Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Staging that STARTS on a BANG... But ENDS with an OINK

 Without a doubt, home staging can help sell a property. Even in this slower market, with so many home sellers having postive results using the services of an expirienced home stager, it is no surprise to find that time and again the blogging stagers here on Active Rain write posts to share their stories of the many wonderful success they have created.

So as much as I don't want to or like to report this, I have to admit that not every home that is staged benefits from the staging. Sometimes staging just can't do enough to make the home sell.

Why doesn't staging sometimes help a property sell? Well, there can be any number of reason why the best of staging efforts might be negated, but 3 of the most common reasons are:

- The property was overpriced.

- The property wasn't marketed properly.

- The home's staging was not maintained.

While these are 3 of the more common reasons why the impact of staging will be reduced or totally negated, sometimes there are even odder circumstances that staging just can NOT fix.

Recently we here at Real Estaging had just such a situation. This past summer we were hired by a builder to provide a solution for a problem he hoped staging would solve.  The builder had us come in and stage a new and totally vacant property that had already been on the market for well over 1 year.  Once staged, the builder was QUITE pleased and now encouraged that the staging would finally give the property the bang it needed. Unfortunately,... the staging still was not enough to help sell this 3/4 of a million dollar property.

To read the whole story as to why this property did not sell, and to see a video that will show you exactly what now for nearly 2 years now has kept (and keeps) potential buyers from falling in love and buying a perfectly fine home, click on the image ABOVE.

Enjoy the show...



Comment balloon 17 commentsCraig Schiller • December 05 2007 06:08AM


OMG Craig, the music you selected is hilarious! I can't imagine why the builder wouldn't put in the fence after 1 1/2 years of carrying the place...too bad, as it is a nice house!

What about planting a row of cedars?

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Good point and loved the video too. I would like to see what other homes on that street are like and do you think the builder did NOT take that into consideration when planning to place that type and cost of home there? Those are all things needing to be looked at before investing. My opinion alone.
Posted by Nicola Lindsay, CRSS (Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig, that is a situation I have seen with a few builders in my area, too. They will build a gorgeous home on an awful lot and hope that the interior alone will dazzle buyers. Buyers are far too savvy for that in this market, especially with an overabundance of homes to choose from.
Posted by Kathy Alexander, Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA (GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign) almost 13 years ago

Good post, Craig. It illustrates so well the problem that comes from location or view that is undesirable. No amount of staging is going to overcome that, especially if price is a problem. You can market it to death but only the price change (or perhaps a drastic change in supply and demand) will likely do the trick. Great virtual tour - it really illustreates your point well.


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

There was a builder in Toronto who put in townhomes backing on to an abbatoir...he told all the interested consumers that the abbatoir would be closing...not true.

In the end, if I remember correctly, there was lawsuits and ultimately the abbatoir was pushed out. Apparently it stunk and the new home owners couldn't open their windows. Buyer beware...due diligence is a must!

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig you made the point very well here.....location and neighborhood issues are key to property appeal.  The music highlights this "scary" situation!  Is the home still staged, or did he give up?
Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 13 years ago

Craig -

I had the same situation with a house I staged. It was a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood but the comments the Realtors kept getting were that they didn't like looking at the neighbor's boat across the street! I couldn't believe it! Anyways, it finally did sell after about 4 months. I loved your virtual tour! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kelly Townsend, CDPE, Realtor (Coldwell Banker) almost 13 years ago
I made this comment on your other blog but have the owner's  considered asking the neighbors if they could assist in the clean up of the property? Unless they have a sign that says "trespassers will be shot" then I'd venture to guess the worst they could say is NO! but maybe they don't realize the impact of their eyesore on their own property value (or if it's a rental situation, call the landlord and let him know how his property value is going to suffer). Could be a cheap, neighborly solution.
Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig -- thx for another true to life, face reality post on what to expect and the way it is.  Do what you can do, and then, move on . . .
Posted by Karen Dembsky, Atlanta Home Staging (Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA) almost 13 years ago

Great point, Craig. There are a few times that I have commented to the seller that I don't think that staging the home is the only situation had a neighbor with "metal art pieces" (SEVERAL) on the lawn....EESHH...

The word "tacky" doesn't even come close to describing the appearance....."hidious"...yup...I think that's more like it.


Posted by Julia Fedak, IRIS, CSP (Platinum Home Designs ) almost 13 years ago

That is why I live on 80 acres - If I am looking at junk at least it is my own junk - hard to complain about that.

I had a situation with an widow and the neighbors' dogs kennel. Her home was pristine, but the smell from next door...... 

Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) almost 13 years ago
I loved the way you presented the information- the video, the music, etc.  You are the king of blogging in my eyes.  Did you see the article?  Thanks again,
Posted by Judy Greenberg, Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes (Coldwell Banker Long Grove) almost 13 years ago

Ah hah a Realtor's nightmare.  Location,location,location, price and condition are what sells real estate.  There is a price at which this would sell, the builder just hasn't gotten there yet.  Having been in the business as a Realtor for 30 years, I have run across this a time or two.  One of the time, it was a single mom who couldn't afford to trim the ugly tree.  We offered to hire it done for her, my seller paid the landscaper to do it and she was most grateful and appreciative.  She did want her yard to look better, just didn't have the money to do so.  Another time it was a senior who couldn't physically do anything about it.  Again, the neighbors chipped in and cleaned up her yard.  I think sometimes we just don't talk with our neighbors or get involved in their lives enough to know it's not always an on purpose sort of thing.  That doesn't solve it all, but a portion of them.  Good points and good post. 

Terrylynn Realtor/Staging Specialist

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 13 years ago
Good post and point. I recently staged a house and it looked great, however the Realtor did nothing to market the house. It is hard to sell a house when you have no interested buyers because they do not know it is for sale. Needless to say the sellers relisted with another REA and so far so good. The sellers have kept up with the Staging although there were some things that the homeowner felt he should do on his own. Like hanging the crown molding...upside down and overlapping. But there wasnt much I could do, he thought it looked fine. And in the long run it wasnt the upside down crown molding that didnt sell it was the REA or lack of one.
Posted by Elise Sharpless, Home Staging,South Jersey,NJ (Rooms Like New, LLC) over 12 years ago

Great example of doing all you can do with a undesirable location.

Have one like this in my local market. They keep price slashing. No Staging. Just reductions that the end hurt the builder as well as surrounding homes from a resale standpoint. Just wish they would take location in to consideration before slapping up the house!

Posted by Gina Metzger, ASP, IAHSP (Spaces Refined Inc.) over 12 years ago

Staging isn't magic if the other elements are not in line.  Price, Price, Price and location must be in line and the staging will take it over the top for the buyer.  Buyers are not stupid, they don't pay more than a property is worth, they just want a good property for the price and staging will give the sellers that "too good to pass up at this price"  advantage.  Perception is everything. (Sorry Craig, didn't know that one, better go back and read the rules.)


Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - over 12 years ago

Craig,  loved the mini drama and the music.  It's a no-win situation when a builder doesn't assess the situation from the beginning.  What was he thinking?  He could always try to buy the neighbor out and build on the property.  Otherwise he may never get his investment back.

I bloged about something similar just recently, Does the Addams Family Live Next Door...

It's such a common but hopefully not frequent problem.  Some people have come up with hilarious and hair-raising stories.  As stagers we can only do so much but what you did was very attractive.  Too bad you aren't a magician.  David Copperfield should be called in.  He made a train and an airplane disappear!

Posted by Pam Faulkner, Room Transformations Fairfax & Loudoun Counties VA (Faulkner House Interior Redesign) over 12 years ago