Home Staging - How to Give a Five-Star Showing

Please welcome guest contributor to, Rachel Vanderveen, a Calgary real estate blogger and home stager who is writing an eight-part series of home staging advice for our blog. This is the final post in that series. Rachel’s previous home staging posts can be found here.

So the table is set, the carpet is vacuumed, and the house is sparkling and geared toward all of your newly installed focal points. Your listing contract is signed and your Saskatoon real estate agent has told you that you’re going live tonight and to be prepared for your first showings!

How do we make your listing stand out? We’ve done all the groundwork, but now the curtain is going to be lifted and the audience will soon be in your home to view the stage you have set. So, much of giving a five-star showing is about creating a mood, and that’s what we’re going to talk about here today.

Let’s start with lights. For every showing we have, I want every single thing in your house that makes light to be turned on, and I mean everything:  every lamp, pot light, puck light, art-feature light, even the work light on the hood fan. (No, not the interior oven light. I had someone ask me that once, so I figured I better clarify). I want those lights up and running, even if your showing is happening at 9 am. This means that if you’re going to be at work all day, you need to switch them all on before you leave. I know, I know, Al Gore would read this and cringe, but you’ll see the benefits of it in the purchase price of your home. Maybe you can use the surplus to buy some carbon credits.

Why is light so important? Because people who are looking to buy Saskatoon real estate love natural light. Light is something that you can’t often change. A house is either well-lit, or it’s not, and if it’s not, it’s often difficult to renovate in. Having all of your home lights on—especially in the middle of the day—gives the impression that there is bountiful light in the home, and therefore adds perceived value.

Next, music. I like to make sure that every time there is a showing happening you have music playing in the home. The best source is often using the music stations on your digital cable because you can choose by genre, it’s never-ending, and it’s often non-descript. You also don’t have announcers coming in and out. I don’t like local radio stations as they can be a little too in-your-face and a little too personal, when we are aiming for neutral. Buying a CD and playing it on repeat can often work. But music selection is paramount. I like instrumentals the best. Stay away from things with vocals. The type of music you choose really depends on what you’re trying to sell. If you’re selling a renovated townhouse in Saskatoon’s more trendy areas, go for some instrumental light jazz. If you’re selling a luxury home in an older more established area go for light classical. If you have a house that overlooks water, find one of those CDs that have flutes playing with ocean noises in the back. It’s all about creating the mood. The music should be loud enough so you can hear it, but not so loud that you couldn’t have a comfortable conversation if you were standing right near it.  You may want to consider playing music on every level, but try to play from the same source. If there are different songs playing everywhere you’re going to have the feeling of confusion in areas where you can hear it all playing.

Finally, there is etiquette. You never want your Saskatoon real estate shopper to feel rushed. For that reason, if you get a call from your Realtor to book a showing from 3-4. You should be totally gone from the house from 2:45-4:15. This gives your buyers all the time they need to be able to show up and explore. No, you may not stay home for any showing. No, you may not wait in the garage, backyard, shed or whatever wild idea you come up with. You and your family must be totally gone from the property. Otherwise you have totally spoiled your scene.

In addition, the only acceptable excuse for declining a showing that your Realtor requests is the following: you or an immediate family member is dead or dying. No other excuse is acceptable. If you want to sell your home, you’ve got to be serious about it. If you decline a showing, you’re giving the message that you don’t really care if you sell or not, and that does not inspire people to write offers. Additionally, nine times out of ten, if the buyer’s agent can’t book a showing on the first try, they won’t attempt to rebook, and you may have just lost an offer or a multiple offer.

You’re at the end of the road here. Reaching this point in the process of selling your home means you’ve done most of your work already! Now all you have to do is maintain that sparkle in your home, and trust your Realtor to bring an offer. So kick up your feet and relax! You’ve staged your home to sell!

Until Next Time…


Rachel Vanderveen is a Calgary Christian Realtor specializing in Calgary condos for sale, South Calgary Real Estate, Calgary home staging , McKenzie Towne Real Estate, and Auburn Bay Real Estate.  But more importantly, she is a mother to four adorable children, a lover of Auburn Bay Realty, and an avid writer of Calgary Real Estate blogs. For more information on Calgary, or searching, visit her website here.  

Norm Fisher, TeamFisher

About Norm

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 750 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.Less...

Licensed in 1993, Norm brings a wealth of experience to TeamFisher. He has worked in every imaginable capacity including sales agent, office manager, team leader, broker and now, broker/owner. Norm has written a weekly review of the Saskatoon real estate market for more than 750 consecutive weeks which may make him the most consistent industry blogger in the world.

Norm is known for his passion for technology and can most often be found exploring and experimenting with the next big thing in real estate marketing. He was the first Saskatoon real estate agent to promote a home online and has been an early adopter of new technologies ever since. “Everything about this business has changed over the past 20 years, and it will happen again in the next ten. An open mind and a curious attitude are all that’s needed to continue to find new ways to serve our clients by delivering a faster, smoother, worry-free transaction,” says Norm.

In his spare time, Norm enjoys Crossfit and cycling, some years accumulating over 2,000 kilometres on the road. He’s a strong supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and enjoys raising funds by joining fun, fitness-related initiatives like the Grouse Grind for Shelter. In 2015, he trekked the Peruvian Andes to Machu Picchu. In 2017 he walked the southern highlands of Iceland across mountains, sand, snow, ice, lava fields and forest for seven days. Collectively those initiatives raised over a million dollars for Canadian women's shelters.

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