Home Staging on a Budget

by hookedonhouses on September 1, 2010


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!

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Thought Food September 1, 2010 at 7:43 am

Awesome…very creative agent!
.-= Thought Food´s last blog ..Egg Farm Inspections =-.

karin/lifeinsmallchunks@blogspot.com September 1, 2010 at 7:43 am

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

Sarah September 1, 2010 at 7:46 am

too funny!! think I’ve seen worse tho
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..GIVEAWAY A Beach Cottage goes to the Donna Hay Shop =-.

Nadia September 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

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

Joyce September 1, 2010 at 7:52 am

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.

Laura September 1, 2010 at 7:58 am

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 =-.

Angela September 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

LOL – that is hilarious!
.-= Angela´s last blog ..Cajun Chicken Pasta =-.

Laurie jones September 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

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 =-.

Nikki September 1, 2010 at 8:06 am

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 =-.

Alison Agnew September 1, 2010 at 8:08 am

I’m not sure you could call that effort…but thanks for making me grin this morning!

.-= Alison Agnew´s last blog ..Exploding Cake or the perfect dessert for a volcano party =-.

Kelly September 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

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 =-.

Susan @ Your home, only better. September 1, 2010 at 8:12 am

That is too funny! I agree with Laura…there must have been a lot of giggling going on!
.-= Susan @ Your home, only better.´s last blog ..Rearrange for Quick and Easy Impact =-.

Maureen September 1, 2010 at 8:13 am

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

Derek September 1, 2010 at 8:28 am

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.

Lesley @ The Design File September 1, 2010 at 8:32 am

I’m not creative enough to caption it but I’m so glad you posted this. It made me laugh out loud, which is much appreciated today!
.-= Lesley @ The Design File´s last blog ..30 ideas in 30 days for under 30- Lets get started! =-.

Kimberlee J. September 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

“Flowers sold separately.”
.-= Kimberlee J.´s last blog ..Repost From June- Girls Day Out =-.

Vanessa@decor happy September 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

Too funny! Not sure how the realtor could think this would help to sell the house.
.-= Vanessa@decor happy´s last blog ..Where I Blog =-.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints September 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

“Let’s bloom together in this three bedroom bungalo.” Isn’t that the funniest thing:) Cute…cute!!!
.-= Becky @ Farmgirl Paints´s last blog ..The road to happiness =-.

Becky K September 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

Definitely a Where’s Waldo themed title.
This is amusing, but I feel for the Agent who tried.

Becky K.
.-= Becky K´s last blog ..Summer is Fleeting =-.

Mrs. R September 1, 2010 at 8:56 am

Haaaaaaaaaa, oh my word. That is pretty bad. My favorite picture is the shot of the bathroom where the flowers seem to be lurking behind the wall.
.-= Mrs. R´s last blog ..Book Beginnings and Bookends Blog Book Club =-.

Janell Beals September 1, 2010 at 8:59 am

What I find funny is that the vases also made their way outside. Outside! Janell
.-= Janell Beals´s last blog ..Today Im Being Interviewed At BluLabel Bungalow =-.

Amanda@The Hand Me Down House September 1, 2010 at 9:16 am

Too funny! Did you notice they start off as a pair of vases and get farther and farther apart in each picture until there’s only one?!? Haha!
.-= Amanda@The Hand Me Down House´s last blog ..More Thrift Store Treasures =-.

Lauren September 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

It’s a metaphor for what will happen to any once-happy couple after purchase. Oh, and they’ll wilt! Cue due-and-gloom music.
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..Moving Day- Landed Survived =-.

Kelli September 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

Haha, this one cracked me up! It’s kind of a sweet, misplaced effort on the part of the agent.
.-= Kelli´s last blog ..Tuesday Truth 25 – I heart Tupperware! =-.

Lauren September 1, 2010 at 9:44 am

Ohh, fail! At list spring for the “2 for $10″ special on the lilies!

Catherine September 1, 2010 at 9:52 am

The agent should have put the vases over the cracks in the kitchen floor tile.

Notice that the flowers married before moving to the bedroom!
.-= Catherine´s last blog ..Coffee Flavored Coffee =-.

Kimberly C. September 1, 2010 at 9:57 am

I think you could appropriately call this “Mum and Lily show you their listing.”
.-= Kimberly C.´s last blog ..Blog Guidebook =-.

Tricia Rose September 1, 2010 at 10:45 am

The Little Agent Who Tried…

somehow it gets better and better as I go over the photos (with the benefit of all the wicked comments)!
.-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Rough Linen-Design Showcase =-.

elz September 1, 2010 at 10:47 am

I would fire that agent!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com September 1, 2010 at 10:48 am

How awkward!
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com´s last blog ..Teaser Tuesday- Old Houses in England =-.

Pat September 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

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 =-.

pollydove September 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

HA HA HA HA!!!! Oh, that is hilarious! I love your captions too! LOL!
.-= pollydove´s last blog ..Despicable Me =-.

Jared September 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

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

Jocelyn Stott September 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

Oh my…how awful – haha. I think I would call it:

“The Realtor of the Traveling Plants”

That’s the best I’ve got :)
.-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..Homemade Cinnamon Bread =-.

Linda September 1, 2010 at 11:22 am

FUNNY! Bless her heart, give her an A for extreme effort.

Carrie Isaac September 1, 2010 at 11:29 am

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!!!

Carrie September 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

I wonder if the agent used the same vases of flowers in the next house too :-)
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..Meatless Spaghetti Sauce =-.

Katie September 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

.-= Katie´s last blog ..A Budget-Friendly Starburst Mirror =-.

Slowish Food September 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

Oh, my, that made my day!
.-= Slowish Food´s last blog ..The Modified Compact Revisited =-.

Visual Vamp September 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm

OMG this made me pee.
Shame on them!
xo xo
.-= Visual Vamp´s last blog ..Designing Kitchen Curtains =-.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad September 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

What were they thinking?
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..What Would You Do =-.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman September 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Very funny. Wonder what she did with the flowers after??
.-= Handy Man, Crafty Woman´s last blog ..Tortilla Pie Recipe =-.

Why S? September 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I wish I had a good caption. I found it all kind of creepy. I may never be able to look at a vase of lillies again. Thanks a lot.
.-= Why S?´s last blog ..Water Your Plants- People! =-.

Anne Lubner Designs September 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm

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?

Terri September 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm

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?????

Lisa Itatani September 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

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

Kim September 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

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.

Dawn September 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

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”.

Paula September 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

To funny, how’s this going to sell a house?
.-= Paula´s last blog ..Solid Impact Door =-.

Our Nifty Notebook September 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm

The bedroom pic had me LOL, but the backyard…that was hilarious!
.-= Our Nifty Notebook´s last blog ..Wordful Wednesday =-.

prettyshoulders September 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm

…the sliding doors remind me of the house Annette Bening tries to sell in the movie American Beauty!!!
.-= prettyshoulders´s last blog ..exhaling =-.

Crystal September 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

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

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish September 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

They are quite flirty peeking out of the bathroom there. I think I would have to caption it “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Plants”!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..August Review and Favorite Posts =-.

Hailey Erickson September 1, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Multiple Choice Question: which room would you like your complimentary flowers in?
a. entry
b. dining room
c. kitchen
d. all of the above
.-= Hailey Erickson´s last blog ..And Now…The Muffins =-.

Beck September 1, 2010 at 10:50 pm

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

Billy September 2, 2010 at 12:24 am

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.

lindimity September 2, 2010 at 12:36 am

“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.

Mom in High Heels September 2, 2010 at 1:52 am

That is sheer awesomeness. It would certainly make a potential buyer remember the listing. “Oh, honey, remember the house with the flowers? I like that one. I can just picture my grandmother’s vase collection all over the house, can’t you?”
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..RTT- Watermelons- Cakes- Birthdays- ipods andwhatever =-.

Kristin September 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

Thanks for the laugh…this is comepletely hilarious!
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..White x White charger =-.

Emily A. Clark September 2, 2010 at 10:52 am

This totally cracks me up! That is one creative (I guess that’s the word) realtor. I wonder why they bought two (as opposed to one, or even three!).
.-= Emily A. Clark´s last blog ..Building a Gallery Wall Around Your TV =-.

Richella September 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Fresh flowers can really make a room.

Right? :)
.-= Richella´s last blog ..Autumn leaf pillows =-.

Jessica September 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Mum & Lily need to have their own show on HGTV…”Flowers Make A Home”!

Super cute!!! 😀
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Where I Blog =-.

Struggler September 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm

OMG, this is screamingly funny. As Laura said, it’s almost like those 2 vases are characters in their own right.
What the heck were they (the agent) thinking???
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..House Tour- Master Bathroom =-.

Jocelyn September 2, 2010 at 1:39 pm

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 :-)

Breanna September 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

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 =-.

Des September 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Too funny! What WERE they thinking? LOL
.-= Des´s last blog ..Pink Roses…… =-.

Susan S September 2, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Beyond funny!

McCall September 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

i’m laughing so hard. love it!
.-= McCall´s last blog ..my baby turns 1 =-.

holly September 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

are you serious?! that’s hilarious!
.-= holly´s last blog ..play-doh time! =-.

angela | the painted house September 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Oh, Julia, I am thinking there is no end to what silliness can be found out there! And your commenters on here are just as entertaining. :)
.-= angela | the painted house´s last blog ..Nesting at the Cottage =-.

Claire September 2, 2010 at 11:08 pm

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 =-.

The Little Red Shop September 3, 2010 at 2:17 am

Hmmm…perhaps the real estate agent and florist decided to kill two birds with one stone on portfolio shots?

: )

Julie M.
.-= The Little Red Shop´s last blog ..Beachcombing Lil Birdie =-.

Kate (Little Beach Bum) September 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm

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 =-.

Amy September 4, 2010 at 10:50 am

This post is hilarious and I love the commentary in the comments!
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Wallpaper Whenever- Secrets From a Stylist =-.

Ashley September 7, 2010 at 8:26 am

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 =-.

Khiori September 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm

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?

Kat September 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm

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

mstark September 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Memorial Service at 3pm
Open House 4:30pm

The Girl September 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm

When Lillies Attack!!
.-= The Girl´s last blog ..I Totally Wear Hats =-.

Dianne October 31, 2010 at 7:25 pm

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

Lauren January 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm

This is hysterical! I am posting this on my blog as what NOT to do!!!
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..Every room can use a touch of Tudor =-.

Alex G. February 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

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.

Renee April 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm

HAHAHA, this had to be a joke! That is too funny!

Deb May 12, 2011 at 8:01 am

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

Sheila June 21, 2011 at 9:10 am

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! :)

Morgan June 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm

“Flowers for sale. Cheap. Will go anywhere.”

Christy October 25, 2012 at 11:46 pm

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.

Mldtq February 12, 2013 at 2:24 am

it’s almost 3am and i’m laughing!

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