soon, however what 2019 will bring is more experimenting with darker tones, particularly in kitchens and accent walls. Deep, earthy tones look beautiful on cabinetry and behind open shelving, particularly when combined with natural wood tones.   

It’s only natural

Though it seems like only yesterday that we saw the near disappearance of chrome and silver and the arrival of brass, I am told that this year will bring with it the arrival of more natural materials for fixtures within the home.

The organic texture of concrete and other stone lend themselves beautifully to light fixtures and storage containers, and the warm tones in copper offer timeless elegance when used for knobs and pulls.

I hope something on this list sparks your interest, or at least spurs some online shopping. Check back next month for a list of my favourite trends in home design, the renovation version.

For a full analysis of the best items to focus on for resale for your home in the coming year to increase the value upon sale by up to five per cent, give your local real estate professional a call or give us a shout.

More Just Add Salt! articles

About the Author

Lisa Salt is a Vernon born Realtor® who, along with her husband Gord Fowler from Calgary, lead one of the most successful and dynamic real estate teams in the North Okanagan. 

An international clay target shooting champion, Lisa brought the attributes of hard work and diligent focus to the real estate industry to create the success she and her team have today. 

To experience the local knowledge and expertise that only someone born and raised in the Okanagan can offer, call Lisa today and 'Just Add Salt'.

Website link:   http://www.saltfowler.com

Contact e-mail address:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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