As A Stager, What Changes Would YOU Make To This Home?!?!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Triad Real Estate Photography

Okay Staging Professionals:

Here was a project I finished yesterday, it was a "rush job" in the sense the owner put it up for sale on Wednesday and wants out ASAP.  The REALTOR who called me asked me to come out to shoot it.  I asked the REALTOR if the home was owner-occupied and he said it was, but that "it looked nice" and wasn't cluttered.  Of course, alarm bells go off in my mind when I hear this and normally I don't shoot an owner-occupied home for 72 hours, this gives them time to declutter and follow my "Pre-shoot checklist."

On a whim (and at the request of the REALTOR who is a personal friend of mine), I went and shot the house.  So here is a chance to lend your "advice" and submit what, if any, changes you would have suggested to the owner.Great RoomLiving RoomDining RoomKitchenMaster BedroomPorch


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Andrew Mayon
Triad Real Estate Photography - Greensboro, NC


I find all your observations and recommendations to be fascinating, thanks for all your input (and for those of you sitting on the sidelines, I hope you have learned something).  Thank you all for the photograph compliments, but the focus of this post was the Staging aspect, not my images (still, an ego stroke now and then ain't bad).


Actually, I have teamed up with Chrissie Sutherland of Ready Set Stage already, and we have one project under our belt with at least 1-2 more coming up in the near future.  I have actually written on the topic regarding Home Staging/Professional Photography alliance, and I believe it will work out beautifully for both of us and our businesses.


I'm not sure how much, if any money this guy wants top put into the house, that is something for you and the REALTOR to discuss.  You have his number and email so feel free to pick his brain on the matter, you'll get the full-scoop on the property and situation from him.

Jan 30, 2009 10:44 AM #11
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

You know I had to come back to see the other comments and the one thing that keeps bugging me is the waste of money that it was to have you take photographs prematurely.  This, of course, assumes that Chrissie will be able to get them to actually stage the unit, which I'm sure she will! 

The agent will only have to hire you to come back again for more photographs.... wasting your time and their money!  What a shame the agent didn't listen to you the first time!

Jan 30, 2009 11:08 AM #12
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

The house is nicely decorated and not ready for the market at all.  Less is more.

Too many plants = too much on the top of the refrigerator.   too much  too much

I really hope they stage it

Jan 30, 2009 11:19 AM #13
Andrew Mayon
Triad Real Estate Photography - Greensboro, NC


It is definitely a case of "Cart before Horse," but my friend is a new agent, and he wanted to do things differently than many of the other brokers by getting great photographs (he is thrilled with the images) to market this property.  He is already selling homes in this market, so he is on the right track.  As I work with him more, and show him more of the work Chrissie and I do together, we'll be able to give him more options to give his clients to effectively "maximize their online curb appeal." tm

He is very price savvy too, which is great.  He won't waste his time on sellers who are pricing themselves out of the market, so I am confident he'll be a very effective agent.  He already has an important team member onboard.  =P

Jan 30, 2009 11:22 AM #14
Lisa Roy
SPACELiFT HOME STAGING, Greater Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Beautiful photography and the house is beautiful.  It does show as a bit dated and over the top (as all the other comments seem to attest to!) I think just removing most of the plants and adding more modern accessories would have made a big difference. Mostly by picking an accent color for the accessories to add some punch.  It all looks the same color.

Jan 30, 2009 03:53 PM #15
Peg Prather
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA

Great photos, great house, too much stuff. That is as succinct as I can get!

Jan 30, 2009 09:33 PM #16
Pat Eardley
PureStyle Home Staging - Mount Pleasant, SC

Hi Andrew,

 Great pics. Nice House. Here are my suggestions:

Pic #1 - Remove plants on the ledge and sofa table, remove some of the furniture, especially the drawer unit on the right, remove the picture on the side of the bar.

Pic #2 - Remove clock, change accessories on the nesting table

Pic #3 - Remove accessories on top of china cabinet, Remove wine bucket and the plant, change accessories on the side table on the left, and the bench or better yet remove it all together.

Pic #4 - Stage the bar w/place settings, Remove items on the fridge and take the towel off the handle, remove what is above the oven and replace the hardware to match the light fixture.

Pic #5 - Remove right side table

Pic #6 - Remove the plants /pots with dirt and replace with one floor plant, Remove Papasan chairs

This was fun. It seems the common theme is there are too many plants and too much furniture. Thanks for the exercise.

Jan 31, 2009 06:29 AM #17
Kelly Townsend
Coldwell Banker - Santa Rosa, CA
CDPE, Realtor

Hi Andrew - wow, this looks like a picture in a magazine! But for staging, a little overstuffed. In the first picture I would remove the basket from under the sofa table, replace the centerpiece with something lower and remove the plant to the left of the sofa. Over where the stairs are it looks like there is no room to walk to the stairs. I would lose either the chair or the hutch. Also, it looks like something is blocking the window to the left of the fireplace. Not sure about the chair in the foreground. Does it relate to anything? If not I would remove it. I would probably play with furniture arrangement in this room so the sofa isn't so blocking.

Picture #2 - remove nesting tables and clock and plants on wall. Would probably play with furniture in here as well.

Picture #3 - remove all plants and stuff on top of china cabinet. Remove 2 chairs on wall and the rack on the right.

Picture #4 - clear top of refrigerator, remove some of the plant above cabinets, remove all little things

Picture #5 - remove dressing table and dried flowers on the right.

Picture #6 - remove papasans and empty plant containers

My quick 2 cents.

Jan 31, 2009 10:25 AM #18
Shobha Vyavahare
stagewithme, Greenville, South Carolina - Greenville, SC

wow a very nice house, and what photography, now every house needs professional photographer like you to sell this house picture speaks thousand words.

I did not read the comments first just looked at the pictures and took up your challenge to see what can be changed and made a list because I wanted to see if I was right, and then read the comments and guess what I was right on , my thoughts matched 100% with other stagers, so I guess great minds think alike is true.

I am very inspired by your photography to take good pictures.  Watch out competition for you!!!

Keep up the good work and plese keep posting the pictures like these they are a treat for eye !!


Jan 31, 2009 11:42 PM #19
Ischgebibbel Home staging LLC

wow, great photos. I agree with the previous comments, it has too much furniture in the living room, I would remove the china cabinet in the dining room, set the table, remove the two papasan chairs on the porch and the family room, I guess, looks dark due to the window treatments. I would hang lighter window treatments and remove all personal pictures. And yes, there are just a few too many fake plants in awkward places. The white appliances in the kitchen would look much more updated if they were stainless. But overall, I think it shows a lot better than most homes I see. Just remember you are selling a house , not furniture. Show that great floor by using furniture with legs and having less of it. 

Good luck and I am sure with all of our advice you know now what us stagers do in order to get properties SOLD quick!

Feb 01, 2009 06:04 AM #20
Ischgebibbel Home staging LLC

Oh, no dried flower arrangements, ever!!!! I also would move the sofa in the sitting room a bit away from the wall to give the illusion of depth. 

Feb 01, 2009 06:07 AM #21
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

I would remove the stuff on top of kitchen cabinets, on top of the fridge.  I see a knife block on the counter which is a definite NO-NO, and a small appliance.  Several rooms have what appear to be family photos - they need to go.  A floral swag in the bedroom over the artwork - eeek !! 

I agree with the others about some of the furniture being too heavy, and free up some space on that gorgeous porch.

Great room photography though - nice job.

Feb 02, 2009 12:27 AM #22
Pamela J. Chapman
A New Touch - Washington, MO

TRUELY BEAUTIFUL! - Any picts of baths?  I can only imagine their beauty.

Feb 02, 2009 01:54 AM #23
Andrew Mayon
Triad Real Estate Photography - Greensboro, NC

Thanks to everyone who is participating in this "exercise."  As a photographer, I'd like to spend as little time on "staging" a home as possible.  My time is better utilized capturing images, then post-processing on the computer.

I have seen the phrase "this home is for dwelling, not for selling," which I found interesting.  There is obviously a more effective way of preparing a home to make it appealing to the greatest spectrum of buyers than this house is at the moment.  Remember, this is an "emotional sell" property, so the owner has taken no time to plan thier exit, they just want out.

Pamela: as for the master bathroom, the owner was painting it, so it was unavailable to photograph.

By the way, I have a special "BLANK CANVAS" property ($900k) that I am photographing on Wednesday, and a lovely B&B on Thursday.  Could make for some interesting discussions.

The home was staged last year, but the builder has pulled the furnishings.

Feb 02, 2009 02:03 AM #24
Lori Donegan
Ready 2 Stage - Cleveland, TN

Too many plants.  Too much furniture.  Too many personal photos.  Too many chairs on the porch.  Pretty much just repeating all the comments already made.  Oh well, like to comment anyway!

Feb 02, 2009 06:03 AM #25
Vicki Burton
Southport Realty-Southport, North Carolina - Southport, NC
A local Buyer's Agent - Southport NC Real Estate

Wow, what an education just reading the comments of the various home stagers. I've bookmarked  so I can go back through this again. Your photos are beautiful.

Feb 03, 2009 03:12 AM #26

Wow... isn't it funny how some people think they have de-cluttered, and then a professional stager sees it and thinks how much more needs to go!  Great photography... it really shows the size and rooms well.  However, there are a lot of chairs and tables and plants and accessories that should not be there with the house on the market.

Looking at these photos, it is very busy and hard to determine focal points.  You are definitely looking at what is in this house rather than the unique assets of the house itself.  I think I noticed personal photos on tables and a personal photo collage on the wall in the living room...we all know that should be removed as well to sell the home.

These situations are always fun though because it's amazing what a little editing and rearranging can do - after all, it's a beautiful house to work with!

Would love to see the changes if the agent/homeowner makes any and you re-photograph!



Feb 03, 2009 06:55 AM #27
Isabel Gomes
Gomes Design - London, ON
Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont

Simply put. Too many plants and arrangements both real and fake. Get rid of them.

Feb 04, 2009 03:04 AM #28
Shelley Roufs
Simply Staged Homes - New Ulm, MN

I would repeat many of the ideas above. But I just had to comment on your beautiful photography. You are truly gifted. I wish there was someone in my area with your talent.

Feb 15, 2009 11:45 AM #29
Andrew Mayon
Triad Real Estate Photography - Greensboro, NC


Thanks for the compliment.  This was an emotional home happened basically in 24 hours...economic victim let's say.  No time to stage or prep.  Owner wanted it sold yesterday.


Shelley...some Meeeeneeeeesooohhhtah RE photographers for you, courtesy of

Jerry Swanson US MN Eagan

Mike Barton US MN Minneapolis

Shelley Paulson US MN Twin Cities

I don't know if any of these photographers are near you, but thought I'd try to help.  Tell them I sent you (fellow member)

Feb 15, 2009 11:58 AM #30
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