Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


GET THIS... real estate staging is NOT interior design!

So in the last week now, twice I have had clients that want to tell ME how to stage their totally vacant properties.  That is like going to the dentist and telling him you know how to drill our own teeth... and asking for the drill while he watches. 

Real Estate staging is NOT interior design. The work we do is NOT a reflection of the seller's life, tastes, hopes, dreams, or wishes.  It IS a cohesive and UNDERSTATED expression of what the LARGEST home buying demographic segment would find appealing.

To date we NOW have over 2OOO props in our prop library.  We have painstakingly selected EACH prop to compliment a home... yet not SCREAM for attention.

Interior designers have UNLIMITED resources to create a design statements that reflect a client's tastes. The "design" of a good staged property blends in a bit, so that the HOME IS THE STAR, and that the buyer will feel welcomed and enticed.

A PROFESSIONAL stager understands that. A person that has paid their $300 bucks to be magically turned into a "Professional Stager"... well I have harped on that before in other blogs and enough.

Speaking of enough... I think that is. THANKS,


Comment balloon 5 commentsCraig Schiller • August 09 2006 07:40PM


Are you writing this in comment to my blog from earlier?  It sounded like you were talking to a seller about their expectations, but then at the end it sounded like you were talking rude about people who took the staging class.
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - over 14 years ago

I've said it before... staging talent is NOT just acquired by sitting in a weekend seminar. I have worked with people that have NO formal training and they have "it".  Real Estate staging is having an eye for symmetry, balance, scale, proportion, and color. Property staging is also a keen and innate talent for marketing and visual merchandising.  It is also having a sense of organization, cleanliness and flow. It is an understanding of sales demographics and how they can impact the "setting" of a property for sale in the market place.

I DO NOT think that what I described here or in my blog is something one "certifiably" LEARNS in a weekend workshop.  WHERE is the test of one's TRUE understanding of EACH staging skill I describe above?  If a Realtor must be tested, if a Mortgage Broker must be tested, and if a Home Inspector must be tested... then why not a Real Estate Stager?  If it is an "accredited" SKILL then let's do so, but not by paying $300 and sitting for a long weekend in a hotel conference room.  LET'S accredit/certify stagers based on tested KNOWLEDGE. ‘

But if for now, one gets in touch with these skills, talents and passions by attending a workshop ... THEN it is money WELL SPENT.  But just because one has spent the money does NOT make them qualified or suited to do what it takes.  It only can make them aware to what is possible, but ultimately they need to have TALENT.

I am NOT being rude... I am passionate for providing the public with a service that ULTIMATELY benefits them. I do not want them "bamboozled' by amateurs.  It makes my job harder and more importantly ROBS sellers from what REALLY is possible when a professional is hired. It is NOT much different than the argument of what a WELL TRAINED professional Realtor has to offer when compared to a discount broker.

In my opinion (and that is ALL a blog is to be)... I wouldn't be so quick to defend your training... I would be quicker to fight for and defend the benefits staging brings to a seller and make certain EVERYTHING in the industry protects those benefit. 

I am not better... I am just ahead of most (not all) other stagers. I learn more and more every day.


Posted by Craig Schiller over 14 years ago

Oh so true Craig.  My broker just listed a very unique loft that has appreciated beyond belief.  The seller, a bachelor hasn't got a clue how to decorate.  My broker hired a stager to come in to help.

Since I'm sorta the photographer, I went to do the photos after the staging was "done."  What a disappointment!  What she did was so unexciting.  I was so sorry for my broker who paid for this!  My housekeeper does a much better job of not only cleaning (which I don't expect from a stager) but artfully and lovingly arranging items.

Such a shame...he was so hoping for a more appealing outcome.  :(

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

Craig, I totally agree with the "dentist" analogy. I laughed out loud when I read it and I'll be usin' that in the future myself. I've been puzzling how to "put that into words" and you have done it for me.

I provided a tour for an agent who insisted on "running the show" and was surprised that it didn't show the property very well. Pulllease. Let me do the job you are paying me for and I promise I won't try to do your job.

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

Really loved this blog, and you are RIGHT ON!  There is a  BIG difference between an Interior Designer and a Home Stager . . . .  other than usually the designers over inflated ego! (oh, relax designers - I can say that because I am one).  Thanks for sharing your thoughts Craig.

Jeannene Edwards

Posted by Jeannene Edwards (Home Staging by Interiors Defined, Inc.) almost 14 years ago