Make Sure to Give Sellers Their Homework! A Case Study…

Before we, as home stagers, decide on whether or not we want to take on a home staging job, I always advise going to see the property and meet the home seller and realtor whenever possible. There will be times in your career where you turn down a job because it’s not right for you. In this case I thought that it was very doable especially since I was bringing in some PRES graduates to assist the new students.

Over the years I have moved many desks – taken them apart and reconnected the computer quite easily. I did not give the client any homework (big mistake on my part) such as taking the desk apart and moving it up into the spare room that we would later make into an office. This home is fairly typical in our market of a family home in the suburbs. Even though it’s not a ‘showhome’ our job is to make it look at attractive as possible with what we have to use!

When I looked at this room it clearly was not what a buyer wanted to see as their ‘living room’. Pretty obvious to any home stager that this room needed to have living room furniture in it and not a big desk and one sofa, side table, lamp and small art pieces.


The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!
The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

So that is what we did. We disassembled the desk and computer took it upstairs. We then took the sofa and love seat from the existing family room shown below and switched it.


Never block a view to the outside for any reason!
Never block a view to the outside for any reason!

And moved it into the living room to make it more inviting to a potential buyer…


Buyers are invited into this 'now' living room and can see their furniture here!
Buyers are invited into this ‘now’ living room and can see their furniture here!

Easy peasy job most of the time! Well it took 5 of us to get the desk apart and about 3 hours in total to put everything back together including carrying it upstairs and reassembling the desk and the computer so everything was in working order! This was MY LESSON and from now on whenever I or you see a desk like this – ask the client to disassemble and reassemble before you arrive.

Our job as home stagers is to give the home that WOW! look as much as possible so that it appeals to the buyer’s target market. We are ‘stage designers’ and thrive on creating beautiful looks by using our design talents!

What I learned and want to pass on to you:

• When you do your next consultation for a staging job take extra time to see how heavy some of the furniture is and ask the client to do their homework’ of either moving it to where it will show best or if you are not going to use it in the staging job them have them remove it (‘prepack’, sell, give away, etc)
• If there is heavy work involved hire movers or extra help to do that work if the seller is not able to and be sure to charge the seller for that
• If you are new to home staging brush up on your ‘computer connecting’ skills as you may have to take apart a computer or two and put them back together
• Make sure you have lots of the right tools in your tool kit for any job you have to tackle (Tomboy Tools have some great ones)
• Be patient with yourself when something challenging comes your way – you have the skills and talent to deal with it – sometimes it’s best to step away and then come back to it!

This property is listed for $549,900 MLS# F1303791

Colleen McClure
Colleen McClure Administrator & Proud owner of PRES Staging® - Expert Home Stager. When I was very young I began drawing interiors, it just came naturally. When I work with a client now, I see the finished project completed in my minds-eye as they explain how they would love to see their space created. I am able to provide sketches on the spot of their vision so this invokes client confidence and excitement for the project from the inception through to the brilliant manifestation – How Fun! When the economy did not support the luxury of home improvements, other passions led me to full-time work as a career counsellor. I very much enjoyed assisting people one-on-one to discover their own talents but this was an arena where I would develop effective techniques in workshop design and group facilitation as well. This would lead to a ‘happy marriage’ as I would apply these skills and passions when I purchased PRES Staging® - The Professional Real Estate Staging Centre. It’s truly the greatest joy to inspire others to discover and hone their innate talents – To witness their emerging confidence while coaching them on design principals and providing them the tools to start and run their own Home Décor businesses for Redesign and Staging. If you’ve ever thought you might enjoy this line of work, or even to do it for yourself and friends, get in touch – Let’s chat!