Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Staging Realtors... how big are your guns?

 When should a realtor, who considers themselves to be a stager, bring in a professional real estate stager?  In my opinion it really comes down to 3 key elements: TIME, TALENT, & TREASURE.  A keen and rich knowledge of these basic 3 elements and a system for implementing and administering them is what truly makes a stager an effective resource.

I have found if stager does not have access to all 3, they undermine the true benifits of staging and what is available to the seller. (Please note, the key word here is “access” and does not mean EVERY property needs all 3 elements.)

So realtors, if you are thinking about becoming a “Staging Realtor” but are not sure you want to, I ask you to consider the following basic questions regarding these 3 key elements.   

TIME: How much time is preparing properties for market going to take you? Taking into account that staging can take a considerable of time to perform physical and/or project management tasks, is this the best use of your time?

TALENT: Do you already know and are you willing to continue to learn all you need to know, about landscaping, cleaning, de-cluttering, room & furnishing arrangement, home repair & maintenance to best prepare these properties for sale?

TREASURE (Props): Considering staging is real estate  merchandising and that scale, proportion, color and style do make a difference… Do you have access to the RIGHT furnishings and decorative accessories that can be added to your properties that subtly blend in, yet enhance their overall appeal?

If as a realtor you are willing to fully and ongoingly commit to these basic elements of staging, as you commit to the basic growth and development of your realtor skills... I say GO FOR IT. But I think it is far to warn you...  to do staging RIGHT it often takes more then one thinks. It might be best at times to call in the BIG GUNS of a professional stager.

Because sometimes it’s not what you know… it’s what you don’t know that you don’t know, that can best help your client sell their house.


Comment balloon 14 commentsCraig Schiller • October 25 2006 06:07AM


Awesome Blog Craig! 

You certainly 'shot' some holes into the theory that a person can do it all! 

We all have our limitations, and time is a precious commodity to us busy professionals.  It is not a sign of weakness nor does it demean your abilities when you ask for help - actually it is a very savvy thing to do!

Realtors - we are not the enemy - we are not your my lips....WE ARE YOUR FRIEND AND BIGGEST ALLY!

So, Craig - how is Hong Kong?  Hope you're having fun and getting some well-deserved rest while you go about your business there!

Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) about 14 years ago
Presentation is everything!  I still remember one home imparticular from several years ago, what stood out was that it was not staged!!!  It was small and had piles of "collections" throughout the house, mismatched furnishings of the extended family that occupied the home and the scent of curry lingering through every room. The listing agent would have profited greatly had it been staged.  It was a perfect example as to why it is important to PRESENT a home for Sale. 
Posted by Jennifer BeGole-Bunting (Argyle Title Agency) about 14 years ago

Another consideration is the PHYSICAL toll that can be involved. I have agents who have said that they have done some staging but were REALLY tired after the process.

Depending on the "state" of the house, just being there can make you sick.

We just finished (thank godness) this house, I've mentioned it before - the one with used Kleenex everywhere. I've been in that house once a week for the past three weeks. Every time I leave my nose is running, my head hurts and my throat is burning. I spent the next few day sick and just as I start to feel better, I have to go back. Lucky me!

I kick myself and should have been more careful, the house itself is "sick" which is affecting me. The cleaners are scheuled today with carpets being steam cleaned the next day. This should solve the problem.

Don't get me wrong - this house was disgusting! An extreme case but still something to consider.


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


Nice Blog, Read it ! :)

Ray Saenz 


Posted by Ray Saenz, Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor (Exit Realty Laredo) about 14 years ago

Having to paint, repair, and bring my one apartment unit up to my standards makes me sure that I don't want to haul staging stuff into a house, much less clean or paint someone else's house.  Besides, many agents I've talked with include this in their marketing plan.  If they're including it, how do they get compensated?  It's hard work and deserves payment.

Second thought I have on the issue is that a stager has more credibility in the eyes of the seller.

Posted by Bonnie Erickson (Tangletown Realty) about 14 years ago

One of "my realtors" told me recently that she's going to go to staging school to earn credentials.  

I told her I didn't think it was a good idea. I'm going to forward your blog to her, because you said it all right here. "Out of the mouths of babes."

Real estate is a "full-time job and hobby" as a friend used to say. I see that every day. Realtors' last phone calls of the day are from frustrated or excited clients. They can barely keep up with everything they need to do, let alone doubling their workload once the courses are completed.

I remember you writing some time ago that you've invested about $20k in props. Same here, between computers, high-end cameras, software, etc etc. It's what we do when we've really decided on our professions.

As another friend used to say, "Keep your day job." Do what you do BEST. Consult professionals for the rest--the SAME way you tell people not to try to sell their homes without professional representation.

Craig, you "live it and breathe" staging, and by sharing yourself with us, you encourage us to do the same. Be the BEST that we can be.

Thank goodness for the internet. We'd all be going through withdrawals if we couldn't get our CraigFix!

Dawn Shaffer

Posted by Dawn Shaffer Life is good! about 14 years ago
I am a strong believer in we should never do it all. We do not have time and we should have a strong team. I agree that we all should have stagers as part of our team.
Posted by Susan Trombley, Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs (Trombley Real Estate) about 14 years ago

 Craig I couldn't agree with your blog more!  This was on the staircase of a home that has been on the market for 4 months. The Agent called me to do a staging evaluation.  The agent told me that the house was mostly vacant and that she brought in some of her own things including HER FAMILY PHOTOS in small frames, OLD TOWELS for the bathroom and MISMATCHED FURNITURE in the livingroom!!  I am glad she told me that before I put my foot in my BIG FAT MOUTH (again)!  I understand she was trying to help the homeowner and was doing her best BUT she really wasn't doing them any favors.  This is why I don't sell homes...because I don't know how....I know how to stage them.   

PS - Sorry the pic's sooo big!  You will have to help me with that Craig the Picture Master!

PSS - Be glad I didn't send all the other pics - yikes!

Posted by Craig Schiller about 14 years ago
Great post Craig, I would never ever attempt to stage a home my self. I know my limitations and always believe in hiring the pros.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 14 years ago
Although I have my ASP REALTOR(R) designation, we still use a full  time professional stager to stage the homes we list.  Well worth the money and the time saved.
Posted by Suzanne Marriott, Associate Broker, CLHMS, e-PRO (Keller Williams Arizona Realty) about 14 years ago
Couldn't agree more!  I am very good at what I do - offer my consultative services and assist in selling and purchasing homes.  I also learned early on to surround myself with partners that are excellent at what they do.  A stager is a critical partner and a huge asset!  Keep up the great work.  I love your blog!!!
Posted by Irina Netchaev, Pasadena CA Real Estate (Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc.) about 14 years ago
I think for most realtors it probably makes the most sense to focus on selling rather than staging.  That way they have more time freed to take on more inventory and sell more.On that note I think more realtors should hire professional photographers to take the MLS pictures.  With more than 79% of buyers researching the internet before they view homes, it is critical to make that first impression count.

Stick to what you're good at!


Posted by Jessica Hughes (Ambiance Staging) almost 14 years ago

Hey Craig I just found this older blog of yours and it is truly excellent. As I mentioned to you I have been asked to address a large group of realtors about Staging as an alternative income.

While I have some points I prepare to touch on I would love to use your 3 elements theory, if that is okay? I totally agree that they could make far better use of their time, marketing OUR staged properties.

Thanks again

Phyllis Pafumi  

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) almost 14 years ago
I'm learning obi wan - I like your stuff... i need to take time to digest all that your brain dump has to offer... my husband is getting suspicious... great post - and I just joined AR last week so forgive my tardiness...
Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago