Home Staging on a Budget


Hey, Realtors! Got an empty house you’re trying to sell but little or no money to put toward staging it?  Try this trick that an agent in Houston came up with. Simply fill two vases with fresh flowers and set them in the entry. Take the photo and then move them to the dining room…

vases-dining rm

…into the kitchen…


…and then to the bedroom:


Make sure you can see them peeking out of the bathroom:


Now transfer the vases to the family room:

vases-sliding doors

And don’t forget the backyard!


I got such a kick out of watching those vases move from room to room, almost like they’re taking us on the house tour themselves. But hey, at least the agent made an effort. I look through enough real estate listings to know that’s not always the case. (Elizabeth gets credit for spotting this one!)

How would you caption this listing?

Go to Bad MLS Photos to see more!

odd sculpture in foyer
This 4-bedroom, 3-bath house, on the market in Michigan for $425,000, appears to be stuck in some kind of weird '70s time warp. But it's…
#1: Don't treat the beams as display space for dried flowers and roosters--or anything else, for that matter. #2. Forget the track lighting--especially when you…

See More


  1. karin/lifeinsmallchunks@blogspot.com says

    That is so funny – and always the two of them…like they’re a couple!

  2. Nadia says

    The large vase looks as though it would have held all of the flowers for a more full display.

  3. Joyce says

    LOL Karin! It looks like they had a little spat in the kitchen and are kind of indecently intertwined on the patio so I guess they made up.

  4. says

    I wonder if the realtor could keep a straight face when taking these shots. It really is like the flowers are viewing the house with a view to buying… especially when they are looking out of the window in the family room… I can imagine one of them saying “And look at the garden Lily… can’t you just imagine the seedlings running around out there?”… or in the bedroom, “Do you think a king bed would fit in here?”… That’s given me a chuckle today! Thanks. Lx
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..A cup of tea &amp a recipe for almond &amp white chocolate chip cookies =-.

  5. says

    This is too funny! I also got a chuckle out of the comment one vase couldve used more flowers…umm I’m thinking that wouldn’t of helped matters much! 😉
    .-= Laurie jones´s last blog ..Stencil Reveal =-.

  6. says

    No caption, but that’s hilarious. And, I noticed that the floor plan of that house is EXACTLY the same as the house we lived in in Houston. Thankfully, our agent took some great pictures and sold our house in a record amount of time.
    .-= Nikki´s last blog ..Tex Loves his Lovies =-.

  7. says

    That is pretty funny, it IS like the flowers are a couple and are touring the house. I like the 2nd photo, like they are peering out the window admiring the lawn. And in the bathroom photo, I think I hear him saying “Hey! Give me some privacy, I’m filling up in here!”
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..1870 Gothic Revival- Janesville- WI =-.

  8. Maureen says

    All I can think of when scanning the pics is that pesky “GNOME” in the Travelolocity ads…..however, they have a thriving business…you never know

  9. Derek says

    Once upon a time Mr. Mum and his new bride Lily went looking for a new place to live. They found a resonable house. It was clean and had hard wood floors. They looked at the kitchen, they looked at the bedrooms. Lily checked out the bathroom. It had lovily views and a charming garden. They fell in love with the place. In fact the a gent found them in a fond embrace in the back garden. Such a happy place for Mr. Mum and his new wife Lily to live.

  10. says

    I love this, and I think the agent must have had a really good sense of humor!
    I love the way they are together at the front door, as if welcoming in their guests!
    I wonder what their offspring look like? Perhaps Baby’s Breath or Rose Buds?
    .-= Pat´s last blog ..Man- Woman- Wild =-.

  11. Jared says

    Hah! It actually wasn’t a terrible idea in my opinion. Its kind of silly but hey, why not lol

  12. says

    Love it! LOL. Oh man… When I tell people my husband’s a realtor, I want to say “not THAT kind of a realtor”. And by “THAT” kind I definitely mean THIS kind!!!

  13. says

    Lily & Mum go house hunting?
    I wish somebody had not tied the dining room panels smack dab in the middle. And what’s with the crazy patchwork wood flooring?

  14. Terri says

    When I see those flowers in the entry I see a major spill hazard. A little entry table might have been cute, and easy to transport. I think the only place these flowers add any value is the bathroom shot. The flowers look odd and draw attention away from the house. I do not even see the room I just see the flowers and wonder what the heck?????

  15. says

    On the postive side of having the same flowers in all the photos gave me some idea on how big the rooms were. Put things in perspective

  16. Kim says

    Flowers gone sour.

    It’s nice for the realtor to make some effort to stage the house, but these flowers don’t do much for it.

  17. Dawn says

    When we were looking at homes, one of the realtor’s staged the beautiful master bath with a bucket of iced champagne and two glasses on the jacuzzi. THAT was a nice touch.

    I like flowers a LOT but, pretty as they are, they don’t really enhance all of the rooms enough to make it worthwhile. The realtor would have been better off selecting one room for the “boost”.

  18. Crystal says

    I havent laughed out loud in a while. That was too funny…

  19. Beck says

    Thank you so much Julia….I haven’t laughed that hard in some time……..

  20. Billy says

    There is a total narrative going on.

    Think about it. You have a house that is just like 5 others on the block, and 2 of them are also on the market, and one has a 82 remodel the other was redone 5 years ago. Not only is the one you are trying to market original, but it is one bedroom down, sacrificed in 1965 to expand the dining room and master bedroom. If you are careful you may get $3500 commission after your broker takes his nick fees; so what do you do? You go for cute and funny on web pictures, it gets the gen Y and Z ‘ers that are looking for family home to take the tour. Houses sell off the web in that market.

    B for professionalism A for creativity. I would iterview them. I like the house too, but mow the lawn.

  21. lindimity says

    “I’ve always said…it’s the accessories that make the room!.”
    And I agree with Billy. It made us all laugh, didn’t it? Anything that makes a buyer remember your house out of the hundreds of others they have looked at is a good thing.

  22. says

    Oh, how about “Bring the outside in, in any room of the house! This home has lovely amenities that will capture your heart.”
    he,he, well at least I tried :-)

  23. says

    hahaha that is awesome. We’ve got to give the agent props as she is clearly working hard for the money. The logic is genius: who doesn’t like fresh flowers? This post made me LOL (literally)
    .-= Breanna´s last blog ..Baby Yourself =-.

  24. says

    Lily: Welcome to our humble home!
    Mum: Lily loves this tile. She likes to make a grand entrance!
    Lily: Oh, Mum, silly.

    Mum: We’ve had lots of dinner parties here.
    Lily: Yes, remember when the Freesias used to come over? What ever happened to them?

    Lily: What can I get y’all to drink? Sweet tea?
    Mum: Howa bouta beer? It’s five o’clock somewhere!
    Lily: I’ll get the cheese and crackers.

    Mum: Lily, mumble, mumble.
    Lily: (blushes)

    Lily: Oh! Did I tell you our plans to remodel the bathroom?
    Mum: Don’t be shy!

    (Lily and Mum dance when they think their guests aren’t looking)

    Mum: I think the heat has finally broken. Let’s sit outside a spell.
    Lily: Thank goodness it’s going to be fall. I’ll get the cheese and crackers.
    .-= Claire´s last blog ..Seitan Chili Stew =-.

  25. says

    You know what…this is very odd but I kind of love it! The flowers are beautiful, at least, and, like you say, at least she made the effort! I agree with the poster who said they were like a couple. :)
    .-= Kate (Little Beach Bum)´s last blog ..Quote of the Day =-.

  26. says

    Alright, this is hilarious! I love the one in the bathroom. What an idea! I’m so glad to have recently found your blog. My husband and I are total house nuts and can’t get enough! We’ll be frequenting here often I imagine :)
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..My Dog- A Documentary =-.

  27. Khiori says

    Hmmm…looks like a lame attempt to copy the Norwegian Real Estate Company, Krogsveen to me. The ones that put a lime in every photo? It’s fun to look around the photos of the rooms and try to spot the lime (company symbol). The flowers are a tab much IMO. Maybe an orange?

  28. Kat says

    well, is it necessary to have those plants in all pictures? ….it’s really weird

  29. says

    Is this serious? I think the Roaming Gnome from Travelocity would be just as effective and funnier…hey I may use that next time!

  30. says

    Awesome. I LOL’d. Maybe it is photoshoped?

    The caption should be — Vases for Sale.

    Our vases are the best vases in the world. The fit awkwardly well anywhere you put them.

  31. Deb says

    Am I the only one who sees that the flowers end up in the same vase at the end of their tour?

  32. says

    I got to this post from the bizarre Mad Men post, and I just had to comment — the flowers in the bathroom, really peeking around the corner. How funny is that??? Thanks yet again, Julia! :)

  33. Christy says

    It’s 11:45pm, my husband and kids are asleep, and I’m afraid my LOLing is going to wake them up! Gonna share with my BFF ASAP! Thank you. Thank you.