5 Things to Avoid When Staging Your House to Sell

by hookedonhouses on April 26, 2010

dining room-fake greenery-Jess

1. Silk plants that defy gravity.

green dining room-Jess

2. Paint colors that defy sanity.


3. Furniture that blocks doorways.

sofa in front of shower

4. Furniture that blocks shower stalls.

condo-view from the upstairs

5. Gargoyles.

P.S. Visit Funny Real Estate to see more !

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Sara @ Russet Street Reno April 26, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Those are all good things to avoid, along with animal carcasses on the walls, stains on the carpet, and dirty laundry on the floor. Oh, and a million other things that I’ve seen in MLS pictures! ha
.-= Sara @ Russet Street Reno´s last blog ..I’m one project closer =-.

Vanessa April 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Oh my goodness! These are for real? I thinks these realtors/homeowners could use a stager.
.-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Client Project: Dream Kitchen on a Budget =-.

Staci April 26, 2010 at 11:06 pm

I can’t believe these are real! Kinda sad…kinda funny. Furniture in front of the shower, really???
.-= Staci´s last blog ..Knives… =-.

middle sister April 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm

These staging sisters see this stuff all the time. It’s a great belly laugh. Many homeowners have a difficult time preparing their home to sell and they often think most people will like how they decorate. What a great entry!

Nancy@marcusdesign April 26, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Wow!! I can’t believe these pics. The one that made my jaw drop was that sofa in front of the shower, what in the world??!? It sure is funny to see how some people live!
.-= Nancy@marcusdesign´s last blog ..{before & after: curb appeal} =-.

desiree April 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I see it all the time–like today. Some of the hardest ones to photograph are the ones with renters who don’t care if they sell or not. The owner or realtor can’t make them clean up–so you’re kinda stuck. I find that most people really do try and take advice pretty well about staging/clearing the clutter to make their home look it’s best.
.-= desiree´s last blog ..Just Listed: Palo Alto Craftsman =-.

Nita @ ModVintageLife.com April 27, 2010 at 12:01 am

Oh…those were good…I laughed and laughed. Silk plants that defy gravity. I think that was my favorite.

The Little Red Shop April 27, 2010 at 1:40 am

Mmmm…that dining room looks like they emptied a year’s worth of wilted rotting green veggies from the fridge and smeared them on the wall! I wonder which room the new owners will paint first.

: )

Julie M.
.-= The Little Red Shop´s last blog ..La Bonne Vie… =-.

Nita April 27, 2010 at 1:40 am

Oh my!

Kim April 27, 2010 at 2:46 am

Wow these pictures are simply horrible. How could some people find some of these decorations nice? One of the biggest mistakes homeowners do when selling their house, is leave up all of their decorations, because people have different tastes and won’t like them. That’s why they need to take them down. It’s not that hard to do.

In that last picture, the gargoyle is not the only thing that creeps me out, it’s the whole room it’self.

It amazes me the houses I come across that have horrible looking rooms. You would think homeowners could stage their houses a little bit better. Even I could do a better job.

A View on Design by Annie April 27, 2010 at 3:15 am

what do you mean?

those plants look great!

.-= A View on Design by Annie´s last blog ..St Kilda style by the beach =-.

Loribeth April 27, 2010 at 6:36 am

The sad part is they usually post the “best” photos in real estate listings. I feel bad for these people–remember, they actually like how their rooms look.
.-= Loribeth´s last blog ..Success! =-.

LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE April 27, 2010 at 6:40 am

Oh my! Seems like these would be obvious no-nos but guess not. ha. cheers, -s
.-= LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE´s last blog ..Pros Share Their Tips: "How to Unbrown Your Furniture" =-.

melissa April 27, 2010 at 6:59 am

You just made my morning! I’m typing this as I wipe the coffee off my computer screen. : )

BeachBrights April 27, 2010 at 7:00 am

This totally cracks me up! Sorry I don’t comment very often but I follow your blog in my reader and on facebook. I am still your biggest fan and think you rock the casbah…


PS. Do you ever think about bringing back the McKlinky party? Yours was my fav :)
.-= BeachBrights´s last blog ..Before and After Pergola =-.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad April 27, 2010 at 7:09 am

A sofa in front of the shower? And some realtor took the photo and posted it!
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..Table Lamps =-.

Stephanie April 27, 2010 at 7:11 am

Yikes!! these are too funny!
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Unique gifts to make your Mom laugh and cry ! =-.

Bonnie Morscher April 27, 2010 at 7:19 am

The dining room chairs would look lovely out in a cottage garden, but inside that room with the putrid green walls? No, no, no. I just helped stage a house last week and even with my limited experience I could do oh-so-much better. I know you can’t change the way people live, but what about moving that blocking furniture out of the way just for the pictures? Couldn’t you do that, realtor? If not, I don’t think your powers of persuasion are good enough to sell a house.

@MaisonDecor8 April 27, 2010 at 7:23 am

Good for a laugh and to make us all feel better about our own digs. Thanks.

Mary April 27, 2010 at 7:27 am

YIKES!! My eyes! and here I thought that the picture of the telephone booth with the baskets on top located in the kitchen that I sent you a couple of weeks ago was the worst, HA! You have out done yourself with these!

From Virginia

Kristin@Bouelvard Interior Design April 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

It amazes me that with all the media out there to give instruction, you still come across this stuff. Silk plants above the kitchen cabinets are a personal pet peeve. I can’t even tell what the last room is suppose to be. Oy vey!

Kim@Chattafabulous April 27, 2010 at 7:32 am

Thanks for the smile!

Michelle April 27, 2010 at 7:55 am

Wow, those are all pretty bad! The big entertainment center is so crazy, the TV would actually fit in that corner if they took the rest away.
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..Powder Room ~ After =-.

Sheila April 27, 2010 at 8:29 am

Love it! Hate it! Fun posts. I’d also add to the list of no-nos a sleeping person. When we lived in Kansas City, we looked at a nice-sized turn-of-the-century house with amazing woodwork, lovely wood floors and a guy sleeping in one of the upstairs bedrooms. No lie.
.-= Sheila´s last blog ..I can’t hear you: mic vs. mike =-.

susie April 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

Oh my, what are people thinking?!! You want your house to appeal to people, not make them run out the front door as fast as they can.
.-= susie´s last blog ..A Few Of My Favorites for Flip-flop Season =-.

Victoria @ DesignTies April 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

Paint colours and/or crazy SPONGE TREATMENTS you should have written! So ugly!! HaHa! I can’t believe people would allow photos like this on the MLS – they’re definitely NOT selling their homes, are they?!
.-= Victoria @ DesignTies´s last blog ..A dining room in need of drapery! =-.

Morning T April 27, 2010 at 9:22 am

I am truly frightened at all of these images! EEK.

Nichole April 27, 2010 at 9:24 am

Thanks for the laugh. I’m awake now!
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..It’s Spring In The Family Room =-.

LeAnn April 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

Well I hate to be negative but “ouch” where are their realtors????
.-= LeAnn´s last blog ..A few minor adjustments…… =-.

beth April 27, 2010 at 9:35 am

Okay, all of those were pretty bad, but the Gargoyle room….scary.
.-= beth´s last blog ..Painted checkerboard floors, and ideas for the laundry room =-.

hip hip gin gin April 27, 2010 at 9:36 am

Hilarious!! Honestly the silk flowers in the first photo remind me of a funeral home which would instantly ruin it for me no matter what the rest of that room/house looked like. And did you notice the crazy green sponge treatment people hung up a wreath the exact same shade of green on that hideous wall! Why even bother? Although the green wall does distract the eye from those chairs. Oy.
.-= hip hip gin gin´s last blog ..Typewriters and Teacups =-.

Bailey@peppermintbliss April 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

Sometimes I see the stuff you find from listings and just think…this CANNOT be for real. How? How how how.
.-= Bailey@peppermintbliss´s last blog ..Buttered Biscuit Part 2…Another Reader Request =-.

Jenny April 27, 2010 at 10:48 am

Oh my, frightening! My favorite is that wreath that is the exact same color of the wall, wth is that about? LOL!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Links I Like: Edition 12 =-.

Polly April 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

Oh those are TOO funny! Thanks for the laugh this morning! (Panties on doorknobs aren’t good either … seen ’em!)
.-= Polly´s last blog ..#1 – Cotton balls. =-.

Susan S April 27, 2010 at 11:20 am

Yikes! Good thing my lunch had digested!! Truly leaves me speechless!

Vicki @ In The Sandbox Comic Strip April 27, 2010 at 11:24 am

Thanks for the laugh this morning! It was much needed. =)

I LOVE your blog!
.-= Vicki @ In The Sandbox Comic Strip´s last blog ..The parental stare =-.

Carmen April 27, 2010 at 11:32 am

Makes you wonder what in the world people are thinking, doesn’t it??!! haha Just plain weird, I tell you. 😀
.-= Carmen´s last blog ..$2 Well Spent =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now April 27, 2010 at 11:37 am

Oooh—dear. I can’t believe the furniture in the bathroom. I wonder if some of these were listings where the agent TRIED to convince the homeowner of their error and maybe didn’t get through. :s My mom’s not trying to sell her hours, but I always bug her about having a big, heavy oak 80s TV cabinet IN FRONT of of one of her built-ins. It drives me insane!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..My Totally Rad 80s Birthday Party =-.

Linda@ Restyled Home April 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

Oh my gosh, too funny!! I could have found five in each photo!!
My personal favourite, and I know it is one you have commented on before, is when realtors don’t put the toilet seat down before taking the photo.
So annoying…and DUMB!!!

I love this kind of post. More, more!!

.-= Linda@ Restyled Home´s last blog ..Get Your Crazy On… =-.

Victoria @ DesignTies April 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Hi again Julia :-)
I had to come back to take another look at those hilarious MLS listing photos AND to thank you for pointing out the error in my blog post. It’s so nuts but I ALWAYS seem to do that! Geesh. I totally know where both you and Susan belong, but for some reason when I’m writing it out I struggle!! You should see me – fingers over the keyboard and thinking “Julia or Susan”? Usually I catch myself and type the correct name in… but not this time I guess! No explanation… well… except for old age?! Only, at 46 I hope I’m not THAT old!!

pattie and Allie April 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Oh. My. God. Okay- I’ve seen people block doorways with a sofa (and they can never understand why I tell them it’s a problem), but a shower???? Really??? This is why, even in this economy, I get calls from desperate realtors for staging
.-= pattie and Allie´s last blog ..Aunt Madame’s Petit Gateaux- the biscotti of France =-.

Kirsten April 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Am I the only one truly confused about what on EARTH is happening there in the Gargoyle photo?? I can’t figure it out for the life of me, and I’m *still* creeped out.

Awesome post Julia – it’s why we all love your blog so much. 😉
.-= Kirsten´s last blog ..The 3/50 Project =-.

Maya @ Completely Coastal April 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I’ve seen so many HGTV shows on how to stage a home…, I think I got it down…, in fact my house will go up for sale in a few days!

Angelo April 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Those were hilarious, but also sad to know they were real!
.-= Angelo´s last blog ..Walkabout Weekend Winner 2 =-.

Sonya April 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Hahaha these are heeelarious! I particularly like the 2nd one… with the moldy looking walls
.-= Sonya´s last blog ..Window Art – How to Fix Your View =-.

Jan April 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I can’t comment on the silk plants — I do have them in my house (gasp! horrors!) — but I do wonder about the sconces that are hung SO high on the wall in that dining room? The pea-soup-green walls are a tad overdone — no doubt about that one! Had to laugh over the chaise placed carefully in front of the shower stall! I can’t imagine draping myself on that one — hair dripping with dye — and trying to shave my legs! LOL! The last photo does bring up an excellent design question — just what the heck do homeowners do with those high-on-the-wall decor ledges? Honestly — I think those ledges prove to be a difficult decor issue — maybe a question for a future posting?


Tracy April 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm

OMG! I think my favorites are the green/brown paint & the blocked doorway!
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..Thank you, Pier 1 & Homegoods! =-.

MIGUEL April 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Hilarious!!!!!! I’ve known bathrooms like that before. Eeek!

Robin April 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I love the last one :) Duh???
.-= Robin´s last blog ..Citrusy Tablescape =-.

Cheri @ I Heart Old Houses April 27, 2010 at 7:48 pm

All I can say is “Why?” And looking at those painted chairs makes me feel seasick for some reason…
.-= Cheri @ I Heart Old Houses´s last blog ..Take a Number =-.

FROM THE RIGHT BANK April 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

This is HYSTERICAL, Julia. It’s hard to believe things like this go on!
.-= FROM THE RIGHT BANK´s last blog ..Big Floral Wallpaper =-.

Sarah @ Thriftydecorchick April 27, 2010 at 11:23 pm

You are kidding, right? Right? These are seriously online?? Seriously?! :)
.-= Sarah @ Thriftydecorchick´s last blog ..Decrapification: The kitchen =-.

Lesley @ TheDesignFile April 27, 2010 at 11:30 pm

These are awesome. I’m so excited that you shared them. And…great tips!
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..A peak inside a restored mid-century beauty =-.

the domestic fringe April 28, 2010 at 8:07 am

Oh my goodness! These are crazy.

pam @ becolorful April 28, 2010 at 10:18 am

Haha. I always enjoy these. Some day I will submit a few of my own. I think my own. :) I could handle a gargoyle or two but probably smaller and most likely outside.
Pam @ Becolorful
.-= pam @ becolorful´s last blog ..Inspired by Ballard Designs =-.

Josanne April 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm

It always makes you wonder how people end up with neon walls or other putrid mixtures, such as the green room you listed! Probably because some of us see it one way in our minds, and once it’s done, it isn’t quite what we had in mind. And the apparently, it was too much hassle to fix it! lol
I think that green room may have been done by a teenager-the chairs are about the same, in different colors! I’m all for fun decorating, but, um, this is NOT the kind of fun I want plastered on my walls!
.-= Josanne´s last blog ..Simon, Once Again! =-.

Robin Feltner May 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

The bathroom is like an assault on the eyes. oy! Digging the “bow-chicka’bow-wow” gold shower door frame. ha!
.-= Robin Feltner´s last blog ..Rocco DiSpirito Now Eat This =-.

Dexter L. Scott September 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

You made some excellent points in that last post. I find that all (5) are great but furniture that blocks doorways is crucial… I have witnessed that a lot myself and I think it speaks volumes.
.-= Dexter L. Scott´s last blog ..What Is The Value of My Home =-.

Drawn to the Sea October 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm

The only thing stranger than staging them like this would be if the owners really live like this… eeep!
.-= Drawn to the Sea´s last blog ..Full Neon Moon =-.

Cheryl April 8, 2011 at 9:57 am

Tip #6 – Put the lid down on the toilet when taking photos for the listing or when conducting an open house!

sanorient May 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Mideblowing…….. just hang out me. so Awesome creativity and way in which that chairs looks.

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