One Picture Can Cost A Home Seller Thousands Of Dollars.

Home Stager with Selling By Design-Staging

There they sit, the UNSOLD, (like the last kid picked for the team) nice homes in good neighborhoods, great curb appeal, but ignored by buyers. As a home staging professional in Fresno, CA, I have been asked by people why some homes sell quickly and why others remain for sale for months, sometimes even a year or more. This sad drama is taking place all over the country, not just in Fresno.

We know, it's the economy, right? Partially, but not completely. Many homes sell within a few months, some in as little as a week. So what is the problem with the houses that don't sell? Ask any home stager, or look through the MLS ( Multiple Listing Services) pictures, and you will find the answer.

Assuming that the home is priced correctly and is in a good location, the reason it remains on the market could lie in the photos posted on the Internet. Since over 80% of potential home buyers begin their searches on line  pictures of homes for sale are critical. If the photographs present the home poorly many buyers won't even consider visiting the house in person. The list below highlights just some of the pictures that are costing home sellers thousands of dollars. These examples are from actual listings.

  • Too much furniture makes the rooms appear smaller and hides the home's features.
  • Outdated or very large furniture.
  • Red or dark blue paint on the walls,
  • Clutter on kitchen and bathroom counters. (Please put the toothpaste in a drawer).
  • Toilet seat left up.
  • A cluttered or messy office,  can't even see the desk.
  • A bed with such huge lumps under the spread that it looked like a body was under it. ( True story).
  • Floral, cowboy, rooster, ivy or any wallpaper design that was from another decade.
  • Big screen TV in front of a window. ( And please TURN OFF the TV before taking MLS pictures.)


Before listing a home real estate agents look at the home thoroughly and give the owner detailed suggestions about how to prepare the house for sale. Many agents recommend that the owners consult with a home staging expert who can see through an impartial eye what needs to be done  and can give the home owner suggestions regarding decluttering, furniture arrangement, paint and repair needs.

The owner is free to disregard the suggestions, implement them themsleves or hire the home stager to make the home picture perfect. A simple walk through staging consultation is usually under one hundred dollars. The cost of complete staging  job will vary in accordance with the needs of the home.

When the home is market ready the Internet photos will draw potential buyers, not drive them away. Those pictures will be worth thousands of dollars in a timely sale.

                    Before and After Staging                                                 





Posted by

Linda Thompson

Fresno, CA- home staging and redesign services

                  Selling By Design-Staging

Selling By Design-Staging specializes in giving homes an edge on the competition by creating atmospheres that are appealing, inviting and that say to potential buyers "Welcome home." For more information we invite you to visit our web site at

Recommended by Home Care

Recommended by:




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
California Fresno County Fresno
Stage It Forward...
Blogging & SEO
Real World Home Staging for Newbies
staged homes
staged to sell
staging photos
selling quickly
staging consult
home staging fresno
selling by designstaging fresno ca

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Great points Linda and we've all seen those MLS photos that defy belief! I'm always amazed that even when they know their house may be shown to an audience of thousands (millions?) on HGTVs House Hunters, the disconnect is there. What they see and what WE see must be two different views.

All the more reason to pick up the phone and call an objective professional to guide them through seeing their home with "buyers eyes". It's priceless!

Jul 21, 2010 01:53 PM #1
Duane Murphy
Expert Real Estate Partners LLC - Appleton, WI
Broker- Owner-Real Estate -

It's hard to believe that in this stage of the market that some agents still don't understand the "power" of staging.

Jul 21, 2010 01:56 PM #2
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Roswell, GA
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

Thanks for the great points.  If a home is on the market too long it either has condition or pricing problems or both.  

Jul 21, 2010 02:07 PM #3
Shelley Roufs
Simply Staged Homes - New Ulm, MN

Linda - How about a glass case with a pet lizard right inside the front door? Yes - I went to a home for a consultation and this is what greeted me. Your list is a good basic list of necessary items to address in today's market.

Jul 21, 2010 02:37 PM #4
Matthew Mitchell
Buyer's Capital Real Estate - New Haven, CT
New Haven Real Estate Agent

Staging to some is not that important! Great points in the article! If the borrowers refuse to clean the house...stick with the pictures of the outside!

Jul 21, 2010 02:52 PM #5
Karen Ondayko
Dazzle Home Design - Home Staging Pro - northern Virginia - Alexandria, VA

Most realtors believe the "concept" about staging, yet are relunctant to try it the first time...and then when they do, not only is their house "sold" but they are too!  Thanks for posting the fundamentals!

Jul 21, 2010 03:35 PM #6
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Good points in your post Linda.  If a seller is serious about selling ... they should listen.  A consultation withe a professional home stager is such a cost-effective tool for sellers and agents to utilize -- they'd have their home looking great from Day 1 of being on the market.

Jul 21, 2010 05:27 PM #7
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Linda - How about a baby change mat on top of the dryer - I know!  Those huge, gargantuan t.v.s are just the worst - great list.

Jul 21, 2010 06:09 PM #8
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Vacant houses are a whole other story too Linda.  One comment made mention of taking outside photos only if the house doesn't show well due to not cleaning...buyers today just pass right over houses on the internet that have no interior photos and Realtors really need to impress upon their sellers how crucial it is for the online photos of all areas of the house to be great. Staging helps them do that!

Jul 22, 2010 01:55 AM #9
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Great list and unfortunately too many homes are still sitting on the market unstaged.

Jul 22, 2010 02:42 AM #10
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Tessa, Thanks for your comment. It's nice to know that I am not alone in my frustration.

Hi Duane, I think those agents are of the old school where a seller just cleaned and hoped for the best.

Mary, I agree about pricing and was going to mention it in the post but got so carried away on the photo problems that I forgot. Next post.

Shelly, Yes a lizard is a definite buyer turnoff. It is up there with a litter box in the kitchen.

Mathew, Thanks for your comment. Some homes just aren't worthy of pics, but I am always suspicious of those that only show the outside.

Karen, Soooo true, most real estate agents say they believe in staging, but some are reluctant to try it.

Maureen, Thank you for your comment. From your lips to seller's ears hopefully.

Sally, You'd think sellers could put the changing mat away at least for the pictures and open house.

Karen, I agree. I always think that only outside photos means the inside is a disaster.

Jul 22, 2010 06:34 AM #11
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Cathy- Thank you for your comment. You'd think that by now with all the TV coverage on staging that more people would get it. I think they still think that they can't afford staging, but they can't afford not to stage.

Jul 22, 2010 06:38 AM #12
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Great points Linda. Unfortunately... you can lead these horses to water, but getting them to drink is like pulling their shoes off with your teeth. I will add a huge fish tank in the kitchen.. oh my, I just covered it with a silky throw and put a plant on it.  Hint... in your blogs, try to link a couple of references back to your personal website. when you stated; "home staging professional in Fresno, CA" link that back to your home page, as well as when you said, "consultations"... link that to your consultation page. Just my lil 2 cents ;) Google loves links.

Jul 23, 2010 03:16 PM #13
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Lori, Thanks for the tip. Am going try it right now.

Jul 26, 2010 10:45 AM #14
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Great post , Linda. I want to add that 80's green on the walls. Next to those oak cabinets of furniture it makes the house even more dated.

Lori Kim , thank you for your tip.

Jul 28, 2010 11:22 AM #15
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Linda Thompson

Ask me a question