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


How to stage with a 5 foot parrot cage in the kitchen

Home staging in Vaughan I run into quite a few  homes that have sellers with birds. The latest one was a bit over the top though. 

When I arrived to do the staging consultation I found a 5 foot parrot cage in the eating area of the kitchen along with two small freezers. No table and chairs. Just a giant parrot cage and two freezers.

gray parrot  I know what you are thinking. Who does that?

As I like to assure my clients, you live in a house one way, to suit yourself. You pay the mortgage and taxes and if it gives you pleasure and isn't illegal you live the way you want.

But, and this is a big but- when you are selling your home, it is now a product for sale.

And you have COMPETITION in the market place.

So I did the only thing I could think of. I called my Dad.

All you ladies out there will understand why I made this call. My Dad will do anything for me. Always has and always will. I asked him if he would be willing to bird sit until the house sold. He has raised many birds so I knew he could handle it. Dad is now in his 80's so I thought this would be a great social activity for him getting to know the bird and of course teaching him to say a few new phrases. It doesn't hurt that my Dad is a huge Pavorotti fan either.

gray parrot

So now the bird and my Dad sing and whistle together. And the house is ready to be put on the market.

The agent, Peter Klosowski was blown away that I convinced the seller to part with his prized parrot. He really appreciated that I went above and beyond the call of duty by having my Dad bird sit. He really didn't know how he was going to market a home with giant bird cage and two freezers sitting in the kitchen.

Now the property is ready to be photographed and get sold.

So if you need a home stager in Vaughan that can motivate your clients to do what needs to be done to prepare their home for sale call Advantage Staging to get the ball rolling.

Michelle Finnamore  Advantage Staging


2010 National Builders Association U.S.   Silver Award Design  Zancor Homes

2010 Ontario Home Builders Association  Design Nomination  Devonleigh Homes

2010 Canadian Staging Professionals      Entrepreneur of the Year Award



Comment balloon 22 commentsMichelle Finnamore • August 20 2011 09:08AM


Well that certainly would have been a challenge.  Your Dad must be a saint. I like all creatures but a parrot in my kitchen would have been over the top even for me. Hopefully the owner will get back with his/her feathered friend soon.

Posted by Leslie G. Rojohn, GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty (MoonDancer Realty) over 9 years ago

Yep! Out of the house it goes-- that squawking would drive 99.9% of buyers right out the door. Your dad does sound like a saint. You are one too for helping the seller come up with the only workable solution- to get the animal out of the home for showing and selling purposes.

Posted by Ellie Shorb, Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert (Compass Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hi Leslie, I'm hoping that by having the parrot out of the house we see a sale quickly. I can only imagine how much the seller is missing his bird. Every time you enter the room the bird says "hello my girl" . The birds name is My Girl. I'm trying to teach the parrot to say tea time because that's what my dad and I drink when we visit.

Hi Ellie, you're right-that bird can squawk! And cluck and whistle and talk like a girl and boy. Buyers would either be taken in by the bird and miss seeing the house or be totally turned off by having it in the kitchen. 

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Your Dad sounds like quite a man... kudos to him! I imagine trying to stage that house with the cage in there would be just like doing it if there was a huge Moose head hanging on the wall above the fireplace huh? LOL, people are funny. Good luck!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 9 years ago

HI Fred, that's my Dad's name as well and yes, he is quite a man. Always there to help when you need help.  I have had my share of wild animal heads on walls. Everything from a Zebra, to a wild boar to deer. And they were all on one lime green wall. Always intertesting my job.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Of course he's quite a man - look at his daughter!  What a wonderful solution to this issue.  I worked with a couple who were able to put their giant bird cage in their "Florida room" for the summer while their house was on the market.  I hit Suggest!

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 9 years ago

WOW.....lucky you with a Dad to the rescue!  And lucky for the seller and realtor too!  I'm doing a Home Staging Consult for a couple next week and the biggest challenge the agent sees with the home.....they have two LARGE bird cages dominating their Living Room....oh my!  We'll see if I can come up with a solution for them!  THANKS!

Posted by Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging (Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA) over 9 years ago

Hi Julia, thank you for the lovely compliment. My Dad has taught me so much over the years from carpentry to tiling to being of  help when you can. 

I wish there had been a Florida room in this house. It wasn't an easy task to move the bird. Thanks for the hitting the suggest icon. I appreciate you doing that for this post. It is so important for sellers to understand that not everyone shares their fondness for their pets. I recently sold my house and my two cats were placed in their carriers for every showing and open house and were taken for a ride around the community until it was time to go home. You do what you have to do to get your home sold. Especially if you are asking top dollar.

Hi Kathy, I wish you luck with your client. If you lived closer I would ask my Dad for you!

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

I've never shown a home with a bird in it.  If there were a lot of squawking, it could very well have a negative impact on the buyer.

Posted by Daniel H. Fisher, MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC ( (704) 617-3544) over 9 years ago

Michelle: A Parrot??? I will attest to the fact that no matter how much you like pets-birds in particular and no matter how cute or pretty or unusal, that parrot is going to sqwak and NO one can tolerate it! I bought the most beautiful parrot when I was 20 and I had my sister and another friend living with me---well I was told after one day that it was me or the bird..the bird went. I had no idea until I got him home just how noisy they are! I don't think anyone does until they get them home...I dare say the owner was thrilled that someone actually came and took him--for free!...How's you dad. by the way? Hope he's hard of hearing!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 9 years ago

HI Daniel, plus this bird bites if you put your finger near the cage. That was another reason the bird had to go. I don't know many people that could resist putting their hand near the cage. That's all we need. A quick trip for a tetnus shot at the hospital.

HI Paula, It's funny you ask if my Dad is looking after it for free. The first thing the client asked was whether my Dad would do it for free. You are very perceptive.  Yes he is bird sitting for free. It's more of having something for my Dad to look forward to for a while and keep his mind active with a new activity.

My Dad does have some hearing loss but he says the bird wakes him up every morning like clock work. Speaking of clock work. My Dad's family is filled with clock makers. He has over 300 clocks ticking at any one time in his apartment. He doesn't hear them!  Too funny!  

I can see why your flat mates wanted the bird out, if you like peace and quiet don't have parrot in the house.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

I suspect the hard part will be getting dad to part with his new friend when the house sells, LOL!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 9 years ago

Michelle ~ What a great story, both about solving a staging challenge and a lovely story about your relationship with your dad!  It's easy to see why you're such a successful business owner because you come up with creative ways to make things happen  :-)  Your dad is a sweetheart and I'm sure this "job" helps him, too, because he obviously likes birds and he knows he's helping you.  Everyone wins -- seller, agent, stager, and stager's dad ... love it! (and suggested)

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 9 years ago

Hi Sharon, I'm thinking  I will be buying a parrot for my Dad if everything goes well.

HI Maureen, this truly is a win, win, win, win situation. You forgot the bird wins as well as I can only imagine how upsetting it would have been for the bird to have so many strangers coming through the house when it went up for sale. My Dad is one great guy for doing this for my client. It is a huge committment on his part but he is loving every minute of it.

I'm known as the GO TO GIRL around these parts. I have that on my license plate. If you have a challenge I'm known as the person that can solve it or I know someone who can.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Michelle -- yes, the bird wins too of course LOL!!   Did he learn any new words from your dad yet?

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) over 9 years ago

That would create a staging issue.  Sounds like a great resolution.

Posted by Rodney Mason, VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN (Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611) over 9 years ago

Michelle - I bet buyers will be "flocking" to the house now that the bird has "flown the coup", so to speak...  Ok, I have to ask... so what happened to the 2 freezers?  By the way, you have the BEST dad, ever!

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 9 years ago

HI Maureen, not yet but it is early days. He whistles  a few new tunes though.

Hi Rodney, the agents were really wondering how they were going to sell this property with the bird smack dab in the middle of the kitchen eating area. They are all smiles now.

Hi Sally, love the puns. I know you are a punster from way back.  The client ordered a POD to store stuff that was in the garage and then the freezers went into the garage. Much better arrangement for selling.  Yes my Dad is one special guy.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

Nice piece and thank goodness for dads.  I will recommend to all clients to remove their pets of any kind for the time their homes are being listed.  I have never yet had an issue ... most of my clients understood and complied.

Posted by Wendy Tomm, CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors (Beyond the Walls) over 9 years ago

I love your dad, can you share? I miss mine so much! What a great story and just shows what a pro you are!! Thank you for sharing and best wishes for a very successful sale on this home!

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) over 9 years ago

Love this Michelle! Your dad is a super guy! I actually took an aging labrador home with me once for a seller (I don't advertise this!) because of her age and I got to know her. I knew the house would sell quickly and I didn't want the stress of having to take her out repeatedly to affect her. I had the client bring her dog over to meet mine before the final decision was made and they got along famously.  Sometimes it takes creative means to get to a good end.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 9 years ago

Hi Wendy, I absolutely recommend a doggie or kittie day spa for the duration of the sale process. My own cats went to stay with my daughter for two weeks. Always best to prepare for the buyer who doesn't like to see pets in a house. We just want to get the house sold and get the sellers in to their next home.

Hi Cathy, yes I always think to myself, what will I do when my Dad is no longer here. I don't even want to think abou that day. He has been such an integral part of my life. Hopefully with his assistance bird sitting, the house will sell much more quickly.

HI Karen, You are a star for taking in the aging dog. My heart goes out to these pets, especially aging ones. It is so stressful for them with all the packing up, and strangers coming through at all hours. It really is best if we can provide them with a consistent routine even if it is in new surroundings. 

My Dad is such a super person for all the things he does for my clients. He repairs things that are broken, lets in the delivery people when the owners cannot be home, fixes locks for them, repairs screens. You name it, he has done it for me and my clients.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 9 years ago

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