They Got What They Paid For

Home Stager with Selling By Design-Staging


A few months ago Selling By Design Staging received a call from an out of town investor inquiring about staging his newest remodel. After talking to him and viewing the property I gave him a quote for staging that included furniture and accessories.

He thanked me, sounded enthusiastic, and said he'd get back to me soon. However, since I didn't receive any further contact from him I assumed that his company had decided not to stage or that the property had sold super quickly as some do.

Now here is where the story gets weird. My daughter, who is an agent for Keller Williams here in Fresno, ( not the listing agency of the afore mentioned property), got a call from the investor who said that he'd been "fired" by his listing agent. " Fired? How is that even possible?"  thought my daughter. The property had only been listed for a couple of months.

Being an honest person and working for an agency which puts a high value on integrety, she told the distraught seller that she could not take any action until the listing agent had formally relinquished the listing and had taken the signs down. This had not been done, but he had locked the house and slipped the keys through the mail slot into the house.

After all the legalities had been taken care of  we looked up the listing on mls and saw what had led the seller to question the former agent's marketing approach and thus be "fired."

The former agent said that he had a friend who would stage and take pictures for Free.

Red Flag!

Here are some of the pics I took with my i phone from the internet. The actual staging had been mercifully removed.

Not great, but not offensive.

Is this the boudoir or the living room where kids will play??? And notice the candle sticks moved!


Ok, now it's getting creepy.........Why do they keep moving? The ghost of Marilyn?????


"This chair's too big; this one's too small." said Marilyn, oops I mean Goldilocks.




Showing off the largest area possible.

Enough said.           The End!


Part Two of They Got What They Paid For is coming soon. Watch for it on Active Rain!


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

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Comments (24)

Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Linda- I'd rather see a home that is totally empty than this. 

May 21, 2015 11:42 AM
Fred Sweezer Sr.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
Certified Home Inspector

Free is expensive but it sells, when someone says "it is free read the fine print"!!! or you as "you say get what you pay for"! nothing is totally Free!

May 21, 2015 11:56 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Some sellers demand free staging, busy agent sent her husband and did something not better.  Thanks for sharing.

May 21, 2015 12:23 PM
Karen Winters, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Koenig Rubloff Realty Group - Chicago, IL - Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL

Ok everyone, please stop laughing so loud, you're distracting me while I'm trying to check my 2015 credit score.

Aw heck, I tripped over a candle stick.  Now I have to start all over again.  

May 21, 2015 02:25 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Linda - You are right on with that one, they certainly did get what they paid for.

May 21, 2015 02:57 PM
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Thanks Evelyn, Rich ,Kathy Fred, Sam and Karen for your comments.

Rich, was Frau Luger with Igor while he moved the candlestick in to Karen's path? We might have a law suit or at least a workman's comp claim.

May 21, 2015 03:05 PM
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Troy, thanks for commenting.

May 21, 2015 03:06 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce will provably never know the whole story...but it is indeed possible that the agent "fired" the Seller...though in this case...hmmmm

May 21, 2015 09:19 PM
Susan Nealey
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Annapolis, MD
No Pressure! Ever!

OMG!  I want to read more!!  and I want more photos...this one is to good to be true.

May 21, 2015 09:37 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

I wonder how this particular home stager got the job!  Was the stager the agent's brother-in-law or sister-in-law??

May 21, 2015 09:44 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Some things are better left undone, than done poorly. This is a great example of that.

May 21, 2015 10:20 PM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Linda Thompson What an incredible story. That listing agent needs to go away and leave our profession. Let's hope the investor has learned a valuable lesson.

May 21, 2015 10:42 PM
Jill Moog
Coast & Country Homes and Estates, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad, CA Homes for Sale

The Candlestick Mystery...

May 22, 2015 03:56 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

yes, that house would have looked a lot better vacant than the former agent's "free staging"

May 22, 2015 11:45 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Obviously, the first listing agent's wife or girlfriend or neighbor did the "staging" as no self-respecting home stager would even dream of creating such a mess!!  Very depressing to think that the agent used such tomfoolery to get the listing.

May 22, 2015 12:27 PM
Celeste Starmer, P.A.
Town & Country Realty - Deland, FL
Affordable Housing Partner

May 22, 2015 06:27 PM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Doesn't look like much staging to me but you said agent fired the seller. Has to be more to the story.

May 23, 2015 05:33 AM
Mary Ann Daniell Realtor
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC - Killeen, TX
Delivering Successful Results Since 1999

Looks like the friend ran by a couple of garage sales on the way to do the "staging!".     NO staging is better than BAD staging.   But good staging (I didn't say expensive staging!) always benefits the seller and the property.

May 23, 2015 08:36 AM
Linda Thompson
Selling By Design-Staging - Fresno, CA

Thank you to all who commented! Your thoughts were great. I will be posting a sequel with pics of the real staging soon.

May 24, 2015 05:49 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Very funny.  One persons interpretation of staging.

May 26, 2015 07:39 AM