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


All I did was... stage 1 home with 3 apartments in 4 hours.

Staging in the Beaches area of Toronto Advantage Staging comes across a tenanted home quite often that needs to be staged for the listing photos.

In this 1.4 million dollar professionally renovated property at 42 Hammersmith Ave., the owner lived on the main floor. The tenants on the upper floor and in the basement apartment agreed to permit staging of their apartments as long as we put everything back in its place once the listing photos were taken.

Always up for a challenge we agreed to send our team of four stagers in at 11 am to be ready for the photos at 3 pm.

We started on the upper floor, moved down to the basement apartment and then finished up on the main floor. Everything not required for staging purposes was packed up in boxes and bins and stored in the closets, in cabinets and under the beds.

A lot of work for a matter of a two hour photo shoot. Our team works like clock work so it was piece of cake to make sure we were ready for the deadline of 3 p.m.  for the photographer. We were finished with 20 minutes to spare.

The catch came when the agent called to say that there was a showing at 5 p.m.  Could we stay until after the buyer came through and then put everything back. 

Of course we were happy to accommodate the request of the agent. Luckily my team had lived in The Beaches for a number of years. I had suggested they bring their bathing suits when we booked the job. With the Lake Ontario at the end of the short street this was working out beautifully for a day at the beach.


It was a really hot day and the beach was filled to capacity. You really live the life when you live in The Beaches in Toronto.

Too bad The Beaches International Jazz Fest was a few days away. Would have been the cherry on the top of our staging job.

The owner couldn't believe what we accomplished in a few short hours. She said her place looked like hers but somehow better. 

It was if I was a fairy Godmother and had come to sprinkle fairy dust on her home to make it look polished.

Here are a few of the finished rooms in this charming house for sale in the Beaches part of Toronto. 

The upper floor is my favourite as it has the double doors that open onto a covered balcony. The tree canopy makes you feel like you are away at an island somewhere. And who wouldn't want to come home to that every day!

Here are a few shots of the upper apartment and a view of the house from the street level.

42 hammersmith kitchen after  42 hammersmith balcony












42 hammersmith kitchen after

                   42 hammersmith front of house












Here are a few shots of the main floor... 

42 hammersmith kitchen close up42 hammersmith


 42 hammersmith kitchen     42 hammwersmith bathroom


Investment, minimal.

Impact, priceless.

The agent recognized with this property that it would be to everyone's benefit if our team came in to pack everything up so that all the floors of the property were prepared for listing photos at the same time. The tenants were not incovenienced as they were out at work during the day. Everything was put back on the counters in time for their arrival back home.

Simple and effective staging techniques to achieve the quality listing photos that are needed when selling a tenanted property.

If you would like to have our team work with your tenants we are ready when you are. We visit the tenants, explain how and why we do what we do and ask if they will cooperate with the staging requests to prepare the property for sale.

Michelle Finnamore Interiors Ltd.

2012 RESA Top Ten Stager in Canada






Comment balloon 12 commentsMichelle Finnamore • July 09 2013 05:10PM


Everything looks great and I'm sure the sellers will be happy with an offer comes in.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 7 years ago

A lot of times once we do all we can, we can settle in. :) Good luck! You're doing good work!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 7 years ago

Hi Cindy, this one is in a very good area, very sought after part of town. The renovation was done professionally, very detailed finishes. It won't last long I don't think.

Hi Laura, we were very fortunate to work with tenants that were cooperative. I can imagine it is a major inconvenience to live through when it is not your home for sale. Lucky for us, we were able to spend some time with each tenant and they liked what we offered as a service to them. They didn't have to lift a finger. They were settled in their homes like nothing had been moved while they were away at work.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 7 years ago

hi Michelle -- You and the sellers were lucky to have such cooperative tenants to work with!  I've heard that trying to sell a home when tenants are in place can be challenging!  Sounds like a lovely spot (if you like that hot weather!!)

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 7 years ago

HI Maureen, the typical scenario working with tenants is that the seller is not showing the apartment. Either due to lack of access or lack of cooperation on the part of the tennant.

By having the agent invite our company in to speak with the tenants it really allows for the tenant to be less apprehensive and therefore we manage to get more of these types of properties photographed for the listing.

The agents and the sellers really appreciate that we are willing to pack up , stay around for the photographer and then put everything back. Makes it so much easier for the tenant to say yes when they know they don't have to do anything and are not inconvenienced.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 7 years ago

What a great project to do.  You sound like you were professional and it certainly paid off.  The pics are great.

Posted by Wendy Tomm, CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors (Beyond the Walls) almost 7 years ago

HI Wendy, we find when we are working with tenants they really just want to make sure their stuff is safe with us while they are away at work.  Sharing our processes with them outlines exactly how we will make it all happen and takes away the fear of letting in strangers to their home. After all, they didn't hire us and don't know us so it really pays off to take the time to meet with them.

Thanks for stopping in, I think you have beaches in your area as well so you must work with these types of homes too.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 7 years ago

Sounds like you and your team have high levels of empathy - and energy, Michelle!  What a marathon.

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 7 years ago

The rooms look lovely, Michelle, and I especially love that covered balcony.  The Beaches is such a fabulous location, too.  Who wouldn't love to live there and in this charming house.  Great thinking outside the box with the tenants, too!  Great job.

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) almost 7 years ago

HI Julia, it was a high energy job for sure.  We were able to relax in the middle of the day though as we had to wait for the buyer to see the house. Then it was all out effort again to have everything back in its place for the tenants before they arrived home at 6:30. 

Hi Sally, you would love it here, the balcony is just so right for so many uses. People watching, sipping cool drinks, reading a book, a snooze or as I my friend the massage therapist/reflexologist said...providing treatments to  her clients.

Working with tenants seems to be a specialty of our team now. Word gets around fast with the agents when they hear how we work with the tenants to get listing photos for their properties.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 7 years ago

What a beautiful place....that balcony is quite the escape!  I have never combined staging and going to the beach, LOL!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 7 years ago

Hi Sharon, this was a first for us as well! It was the perfect day for this job...thank goodness it wasn't in the middle of winter.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 7 years ago

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