They Ate the Biscotti !

Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335

After about 10 years or so, we're getting out of the staging business.


chairFrom a pure time management standpoint, we probably never should have been doing it at all. But Mary has training and a great eye, she enjoyed it, and it was an attractive free service to offer to our sellers. Over the years, we had managed to amass quite an inventory of furniture and accessories, mostly picked up from downsizing clients. Our basement (fortunately, a walk-out) looked like a furniture store.




Now, Mary is just tired of it. Finding reliable helpers with a truck to move furniture in and out has always been hit or miss, and for the last couple of years, with our very hot seller's market, it really hasn't been worth the effort - we could fill a home with corn cobs and it would probably still sell for 10% over asking with no contingencies.


SofaSo since about March, Mary has been working on getting rid of everything, finding homes for it with clients or taking it to Goodwill. And now, we're officially done and our basement is back. It's strange down there now. It's soooo big and open and full of possibilities. Solve one problem and another pops up - what are we going to do with that space?


  • tables6 sofas - gone
  • 12 big chairs - gone
  • 7 dining room tables and chairs - gone
  • 4 inflatable queen-size mattresses - gone
  • 3 kitchen tables - gone
  • 6 coffee tables - gone
  • More lamps, rugs, side tables, posters and prints than you can shake a stick at - gone
  • 5 floor to ceiling bookcases full of accessories - gone



biscottiOne of the things we noticed during the years that Mary was staging was that a fairly significant amount of our accessories and artwork was disappearing, stolen at some point during the listing period. It was annoying but not worth getting our undies in a bunch over. But yesterday, as we cleaned out the last listing, we encountered the topper: someone had eaten the box of biscotti that had been a kitchen decoration regular since we started staging. I have no idea what the shelf life of biscotti is, but I hope that box was full of dead weevils and disgusting bacteria and that someone got a bad stomach ache.

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525


Data Source: IRES MLS


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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good afternoon Dick,

All careers change hopefully for the better. As to the biscotti if it were a homeless person or one in need would you still feel the same.

Make yourself a great day.

Jul 29, 2015 05:58 AM #16
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Dick that is pretty funny.  You never know they might have actually liked the biscotti and come back requesting more :) :) :)

Jul 29, 2015 06:12 AM #17
Mary Weiss
Zillow Group Mortgages - Seattle, WA
Trainer & Content Manager

What a "sweet" revenge and end to the staging business, right? ha ha

Well, you and Mary will have one more job left - your basement! That, at least, is more exciting since it will be permanent and no moving trucks required. So many ideas of what you can do with an open basement plan - game room, den, man cave, library...! 

Jul 29, 2015 06:31 AM #18
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

What an enjoyable read.  Not having anything to do with anything, other than, a real life experience with real life perspectives.   They ate the biscotti!  WOW

Jul 29, 2015 07:06 AM #19
Michele Milic
Realty ONE Group ~ 702.419.5359 - Las Vegas, NV

I enjoyed reading this post.

Congratulations on freeing up your basement and simplifying your life.

As for biscotti......well, hopefully they are ok, or at least learned their lesson.

Jul 29, 2015 07:21 AM #20
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Hi Dick Greenberg ... great read! Sometimes we just have to hone down our activities. I know myself, there were activities I thought were important at the time and now, though I loved doing them, I need to focus on what's not only what I like to do, but important to how my world turns. Now for that new space! I love space! I got rid of a bunch of furniture and emptied closets all this year just for that reason! #SPACE ... thinking thinking that Colorado like Washington, where herbs are now legal, someone probably got the late night munchies! ;O) 

Jul 29, 2015 07:39 AM #21
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

I'm not a biscotti fan when it's fresh!  I know, being from Seattle that sounds blasphemous, but I enjoy my coffee just fine without it.  I say, good riddence. 

Jul 29, 2015 07:43 AM #22
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

That's a pretty funny story about the biscotti.  It reminds me of a seller, who was an avid fisherman in Alaska in the 1980s.  He had moved to Montana in the 1990s, and then on into Idaho.  He ultimately bought a house here in Sacramento, to be closer to aging parents.  BUT, while in escrow, he asked if he should throw out some canned Salmon from his fishing days, back in the 1980s.  That fish was decades old.

My advice was to handle those jars like they were explosive devices, or call in the bomb squad or a Haz Mat team!

Jul 29, 2015 01:59 PM #23
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I commend you for lasting so long in the staging business. It never ceases to amaze me the crazy things we run into in this business.

Jul 30, 2015 04:05 AM #24
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

They may have gotten what they deserved. I used have all kinds of empty boxes for staging, bought it at an auction and someone stole the wax bananas

Jul 30, 2015 04:11 AM #25
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Dick, HYSTERICAL! Reminds me of a Mom story when she discussed how some annoying and bad-mannered child ate some candy that she had in a dish (for decoration) that happened to have been there for umpteen years and the dog had licked it a few times. HAH! Serves 'em right!

Now, that space has to be CAVERNOUS!! Media room? Man cave? Doggie day care??

Jul 30, 2015 04:37 AM #26
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

I love this story, Dick! I can't imagine all that stuff in your basement... As for the Biscotti, it serves them right if they get just a little sick! I like the idea from Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 , of a Man cave--maybe a "Dog Cave"?

Jul 30, 2015 07:17 AM #27
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Actually they were probably just fine. Those darn things are so full of perservatives they were probably  just a little crunchy.. but seriously weird. BTW I want to find a stager getting out of the business! I could really clean up! 

Jul 30, 2015 08:51 AM #28
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Made me LOL.....they deserve to wind up with a nasty stomach ache!

Jul 30, 2015 10:59 PM #29
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

LMAO I am not shocked by this at all. If its available someone is likely going to help themselves regardless of its quality

Jul 31, 2015 01:50 AM #30
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Dick  first congrats on getting rid of  all that stuff, here in my neck of the woods People Donate stuff to Animal Rescue Organizations and you would be surprised how much money is collected for the good cause and there is the tax write off for the donor....on an other mater I first experienced this phenomenon when I was selling a probate house in Tarzana, CA how many Thieves have Supra Lock Box keys:)) lost lamps, table decorations....the list goes on and on...the sellers did not care their attitude was one less thing they need to get rid off at Close of Escrow...but needless to say I was pissed and embarrassed.... so I understand your frustrations and hope the person gets Montezuma's Revenge from the Biscotti, Endre

Aug 01, 2015 10:09 AM #31
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Dick- I cannot tell you how glad I am that I am not eating anything while reading your post!  Good grief, you had more than I have.  But then again, I don't have a basement, walkout or otherwise.  Vacant staging is hard work and yes, finding movers and a truck can be a pain. 

Aug 02, 2015 01:54 AM #32
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Dick Greenberg,

I had to chuckle at your story!! Good for you for eliminating that "free service"..time to move on and find something fun to do with your reclaimed basement..let us know how your re- purpose the room!

Aug 02, 2015 09:02 PM #33
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I have a friend that staged a builder's home as part of her listing service. It looked great but after 90 days he said the listing was over even though someone was coming back to write an offer. He was listing with another agent and she was going to reap the benefits of her efforts. I would get out of that business. Bummer.

Aug 03, 2015 12:10 PM #34
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I hope they read this and will be totally grossed out every time they see biscotti for the rest of their lives. Serves them right if they got a stomach ache too.

Aug 06, 2015 08:40 AM #35
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Dick Greenberg

Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate
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