Steps a Vancouver Home Stager follows to stage a Property for Sale

Home Stager with EXIT STAGE RIGHT

What Steps does a Vancouver Home Stager follow to stage a

Property for Sale?

What exactly does a Vancouver Real Estate Home Stager do, from start to finish, to stage a property for sale?  Often I’m hired to stage a property with very little notice.  The client either goes through a REALTOR® and is not involved in the staging details, or they are unaware of what we as Stagers do in the background and only really see the end result on staging day.  As if by magic, the client’s home is transformed into a beautiful show room.  However, behind the scene, many hours of thought and labour have led up to the final end result.  Here is a list of what a home stager does for each and every staging job.

North Vancouver Home Staging-After Photos

Initial Contact

-       Either receive a phone call from a REALTOR® or a client that they wish to have their home for sale staged.

-       I take down pertinent information, ie the client’s contact information, the address of the home for sale, the name of the REALTOR®

-       I ask if the home is vacant or occupied, how long the home has been on the market, or if it’s a new listing.

-       I ask for the square footage, how many bedrooms

-       I prefer to see the home in person, so I will set up a convenient time to view the home for sale.  At this point I ask the client if they would like a full consultation, where I charge $225 to walk through the home and room by room and point out all the pre-work that needs to be done before the home can be staged.  This includes suggestions regarding home repairs, areas that will need “editing”, tagging furniture that will need to be stored off-site, how to store furniture off-site, carpet cleaning or replacement, general cleaning, and curb appeal.  If hired to do the final staging, I will credit back the charge for the consultation and apply it to the final staging invoice.

-       If the home is in good shape, I will offer to view the home for 20 minutes, in order to take photos, measurements and notes for a staging proposal.

Vancouver Home Staging-Before & After Photos


-       Drive to home for sale and view property for sale and meet with client and or REALTOR®.  Discuss who the target buyer is. 

-       Drive around the area and research the demographics and lifestyle of the people living in the area.  We like to stage to a specific buyer.

-       Return to office and download photos of property for sale.

-       View each room thoroughly and calculate how much rental furniture, artwork and accessories will be needed to stage the home.

-       Calculate the number of hours it will take to stage the home, including packing up and de-staging and how many staging assistants will be needed. 

-       Calculate the time needed for movers, if applicable.

-       Type up a Proposal, indicating all costs and total the costs plus HST and send to the client within 24 hours of viewing the property.

-       If the client agrees to the Proposal, we fill out our Contract and send this to the client, requesting a signature a deposit before staging can begin.

-       Once the signed Contract and deposit is received, the fun begins!

Vancouver Home Staging-Before & After Photos

Design & Packing Up

-       I view the photos again and create a design plan for staging.  I decide ahead of time where I plan to place the furniture or rearrange the furniture.  What colour scheme I will use, where I will be placing accessories and artwork.  What will the style be?  Contemporary, traditional, modern, transitional?  What local touches will I bring in to capture the target buyer?  The design process is extremely important, and can’t be rushed. 

-       Book movers if needed for a vacant or an occupied requiring some extra furniture.

-       If a high rise, make sure that the concierge is aware we are arriving with furniture.  Check that either the home owner or REALTOR® has organized this or that there is a number to phone.

-       Organize to pick up keys or to meet home owner or REALTOR® at the property for access.

-       Shop for any items that may be needed for the stage.

-       Go to storage and pack up all the items needed for staging.  On average we fill about 5 or 6 bins with individually wrapped objects, plants and lamps.  We pack up cushions and throws, bedding and bathroom linens

-       Load vehicle with staging bins.

-       Drive to the nearest café and pick up a latte.  Trust me, you don’t want to be near me before I’ve had a coffee.

-       Unload staging bins and carry up to property.

-       Tour property with staging assists and explain a plan of attack.

-       Unpack all contents in bins.

-       Stage property (believe it or not, this is the easy part).

-       Call REALTOR® and/or home owner and give them a heads up that we are finishing up in about 30 minutes. 

-       Load up empty bins, tools etc.

-       Take photos.

-       Offer Kleenex® to the home owner – they are overwhelmed with tears of joy.

-       Hugs all around. 

-       Present invoice and collect final payment for staging job for the first month.

-       Drive off into the sunset.

Vancouver Home Staging-Before & After Photos

What?  The home sold?  Time to De-stage

Book movers for the de-stage.

 -       Collect keys and arrive at home to de-stage.

-       Haul in empty bins and packing paper.

-       Collect and wrap up all accessories, lamps and plants.

-       Take down all artwork and pack up all bedding and linens.

-       Load vehicle and return all items to storage, unwrap and place back on shelves.

-       Meet movers at storage and direct the return of furniture items.

-       Send a confirmation note that the home has been successfully de-staged and a thank you note for the staging job.

-       Find out how much the home sold for and add it to my staging statistics ie. Time spent on market after staging, how much the home sold for compared to the original asking price.

There is so much to staging that isn’t seen by the public.  Many hours are spent before and after staging day.  Yes, the end result on staging day is fantastic, but it wouldn’t be great without all the pre-work, thought and design work that went into the project.  If you’d like to receive a Proposal to stage an upcoming home for sale, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Comments (26)

Charlene Storozuk
Dezigner Digz - Burlington, ON
Home Stager - Burlington Ontario

Hi Sally, it's been SO long since I've been on Active Rain, but decided to pop in, and guess who I looked for right out of the shoot?  You!  Glad to see you're still blogging on AR.  Great post.  It shows the consumer how much work it actually takes to do the job of a professional Home Stager.  Love your photo by the way, that little chair in the corner is just perfect there!

Aug 10, 2012 12:21 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Whew!  I'm too tired to go de-stage a SOLD condo now...thanks for spelling it all out for the public!

Aug 10, 2012 12:46 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Maureen - Thank you for mentioning the huge value that home staging brings to a property for sale.  I was remiss in mentioning this.  Often I think clients think they're just paying for the day of the stage, and will question the cost.  They don't think of all the pre and post work that goes into a stage.

Roger - Why thank you, Roger.  I hope I didn't miss anything.

Valerie - There is a lot of work involved, and then you have to add all the "interesting personalities" we work with to the list, just to mix things up a bit!

Anna - I know a lot of us took those rose coloured glasses off a long time ago!  It's a good thing we just love what we do.

Aug 10, 2012 01:48 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Joanna - Yes, there is definitely a lot of work involved in staging a property.  I still get goosebumps when we've finished and view the end result.  It's kind of like childbirth (ok, perhaps a slight exageration) - you forget all the pain when you are rewarded at the end!

Malcolm - That's a very good point.  I didn't even list all the hours involved in marketing, blogging, schmoozing, attending design and industry events to keep up with the trends.  Ha ha - oh yes, and I make sure those lattes are the extra strong Italian lattes that really give a kick.  Hey, sorry to hear Trenton is so far from Stratford - I keep forgetting how big Ontario really is!


Aug 10, 2012 01:55 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Charlene - We've missed you on Active Rain!  Hoping to read one of your posts very soon.  Meant to say, I love your new website.  I keep meaning to revamp my site, also.  It's our biggest marketing tool, and so important.

Julie - I know!  I think I'll have to add a fainting couch in my next stage, just so I can flop down on it at the end of the day!

Aug 10, 2012 01:58 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Sally- suggested this one.  You are absolutely right... many people have no idea what is involved in staging, especially a vacant home. I love your step of driving and picking up a latte for your day of staging! My last item would have involved crashing at home and not moving again until the next day. 

Aug 10, 2012 05:03 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Thanks, Kathy.  Listing everything a Stager does can certainly be an eye opener for some.  It's not all glitz and glamour!  Oh yes, mega crash at the end of the day!

Aug 11, 2012 04:38 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm even exhausted reading this and I KNOW what goes into staging a property, LOL!  Well done, Sally!  I'm kind of relieved that I only do consults!  I'll save the heavy lifting for you!

Aug 11, 2012 07:37 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Sharon - Hey, staging is my free gym membership!

Aug 11, 2012 08:46 AM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Sally.....GREAT list!  I'll need to pull it out everytime someone says.....Home Staging, wow that sounds like so much FUN!  It's really ALOT of hard work and a bit of fun too!

Aug 12, 2012 08:54 AM
David Peterson
Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging - Portland, OR
Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon

Great detailed post and summary of a typical job. You are right that most people think it's just magic and a house is suddenly staged without knowing all the behind the scenes work that is involved. Like Charlene, I haven't been here in a while, so it's good to see your post! I'll be posting something soon.

Aug 13, 2012 02:15 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kathy B - The proverbial carrot is the "a bit of fun" part that keeps us going!

David - Glad to see you back at A/R!  I'll be looking for your next post...

Aug 13, 2012 09:55 AM
Karen Ellis
Refreshing Homes - Home Staging Maryland - Ellicott City, MD
Home Stager - Howard County MD/Central MD

Sally, I've always known staging was a lot of work but when you put it all in writing like this, it's a great reminder of our worth to the realtors and sellers.  I especially love your sense of humor that comes through in your post. You better have a good sense of humor to be a home stager.

Aug 13, 2012 01:52 PM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Karen - After I compiled this list I thought no wonder I'm tired at the end of the day.  When it's a question of either laughing or crying, I'll choose laughing!

Aug 14, 2012 12:36 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Sally, I had to suggest this one! What a great explanation of what is involved in having a Stager do the work. Clients just don't seem to understand what they are paying us for so often. Like Sharon, most of my business is consult work for DIY clients. So many of the clients that ask for a bid balk because they don't understand.

Aug 14, 2012 02:24 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Janice - When I finished compiling this list, I was surprised at how long it ended up being.  Consults are a great niche market - good for you and Sharon for tapping into this.  I do mostly hands on staging - I'm a sucker for punishment!

Aug 14, 2012 06:22 AM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

What?  The home sold?  Time to De-stage 

LOL! Sal Gal! You make it sound like a surprise! It never is when they sell! What a great look into the life of a Stager! You didn't mention the massage and hot tub needed aftereach of the Staging and destaging days... =D

Aug 15, 2012 12:09 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Peg - Let me re-phrase that...  What?  The home sold?  The day after I staged it?!!!  Ha ha - in a perfect world, right?  Oh that's right.  I forgot to mention Sven, a bottle of Swedish massage oil and that six pack, too!

Aug 15, 2012 04:16 AM
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Sally - this is a sensational post on all that goes into a staging job! I'm bookmarking it for it future reference as I've already learned so much from you!

So many people don't have a clue of all the work we do before, during and after staging a home. Your work is amazing and it's no surprise that you are one of N. Vancouver's most successful home stagers! I'm actually working on a post that mentions you - I'll let you know when I post it! You get a big SUGGEST from me GF - this deserves to be featured!

Aug 15, 2012 05:22 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kristine - I think the pre and post staging work is the biggest mystery to most clients.  They really have no idea how many hours are involved before and after staging. 

Oooooh my ears are burning...  will have to keep an eye on your posts - how exciting!

Aug 15, 2012 01:44 PM