Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


First Appearing on "STAGE" 3 years Ago... TODAY!

 Today, on the 3rd anniversary of my first home staging... I thought I would share the backstory behind my first staging experience and how it convinced ME that home staging works.

In March of 2004, a little after I had completed my studies in Interior Design, I was asked to stage a condo (that had a lot going against it) in Chicago.

I can remember thinking... "Staging? What's that?" You see, I really knew NOTHING about staging.  So I went about researching what I could on the web. But unfortunately, at that time, there was not much information to be found, as there is today, but there was enough information that I got the "basics" of what staging is all about.  The "basics" I remember getting was to de-clutter and let the HOUSE be the STAR not the STUFF in it.

So with the information I could find, and did the next best thing I could do... I took and blended this new understanding with: 1.) My life expierence with moving (my father, an account executive for United Air Lines, always had us get the house "ready for selling" each time we were transfered) 2.) My newly educated passion (interior design) and 3.) My professional careers spanning the past 20 years (advertising, marketing & sales).

I can remember going out and spending about $700 on props for this 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo and thinking "what would I do with all these fake plants & nic-nacs when the house sold?" BUT I didn't fret too much... as I figured I could always use the PICTURES I took for my interior design portfolio. (Funny thing is I DON'T use these pictures for either my staging portfolio or my interior design portfolio.)

Well, anyway, the staging worked... and worked GREAT!

This home sold in 10 days, had 3 offers and sold over list price. WHICH is not that odd, EXCEPT for the fact that NOTHING had been selling it the ENTIRE high-rise for months as any new owner was going to be hit with a special assessment for new windows. In the case of this particular unit the assessment was going to be a whopping $20,000! 

Also working against the sale, in this particular home, was the original kitchen (ugly dated metal cabinets) and there were OTHER units in the same tier of the high-rise with fully renovated kitchens. Needless to say much was going against the sale of this condo. 

It is no surprise that the Listing Agent still takes pride in the fact that for over 2 years this unit held the sales price record for non-renovated 2 bedroom 2 bathroom units in this high-rise.

I experienced FIRST hand just how awesome of a tool staging can be to help sell real estate.

Needless to say, I was SOLD ON STAGING and Real Estaging was born.

Stage It Forward...



Comment balloon 27 commentsCraig Schiller • March 19 2007 07:09AM


Happy Staging Anniversary and many more years of success to come!


Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 13 years ago

To my mentor and his company, I say Happy Anniversary! 

You are an amazing person; talented, caring and very dear to my heart!

Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) over 13 years ago
Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Haaaaaapppppyyyyy Anniversary. I know I don't sing well online.
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) over 13 years ago
Congrats on the milestone Craig. I would say your biz is over the hump.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago

Funny how some of us get into the business after doing "what came naturally" or "just seemed to make sense" to us on our own home or someone else's.

So does that make your father was a pioneer in home staging?

Posted by Lucie Quigley (HOLT modern Home Staging) over 13 years ago
Craig - what a great beginning! 3 years staging and you still find it rewarding. That in itself is an inspiration for everyone. Thank you for sharing.
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 13 years ago

Happy Anniversary,Craig. Look at what a success, you have become!  


Posted by Leslie Godbold, Motivation Speaker, Radio host "Positively Living" (WZGM AM1350 Independent Asheville Radio) over 13 years ago
Thanks for being real, staging with all of us.
Posted by Sue Argue, NH Home Stager (Staged First Impressions) over 13 years ago
I am becoming a true believer in staging.  When the market was hot as a pistol some folks wouldn't even clean the homes.  Now they are watching their pigs sit and rot.
Posted by Randy L. Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 13 years ago

RANDY... you almost made me spew my soda out of my nose with that last comment. LMAO!


Posted by Craig Schiller over 13 years ago
Congratulations on your anniversary and your wonderful success with staging.  I'm sure you encountered alot of resistance along the way and it didn't let it stop you from your passion!  Doing what you love is always the thing you will thrive on. Happy Anniversary and many more to come!
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 13 years ago
Happy Anniversary,Craig  Thanks for all of you generous sharing with us and for founding this group. Celebrate!!
Posted by James Frazier (James Frazier Personal Development Coach) over 13 years ago

Congratulations Craig! If we could all communicate the message as clearly as you, no seller would ever allow a sign in the yard until a Home Stager had worked his or her magic!

Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) over 13 years ago

Happy Anniversary, and congratulations!!!  You are a shining example of a fabulous and generous stager.  You are the epitome of Stage it Forward - I wish you many many many more years of continued success!!



Posted by Alyse Bromberg (Dressed for Success) over 13 years ago
Craig - Congratulations! You have been and still are a forerunner in a very creative and cutting edge industry! You are a home stager that has been setting the standards in the Home Staging field. Continue to raise the bar and keep Staging forward!  Happy Anniversary and Continued Success!    Sue
Posted by Sue Shockley (Setting the Space) over 13 years ago


Well...After reading Randy's comment I find that I can't stop laughing long enough to make a witty comment myself :)

How about just a congratulations...And tell BB that you never had a hump :)

Sorry. I couldn't resist :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 13 years ago
Congrats on your anniversary, Craig!  Thanks for sharing the story of your first staging--you were a star from Day One!
Posted by Penny Province, Province Staged Properties (Province Staged Properties) over 13 years ago
Congratulations Craig!  What an incredible success to start your business off with a bang. Looking back is so much fun, to see how far we've come. You are a wonderful inspiration!
Posted by Angel Walker (Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners) over 13 years ago

Happy Anniversary, Craig!  I too would like to add my thanks for your willingness to share and for having created this group!




Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager ( over 13 years ago
Craig - Thanks for sharing your early pics with us.  It is nice to see where you started.  Congrats on your success.  Keep staging if forward!
Posted by Maureen Maureen over 13 years ago

Congratulations FC! I wondered how it all began, though talent like yours could only be dormant for so long. You rock, and I still think you should move to Cleveland and turn this place on it's head :-)

Posted by Carole Cohen, Realtor, ePRO (Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office) over 13 years ago

Congratulations Craig!  I hope when my third anniversary comes around I can look back on as many successes as you have had. 

Terry Haugen

Posted by Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495 (Stage it Right!) over 13 years ago



Congratulations on your milestone, you are truly an inspiration.  I am sure I speak for all the Stagers when I say you are a mentor and virtual instructor to us all.  A heartfelt THANK YOU for this awesome forum, I strive to offer the same level of commitment to the craft as you.




Anita Carrington

The Dovian Group, LLC


Posted by Anita Carrington, Dovian Group LLC, ASP, IAHSP (The Dovian Group, LLC) over 13 years ago
Yes, congratulations,   this is a great moment and milestone.  Thanks for the group without it I would have been left in West Texas all by myself.  You have certainly motivated me to do my best and Stage It Forward.   
Posted by Joni Van Deventer, RoomByRoomRedesign (RoomByRoomRedesign) over 13 years ago

Congratulations. I hope to see myself there soon. I am just starting to stage. Still working on my portfolio an web site, too. Besides the business skill I have a true talent and design come naturally. Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned or scared to get over the first hurdle my first staging job. I am in the mountains region so not a lot of exposure to stores. I need to plan ahead and guess create a nice little inventory. Any tips or lessons learned for me. I am open for any advise.

thanks, Beate

Posted by Beate Brady, Grand Design & Staging (Grand Design & Staging) about 13 years ago

3 years with many experiences (to remember or not) but definately to build a base of knowledge.  Continue on and my best wishes for a continued fulfilling future in doing what you had been gifted to do.  You are a great inspiration to us and thank you for your willingness to share.

Heather Klein, Emmy & Me Interiors 

Posted by Heather Klein, Emmy & Me Interiors (Emmy & Me Interiors) about 13 years ago
Craig you were one of my earliest inspirations. It is amazing that in 3 short years you have become THE staging expert on so many levels. I have found that looking back at my early projects is a great way to measure progress.  I have no doubt you will continue to be a shining example to us all!
Posted by Jackson West (Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver) about 13 years ago