St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Leave the staging to the experienced.... PLEASE!

Lately I've had to restage 2 builders units where the properties went under short sale (one 3 days after contract - the other less than 2 weeks) and the builder opted to move the furniture themselves rather than pay for our movers.  I was called in to hang art, etc.... they already had 'set up' everything. 

When we arrived, we realized they really hadn't.... they need to stop this!  I didn't have the forsight to take my camera to the first home.  The second one I had to take a photo of the upstairs bedroom they staged.

When we used these chairs in the home next door they were used to add color and function to an akward space in the home.... In the new home they decided stage one of the bedrooms upstairs. 


Why doesn't this work?  When they added the furniture to this space, particularly centering it in the MIDDLE of the room it makes the room appear ridiculously small.  I mean does this look like it would hold a bed, dresser & nightstand?  Could your children be happy sleeping & playing here? 

We immediately removed these items from the space & repurposed them in the dining and living rooms.  Sadly there was no home for the Scrabble game in this house....




 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 12 commentsMelissa Marro • November 12 2007 05:29PM



It's unfortunate the builders moved your inventory without your being present.  I have a clause in my contract that states that no items can be moved from their present position without first obtaining my permission....

Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) about 11 years ago

Maureen - They did have my permission to move the furniture.  One of them had to be moved the day after they received a contract and I couldn't get my movers on such short notice that particular week.  The other one needed it moved while I was teaching last week.  I could have had my assistant there, but they were just moving everything next door (literally).  I still got paid for updating the look of the home & rehanging artwork, etc.

The comment that I was making was that they thought they staged the unit & had NO CLUE the image they were conveying.  This goes back to the issue many of us have been noticing.  Sellers, agents & the untrained often don't really understand what staging is supposed to be.  We still need to educate.

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 11 years ago
Melissa, yes I understand.....that's why I don't allow clients to move any items without me being present.  Untrained eyes just don't have any idea of how to do what we do.
Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) about 11 years ago

I have seen an agent that I work with now and then attempt to stage a couple of homes that, for whatever reason, has not called me in. I agree with you did NOT add desire in ANY manner.

In a vacant...a job poorly done is worse than nothing at all.


Posted by Julia Fedak (Royal LePage State Realty) about 11 years ago

Maureen - I wasn't available when the furniture needed to be removed from the other homes - they were on short sale & I was busy with other jobs.  I did come in and fix everything on both jobs within days of them moving the furniture.

Julia - Yes!  Vacants are better empty than poorly staged.  I've seen some unskilled stagers around here lately who cheapen very nice properties by not paying attention to many of the cardinal rules.... know your target audience, scale furniture to the size of the property, etc

Gary - at least in my case above they knew enough to call me back to finish the job!  You are right though... many don't realize they don't know what they don't know.  This is where training is very beneficial.  I recently overheard the story of a builder's wife who wanted to stage one of their properties.  The kitchen was small according to feedback.  She thought the best thing to do was to put in a large table & chairs.... you know, to show how large a table it could hold!  Maybe they should have actually paid for a professional to assess the situation.  Their 'do it yourself' attitude will likely cost them more money in the long run. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 11 years ago


I have has to "re-do" two different builders models in the past few months as well. Each builder let their wife and or daughter to stage the model.  What are they thinking, other then saving money and then shooting themselves in the foot?

I rarely go to reuse much or "spin" or "tweak" as they asked. It cost them both more money in the end.

It was frustrating for me because both "decorators" got quite offended. The Realtors who brought me in convinced each builder it was not about offending personal taste, but the "Numbers" ($)

Posted by Nora Marek, Melbourne Home Staging - (321)795-8761 (Home Stager Brevard County, Florida) about 11 years ago
Melissa, Your photo had me laughing right from the start. You are right, not everyone and his brother knows how to put furniture into a room in order to make it look its best. And Gary is right, sometimes they don't know what they don't know. Oh well.
Posted by Yvonne Root, Home Stager - Northern Arizona (rooms b.y. root) about 11 years ago

My thought when looking at  the table and chairs in the bedroom - is what feeling were they trying to convey?  Do they understand that we try to evoke emotions??  Like, AWWW how sweet, I can see my kids sleeping and playing here?  or my mom would be at such peace in this room when she visits? 

Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) about 11 years ago
That photo spoke the truth!  The art of Staging is more than what many would believe...and too few want to admit!  Educate onward we must!  Sounds like you handled things always!  Regards-Kathleen G
Posted by Kathleen Garvey, Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales (HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver) about 11 years ago
Melissa: My contract states that no one can move the furniture except employees of my company. I would be worried that someone else moving stuff wouldn't be as careful and damage may result. Then it becomes a much bigger problem. Glad they called you in to fix their "staging".
Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) about 11 years ago
Yikes! Your post proves the value of a true professional. I find it amazing how people think if they place some furniture it is home staging.
Posted by Anthea Click, Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly! (Fresh Perspectives - about 11 years ago
Melissa, had a good laugh at their 'staging' and of course loved yours.  Do you think they see the real value of your work now?  Betty
Posted by Betty Haney (Haney Consulting) about 11 years ago

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