St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Jacksonville condo SOLD in days, instead of months, thanks to staging

I remember when I got my real estate license in Jacksonville 2 years ago telling my broker that I had a lead on a condo listing. He asked me if that was something I wanted to 'get into'. I was confused because having had my license since 2005 in SC, working on condos wasn't really different than selling a home. Now that I'm more in tune with the Jacksonville market, I understand what he meant. Condos here often just sit. The monthly fees can be very high and the values were decimated during the market crash. 

Selling Condos at Grand Reserve in Jacksonville FL

Recently I listed my second condo in Jacksonville's Grand Reserve. The first one was a previous rental property. I advised the seller to repaint and recarpet, along with a few other changes. Then we staged it. The results were nothing less than text book, receiving an offer within 3 days of listing and closing in less than 30. The condo sold for more than any other unit in the community, in the last 6 months, based on dollars per sqft. 

Having just listed my second condo in this community, once again, we've broken the record. this condo is now under contract for more than the last one after receiving an offer the first day it was on the market, and a second one days later. 

View condos for sale in Grand Reserve, Jacksonville

Home Staging makes a difference

While many sellers think that staging doesn't make much of a difference when the list price is only $115,000, statistics show otherwise. Many units have been on the market in this community more than 100 days, while our staged units have gone under contract in less than a week. Let's compare the same size/layout non-staged listings in this community with my 2 staged listings. 

Listing 1 (non-staged) - MLS# 662947

1428 sqft, 3 bdrm, 2 bath

Sold price: $87,500   DOM: 6


Listing 2 (non-staged) - MLS# 673691

1428 sqft, 3 bdrm, 2 ba

Sold price: $90,000   DOM: 3


Listing 3 (non-staged) - MLS# 676943

1428 sqft, 3 bdrm, 2 ba

Active price: $115,000     DOM: 78


Listing 4 (my staged listing) - MLS # 679983

1428 sqft, 3 bdrm, 2 ba

Sold price: $100,500     DOM: 4 


Listing 5 (my staged listing) - MLS# 678227

1428 sqft, 3 bdrm, 2 ba

Under contract: $115,000 (list price)   DOM: 6


When you look at the numbers it is easy to see that even though the condo prices are low, having the units professionally staged and photographed - something I do at no cost to my sellers for each of my listings - makes a big difference in their end results. 

View condos for sale in Grand Reserve, Jacksonville


Before and after photos of the Grand Reserve Condo in Jacksonville

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The after photo is from the other direction, but you can still see the difference in the room. 

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 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 7 commentsMelissa Marro • October 15 2013 11:11AM


The difference is night and day....well done!  Love that you are setting records...go get 'em Melissa!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 5 years ago

congrats on the outstanding results Melissa. It makes sense, no matter who is buying they want to buy their next dream home. The only exception would be an investor who is looking to improve the property.

In my last town of Barrie, the property prices are much lower and the agents there believe for the most part that there is no point to staging a home. This proves otherwise.

The most common reason given is that there is no budget to stage. A consultation would provide the plan for the home owners to do the work themselves. I don't see most agents as capable to pull off your level of staging.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 5 years ago

It blows my mind that people are not staging homes and not using professional real estate photographers.

You have done a great job of demonstrating the value of staging.  It is hard to do, but your numbers are well presented.

The other issue is the way people throw around the term staging.  It means so many different things.  I love the agents that say "I stage my listing myself" and then you find out they walk in and tell people to remove some clutter or something.  The poor customer has no idea what service they are really missing.

I need to take some good before and after pictures (like yours) to show prospective listing clients what staging really means.

Posted by Dennis Downey over 5 years ago

The FACTS speak for themselves, Melissa!  Well done!

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) over 5 years ago

Sharon - Setting records is probably one of my favorite things to do! I just created a marketing postcard out of this data and am sending it to all the homeowners in this condo community. I hope I get to bump the market prices up a little more. =)

Michelle - You are right, when investors are buying cash then it may not make sense, but I will say that listing #4 above was bought by a cash investor who plans on renting out the unit and still paid more than anyone else because it looked amazing and was move-in ready for their renters. They didn't need to invest any additional money. 

Dennis - it makes me a little crazy. I sit in my office meetings and listen to agents talk about how they haven't gotten their professioal photos back, as we are looking at their new listing, on MLS. Why would you pay for photos, then put the listing up before you get them? 

I also agree with you that far too many agents think that giving a few suggestions is staging. It's not the same thing. It's one of the reasons I try to use before and after examples. 

Julia - Yes. Facts. I'm a BIG fan of them. So many people think that facts are relative. Not really. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) over 5 years ago

Wow, this is awesome Melissa, Keep up the good work!  Staging is so important.

Posted by Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School, Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor (REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida) over 5 years ago

Captain Wayne - Thank you. I agree. 

As an update - The contract for this condo fell apart yesterday. I put it in MLS around 8am this morning and by 6pm we had another ratitfied contract.  I love it when that happens. 

Posted by Linda Barnett, Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana (Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana) over 5 years ago

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