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Home Staging Tips for Renters

Nothing attracts renters and buyers faster than good staging. The market for rental properties in Ontario is extremely competitive. According to Cube Ontario, since 1990, Ontario has built: 1,075,779 units for homeownership; 410,562 condo units; 143,091 purpose-built rental units. So, anything that will attract renters to your property rather than others is a win in our book!

As we help our clients invest in property, we keep our fingers on the pulse of the market so that we can offer the best advice for making a profit, whether through the sale of your property or by utilizing it as a rental unit. Keep in touch with us to stay informed.

What is Staging?

Staging is a term borrowed from the theatre. In our context, it means setting the home up to make it look like someone lives there. You want to stage a home to present the ideal lifestyle so that people viewing it can see not their current life but the life they’d love to lead. You should stage a home before taking photos to advertise the property and before showing the property to potential renters or buyers.

Think about the very popular show Fixer Upper. Joanna Gaines rebuilds houses and then stages them with furniture, fixtures, and knick-knacks to make it feel like a home you would want to live in. If she left the house completely vacant, it would be much harder for most people to imagine themselves living there.

How do we present the ideal lifestyle?

Everyone wants to be more organized, more stylish, and cleaner than they already are. While staging includes furniture and pictures on the wall, nothing should be personal, everything should be clean, and there should be only the absolute necessities to create a cozy feel.

8 Staging Tips from the experts

Clean ruthlessly

Bathrooms and kitchens should be immaculate. The photos advertising your property should make the rooms look big and bright and clean. There should be nothing or very little on the counters, which is not the case in most homes, but it tends to be how we want our home to look.

Remove all signs of people

“No eyes!” is a common phrase used by realtors meaning there should be no photos of people that live in the house. This is not a privacy issue (although you should consider the implications of having anything personal in your staging photos). It makes it harder for people to imagine themselves living in the property if they see signs of other people already living there.

Remove all signs of pets

In a previous blog, we talked about the popularity of pets in Canada: “In 2021, over half of Canadians own a pet, with the greatest pet ownership among those aged 18-24.” That being said, signs of a pet are a turn-off to potential renters. Even pet lovers want to imagine their home clean, fresh, and uncluttered. Unfortunately, pets don’t help us in this regard!


The most common issue when staging a rental is that there are renters in the home already. They have no motivation to help with the staging, so you should presume that the job will be up to you. At the same time, you need to respect that you are messing with your current renters’ home.

If the home is being lived in while you are staging, bring plenty of storage tubs. Photograph the room before decluttering, place the personal belonging into storage tubs, move them to another room while you clean and stage, and then photograph the staged room. Now, using the first photo, empty the bins placing items exactly where you found them. Don’t try to “clean up” for your tenant - it’s more insulting than kind.

Use Light

We are attracted to large light rooms. Decluttering and adding minimal furniture can help a room look large. Next, open all blinds and curtains and turn on all lights (bring more lights if you think it’s necessary) in order to showcase a room.

Make bedrooms luxurious

We like staying in luxury hotels. Each time a guest checks out, those rooms are basically restaged for the next guest. Try to make your master bedroom feel like a hotel room.

Consider the season. If you are planning to keep this property, you might want to stage it for summer - where you would use lighter additions like low pile rugs, and minimal blankets - and winter - where you could add fluffy blankets and feet warming rugs. By doing both in one day, you will not have to worry about doing a second photoshoot.

Look at curb appeal

Speaking of seasons, it’s much easier to showcase a beautiful backyard or entrance when things are green and growing. Take the time to landscape your home and, after the clean-up has happened, take many photos. You can’t expect the landscaping to last through many renters, so these photos are more of a “here’s what could be done” reference.

Bring nature inside

Adding fresh flowers and green plants brings life into the home and makes it very attractive to viewers. Be sure the flowers are tossed the moment they start to wilt.

These are the ways that the property investors at Regalway stage homes to sell or rent. It’s worked for us, and we have plenty of other tricks like this up our sleeves. If you are interested in getting more of our advice on investing or developing property in Ontario, please get in touch.


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