St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Just when I think they are getting it.... Million dollar homes revisted...

I know I've blogged about this before but I think it bears repeating!  I was looking through MLS tonight and was frustrated with some of the photos I was seeing (when there were photos) so I thought I would do a random sampling.  My search criteria - listings $1M & over... no area, no specific DOM - just homes over $1M.  Each of these is from a different home - all of them are from the FIRST 10 in MLS!

Please tell me these aren't 'staged'... both look to be primarily vacant.  This second one I really wanted to use the photos of the wallpaper in the next room, but I wanted to spotlight the cake & wine glass staging on the counter.... *sigh*


Remember, all of these are over $1M! 


This was the only photo for this property.  It does have a 1658 sqft home on it .... even as a tear down, there should be photos of the land itself... trees, ponds, etc...

I actually could have pulled more photos, but I wanted to keep them from varying homes & only out of the first 10 on the list.... apparently education will still be the key business plan for my company next year!



 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 16 commentsMelissa Marro • December 18 2007 07:28PM


Education is an investment that will pay dividends long into the future.
Posted by Find a Notary Public needAnotary (QEC Internet Services) almost 11 years ago
Geez those homes look terrible. Not high resolution nor showcase the home. Wonder if the home owners know the kind of work their agent is doing.
Posted by Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary, First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes (LemonTree Realty) almost 11 years ago

Melissa, I see the same thing in the area I live in. It is a shame.

Last month I was so frustrated I actually emailed the REA's of 5 of the homes with rough estimates based on the listing price. Not one responded. Not even to tell me to buzz off!

One of the houses I just offered my designer discounts for new flooring...who is going to buy a million dollar home with a kitchen familyroom carpeted in fake grass?!

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) almost 11 years ago
A waste of advertising $$$$$ !!  I just don't get it. 
Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) almost 11 years ago
It really surprises that a lot of upper end homes do not reflect the price tag.  The more expensive the house, the more upscale the decor MUST be to get good offers.  I would think the representing agents would love to have a stager come in so they can get their commission faster.  It's baffling.
Posted by Kristina Leone (Lionheart Home Staging, LLC) almost 11 years ago

I agree with Brian.  Not everyone is going to stage a home and I would like to see focus on the positive and homes in the area staged well put up for all to see. 

Posted by Tracy Moses~Redefining LUXE~Staging ~ Decorati (Redefining LUXE) almost 11 years ago

Brian - not at all... it just still amazes me!  I actually am really pleased with the education we've done in the Charleston market the last 2 years.  We actually were just contacted by a high profile agent that has 20 current listings and wants to hire a stager as an affiliate.  We were just called out on the first home today!  He will be staging every new listing going forward.... every new agents is a step steps!

We also just had 2 listings we staged go under contract this week... that always reminds us we are doing what we set out to do!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago
Gee Melissa...and here I thought wallpaper was coming back...Neat and clean does not a staged home make!  Education will be my focus for 2008 too.  Happy New Year!  Julie
Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 11 years ago
WOW ! Melissa I dont know how to get to mls homes in my area but these pictures make me feel like an exercise for stagers "what's wrong with these pictures? " We need to educate not only the agents, but also the sellers. I usually have gotten my jobs from sellers, then I meet the agent in some cases after the Staging when they call me and praise their listing, At that point I have them trained to call me after showings and open houses and they give me feedback on what people commented. They also say your display is running out of business cards
Posted by Fernando Rosado, 561-906-0050 or 561-840-8950 almost 11 years ago

Julie - Education definately seems to be how to make agents understand!  Perhaps when they read the comments such as these they'll begin to understand WHY they really need to rethink the standard of home presentation! 

Fernando - what a great idea for Sharpen Your Sword.  Agents & Stagers should post before photos, let us critique them, then come back to show us the after!  Awesome news about the refilling of business cards - great feeling huh?  My personal favorite - when you haven't had the home staged long enough to give any out!

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

Sometimes I am just amazed at what I see in the MLS. I was looking the other day and there was a home for $700K with only 4 pics, the front of the house, the back of the house and the 2 of the pathway to the back yard. No inside pics and this home has been on the market for at least 6 months.  It makes you just want to call the realtor and be like hello - what is wrong with you?

Education is definitely key to raising the bar.

Posted by Tanya Venable, SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant almost 11 years ago

Mellisa, you said your goal in '08 will be to continue education of staging. May I ask what steps you plan to take to achieve this goal? I agree, education of the public in general needs to happen.

This week I attended an open house of a vacant I staged, and was blown away by the comments made regarding how great the house looked with staging. (These agents didn't know I was the stager until I introduced myself.) I understood then that I needed to attend every broker's tour of my staged home from now on as much as I can,( even though I loathe going to them! ) and that will be one step in my plan to educate this year.

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

Roberta - I have been trying to remember where I saw you ask this question so I could answer it (apparently I already deleted it from my inbox).... so finally.....

My company offers 3 day agent courses, but in January we will also be offering 3 hr agent training courses - this course will be about teaching them WHY they should stage & what they should look for in a stager.  We will be offering this probably about every 6 weeks.  We also send a montly newsletter educating agents on how we can make them better - what we do for them.  I have noticed that a lot of other stagers have been sending newsletters - most on a sporadic basis, but the constant theme seems to be their awards, acknowledgements and all about the stagers themselves.  Some of them add links to their work, but they don't edit down for the attention span of most agents reading a newsletter and virtually none of them offer information on how they help grow the business of the agent they are targeting.  Basically it ends up looking like a 'look at me, look at me, look at me' newsletter.  That is one thing, when we compliment ourselves in our newsletters, we let OTHER AGENTS do the talking!  Without fail for 21 newsletters we have had a glowing agent testimonial in EVERY SINGLE newsletter... no other local staging company can say that.... I doubt that will change... even if it does, our record will still be nearly two years longer..... agents can and do recognize this...

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, the yellow one looks like someone made an attempt to stage- Wow!
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) almost 11 years ago

Hmmm . . .good points on the educating newsletters to agents. You've got me thinking. . . .

Melissa, thanks for being so open and giving. I really appreciate all I learn from you!

Have a happy, blessed new year.

Posted by Roberta Anderson, Hearth & Home Staging, Staging Kitsap County (Hearth & Home Staging) almost 11 years ago
Melissa, they NEED you! Good luck, educating is a challenge we all share.
Posted by Julianna Hind, REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

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