Deal or No Deal

Making a statement with style

Put your best place forward

Calgary interior designer and home stager Karyn Elliott has assisted home sellers since 1999. Her business, Crazy House Home Staging, helps homeowners nail down details to sell properties fast, and for the best possible price.

Her top tips to make properties shine:

  • Purge. Clutter eats equity! Rent storage for off-season clothing, sports and Christmas items. Remove excess furniture so rooms appear functional but spacious. Remove personal items, including photographs and religious artifacts; let people imagine themselves living there.
  • Replace outdated wallpaper and flooring. Repair broken items. Consider painting in neutrals like ivory or beige. If furniture is worn, you could rent items during the listing period.
  • Restore rooms to original purposes. That might mean giving up the office in the bedroom while the property is listed.
  • Organize all closets, cupboards and drawers.
  • Light up inside and out before a showing. Place spotlights or floodlights along paths, at entrances and under trees for esthetics and to promote safety.

See more tips at

How to get your house ready in:

24 hours

  • Use under-bed storage boxes for toys, books, games, etc.
  • Ensure all storage areas and closets are tidy and organized.
  • Use the microwave instead of your clean oven to prepare meals.

2-3 hours

  • Stash dirty clothes in the washing machine. Toss piles of clean clothes in the dryer.
  • Wipe counters and appliances with a spray cleaner and buff with a paper towel.
  • Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
  • Vacuum crumbs and dirt.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Make the beds.
  • Clean tubs, sinks and showers.
  • Put on soft music at a low volume.
  • Set out new towels.

20 minutes

  • Assign a room to each family member for a quick tidy.
    Turn on all the lights, except glaring overheads.
    Put toilet seats down. Stash personal products out of sight.
    If you’re caught with dinner on the table, shove plates into the refrigerator.
    Open all curtains and blinds if you have good views.
    Take your pets with you when you leave.

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