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


All I did was...turn a 1970's home into a must see for todays Buyer!

Home staging in Nobleton is always a sound investment. The homes were originally built on estate lots in the 70's and need updating to appeal to the Buyer of today.

This home at 94 Faris Avenue, Nobleton happened to have an updated kitchen and an awesome back yard that looked like a park but inside....well, that was where our simple and effective home staging suggestions came into play.

Sheri Bernhardt from Prudential Ronan Realty has been working with our company for a few years now and understands the importance of preparing a property for sale. 

All we did was suggest that the seller install a few new lights at a minimal investment, rent a few pieces of furniture and allow us to stage the property with current artwork, props and accessories.

Thank you to the seller for listening to their agent and taking the suggestions on board.

Clearly this home is now on a buyers must see list.. professional photography showcases the staging changes to perfection.

Sun Room before and after... we usually recommend to remove rugs however in this case it really grounds the space. We rented a chaise lounge and staged it as a special place to get away from it all with a view to the pool and the park like setting outdoors.

I know this would be my favourite space in the house if I was the buyer....

94 faris sun room    94 faris sun room



Family Room before and after.... all we did was remove the bamboo furniture and rent comfy furniture. Our artwork created just the right look of relaxing around the fireplacewith friends and family...

94 faris family room  94 faris family room


All we did in the kitchen was pack up the day to day items to show a spacious counter top. With the pool just out the door we wanted to showcase the ease with which a buyer could entertain their guests...

94 faris kitchen  94 faris kitchen


Living Room before and after.... all we did was rent furniture, removed the light fixture and create impact with artwork and accessories... simple and effective changes that show well to buyers.

94 faris living room

   94 faris living room

In the guest bedroom we had suggested to paint out the purple and remove the walllpaper border. As this was not in the sellers budget all we did was pull together a look that would compliment the room. We used an inflatable bed, artwork and accessories to create a simple room that showed fresh and welcoming.  The seller provided the white sheer curtains. We find that by introducing the white sheers it actually brightened the room.

94 faris purple room   94 faris purple room

We created value in the mind of the buyer whereas before the room showed as a storage room.

Investment, minimal.

Impact, priceless.

If you have a home for sale that could use the suggestions of a professional stager to attract a buyer call us to provide a room by room plan for your listing. 

Michelle Finnamore Interiors Ltd.







Comment balloon 40 commentsMichelle Finnamore • July 15 2013 07:18AM



Very nice job. I love the storage room makeover!  Brilliant!

Posted by Marcia Hawken, Naples Luxury Specialist (WILLIAM RAVEIS ) almost 6 years ago
Michelle. The home now has a modern flow and great ambience to it! What a difference staging can make.
Posted by Nancy Lamb, & Loving AZ Team-Fountain Hills AZ (Home Smart LifeStyles) almost 6 years ago
Excellent ideas to make a home more appealing on a budget! Thanks!
Posted by Carol Tunis, Carol Tunis...a "HouseSold" name! (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) almost 6 years ago

You did a fantastic job with makeovers for the rooms in this home. They are so much more attractive and appear to be more spacious. Good job.


Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 6 years ago

Not only does staging help, but decent photos using a nice wide angle and some good lines.  I love looking at before/afters!  Thanks.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) almost 6 years ago

What a great job! You really transformed every room into something that is really impacting and valuable to a buyer.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) almost 6 years ago

Great job, and the before and after photos certainly tell the story. We use the same set up in every listing presentation and the impact on the seller is always favorable.

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 6 years ago

Visually terrific and a pat on the back for  you.

Keep Smilin'

Posted by Brian Schulte, SFR, Sierra Vista, AZ (Allison James Estates & Homes) almost 6 years ago

Love it - been trying to talk a seller of mine into staging their home.  They think they did enough cleaning and sprucing.  while their home is very clean, I believe staging would be the key for a sale.  Thanks for sharing your photos.

Posted by Venus Howard, CDPE, CIAS, SFR, GRI (Re/Max Alliance) almost 6 years ago

Hi Marcia,The storage room really wasn't of any value to a buyer but now it looks useful.The seller had no budget left by the time it came to this bedroom so we put on our thinking caps to come up with a simple and effective way to showcase it.

Hi Nancy, definitely more appealing in every room of the house now. Feedback has been good.

Hi Carol, when sellers are on a budget we have to squeeze as much as possible in to every room. I find leaving one or two rooms undone really does leave a buyer with a let down feeling about the house. We try to take away as many objections as we can.

Hi Allen, space and light sell a home every time. The rooms are the same square footage but staging shows off the space to its best advantage.

Hi Carla, wide angle lens to show the scope of the room and a professional photographer really showcase the property in its best light. I have a decent Cannon camera but I don't have the ability to tell a story with a photograph. This photographer really captures the soul of every house he shoots.

Hi Trisha, I think the chaise lounge was the winning way to capture a buyers attention. The buyer will probably sit down it and put their feet up. Anything we can do to get a buyer to remember a home or to make a conncection to a home is what we are aiming to do when we stage.

Hi Leslie, we started using brighter and bolder accents in the past year, it really does leave the buyer with a good memory of the house.

Hi Brian, thank you for the pat on the back, will pass it along to my team!

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Michelle- well done.  You showed that you don't have to break the bank to stage your home.  The touches you added were just enough to bring the home into this century. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 6 years ago

Michelle, what an incredible transformation! You're very talented for Design!

Posted by Tamra Lee Ulmer, FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD! (Arizona Resource Realty) almost 6 years ago

Hi Kathy, the sellers were at the end of their budget when we got to the purple room. We knew we had to create value in the mind of the buyer. As you know, every square foot needs to be sold.  I never thought about it being brought in to this century... you're brilliant coming up with that idea!

HI Tamra, the home owners were very happy with the end result. We also painted the brick fireplace out which added to the incredible transformation of this home.Thank you for the kind words in regards to the design of this home. We transform over 500 homes every year and still, every one of them is special to us.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Great before and afters Michelle! I wish all homeowners took our advice about the value that rental furniture can add to a home.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) almost 6 years ago
I always love to show homes that have been staged. Buyers love them as they don't have to visualize past all of the stuff and clutter. And if the home is vacant, then it gives them a sense of the space and how their furniture may fit.
Posted by Aaron Hofmann, aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings (Atlanta Communities) almost 6 years ago

Great Job! Love the before and after photos. Especially like what you did to the storage room.

Posted by Les & Sarah Oswald, Broker, Realtor and Investor (Realty One Group) almost 6 years ago

I have to go see what is wrong with my browser, I can't see any of the pictures you posted.  I was really looking forward to how you accomplished your feat.

I used Internet Exploder and it worked!  I normally use Firefox.  Nice job!

Posted by Roger Stensland, Let's Move! (Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound) almost 6 years ago

What an incredible difference your update made! Even more remarkable is how you accomplished the job using a slight budget. Nice work!

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) almost 6 years ago

Michelle - I totally agree with Carla, great pictures showcasing the great staging is a big plus.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) almost 6 years ago

I am trying to get a home stager for a home I have listed. I know it works and you are another example that it is a great thing to do. Maybe the seller will want to stay now.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) almost 6 years ago

You are just the type of stagger that many sellers need. Unfortunately, many sellers believe that it is going to be too expensive.  You have demonstrated that it can be very affordable and well worth the investment.  Nicely done!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 6 years ago

Hi Suzanne, I know it is a continuing task we have as stagers and agents to educate our sellers on this point. I keep stats for my agents or suggest that they do so when a seller asks if it "is worth it" , they can speak from their own stats not a national survey.  Works every time.

Hi Aaron, I work with many agents that include a home staging consultation as part of their marketing for the listing. It is just how they do business. When they get a referral, that seller already knows from whomever referred them that a home staging consultation is part of the process. 

Hi Sarah and Les, yes that storage room wasn't increasing the value of the home one bit. Now it says "move in ready".

HI Roger, thank you for taking the time to switch browsers. The before and afters are pretty dramatic and are used with the next seller to show them how much a difference a professional stager can make in the appearance of their home for sale. Pretty hard to argue with a picture, as they say they are worth a thousand words.  The best thing to do is to take pictures of your sellers home as it is now and show them to your seller. You should see how wide their eyes go when they "see" their home the way others see it.

Hi Ralph, they call me the go to girl, it is even on  my license plate. When you want a job done, I am the person they call to make it happen no matter what the budget is.  IF they have NO BUDGET AT ALL, I can still give them enough information so that they can get their house prepared for sale. I am part of an brokerage that has 300 agents. I am part of their marketing plan. My job is to get the house prepared for listing photos whether I do the work or the home owner does. Works like magic every time!

H Michelle, professional photos are the only way to go but I have to add that this particular photographer does an outstanding job of capturing the heart of a home. You may have to go through a few photographers to find the right one but when you do...they are worth their weight in gold. They actually get you more listings and more importantly ... the right buyers.

Hi Jimmy, if you search on AR under state or town you can find a professional home stager right here. You can see their work ahead of time.   I have only had one person decide not to sell after we staged their home for sale. They were going to list in spring and decided to stay for the summer to enjoy their "new home".. I can assure you that most people have their reasons for moving and they are moving no matter what.  I offer the same service at the new house so they know that I can do exactly the same thing there, no need to stay here. Hope that helps!


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Hi Joan, I think most people think it will be too expensive as most people have never had a home staged before. It is all new territory for them. I have different packages for sellers, there is always one that is right for a particular seller. Some stagers do not offer that type of service so best to interview several stagers to find the right one for a particular job. You don't have to use the same stager for each job, nor do you have to ask a professional stager to lower their fees. I always say there is a cup of tea for every one.   

I work in homes worth several million and  I work in homes where there is literally no budget at all. They all get staged for listing photos one way or another.  I wish you well finding the right stager here on AR.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Agree that home looks good. Better than I anticipated it to.

you got mad skills girl!

Posted by David Shamansky, Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg (US Mortgages - David Shamansky) almost 6 years ago

What a great illustration to your own work.  . and not just to staging. .you are very talented indeed

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 6 years ago

Michelle, great job, I can see why you are so busy. Simple, elegant and what a difference!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 6 years ago

Good morning Michelle - looks like magic to me :) What you did in that guest bedroom is nothing short of wizardry!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) almost 6 years ago

HI David, it doesn't matter how many homes we stage we are always pleasantly surprized by the end result ourselves. Thank you for the kind words about our skills. It is a skill to be able to envision what a home can look like during a 2 hour walk through, selecting inventory in our head that we know is in stock and will suit the home.

Hi Fernando, thank you for stopping in, staging as many houses as we do we come across almost every type of house. We have even staged a nunnery!

HI Andrea, simple and elegant.... that is the look we are known for whether it is a condo or 1970's bungalow. Less is more as they say.

Hi Wayne and Jean, It's funny you say that we used wizardry... a  seller last week said we were like a fairy god mother dropping in with fairy dust and sprinkled it over her home and shazaam! it looks amazing a couple of hours later.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

This looks awesome Michelle! Knowing what to remove and what to bring in is key and utilizing the services of a professional home stager even when the budget is tight is the first thing a home seller should do.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) almost 6 years ago

Sometimes it's all about priorities and working with what's there, right?  Better a pretty bedroom (even with the wallpaper border) than a storage room - that adds value.

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 6 years ago

I love before and after makeovers!  Great job!  And what a HUGE difference!

Posted by Francine Viola, REALTORĀ®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs (Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA) almost 6 years ago

Hi Karen, as I know you can attest to ... sellers need a focused plan to start preparing their home for sale. We want the seller to spend their limited budget where it will bring the most pay back. Some people are short on time... and that is where our advice can help as well.

Hi Julia,we are always pretty adamant about the wallpaper coming down but in this property it wasn't going to happen. So when you have lemons you make lemonade! I was at the broker open house today. The house showed really well and the agents gave their thumbs up on the presentation.

HI Francine, we bring value to the eye of the buyer in every property we stage. Better a bright spacious bedroom than storage room. It really did look much smaller with the just the rack in the room than when we put a queen size bed in the same room.


Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Hey Michelle,

Do you have a rule of thumb for total investment in staging for sellers, like 1-3%?

What does it cost the sellers to rent furniture for say a LR,DR and BR?

Thanks so much


Posted by Debra Landy, PA and NY Home Stager (StageTwoSell LLC) almost 6 years ago

Hi Debra, The rental fees for furniture would be different in every city as per demand. I know by reading here on AR there are many states that do not have rental companies available at all and that furniture stores are used for rentals.

In our area to rent furniture for the 3 rooms you have listed would be approximately $ 1065 - $1760 depending on the price point of home that you would require the furniture for.  We use different companies to supply the rental furniture depending on the price point of home.

Delivery, set up and pick up would be extra.

That is for the furniture only, all artwork, accessories, props, bedding, accent cushions, staging and destaging fees would be in addition to the rental furniture amount. 

Industry standards here suggest 1 - 1.5% of the list price would be a reasonable expectation to pay for staging fees. This property did not require any where near that figure to be staged. It was approximatley .4%

The return on investment for staging this home was definitely worth the investment to the seller and of course the marketing material looked outstanding compared to the original look of the home. By staging the property the home was allowed to be marketed to the target buyer who would be looking in this area for their next dream home.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Hi Suzanne,

The home looks great but the guest bedroom is the best change. People just pile things in a room and it becomes a junk pile. What a waste of a room for a utility shelf and cleaning supplies. The floors and kitchen are lovely so the furniture really made it shine.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) almost 6 years ago

HI Kristin, we find that until we take pictures of the home in its current state that sellers really don't"see" what their home looks like to outsiders.  They really have a light bulb moment when we show them. Don't know why this works so well...but it does! We suggest all Realtors try this with their reluctant sellers when they will not agree to have a professional stager come out to give suggestions to prepare the home for listing photos.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) almost 6 years ago

Hi Michelle,

You really did an awesome job staging this home...  You created an attractive style that gave new energy to this home.  It will have no trouble selling now!

Posted by Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager (Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging) over 5 years ago

Michelle, what a great real-world example of what to expect from hiring a home stager. Taking a typical average looking home, and, with just a few modifications and no ridiculous renovations, making it look fantastic for buyers.

Posted by Janelle Ancillotti, HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY (Seneca Home Staging) over 5 years ago

Thank you Janelle, appreciate your comments on this topic. We try our best to keep the staging investment to a minimum for our clients. By using the home owners belongings as much as possible and renting some key pieces to update the look of the house we were able to assist in getting this home sold in a few days instead of the usual 9 months in the area.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 5 years ago

Nicely done Michelle.  I usually recommend area rugs in spaces to define the space.  Again this doesn't always happen but to create warmth is something that works for my properties.

Posted by Wendy Tomm, CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors (Beyond the Walls) about 5 years ago

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