Q: Our realtor tells us that we should spend $4,000 to $5,000 dollars to stage our home. She feels that we would get it back tenfold. Is it really necessary to take out all our furniture, rent new replacements, rent paintings, repaint, get laminate flooring etc.?

A: Well, developers have a show suite for a reason. They are beautiful and are designed to take advantage of every room, matching furnishings and artwork.

People find it hard to imagine what (some) homes look like with their own furnishings in it. That is why home staging may be needed. How much? That you have to decide for yourself.

The $4,000 to $5,000 seems very high. How much you spend will depend on your type of home, the general neighbourhood, your competition and, of course, the price. At a minimum however, do get rid of all the “clutter”.

Take all your personal photos off the walls (yes, the fridge stickers, too). Then to move some furniture into a storage facility at say $300 a month -it may be money well spent. This is particularly true if your furniture is tired, of the wrong size (too big for rooms), etc. Think about doing inexpensive things first. Change the hardware on all cupboards, paint (modern colours -not white) and hire an expert stager to advise.