There's a stager born every minute: Haverhill offers big promises -- and shady associations

Haverhill Home Staging says it's "North America's largest and fastest growing Home Staging Company." The point is debatable, but Haverhill is certainly North America's most prominent cable advertiser in home-staging: the art and science of sprucing homes to prepare them for sale.

Haverhill, based in Toronto, caught my attention with the frequent commercials (you can watch a couple of them here and here) that it's run since September on such HGTV series as Designed to Sell and The Stagers. The company says it's in the midst of its national roll-out -- and it's looking to hire new stagers. And where better to look for would be decorating-for-salers than HGTV's audience? And what better time to do it than during this bleak recession, as a perfect storm of the tumultuous real-estate market and the waves of layoffs drive scores of desperate people to do desperate things?