St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Proof that staging sells - an exact property comparison

Everyone seems to ask for proof that staging sells.... I've been watching a property for a while now (and trying to convince the seller - who is a corporation - that they NEED to stage!)

Both of these properties are on the same street, they are the exact same floorplan, built at the same time.  The cabinetry, flooring & countertops are all the same.  Neither home has made improvements since it was constructed in 2005.  They are virtually identical.....

House #1:  2328 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston

originally listed on 12/14/2006.  original list price $349,000

expired & relisted on 03/16/2007 $345,000

House #2: 2338 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston

originally listed on 03/01/2007, original list price $345,000


on 03/16/2007 both homes were vacant, on the market at the exact same time at the exact same price...

We staged House #1 on 08/08/2007

House #1 CLOSED on 09/27/2007 for final sale price $320,000


House #2 is STILL ON THE MARKET with now current list price of $314,800.

I charged $1800 for the staging job on House #1..... so far they have saved 2 months of carrying costs and the home sold for $5200 MORE than the same exact house is now listed for.....

If you still don't think staging is worth it - you really need a paradigm shift!


 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 45 commentsMelissa Marro • November 28 2007 11:18AM


Melissa: This is a perfect example of the power of staging, and also a testament to your amazing talent. It is hard to deny when you have such a clear representation. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, now this is certainly the type of statistics that should get people to stand up and take notice!  Kudos to you and a job well done.
Posted by Judy Heinrich (Judy Heinrich Home Staging) almost 11 years ago

Michelle - Thank you for your kind words. I only wish we had more exact matches like this one to show agents/sellers the power that we offer.  When they are laid out like this it is difficult to say it was 'coincidence'.

Judy - Yes!  I am considering using it in my next newsletter... except that the one property is still for sale & I don't want to offend the agent. 

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

I LOVE it! Even if you wait until house #2 sells before you use those stats in your newsletter, it's still great info!

Posted by Roberta Anderson, Hearth & Home Staging, Staging Kitsap County (Hearth & Home Staging) almost 11 years ago

Melissa, it is awesome that you can put forth this type of REAL WORLD information with the comparison.  LOVE IT!

Where are the photos?  I love seeing your work!


Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) almost 11 years ago

Melissa, I've been waiting for this!

Thank you for the comparison. Can we use the info to show as an example of the difference home staging makes?

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) almost 11 years ago

Roberta - that's why I keep following it... eventually it should sell, right?

Ginger - I don't have great photos of this property.  It was after midnight when we finished & they had a professional photographer coming the next day (I didn't get copies).  I never went back to take more... click here for the before & afters though...

Dane - You may use this info!  ABSOLUTELY! 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, What a wonderful job. The photos are great before and after. This is what staging is all about and you "got it"...keep sharing those stories with us..
Posted by Mary Lou Teague, Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN (HOME STYLE AND STAGING LLC ) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, comparisons that are this close are hard to come by.  I would absolutely pound your target market with this info, especially the builders. 
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) almost 11 years ago

Melissa - OK, you are being hired to stage the other property, right?  How can anyone argue with those facts?


Posted by Jackie Peraza, Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts (Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC) almost 11 years ago


Your staging is beautiful! Such a tranquil feel to it. Thanks for giving us this great example. I will definitely use the info!

PS LOVE the bedroom!

Elaine Manes-A Wonderful Space Home Staging & Redesign

Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) almost 11 years ago

Mary Lou - Thank you!

Gary - I'll probably wait until the other property sells, is withdrawn, or something - out of respect for the listing agent.  The listing agent is actually one of my good clients but the corporate owners don't want to spend the money - I know... crazy!

Jackie - I've been working on getting this client to stage for 6 weeks (longer than it took the other property to sell)  I did copy the bulk of this post to the agent to send to the client as a reminder.... we'll see....

Elaine - Thanks!  I like things to be simple. 

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

Thanks for posting this, Melissa! It is  another wonderful example of the importance of staging! In addition, well done!



Posted by Julia Fedak, IRIS, CSP (Platinum Home Designs ) almost 11 years ago
You go girl.  That is hard to refute and sometimes people just don't want to see it, but this can't be ignored.  I am sure you use this in your marketing all the time.  Great job.  You see, you stage, you conquer.  Thanks for sharing
Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 11 years ago
Thanks for sharing Melissa, I had the same situation with 3 town homes. I blogged on it a couple of months ago. I think that all of us should keep an eye out for sales like this and put together a little online collection. Maybe we could start a group (I know, we need another group like we need a third nostril) that features "apple to apple comparisons".
Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Great stats... definitely information that realtors and clients should take note of!  Its amazing to me that following the sale of house #1 that house #2 didn't take advantage of your services.  Hmm... reduction of $5200 or expense of $1800... not a very hard choice!!  Thanks for sharing your success with us.

Lisa Sherman ~ Interior Aura

Posted by Lisa Sherman, Home Stager, Interior, Redesign & Decorating - Salem Oregon (Interior Aura) almost 11 years ago
Great example and great marketing for your next newsletter.  You can't argue with those facts.  Let's see how long it takes house 2 to "get it".
Posted by Sandra Hughes, Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia (Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia) almost 11 years ago
Great example and great marketing for your next newsletter.  You can't argue with those facts.  Let's see how long it takes house 2 to "get it".
Posted by Sandra Hughes, Redesigned Spaces - Fairfax County, Virginia (Redesigned Spaces - Northern Virginia) almost 11 years ago
Melissa ~ Wonderful!  I love hearing these comparisons - there's the proof, what more do they need!  I hope you'll show us some pictures, too, when you get time.
Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) almost 11 years ago
Congrats on the sale!  Please send this post to every Realtor site out there!
Posted by Kristina Leone (Lionheart Home Staging, LLC) almost 11 years ago
Cool!  I always wanted some proof that staging works.
Posted by Christina Moock, REALTOR - Cutler Real Estate (Cutler Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Great post.  I'll definitely use your example in presentations.
Posted by Eliese Pivarnik, GRI, RSPS, ABR Broker, Colorado Group Realty (Colorado Group Realty, LLC) almost 11 years ago
That's so awesome, Melissa! Thanks for sharing those stats with us.  As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see that you'll be staging that other property sometime in the near future! 
Posted by Abby Roselli, Staten Island Home Stager (ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC) almost 11 years ago

WOW, very impressive work on both your amazing staging work but also on your accurate data in regards to the power of staging a home and the effects of not doing so. The way the market is going now, it can be worth it to many Sellers to invest in someone like yourself.

I've never used a Stager. Are you saying for onl $1800 you allowed the seller to use all the furnishings? This may be a dumb question... be patient with me.


Posted by TANYA PEARSON (NORTHSIDE REALTY) almost 11 years ago
Wow, these are fantastic comparisons.  Would it be okay for me to use this example with pictures in my materials?
Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Royal LePage Atlantic) almost 11 years ago
Melissa - yes, staging works, but it's hard to find an example as concrete as yours. Do you have photos to compare them staged and not?
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) almost 11 years ago
Excellent Post - congratulations on the feature, it was well deserved! - Julianna
Posted by Anonymous almost 11 years ago
Melissa, I believe staging works.  I may just send your link to sellers who need a little nudging.
Posted by Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 305.81.HOUSE (46873), GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay | (eXp Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago

Melissa- this is the kind of "hard" evidence that is difficult to ignore.  Staging works!  Thanks for the post.

Marla Hofstee, Burbank, CA. stager

Posted by Marla Hofstee, Design by Marla- Home Staging, Burbank & Los Angeles, CA (Design by Marla) almost 11 years ago
Great example. and i agree, a staged home furnished nicely does seem to be more inviting than one that is vacant or highly cluttered.
Posted by Paul Warner -- Orange County, CA Appraiser (Warner & Associates) almost 11 years ago

I bought a home from a friend (took it off their hands) recently. It was brand new-never lived in, no appliances, etc.  It sat vacant and for sale for 2 years going through 3 realtors with no serious offers.

They were happy for me to buy it for what they owed (I could have gotten it for less but I got a fair price).

I told them what they needed to do to sell this house in my opinion before I bought it.  They said they didn't want to go to the trouble and would like to just sell it to me.

So, I bought it, put some brand new appliances in it, modestly staged it (the house was certainly nicer than the furniture I used) and advertised it.  Within 3 days of advertising it, I got an offer and it sold. I told them its hard to look at empty homes-that they needed to stage it but they didn't believe me.

Was staging the only reason this house sold?  Probably not.  I'm sure timing was a factor as well.  I also advertised the home a lot more than the 3 realtors had.


Just my experience.....Thought I'd pass it on....


Posted by Michael Schindler (Your IRA guy!) almost 11 years ago

Looks like you have some great information to share.

Great example.Congratulations on the feature

Posted by Betty Garcia Doral-Miami Realtor® (786) 229-3636, Miami-Doral-Kendall- Coral Gables(786) 229-3636 (Co founder of of Miami) almost 11 years ago
More and more examples like this will help to convince the public, sellers, and people in the real estate business that staging does work.  Nice post!
Posted by Chelle Gassan, NOVA Realtor and Stager (RE/MAX Regency and Staged Homes VA) almost 11 years ago
Staging is merchandising--it doesn't SELL a home. There are many forces at work: people, strategy, tactics to make that the sale come about. Ultimately, the staged home has to make it to the closing table. It's important to remember that it's a team effort.
Posted by John March, "Engage, connect, prosper" (Matt 6:33) (Charisma Media Group, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Hi, Melissa!

Thanks for another solid piece of evidence to sway the uneducated masses!




Posted by Kathy Mohr (Begin It Today Design) almost 11 years ago


very well said, and love the facts that you've posted.

Although, I was hoping to see some pictures of the rooms staged  :)


Posted by Mehmet Met Dilsiz (FND Photography / M2 Real Estate Solutions) almost 11 years ago
Great job, Melissa.  In this market, I would think stagers have a golden opportunity to market themselves to listing agents of REOs or the bank directly!  The proof is in the pudding.  They are so overwhelmed with inventory, the idea of spending another dime to get the product off their inventory seems foreign to them.  But it sounds like smart business to me!  Clean it, fix it, paint it, stage it and sell it!  With an investment of a couple of weeks and a couple thousand dollars, these properties would sell quicker and for a lot more than they are now.
Posted by Irene Morales Ward, Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate (REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc.) almost 11 years ago
It is really hard to get any kind of stats on staging. Stagers swear by it, and so do many investors that I know. Others say there is no real proof that it works. You have come as close to getting proof as anyone. Thanks for the great post.
Posted by Karl Burger, Pensacola Real Estate News (ERA Beach Ball Realty) almost 11 years ago

wow!  Thanks for all the great comments!  Since there are just too many to answer each individually....

As John March said above, it is a TEAM effort!  He is correct that the staging did not sell the home, but clearly it helped.  I can tell you that the listing agent for house #2 is a well respected and hardworking agent who is marketing this home to get it sold.  Staging DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE - the evidence is clear!

The idea of staging is simple, clear and easy to understand & yet still difficult to market to some agents & sellers.... I just don't get it!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago
Really good comparison.  This type of thing is what the sellers need to see.
Posted by Gayle Balaban, E. TN Waterfront Real Estate (The Best Spot Realty/Waterfront Real Estate/Ooltewah Real E) almost 11 years ago
Oh yes, staging makes a difference. Very much so. Thanks for the post.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago
This is a great way to explain the effect of staging.  I think this example leaves little room for argument.  I think the biggest problem in our area is that it has been a tough year for most agents and they can't pay for the staging and the seller won't!
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 11 years ago
Great post, we would love more photos. Anyone else have a blog on staging in NC. I'd love to see your work.
Posted by TANYA PEARSON (NORTHSIDE REALTY) almost 11 years ago

more photos:

more res shows:


Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, I love hearing stories like this.  Thank you so much for posting.  Betty
Posted by Betty Haney (Haney Consulting) almost 11 years ago

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