Lenka's Blog

Staging a Home Like a Pro: An Interview with Lenka Eberhardt

Accredited staging professional and realtor Lenka Eberhardt gives us tips, tricks, and advice on staging a home for maximum ROI. Read on!

Staging a Home Like a Pro: An Interview with Lenka Eberhardt

Award-winning realtor and accredited staging professional Lenka Eberhardt knows a thing or two about staging a home. In fact, she’s consistently been in the top 2% of sales within the North Bay Real Estate Board! Those results are hard to ignore, and home staging has played a vital role in her success. Ms. Eberhardt generously agreed to chat with me about the nuances of home staging, how to make the best of the professional resources available, and why, when done properly, home staging means more money in your pocket.

Greg Schryer: What does a staging professional look for when staging a home for pictures or showings?

Lenka Eberhardt: A picture is worth a thousand words. You only have 3-8 seconds to captivate your audience, so a clean, uncluttered house and bright professional photos are crucial. When preparing for a showing, ensure the house is clean, well-lit, and de-cluttered. Everyone’s version of clean is different: funky smells from pets, food odours, shoes, and hockey bags are a definite turn-off as are unwashed dishes, unmade beds, and piles of laundry. Toilet lids should always be left down. Switch out cool low watt bulbs to 60-100 watt incandescent bulbs, especially important in winter months.

GS: Some people think of staging as decorating but it’s much more, isn’t it?

LE: Decorating is a reflection of an individual’s taste, lifestyle and personality. The goal of home staging is to make your home clean, organized, and welcoming so potential buyers can picture themselves living there. Home stagers look for dated furniture and fixtures, clutter, cleanliness, and exterior appeal. They will walk through a home room by room and make a proposal for the homeowner on repairs, updates, and paint colors. They also have access to furniture and accessories, which can be rented while the house is being marketed.

GS: Is home staging expensive to do?

LE: The costs for staging a home will vary depending on the scope of the job. A consultation can cost $150-$500. Many realtors offer complimentary home staging to their clients, which can range from a two-hour consultation or a full service package including four hours of staging services. Home stagers will offer a variety of services from a simple consultation to a full service top-to-bottom staging, which can cost up to $3,000-$5,000 depending on your home and situation. This will include a budget for incidentals like towels, bedding, etc. If your realtor doesn’t already work with a home stager, ask them to provide a list of providers in your area.

GS: What are most common mistakes people make when preparing their home for sale?

LE: Spending money on costly renovations without consulting a realtor and professional stager. Realtors and home stagers know where to spend your money for the biggest ROI and will assist with choosing the right type of light fixtures/flooring/paint colors that appeal most to buyers. Doing renovations to save money without a skilled contractor is money wasted if the workmanship is not up to professional standards.

GS: Does home staging really make a difference in sale price and DOM* (and do you have an example)?

When compared with the alternative of a reduction in your listing price and your home sitting on the market for months, home staging is certainly worth it! Statistics tell us that 79% of homeowners, who have their home staged, sell it for an average of 3-10% more than comparable homes that are not staged.   Professionally staged homes typically sell within 35 days, in many cases within a week. If a house sits on the market for longer than a month, the average first price reduction is between five and ten percent. So on a $200,000 home, the first price reduction is $10,000. Spending $3,000 on staging and updating will leave $7,000 in the seller’s pocket. Certainly a great return on investment!

There you have it—home staging is not really a choice, but a necessity if you want to sell your house fast, efficiently, and profitably. Did you love Ms. Eberhardt expert insights? You can look forward to more conversations with professionals in the field on the Oak Ridge blog at www.oakridgeproperties.ca.

New Rental Housing Unit By-Law in North Bay

January 16th, 2013

With many considering purchase of rental properties within the city, it is important as a buyer, and as a landlord, to consider the implications of a new by-law set in place by the city. If you are currently renting, it is also important to review the by-law in order to determine whether you require a license. As part of the phase in of this by-law, regulated areas have expanded as of January 1
st 2013 with the entire city being regulated by 2016.


Health and safety, noise control, protection of residential character and ensuring required essentials are provided for tenants were the main factors behind the creation of this by-law. The city’s goal to provide tenants with the security of knowing they will be living in safe accommodations. Residential dwellings subject to the by-law and requiring a license include those that are:

-          Zoned through the city’s zoning by-law 28-80 as R1, R2, R3, R5, RM1 and RM2

-          Are within current regulation zones (see below)

-          Renting 3-5 bedrooms, with or without the homeowner living in the dwelling


If the homeowner is living in the dwelling, they may rent up to 2 bedrooms without a license. Essentially, the by-law limits the number of rental bedrooms to 5 and requires those renting more than 2 bedrooms to obtain a licence. Obtaining a license requires an inspection to be done by the city of North Bay’s Fire, Building and Zoning Departments in addition t an initial inspection by the ESA. The license is valid for 2 years at a cost of $300 with the option to renew for the same fee at the end of the licensing period.


Currently, the by-law applies to units in the Pinewood, Tibeault Terrace, Cedar Heights and West Ferris areas. City officials will be conduction inspections and responding to complaints and other municipalities in the province are considering instituting similar by-laws.

New Tool for Home Buyers!

December 10th, 2012

Thanks to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), Canadian consumers are now equipped with a brand new tool designed to help home buyers navigate through the complex process of purchasing a home. The Home Buyer’s Road Map empowers consumers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible and informed financial decisions with regards to one of the largest and most important purchases they will ever make!


Features of this Tool Include:

-          Assessing your financial readiness

-          Information on mortgage options and mortgage default insurance

-          Government programs available

-          Finding a REALTOR and making an offer

-          The ins and outs of closing and other related costs


The tool came about after a recent survey done by CREA showed that 70% of young Canadians (18-29) indicated a major need for more information about the financial details involved with purchasing a home.


Having worked with a number of first-time home buyers, I know that there are a number of steps involved and many need help understanding the various financial options available to them. The Road Map is a great tool to help you with making the right financial decision based on your needs and become one step closer to home ownership.


The Road Map can be found at: http://www.crea.ca/resources


Carbon Monoxide Safety

November 30th, 2012

With the cold weather quickly approaching, I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure your Carbon Monoxide detectors are in working condition. Carbon monoxide (CO) can be produced  from furnaces, room heathers, fireplaces, hot water heaters and gas stoves. Even warming up your car in the garage can leave CO in your house! In 2009, the City of North Bay passed a by-law requiring all residents with homes possessing a fuel fired appliance and/or an attached garage to install and maintain working carbon monoxide alarms.


Carbon Monoxide, which is also known as the “silent killer”, is a colourless, odorless, and tasteless gas that, when inhaled, reduces the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout our bodies. In high concentrations, its effects can be lethal.


It can be easy to bush-off the symptoms of CO poising (nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, and drowsiness) since they are very flu-like in nature. However, severe exposure can cause brain damage and death. In healthy adults, exposure at 30ppm will induce flu-like symptoms and at 50ppm homes should be evacuated. Exposure at 800ppm can cause death in less than 2 hours.


For this reason it is important to make sure all your fuel burning appliances are properly installed, maintained and vented and to not ignore your CO alarm if it goes off! Sometimes the detector might just need a new battery but everyone is encouraged to contact the fire department for assistance if their alarm goes off. It’s better for them to be there and not needed than the other way around!


For more info as well as tips to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation in your home, please visit:



Happy and Safe Heating!