5 Easy Ways to Boost Home Value

Thinking about selling your home? If so, you’re probably wondering about what you can do to gain top dollar. Do you invest in finishing the basement bathroom? What about building a back deck? Or getting rid of that 80s wallpaper that’s still up in your laundry room? There’s probably a list of things that you’d like to do, but at this point you might be wondering if they’re worth the time, money, and effort.

Budget Extra

Costs will vary depending on where you live, what room you’re updating, and the extent of the renovations. If you’re going that route, make sure that you give yourself some extra time and wiggle room in your budget. Often renovations take longer than originally planned and cost more than expected. So before you start taking down walls, talk to Laura Lisk, Realtor® about which projects will give you the best returns.

In the meantime, here are five ways to freshen up the house without breaking the bank.

1. Go Neutral

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way on a limited budget, just make sure you choose from a palette of cool, neutral tones. Some people find it hard to look past all the red in a room or other vibrant colours, so beige, taupe, grey, or white will help take the focus away from the walls and into the space. These colours also help to brighten up dark rooms and make smaller spaces look larger.

2. Declutter

Have you grown out of your closet and into the spare bedroom’s? Has your garage become a storage container? Things collect over time – we get it. But if your stuff is taking over, it’s time to declutter. To help you decide what should stay and what should go, think about the last time you used the item and why you’re saving it. Then think about how much time it’ll take to pack everything up – only to store it somewhere else. It’s easier to travel light, so get rid of what you can before your house goes on the market. Donating is a feel-good way to share with others. You’ll enjoy the extra breathing room and you’ll be surprised by how much bigger your house looks.

3. Provide a Blank Canvas

You’ve created great memories in your home, and you’ll cherish them wherever you go, but now’s the time to help potential buyers imagine their own good times in this space. As a seller, that means creating a welcoming feel without being too personal. Pack up sentimental items ahead of listing. This will maintain your privacy during showings, while giving buyers a blank canvas to visualize an exciting fresh start.

4. Fix What Needs Fixing

There might be some things that you need to fix, and they might not be so obvious. You can be proactive by getting a home inspection before putting your house on the market, so you can find out what needs repair and what’s cosmetic. This will give you some peace of mind and ensure there are no surprises before negotiations start with a buyer.

5. Boost Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything, right? This goes for houses, too. Create an inviting experience that makes buyers feel like they’re coming home for the first time. Look neat and tidy with fresh-cut grass and pruned shrubs, create warmth with a well-lit entry, and add a splash of colour with some cheerful potters. Curb appeal shows buyers that you love your home – and they will too.  

For more tips on how to boost your home’s value, call Laura Lisk, Realtor® at 519-379-2624.

Is Tax Applicable on Vacant Land Sales in Ontario?

Is Tax Applicable on Vacant Land Sales in Ontario? Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Are you buying or selling vacant land? You might be wondering about the tax implications involved. 

You may have vacant land with or without a house on the property. When a sale of vacant land includes a residence or house, the sale is dealt with as two separate sales:

  • the portion that includes the house, plus the land necessary for the use and enjoyment of the house
  • the remaining portion of vacant land

This blog post will answer questions about tax on the vacant land portion.

Is tax applicable on vacant land sales in Ontario?

In many cases, no. 

Individuals who have used vacant land for personal use will not charge tax when they sell it. The same applies if someone sells a subdivided piece of land to a relative, former spouse, or common-law partner for their personal use.

Taxes are not applicable if land is not capital property used primarily in a business and it is not being sold in the course of a business.

For example, if you inherit vacant land, you would not be buying the land with the intention of reselling it. When you sell, it would not be in the course of an adventure or concern in the nature of trade. 

Another situation where tax is not applicable is when you have never previously subdivided or severed your parcel of vacant land from another parcel you owned. If you subdivide the parcel into only two parts, the sale of either of those parts is exempt.

Is Tax Applicable on Vacant Land Sales in Ontario? Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

When is tax applicable on vacant land?

Here are instances when tax is charged:

  • land that is capital property and had been used primarily in a business
  • land that is sold in the course of a business
  • selling a parcel of land created by subdividing another parcel into more than two parts

Is Tax Applicable on Vacant Land Sales in Ontario? Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

What if I have more questions about vacant land sales?

For more specific information, please visit the Government of Canada’s webpage regarding the sales of vacant lots by individuals.

If you’d like to discuss tax on vacant land, please get in touch with me. Phone me at (519) 375-7653 or send me an email at laura.lisk@century21.ca.

Laura Lisk Real Estate Agent Century 21

10 Steps to Buying Your First Home

10 Steps to Buying Your First Home, Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Buying a house might seem complicated, especially if you’re doing it for the very first time. Down payments, credit scores, mortgage rates (both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate), property taxes, interest rates, and closing the deal can easily feel overwhelming. 

In this article, we’ll explain the home buying process in ten steps, all the way from saving a down payment to move-in day.

Step 1: Start saving a down payment

Every first-time homebuyer should take a close look at their finances. Buying a home requires a mortgage loan that you’ll pay back over time. In order to get a mortgage, you’ll need a down payment.

How much of a down payment do you need?

Ideally, a down payment should be 20% of the home’s price to avoid extra fees. If you don’t have that much, a down payment can be as low as 10%, 5%, or even 0% for certain types of mortgages.

Step 2: Check your credit score

A first-time homebuyer will need a decent credit score. This three-digit number is a numerical summary of your credit report, which documents how well you’ve paid off past debts like credit cards and student loans.

A lender will check your score and report to decide whether or not to loan you money, as well as how much and at what interest rate. If a lender sees late payments on your credit cards or other problems in your credit report, it can lower your chances of getting a loan with a low interest rate or getting any loan at all.

It’s essential that you know your credit score and take steps to raise it as high as possible. 

Why do I Need to Give a Deposit for an Offer to Buy? South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Step 3: Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Before you start looking at houses, you should seek pre-approval for a home loan. Ideally, you should meet with a loan officer at a few mortgage companies.

Each mortgage lender will examine your debt-to-income ratio and assets to determine whether to loan you money and what size monthly payment you can realistically afford. This will help you tailor your home search to your price range. 

Just keep in mind that mortgage pre-approval is different from mortgage pre-qualification. When you pre-qualify, you’re undergoing a much simpler process that can give you a ballpark figure of what you can afford to borrow but no promise from a lender. Getting pre-approved requires a lot of paperwork, but it guarantees you’re creditworthy and means you can buy a home.

Before you meet with a lender, you can see what you can afford with an online home affordability calculator. This will calculate your maximum monthly payment amount.

Step 4: Find a Realtor

Most first-timers will want a great real estate agent, specifically a buyer’s agent, to help them find the right house, negotiate a great real estate deal, and explain all of the nuances of home buying. A real estate agent’s services are free to first-time homebuyers (the seller pays the sales commission).

When you are looking for a real estate agent in your area, choose one that is also a Realtor®. Realtors adhere to a code of ethics and have your best interests in mind. 

What is a Restrictive Covenant in a Subdivision?, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Step 5: Go look at homes!

This is the fun part! As a homebuyer, you can browse lots of real estate listings here on my website and on sites like realtor.ca. Ask your Realtor to set up appointments to see your favourite listings in person.

Sometimes, the sheer number of homes can be overwhelming. It’s best to really know what you need and want in a home. Separate your must-haves from features you’d like but don’t really need. Do you really need a brand-new home? Or can you live with a fixer-upper? Make an honest list of your wants and needs to get started, then whittle down your options.

Step 6: Make an offer

Once you’ve found the right home, it’s time to make an offer to the seller. Your Realtor can help you develop a strategy and prepare a fair offer based on their knowledge and experience, your initial impressions and observations of the home, and the asking price. 

Your Realtor will also help you determine any conditions like financing or inspections that you’d like to include as part of your offer and set a deadline. Typically, the buyer has 24 to 48 hours to accept or reject an offer.

Step 7: Get a home inspection

A home inspection gives you the opportunity to discover any problems in a house you want to buy, and it can be used as a contingency in your contract with the seller. If a home inspection reveals significant defects or problems, the contingency allows you to back out of your purchase offer, free of penalty, usually within seven days. 

The Purpose of a Home Inspection when Buying, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Step 8: Get a home appraisal

After you get pre-approved for a home loan, your mortgage lender will want to conduct a home appraisal. The lender will check out the house to make sure it’s a good investment. This is similar to a home inspection but for your lender.

Step 9: Head to closing

Also known as settlement or escrow, closing brings together all the parties who are part of the real estate transaction, including the buyer, seller, and mortgage representative.

Closing day is when you get the keys to your new home and pay all the various parties involved. That will include your down payment for your loan, closing costs, and the extra fees you pay to process your loan.

Closing costs can be quite large, averaging anywhere from 2% to 7% of the home price.

Step 10: Move-in Day!

The last thing to do is to move into your new home! We’ve written about this part of the process in our blog posts Moving Checklists by the Week and Tips for Moving with Pets

Congratulations! You’ve graduated from a homebuyer to a homeowner! 

Moving Checklists, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Questions? Concerns?

Let’s talk! Phone me at (519) 375-7653 or send me an email at laura.lisk@century21.ca.

Laura Lisk Real Estate Agent

Hospitals in Grey and Bruce Counties

The Bruce Peninsula Hospitals Foundation, Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Our local hospitals are a very important part of our communities. Here on the Bruce Peninsula, our Wiarton and Lion’s Head hospitals offer a 24-hour emergency department, acute medical care, and outpatient services. 

The Wiarton hospital is a 22-bed rural hospital. 12 beds are for acute care and 10 beds are for complex continuing care. The Lion’s Head hospital is a 4-bed rural hospital. These two hospitals are supported by the Foundation for Bruce Peninsula Hospitals. Visit our blog post about the Foundation for more information.

This blog post is a listing of the locations of all the hospitals in Bruce and Grey counties, starting with Wiarton and Lion’s Head.

Bruce Peninsula Hospitals

  • Grey Bruce Health Services – Wiarton Hospital  

369 Mary St, Wiarton, ON  N0H 2T0


Grey Bruce Health Services - Wiarton Hospital, Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Wiarton Hospital

  • Grey Bruce Health Services – Lion’s Head Hospital 

22 Moore St, Lion’s Head, ON  N0H 1W0


Grey Bruce Health Services - Lion's Head Hospital, Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Lion’s Head Hospital

Bruce County (South) Hospitals

  • Grey Bruce Health Services – Southampton Hospital  

340 High St, Southampton, ON  N0H 2L0


  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre – Chesley Hospital 

39 2nd St SE, Chesley, ON  N0G 1L0


  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre – Kincardine Hospital 

1199 Queen St, Kincardine, ON  N2Z 1G6


  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre – Walkerton Hospital 

21 McGivern St, Walkerton, ON  N0G 2V0


The Bruce Peninsula Hospitals Foundation, Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Grey County Hospitals

  • Grey Bruce Health Services – Markdale Hospital  

55 Isla St, Box 406, Markdale, ON  N0C 1H0


  • Grey Bruce Health Services – Meaford Hospital

229 Nelson St W, Meaford, ON  N4L 1A3


  • Grey Bruce Health Services – Owen Sound Hospital  

1800 8th St E, Box 1800, Owen Sound, ON  N4K 6M9


  • Hanover and District Hospital  

90 7th Ave, Hanover, ON  N4N 1N1


  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre – Durham  

320 College St N, PO Box 638, Durham, ON  N0G 1R0


The Bruce Peninsula Hospitals Foundation, Wiarton Real Estate, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

The Purpose of a Home Inspection when Buying

The Purpose of a Home Inspection when Buying, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Before you buy a home, it’s common to have it checked out by a professional home inspector. In this post, we’ll explain the purpose of a home inspection and whether it’s worth the investment.

The Home Inspection as a Contingency

A home inspection provides an opportunity to discover any problems with a house you would like to buy. For this reason, it can be used as a contingency in your contract with the seller. If a home inspection reveals significant defects, the contingency allows you to back out of your purchase offer, free of penalty, usually within seven days. 

Realtors sometimes include home inspection clauses in contracts for a newly built house. These kinds of inspections generally cover foundations (checking before the concrete is poured), pre-drywall (checking the structure and mechanics before the drywall is installed), and a full inspection of the completed home.

What does a Home Inspection Cover?

While inspectors vary in experience, ability, and thoroughness, any good inspector will check certain home components and create a report of their findings for you. Inspections typically last two to three hours, and you should be present so you can ask questions and go over the findings in person. 

The general tasks an inspector will perform are determining the following:

  • If each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect
  • Which items need to be replaced, repaired or serviced
  • Items that are suitable for now but should be closely monitored

The Purpose of a Home Inspection when Buying, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

The specific parts of the house the inspector will report on are:

  • Exterior — outside of the structure, including any crawlspaces under the home, and the roof 
  • Exterior walls — damaged or missing siding, cracks, and whether the soil is too close to the bottom of the house 
  • Foundation — indirect evidence of foundation issues like cracks or settling
  • Grading — whether the grading slopes away from the house 
  • Garage or Carport — garage door, garage framing, and proper ventilation (to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning) 
  • Roof — roof damage and poor installation like loose, missing, or improperly secured shingles and cracked or damaged mastic around vents; the condition of the gutters
  • Interior Inspection — everything inside the house from the ceiling to the cabinets under the sink
  • Plumbing — faucets and showers, visible leaks, water pressure, kind of pipes, the main water shutoff valve
  • Electrical — kind of wiring; the outlets; functional ground fault circuit interrupters installed in bathrooms, kitchen, garage and outdoors; electrical panel for any safety issues; electrical outlets to ensure they are not a fire hazard
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) — estimate the age of the furnace and air conditioner, determine if they function properly, age of the home’s ducting, duct leaks, sufficient insulation, and whether there is any asbestos insulation
  • Water Heater — age of the heater, if it’s properly installed and secured, condition, and general idea of how many years it has left
  • Laundry Room — properly vented
  • Fire Safety — any attached garage wall has the proper fire rating and hasn’t been damaged, test the home’s smoke detectors
  • Bathrooms — visible leaks, properly secured toilets, adequate ventilation

A really good inspector will even explain routine maintenance, which is especially helpful to a first-time homebuyer. 

The Purpose of a Home Inspection when Buying, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

What Should You Ask During a Home Inspection?

Ask the inspector what they will look for and what isn’t covered. Talk about anything you are worried about, such as a sagging roof, old electrical, or slow-flowing water out of the taps. If there are any functions of the home that you are not familiar with (like a fireplace or an oil burner), your home inspector should be able to explain them to you.

How Long After a Home Inspection Does a Buyer Have to Back Out?

Many home inspection contingencies are for seven days. After you sign the purchase agreement and the inspection occurs, you have seven days to back out of the deal.

The Purpose of a Home Inspection when Buying, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Is it Worth the Investment?

The cost of a home inspection varies depending on the size of the home and the region and can range between $300 to $500.

Keep in mind that an inspection will always find a problem with a home. Even new home constructions will have minor issues that need to be addressed.

A home inspection will cost you some money, but it can reveal problems that you may be able to get the current owners to fix before moving in. For new home construction, an inspection is a crucial part of the home buying process.

Learning about the issues your home has and addressing them early can save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

Key takeaways

  • A home inspection contingency allows you to discover the major and minor issues with a home before buying it
  • Home inspections can uncover potentially life-threatening problems like mould or faulty wiring that could cause a significant fire
  • Home inspectors look at the exterior and interior parts of the home, including electrical, plumbing, roofing, HVAC, and foundations
  • A thorough inspection is a critical step in purchasing a home and taking care of it
  • Most potential buyers have seven days after a home inspection to walk away from the purchase
  • Many lenders won’t offer financing on a home without an inspection

What is a Restrictive Covenant in a Subdivision?

What is a Restrictive Covenant in a Subdivision?, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

These covenants are implemented by subdivision developers so consistency is maintained among all the properties in the neighbourhood, and the value of all the land stays consistent.

Restrictive covenants function to control what homeowners can or can’t do with the use and appearance of their property. These covenants are implemented by subdivision developers so consistency is maintained among all the properties in the neighbourhood, and the value of all the land stays consistent.

What is restricted in a covenant?

Restrictions can vary. Here are some examples:

  • colours you can paint a garage door
  • materials that can be used for fencing
  • if multi-unit dwellings are permitted
  • types of trees that can be planted
  • additions to a house
  • if a backyard pool is permitted
  • storage of any boats or trucks in the driveway
  • installing satellite dishes or clothes lines

Do restrictive covenants apply to resale homes?

That depends. Under the law, restrictive covenants “run with the land,” which means they apply to any future buyer of the property. However, the restrictive covenant for a resale home may have expired or might not be enforceable because the development of the subdivision is finished.

Some restrictive covenants are not legally binding, especially if they are thought to be arbitrary or not in the public’s best interest. Legally, under the Ontario Land Titles Act, restrictive covenants automatically expire after 40 years. However, the covenant may be set up with a different end date.

When you are in the process of buying a house, the standard Agreement of Purchase and Sale will include a clause that says the title will be free from all registered restrictions and encumbrances, but not any registered covenants that run with the land. Review the purchase agreement in detail with a real estate lawyer to find out exactly which easements or restrictive covenants affect the property you wish to purchase. 

Condo Ownership and Fees 101

Condo Ownership and Fees 101, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Are you thinking about buying a condominium? It’s important to know exactly what is included when you are considering purchasing a particular condo. 

What do I own when I buy a condo?

When you buy a condominium, you own a private unit registered in your name. In freehold condominiums, you also own the land, the exterior walls, and the roof. You might also be permitted sole use of balconies, parking spaces, storage lockers, driveways, and private lawns. 

Besides the unit itself, you also share ownership of some common elements in the larger building like lobbies and hallways, elevators, recreational facilities, walkways and gardens, and other amenities. Shared elements could also include structural elements and mechanical or electrical services.

What are condo fees?

Owning a condo comes with monthly fees that all unit owners pay. These fees cover the upkeep and replacement of shared property and may also cover the condo corporation’s insurance policies, utilities and services (snow removal, lawn mowing).

A portion of monthly fees may be put into a reserve fund to cover future maintenance and repairs. In some provinces and territories, a reserve fund study is required by law to tell condo owners how much money should be paid into the reserve fund. An engineer or other professional conducts a detailed examination of all building components and reports when repairs and replacements are expected, with a cost estimate.

Condominium fees may be adjusted from time to time to reflect the changing costs of goods and services and the health of the building’s reserve fund. 

Title Insurance 101

Title insurance, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

“Title” is a legal term that means you legally own a property. You obtain title when the owner signs the deed (which is a transfer document) over to you. It is then registered in the government’s land registration system.

What is residential title insurance?

Residential title insurance is an insurance policy designed to protect both you as a residential property owner and your lender against financial losses related to the property’s title or ownership.

Do I need title insurance?

In Ontario, you are not required to purchase title insurance. Discuss it with your

lawyer, title insurance company, or insurance agent/broker to understand the types of protection title insurance and if other options exist. 

What does residential title insurance cover?

A title insurance policy may provide protection from the following losses:

■ Unknown title defects that prevent clear ownership of the property

■ Existing liens against the property’s title 

■ Encroachment issues (e.g. a structure actually on your neighbour’s property)

■ Title fraud

■ Errors in surveys and public records

■ Gap coverage between the time your property purchase is finalized and when your title is registered in Ontario’s land registration system

■ Survey coverage may eliminate the need for a new up-to-­date survey of your property and is acceptable to most lenders as an alternative to a new survey or a Real Property Report (RPR)

Title insurance, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

What types of properties can be insured?

■ houses

■ condominiums

■ cottages

■ rental units

■ vacant land

■ cooperatives

■ leased properties

■ rural properties

How much does it cost?

It varies based on the value of your home and the insurance company you choose. You will also need to pay a one-­time fee called a premium.

How long does the coverage last?

As long as you own the property. Most policies extend coverage to your heirs through a will or to a spouse in the event of a divorce.

Where can it be purchased?

Your lawyer or title insurance company can help you purchase title insurance, or you can contact an insurance agent/broker. To see a list of licensed title insurance companies in Ontario, visit the Financial Services Commission of Ontario’s (FSCO) website at www.fsco.gov.on.ca, click on Licensing & Registration, and select Licensed Insurance Companies in Ontario.

Title insurance purchasing tips

When you buy residential title insurance, make sure the following factors are met:

■ Your property is insured for its full value

■ Your policy’s effective date is the same as the property’s closing date

■ Any other title­-related issues that could affect selling, mortgaging, or leasing your property in the future

Why do I Need to Give a Deposit for an Offer to Buy?

Why do I Need to Give a Deposit for an Offer to Buy? South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

When your offer to purchase a house is accepted, you will give the seller a deposit toward the purchase price. Why is this required? 

What is the purpose of a deposit?

  • It provides security to the seller. A deposit gives the seller assurance the buyer is serious about the purchase, has a stake in the agreement, and intends to complete the deal.
  • It pre-estimates possible damages. If a buyer breaches a contract, the deposit gives a court a number to work with to calculate damages.

How much is the deposit?

Deposits for re-sale properties can be any amount, but 2% to 10% of the purchase price is typical. A higher deposit may be more attractive to a seller than a smaller one.

In Ontario, the deposit is usually paid by certified cheque or money order.

What is the difference between a deposit and a down payment?

The term “deposit” is not the same as “down payment.”  A down payment includes the deposit and is the total amount paid by the buyer, up to the value of the mortgage. The down payment and the mortgage amount together will add up to the purchase price. 

The deposit is usually paid when the offer is made. The rest of the down payment and mortgage are paid to the seller at closing.

The Benefits of Home Staging 101

Home Staging, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Are you wondering if home staging is really worth it? There are many reasons why it can make all the difference when you are trying to sell your house. Whether it is the factor that helps it sell faster, at a higher price, or simply allows it to sell after sitting on the market for a long period, home staging has many benefits. Here are some of the best reasons to stage your home.

Staging creates an emotional connection

Most real estate professionals believe that staging is the best way to evoke an emotional connection in a potential buyer. Purchasing a home is as much an emotional decision as a practical and financial one. When buyers are looking at homes, their personal preferences play a huge role in their decision-making. Home staging can help buyers imagine how they would feel living in the home and what their lives would be like.

Staging makes your home more attractive

Staging your home is an easy way to make your home more appealing to the eye. When people first enter your home, they will see the aesthetics and form an immediate impression. Home staging is a way to make sure they get a good first impression. 

Staging can be like giving your home a complete makeover. Your lived-in furniture may be replaced with new items, walls can be re-painted in neutral colours, and aesthetic pieces can be placed around the home in strategic areas.

Staging also allows potential buyers to imagine what their own furniture could look like in the home. When you can create a vision in a buyer’s mind, it makes it far easier to sell the home. This is especially true when it comes to luxury homes and higher-priced houses.

Home Staging, South Bruce Peninsula Real Estate

Staging makes your home more spacious

Staging is a great way to show buyers the space that’s available in the home without clutter and unwanted furniture in the way. A key goal for home staging is to create the perception of a bigger home with lots of space. Why? Homes that feel cramped are more difficult to sell.

Staging can raise the asking price

Though it’s not an exact science, it’s estimated that home staging could raise the asking price by 6% to 15%. That’s a big boost for the sale price by doing something as simple as home staging.

Staging can help a house sell faster

Because home staging helps establish an emotional connection for the buyer and makes your home look attractive and more spacious, your house can sell quicker.

Staging can help sell a house lingering on the market

For houses that are sitting on the market for too long, home staging could be all it takes to sell them. Maybe the house isn’t selling because it isn’t creating the emotional connection, it doesn’t look attractive, or it feels cramped. Home staging can solve all these problems!