Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Are You and Your Seller's Thoughts in the Gutter?

Until recently, it was always true that what a homebuyer saw when they first drove up a property could either make or break its sale. For if the home was appealing, from the gutter, it was said to have "Curb Appeal". Which was a good thing.

But times have quickly changed, and while "Curb Appeal" still matters... today it matters in a different place and way.

Below is a 30 second "Curb Appeal Quiz Show" I created to show just where Curb Appeal ACTUALLY now begins... the final conclusion might challenge your way of thinking. (In fact I hope it does.)


(If you can not see the show above... Click Here.)

Realtors, you and your sellers need to know that with the vast amount of inventory in the market today, home buyers are now first prescreening homes online to help them decide just what they want you to set up to tour in person.

Since online prescreening/pre-shopping is now so prevelent, it is my opinion that with today's easy to use digital technology, Realtors have the obligation to capture and present the absolute best images and comprehensive visual experience of a property for buyers to shop and consider. Doing anything less is NOT doing one of the basics of your job.

SOME home stagers have the "eye" to help you prepare a home's look and then decide how to best visually capture the home for online presentation. (NOTE: Not all stagers can visually size up a room and then capture it... that is why I say some "SOME".) So If your listing is languising in the market you might want to work with an expirienced home stager who can not only help you re-examine but also update your listing's "Web Appeal"... because if you don't, your seller's home's sale could remain in the gutter.

Stage It Forward...





Comment balloon 40 commentsCraig Schiller • October 15 2007 09:15AM


Craig...I love it! may I use it in my class next week. What a great idea!
Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 13 years ago
Craig -- I absolutely love this.  Cleverly creative, but so simple, it makes one want to go DUH, why didn't I catch on to that sooner!  Very classy job!  
Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) over 13 years ago
I've written several posts on my outside blog about the importance of photos on the internet. I LOVE this perspective as to what curb appeal really is. After seeing this, I'm going to write yet another one with a link to this article on YOUR outside blog.
Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) over 13 years ago

Craig- As usual, excellent.  Wasn't it NAR that said 80% of all home buyers start their home search on-line?  And yet REA continue to take and post photo's that do no justice to their sellers homes.  Why?


Posted by Jackie Peraza, Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts (Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC) over 13 years ago

Monika, Karen & Elaine:  I am glad you liked this.

Whether I am "selling" a point or selling a home... I LOVE to do it visually!


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Excellent show Craig!  You are so right - it all starts online now.

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) over 13 years ago
Good one Craig, it does begin on line. No doubt.
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 13 years ago


Here's to the power of the Internet, you are absolutely right, an on-line presentation of the home can make or break a sale. I will incorporate this in my realtor presentations as well! Thanks,

                                                         Penny White, Beststagedesign Inc.

Posted by penny white over 13 years ago

Spot-on, Craig.  You're right - it begins with the pictures on-line.  By the way, I love your use of technology to demonstrate your point.  You amaze me!


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 13 years ago
Hi Craig - Great to the point (or curb) Show!  I remind my clients that most potential buyer's will look at homes online first so theirs better look great! Web appeal is a must! Thanks for Staging it Forward! :)
Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) over 13 years ago

Outstanding post!  I usually say a strong on-line presence is crucial in todays marketplace when selling my staging pitch to a realty group. Now I must paraphrase you with my "15 seconds" to make or break a sale from the curb speech, re-meaning from the curb of your computer!.

P.S. I am still looking for that all important camera.  Thank you for giving me a star as well, but no good leads yet.

What do you use?

Posted by Nora Marek, Melbourne Home Staging - (321)795-8761 (Home Stager Brevard County, Florida) over 13 years ago


So true! Online appeal is extremely important. Those homes that don't have it simply sit on the market. In the Nashville area we have much more inventory on the market then a year ago (AI believe it is about 15-20%), but the homes area still selling in 65 days on average. So that means the ones that are market ready are still selling at the record rate we had a year ago.

Posted by Anthea Click, Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly! (Fresh Perspectives - over 13 years ago
Craig: This is a brilliant way to get the point across about the importance of first impresseions - the first time a home buyer sees a home is usually on-line. Thank you for making this available to the rest of us.
Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 13 years ago
Hey Craig - this post is we thought out. I like it. Cuts right to the chase...thanks!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago

Craig, glad to see you are back on the blogging wagon!  This one rates a 5!

Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago
Very good Show Craig.  The write-up was also great, especially the part about "not all stagers". 
Posted by Charlene Storozuk, Home Stager - Burlington Ontario (Dezigner Digz) over 13 years ago
Great post. I think that this is something that gets missed a lot and definitely needs to be addressed.
Posted by Tanya Venable, SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant over 13 years ago
Craig, I've added my article to my blog with the link to your site. I've had someone click through to your site already per the stats.
Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) over 13 years ago
Good points - I would also add that without compelling photo work the staging efforts will be lost, especially online.  Either learn to use a camera well or hire a professional to capture the images...
Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 13 years ago

Hi Craig, I had written my newsletter on this very same point and had yet to send it.  I was waiting for confrimation on a Testimonial.  Good thing I waited.  Now I can link to your excellent write-up and RES. If that's OK with you?

We have started to look for our next house to live in and have had a very mixed experience trying to SEE what we wanted to go see.  This was my favorite - Kitchen?

a kitchen, but.....??? is that a tiled countertop or a seperate tray?  Gas or electric?  Er... Has this house been on since snow?



Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) over 13 years ago


THAT IS A CRIME! But, 30 Seconds later... improved! (NOT perfect but atleast this a BIT improved.)

If the Realtor took the time to LEARN how to use the camera and then EDIT if they need to... there would be no reason for pictures like the one you showed.

You are welcome to link to the show... it is also on my pretty blog... which is more written as if I was talking to sellers not to Realtors.

 The link is


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Very creative and cute surprises there :)  As always, well said and excellent visuals!

Keep on keeping on Mister!

All the best,


Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) over 13 years ago
By the way...can't you just use those little video shows in a gazillions ways these days??? LOVE THEM!!!!
Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) over 13 years ago


this is great..  I love the video and I will be referring the agents I try to get to this blog  :)

Posted by Mehmet Met Dilsiz (FND Photography / M2 Real Estate Solutions) over 13 years ago
Excellent point! I like to prescreen new property listings online for those that might need staging.  I saw that one realtor actually took a close up photo of a floor tile in the kitchen!! Made me wonder what the rest of the kitchen looked like...The other room photos were equally bizarre.
Posted by Kathy Riggle, Houston Home Staging (STAGING SMART N SOLD) over 13 years ago

What a GREAT SHOW! It's a fantastic idea. ;) Would love to see this in the next carnival of home staging.



Posted by Cindy Lin, Host, The Home Staging Show podcast (Staged4more School of Home Staging) over 13 years ago

I am always checking out the local MLS photos especially those of Realtors who tell me they do that (stage), so they don't need my services.  Sorry, they don't do that and they do need a professional stager (like me).

I will just point them to your blog - thanks. 

Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) over 13 years ago
I couldn't agree more.  This is why we market our after photos to the agent as part of our services.  They need to clearly understand that these photos are an important part of the role we play.  I get really frustrated if they don't change the photos out - which usually ends up being the ones that don't move right away.  (Do you think it's a co-incidence?  me either)
Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 13 years ago
Craig-this is terrific. Like Melissa-we supply the after photos to the agent and hope they will post them. We need to include you show to make them understand why this is so critical. Excellent post!
Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) over 13 years ago
Craig, I LOVE this!!  OMG you are so bang on.  I will link to this to this as well.
Posted by No Longer Available over 13 years ago
Craig - just when I thought I knew how creative you are I realize we've just scratched the surface.  This show is genius.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago


That's pretty clever. It's so true that most of today's home buyers begin their search on the web and prescreen properties there. Doing so saves them time, so sellers/agents should make their web presence top priority. 

Posted by Esko Kiuru over 13 years ago
I think I've watched it ten time.  ;)
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago
Craig... this is brilliantly executed. Well done!
Posted by Jeff Turner (RealSatisfied) over 13 years ago

Craig...A much needed element beautifully presented.

After a few years of relentless messages about how many people use the Internet to look for homes (over 80% and growing) I believe that too many REALTORS still aim their entire visual marketing approach at other REALTORS. They still unconsciously believe (incorrectly) that the buyer for their listing is going to come from and through another REALTOR who learns about the house through the old, traditional means. Yes, they reason, the public gets to access information, but the real action still takes place REALTOR to REALTOR.

Craig, you've done a brilliant job of presenting Curb Appeal in a very compelling way. Can you put your creative genius to the challenge of telling REALTORS that their presentations target is THE PUBLIC and not just other REALTORS? Thanks.   

Posted by Bill Leider (Real Estate Shows) over 13 years ago

Excellet point, Craig. So what does that say about all the crappy photos that buyers get to see on-line? I was at a recent convention and the point made by several presenters, which many agents clearly don't consider, is that the FIRST open house is on-line.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 13 years ago



OH how I am gonna work that in what I have to say.



Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago

Spot-on Craig!

So true and yet so many are not even remotely aware of this point.  We agree with Jeff totally.  We love Jeff Turner's Real Estate shows and this one was simple and right to the point.  Great presentation.

Posted by Robert Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) over 13 years ago
Craig -- Briliant show!
Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) over 13 years ago

Wonderfully creative! I wish I had thought of that, Craig!

Can I copy you, putting more of a photography twist to it (no really, I don't think I would)?



Posted by Susie Larsen, East Idaho Real Estate Photographer (Susie Larsen Photography) over 13 years ago