Times are very different right now, so I’ve been doing all my staging’s on-line.  I wanted to write this blog to explain how the process works. This is just one example of a recent on-line staging of a vacant property.

On-Line Staging

I have been working with Realtor,  Patti Smith from Keller Williams Integrity for almost 2 decades but since COVID I have been working with her on her vacant properties ( as well as her occupied listings).

What does ‘on-line’ staging mean?  Well, the realtor (or the homeowner) emails me photos of each room.  Once I have reviewed them, I have lengthy discussions with everyone figuring out what can be done in each room.  Once a plan is established, then I email a very detailed report summarizing exactly what needs to done, what needs to be brought in and where to place it.  Patti has collected inventory over the years so I know what she can bring in and where to put it.  If she doesn’t have the item, I can usually tell her where to get it. Not all realtors have inventory so in those cases we work with what the homeowners have.

We have many phone calls as she packs everything up so she is well prepared.  I am also with her on facetime the entire time she is placing items.  We work extremely well as a team.

“Why do I need to stage a vacant property?” This may sound like a strange question when houses are selling way over asking price within days of being on the market?  It’s very simple.  Buyers can’t tell which room is which when all the rooms look the same. Buyers shop online and if they don’t like what they see, they will quickly move on to the next listing.

Living Room

As you can see by these initial photos, it can be really hard to tell which room is which since they all look the same.  If we can’t figure out the flow of the house by the photos, then potential buyers certainly won’t be able to either.  You lose (or gain) all your traffic simply by the photos.

The only real piece of furniture we had to work with was the black futon in the living room.  The carpet, table and folding chair were going to be removed. Admittedly, a futon isn’t the ideal sofa for a living room, but you have to remember, we are ‘staging’, not decorating.  The purpose is to show buyers the scale, and potential.

Patti was able to bring in everything else that you see here.  We needed to make the black futon work so this artwork tied everything together.  Since the property is also near a marina, it made sense to use artwork with the sailboats.

In order to ‘fill up’ the space, the console table was a focal point to show where buyers could put a TV if they wanted.

Notice how all the colours flow together even further into the dining room.

Empty Room

At first I couldn’t tell what this room was.  That is why it’s so important to actually show buyers and take the guessing game away for them.

We were very happy that the homeowner agreed to paint the kitchen white since it had just been painted burgundy. Keep colours neutral for resale.

Home Office

With so many people working from home now, it’s really important to showcase an office if possible.  In this case there were 4 bedrooms so it made sense to showcase the smallest room as an office.

Always showcase any little areas of interest with accessories to make the space memorable.

Use What You Have

This is actually the master bedroom but it was impossible to know by this photo.  Everything in here was removed and Patti brought in her inventory. This futon and rug were actually used in another bedroom that you’ll see below.

When the windows are higher up the wall like this and you don’t have a headboard, this is the perfect spot for the bed. Look how stunning the floors are.

Recognize the futon, chair and red carpet?  They were previously in the master bedroom.  Now this makes the perfect ‘teen’ bedroom since it’s downstairs. Staging vacant properties is all about using what you have available. Inventory is scarce these days so it’s important to be creative and think outside the box.

Every Step Of The Way

I may not be there in person, but I am involved every step of the way.  As I said, we are facetiming during the entire staging so I can direct her to where to place things and what should be used.  I know how hard she works for her clients.

Other Situations

We have worked on many online Stagings together.  Sometimes the clients are still living in the house and they follow all the suggestions on my very detailed report for them. In those cases, I work with the clients as well on Zoom calls and Facetime. Those listings are a bit easier since the house has furniture and accessories to work with. Either way, Patti usually ends up brining some inventory in and works extremely hard for her clients.

Contact Me

If you have questions about one of your listings or your own property, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss what is the best solution for you. I am very grateful that we can use technology to keep everyone safe and still get the job done.  Is this our new norm for a while?  I’m not sure, but at least it’s working!

***The AFTER photos were taken by PREP Solutions.***


Heather creates lasting impressions transforming any house into a home. Styled&Staged take your space from from Drab to Fab!


70 Bongard Avenue. Ottawa, ON, CA K2J 7Z9 
+1-613-302-4020 | info@styledandstaged.com

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