Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Staged Property does NOT sell... BUT WHY?


Here is a set of Before & After pictures of a TOTALLY VACANT property we staged back in mid June and un-staged today.

IT DID NOT SELL. WHY? Was it because staging really does not help?

SOME nay-sayers might (and will) jump to that conclusion. I happen to have experienced far too many POSTIVE results because of our work to agree with that deduction.

Could it be because of the slow/poor market? Yes, that is a strong possibility. Actually the owner WAS able to rent it in the end.

OR COULD IT BE IT WAS PRICED WAY TO HIGH?  YES, DEFINETLY in this case that WAS the reason!  How would I come to that conclusion? Well my first clue was the day we were unloading our deliver truck and a “curious” neighbor popped over to greet and meet what she hoped was the new neighbor.  When I told her we were the stagers she curtly replied… “Well, I hope it works… this house is WAY over priced.”

THEN the listing agent confided in one of our Services Specialists that he felt the property was OVERPRICED by whopping $40,000!

This is why when a potential client asks me “Does staging REALLY work?” I reply with confidence… “YES! If it is priced right. You HAVE to LISTEN to your Realtor and take their pricing advice!”

BOTTOM LINE: Staging will NOT work if the property is priced wrong!


Comment balloon 15 commentsCraig Schiller • October 18 2006 10:06PM


I referenced you in my blog today because apparently in the DC area builders are resorting to giving cash to sellers to stage their homes so they can sell and move into their new construction homes. Apparently it does work!  :-)
Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) about 14 years ago

So true Craig, you have to get them in the door before you can sell them.  IF the price is out of line, they will never walk through the door.

Nice photos and staging work ...


Posted by Kristal Kraft, Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022 (Novella Real Estate) about 14 years ago

Ahhhh....Craig, I feel your pain!  It is hard not to take it personally when you put so much time, effort, and creativity into making a home look inviting and desirable...which this home definitely does. 

I have staged many houses, within the last year, that show beautifully but remain on the market because they are grossly overpriced...anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 over what comparables in that area have previously sold for. 

It is really a shame because, not only are the sellers and realtors not reaping the benefits of staging in the form of a quick and profitable sale, but potential buyers in the true price range are being deprived of the opportunity to purchase a wonderful home.

Thank you for sharing this sad tale with has given me fodder for future blogs....oh, the stories I can (and will) tell!!!



Posted by Judy Kincaid about 14 years ago

If the home is that nicely staged and doesn't sell... it's either because of price or the nuclear power plant behind it (which can probably be addressed with price)


Posted by Angus in Naperville IL (RE/MAX of Naperville) about 14 years ago
ROTFLM*O.  Moo is too much!  The price can fix the nuclear power plant behind it!  If sellers would just figure out that price is such a key factor in selling a house.  Two of my old listings which I realize now I should not have taken were overpriced.  They are still overpriced and are still on the market.  One thought they could do a better job than I did of marketing theirs and the other dropped $10,000 and still is on the market.  I believe they need to go down another $10,000 before it will sell.  Price is king!  Buyers know it, but sellers have not gotten on board yet.
Posted by Bonnie Erickson (Tangletown Realty) about 14 years ago


OH MY GOD I FORGOT to talk about the train tracks (That are used by Metra AND Cargo Trains) that backed up to the house too.


Posted by Craig Schiller about 14 years ago
Craig, great staging job!  I agree that price + show (staging)and location are KEY!  I have been to many sellers homes that are way over priced.  But who am I to say....I am the stager not the agent. It is my job to make the property look its best and it can be very fustrating when it is overpriced. 
Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) about 14 years ago

Craig, RIGHT ON.

One of the first virtual tours I did was similar. The realtor told me "They insisted that I list it for $579k. I told them they were WAY overpriced." At the time of the virtual tour, the price was $525k. "Other agents watch me drop the price almost weekly, and by now they are wondering how far it will drop. They won't bring their clients to the house." 

I had used the tour on my website as a sample of my work .. until I received an email from the NEW listing agent's office manager, telling me in essence to "cease and desist." Because that home was under contract with this new agent, my virtual tour had to come down until it sold. I did as asked, because it wasn't worth upsetting a HUGE realtor in our area.

The next time I spoke with the agent I did the tour for, he said "It was a no-brainer. I could have decreased the price. But no, it was MY fault the house didn't sell so they relisted it with someone else, dropped the price, and it sold. She got the credit." Naturallly he was bitter. Sorry for the HUGE comment!

Bottom line: I tell people ALL the time. You must trust your realtor to price the property appropriately. That's their job. No virtual tour will sell a home if it's overpriced. I've seen more than one person look away.. and wondered if they'd insisted on overpricing, too.

It is somewhat humbling when one of "my" houses don't sell :) but it wasn't my tour's fault (or your staging's fault). It was the homeowner's fault for pushing the agent to list it for too much. And, the agent has to take some of the blame I'd think.

Posted by Dawn Shaffer Life is good! about 14 years ago


Why, yes I am thank you very much.


Posted by Angus in Naperville IL (RE/MAX of Naperville) about 14 years ago

Craig, nice photos and your staging certainly makes a very nice difference.  You are right, one could have all the staging in the world, but if not priced right, it just will not sell.  Buyers have to actually perceive that it's a good price even before they walk through the door to see the beautiful work you did.

Pricing correctly is key!!

Ann Cummings

Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) about 14 years ago
Or could you just say that it could be both. If a stager stages a home to a style that is not loved by buyers that could be why it does not sell.
Posted by Craig Schiller about 14 years ago


You make an AMAZINGLY IMPORTANT POINT... that is why I gone on and on RANTING about why having a GOOD stager is critical.

Understanding how to MERCHANDISE a home so that it visually appeals to the potential buying demographic is KEY to the staging solution.  Throwing a bunch of stuff into a house is not going to help sell it.

As I said over and over... just because one has attended a staging class does not constitute staging TALENT!


While staging DOES have multiple components... the KEY component is an understanding of merchandising.

I could have chosen to not share the fact that this property did not sell... I shared it to make the point that there are other issues impacting the sale or non-sale of a staged property.

Your insight that TALENT also matters is critical.

Thank you for making such a good point.

Posted by Craig Schiller about 14 years ago
Great points, another excellent blog,  you never realize what some furniture will do for a home, great pics! They really do prove the point
Posted by Leo Namiot, Before you chose a lender check my rates and fees (Canopy Mortgage) about 14 years ago
Hi Craig and the rest of the gang, I'm a realtor in Pasadena, CA looking for a great stager.  Any referrals?  THANKS!
Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) about 14 years ago

I have experienced a similiar situation. The house looked awesome when we were done but the owner insisted on a price that was well beyond what the market called for. 

Stagers do great work, and our services will become a "must" in home selling. 

A quick sale not only depends on how the home looks but also how it is priced and marketed - two factors that are beyond the control of the home stager. 

Posted by Lucie Quigley (HOLT modern Home Staging) about 14 years ago