All I did was....Home Staging Success Stories


All I did was..... wish there was a TV crew there for this home staging in Mississagua!

Every once in awhile you come across a person that you just know is going to be successful.

When I first met Eugene Mezini I emailed the broker owner of the Remax Premier brokerage  in Vaughan where we have our offices indicating that he might want to keep his eye on this young man. There was just something about him that made you like him right away.Plus, he was sharp and quick minded. You could see the wheels turning in his mind as soon as he earned his real estate license. He had a plan and he was going to work it. Unknown to me at the time, the broker knew who Eugene was as he had recruited Eugene himself.  He must have got a chuckle out of my email.

I approached Eugene to see if he would like to include home staging in the marketing plan for his listings. He explained to me that because of his young age, he felt he would serve his age demographic best as he knew their aspirations and trials in getting a start in life. Eugene started his real estate career by concentrating on the downtown Toronto condo market.  Needless to say, within a few short months he has closed more contracts than most agents do in a whole year.

The first time he camped out on a new condo launch for 11 hours and he closed 5 deals for his buyer clients. Not bad for a rookie! That was the first time he had ever sold anything. Then he camped out at another condo launch for 3 days and did 9 sales. Eugene is the "go to guy" when you want to buy or sell a condo, the numbers tell the story.

The first thing we agreed on was that Eugene would purchase staging inventory with my help. This would help keep his expenses down while he starts his career.  We picked items that would create a warm and inviting "just move in look" for the condos that he would list. Most of his clients are purchasing their very first home so they will like the fact that the condo comes already "assembled" and they just buy the condo furnished if they want to.  We decided on fall colours for the inventory bedding, artwork and accent cushions. It's a  popular look in our area and one that would work for most condos.

His  sellers are usually selling their first condo so they appreciate that they don't have to think about getting their home ready to sell. After all, they have been living the single life (hello nightlife and sleeping in) and the condo is typically just a resting stop untiil the next busy day in the city. So you know the condo is not show home ready when we get there.

Sometimes the condos are vacant so Eugene sells his service as a one stop shop when you are selling. We show up and stage the condo in a few hours, it gets photographed, listed and sells in a few days. What seller wouldn't like the convenience of that plan?

The first house we did together using the clients belongings and our purchased inventory sold in 4 days. That"s what I call results!  Now we wanted to see if we could replicate those results with our first condo staging together.

Well last Saturday we decided to shop at the local Walmart in Mississagua so that we could stage a condo in the neighbourhood that same afternoon. You have to picture this Walmart though. It is no ordinary Walmart. It's a TWO storey Walmart. You've never seen so many shoppers at once, it was packed! 

Eugene and I manouvered our way deftly between artwork, bedding, lamps, accessories, drapery and bathroom items. I really don't think Eugene was ready for the speed with which a stager shops when they are on a mission to buy inventory and on a deadline.

If you are a stager you know the drill off by heart, but for the newly initiated it can seem a whirlwhind tour. Most people wonder how we know where absolutely everything is located in store, what shelf it is on, what the price is and what to buy if it is out of stock.

Being able to stay focused with all the shoppers pushing past allowed us to buy everything in one hour. We didn't find a dining table and chairs there, but we knew we could get a set at XS Cargo for $149. 

Bags in carts we wound our way through the crowded parking lot  and loaded the van up. We needed cardboard boxes to put the inflatable mattress on so being the  tech savvy guy he is, Eugene googled the closest moving company and as luck would have it the place was on the way to the condo. Yeah!!! It was about this time that I said to Eugene, we should be followed by a TV crew while we were doing this. All the shopping and staging was accomplished in 3 1/2 hours.

On the road again, we parked and I offered to get my folding cart to transport all the goods up to the condo. Being a guy, Eugene said we could handle it with out the cart. Seeing us struggling along, arms loaded, we had lots of help on the way in, people holding doors for us, then the elevator, it was  group effort for sure!

As soon as we opened the condo door I let out a gasp.  Eugene turned to me and asked what was wrong. I said "the walls are baby pink..... all of them....I thought you said he painted a nice beige?"  I let Eugene know that selecting colours is something that a professional stager is very good at and that most men have difficulty with. It was too late now, we were there to stage and the owner was not going to repaint. By now I know what you are thinking. How does a fall colour palette look with baby pink walls and how would the buyers like it.

I can assure you I had my doubts about it, but lo and behold.... the condo sold in two days!  Another staging success story. I think Eugene is on to something. By year end don't be surprized is Eugene hasn't won an award or two for listings and  sales.

Here are the photos that Eugene took on his IPhone to use as listing photos for 115 Hillcrest in Mississauga. The condo was listed at $179,000.

115 hillscrest  115 hillcrest

I only left him alone for a moment and this is his bathroom shot. I will have to train Eugene in the importance of the placement of toilet seat lids!

115 hillscrest 

Why is it that men do not understand the zen of toilet seat lids?

If you have a condo for sale or would like to buy one, contact Eugene Mezini and Michelle Finnamore for one stop real estate service. We go the distance to serve our clients!

Michelle Finnamore       Advantage Staging       


2010  National Association of Home Builders  U.S.A     Silver Award for Design

2010  Ontario Home Builders Association                   Silver Award for Design

2010  Canadian Staging Professionals                       Entrepreneur of the Year Award




Comment balloon 15 commentsMichelle Finnamore • March 13 2011 06:26PM


Michelle--That is a great post.  Love the story and can visualize the shopping trip through Wal-Mart.  Maybe the client who painted the walls pink was color blind--thought it was gray.  The results speak for themselves--sold in 5 days.  That's great and I am thinking we will be seeing more great things from you and Eugene in the future. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 8 years ago


It's great to team up. Congretulations to both you and Eugene.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

Michelle - What a nice tribute to an obviously very successful young man.  I'm sure he's happy to have a friend and staging mentor like you.  And as for the toilet zen...some things just never change.

Posted by Laraine Shape, Selling kitchen at a time (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) over 8 years ago

Toilet seats and garage doors down LOL! Sounds like a great partnership Michelle. Good luck to you both.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Michelle -- what a fun story to read!  I felt like I was on the shopping adventure with you and Eugene. Next you have to teach him how to blog on AR!  The condo sold in 5 days?  Wow -- that proves you're a great team!!

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 8 years ago

Michelle you undersold yourself. The condo actually sold in 2 days!

Posted by Eugene Mezini (Re/Max Premier Inc) over 8 years ago

Hi Janet, it seems that most people do not understand colour. Did you know that approximately 40% of paint sold the first time is the wrong colour. Now we know  we are going into the paint business after we are done with staging!   Eugene and I will work some magic this year and see what we can achieve working the plan.

HI Brian, thanks for the good wishes for me and Eugene. He really is a sharp cookie and will succeed at whatever he sets his mind to.

Ralph, long time no see!  Glad you stopped in to read about me and Eugene working together. I know it is difficult to appreciate the zen of toilet lid position but we must all concentrate on making it happen for our listing photos. LOL!!!

Hi Janice, yes teamwork is the word for what happened here. I didn't check the bathroom after I had staged it!  I have never had a garage door left up. That's a new one for me and I thought I had seen everything.

HI Maureen, Apparently according to Eugene the condo sold in 2 days.... even better!  It really was something that we should have caught on video. Everything went tickety boo except for having to visit a second shop for the table and chairs. I did get Eugene to become a member here on AR. He has an excellent condo site for himself in case you want to check it out, just click on his name in the post and it will take you there.  Did you know that he has a "walkability" icon for each condo he has for sale. It rates the condo location for how easy it is to get around without a car. How great is that?

Hi Eugene, thanks for stopping in to share the good news about the days under contract.  That is phenomenal..and using IPhone pictures to boot!



Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 8 years ago

I love real-life stories like this, Michelle!  Even the smartest man in the world will leave that lid up!

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 8 years ago

LOL!!! You made me spit my tea out with that comment Julia!  Too true. Every day is an adventure when you are a stager. I wouldn't be doing anything else. It is always interesting plus you get the satisfaction of making things happen every single day.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 8 years ago

What a fun day it must have been....sounds like the ideal staging experience.  I never would have believed the pink walls would have worked with the colors you chose...goes to show you just how nice the look you created was...the wall color didn't even matter!  Eugene sounds like the dream agent to partner with...any brother or sister agents in NH?

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 8 years ago

Hi Sharon, yes I have some dream agents to work with and Eugene is at the top of the list. He just makes it so easy for clients to say yes with our team approach to marketing his listings.

I wouldn't have believed the pink walls would work either, I am thinking that another guy bought the condo and thinks he has beige walls or it was a lady and she loves the French Pink look that has been created just for her!

We lucked out to find that the rental tennant had left a lamp and a coffee table in the living room. After a few quick touch ups with my black marker they looked good as new and look part of the staging design. Some days you just have all the luck!

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 8 years ago

Just found out that it was an older lady that purchased the condo and we all know how much older ladies love pink walls throughout a home. Glad we could make her move that much easier by having the walls  painted a colour that she liked.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 8 years ago

Michelle - Great post!  I want a "Eugene" in my area.  Yes, this definitely would work as an episode on HGTV.  I can't believe you accomplished all that in only 3 1/2 hours!  Whew!  Great staging and sales results - kudos to you and Eugene!

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 8 years ago

You have great friends here on your blog Michelle! I want to thank everyone for all the kind words and kudos to Michelle for the great job that she does!

Posted by Eugene Mezini (Re/Max Premier Inc) over 8 years ago

Hi Sally, It was made all the more easy as it was all planned out in detail before hand.  I knew exactly which products I wanted to select, the price point and where to find them. That definitely cuts down on the decision making time on the spot. This has worked out very well with Eugene and I. Great results every time!  I am sending good thoughts your way for  a "eugene" to arrive on your scene very soon.

HI Eugene, it takes two to tango and I think we are in perfect step with each other. Thank you for teaming up with me to market your listings.  It has been said many times before... plan the work, work the plan.  And yes, the community here on AR is very supportive in our work. Whenever you need ideas, or to ask a question, there is no faster way to find an answer than right here on AR.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 8 years ago

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