Staging Looks AWFUL - What Do You Do?

36 Replies

Someone in a Facebook group I'm in posted pictures of their house's staging. The listing agent suggested they hire a stager, who cost them a lot of money.

The house looks awful. Older or downright weird furniture, bedspreads, pillows, etc. Colors clash, patterns clash, and honestly it looks so ugly it's like the sellers are still living in the home.

The seller is not happy. What would you do?

@Russell Brazil @Dawn Brenengen  

Fire the agent.

If the agent recommended them, I would tell the Sellers to have their agent lean on the staging company to make changes, to the staging (at no cost to the seller), or they're both fired!

Brian Beatty

Hi @Mindy Jensen , I saw that same exact post on FB. I have zero interior design skill and even I instantly thought the furniture looked out of place, weird colors, unattractive wall art, the list goes on! I would lean on my agent to get this corrected and if they are unresponsive or unhelpful, fire them both! 

@Mindy Jensen I would for sure tell them agent that they have to fix this problem ASAP. Meaning, like ASAP! Usually when the agent refers stagers (you'd assume that they know what they are doing) if . this was a complete blooper or misjudgment on the staging co then the agent should contact them and get everything changed out. If there's any attitude or bs on the agents part id fire em' and reach out to stagers and have them work w seller to either change the staging or fire them as well.

Can you post the pics here or somewhere accessible?  I really don't know what looks good or not WRT staging but it seems like something I should learn.

I agree some of the staging we see is so atrocious it masks the good work done.

A Fellow investor staged his ARV $130k flip with pieces of 'hand picked' trash he got from the side of the road. The place was broken into & they stole most off the living room 'trash'. So much for one man's trash is another mans treasure.

@Mark Sullivan   I saw that FB post too.  Here is the listing link the flipper posted.  The furnishings are hideous.  

* link removed for privacy*

I thought, "how bad could it be??" ... Yikes! That's bad. Really Bad. They need to come get that junk o.u.t.

It's a pretty house though. I hope the horror of that staging being passed around gets the pretty house noticed ... maybe there will be a silver lining.

@Mindy Jensen I would ask for a refund, and tell them to remove the furnishings immediately. No staging is better than bad staging. I see NOTHING in that house that makes it more marketable.

The staging is beyond hideous, someone is on some really bad meds, legal or otherwise.

When I have staged houses, the staging looked exactly like the portfolio pictures the stager shared with me ahead of time.  Show them their portfolio pictures and the current pictures and get them to make it right.  These are the kinds of things that drive investors nuts.

@Mindy Jensen wow! Just looked at the listing that is BAD! That bedroom decor...the living room with the twig art...and that crib, the width of the openings can be within current safety code (not that your going to get that when you buy the house it’s a distraction).

And they have a open house tomorrow, they need to get that furniture out!

The agent should've recommended a stager that they know and trust.  In this case I think the agent gets the stager to fix it or figures out a way to help compensate the seller for the cost of the stagger.  I would never recommend my clients hire a stagger without first knowing what type of work they do. 

Ok, It's pretty bad, I was expecting something worst. I am a little disappointed. lol 

This is what I would do to salvage it.  

1. Living room- Take that wood thing off the wall.  Go find a large painting from HomeGoods or something.  Gotta be a big one like 5x8 since it is a big room.  Replace it with the new painting.

2. Breakfast table and chairs.  Just remove it.  You can't put mid-century modern furniture in that house.  Come on. Take all that stuff off the island. It's taking away from the size of the island.

3. Dining table.  Can you replace the chairs?  Get some gray cloth chairs and vase and put it on the table.  If not just remove all of it. The colors kill the room.

4. Master Bedroom- Change the blanket.

The listing agent should pay for it.  It's like the stager didn't even try or they are playing a joke on the seller.

In the future, never rely on word of mouth, do your own research. I say this because I have relied on word of mouth before with an individual that I trusted and it cost me months, thousands, and a huge headache with an unscrupulous no good contractor. What I have learned is to always do your own due diligence, word of mouth is only a first step in vetting someone. 

It's not as bad as I thought, but it's probably because they house is actually really nice.  Staging is supposed to compliment the house and allow people to envision their things in the space and how they would utilize it.  This actually detracts from the house.  Vintage can be cool, but for most people that means small doses of it and based on the house finishes I don't think that's what the investor was going for.  I would hope the agent showed the investors some photo's of previous houses, but I'm guessing that didn't happen.  Hopefully the house still moves.

Beautiful home that looks like it was staged by Jackson Pollock on LSD with a Wal-Mart credit card.  Fire the realtor and stager IMHO.

I agree with @Karen Margrave , remove the furniture and ask for a refund for the cost of the staging. It doesn’t match the house and doesn’t add anything. It actually detracts from it if anything. 

The furniture was a postmodern response to the renovation's insidious HGTV barn house aesthetic.

Goodness. Uhm...isn't a stager supposed to have an eye for design? You know, put in furniture as nice or better than the typical buyer??? LOL. The truly shocking part is the person is in business as a stager. I would demand they remove everything immediately and maybe, just show the place vacant. The exterior of the house is quite handsome, the interior looks very good, despite a component or two that was left unaddressed (? or not?). I'm not sure that was the sort of house that demanded a stage.

Tied-Dyed hanging was a nice touch - lol. That place looks like a girls first apartment, not an executive home. I used to own the same dinette set (the one in the kitchen), got it for free from some peeps who where done with it, that was in 1991 so...However, the set was awesome in terms of function - had cool wheels on the chairs and the table was perfect for playing that drinking game quarters.

I had a bit of a mishap with staging once, where the company that had agreed did not show up. My realtor scrambled, went out and rented some stuff, just a couple of items for spacial interpretation, and knocked it out of the park. Damn furniture looked better than the house, and the house was a gem (for the market).

Not to say I am some design guru or something, I'm not. However, I am an appraiser and have seen it all, and certainly have an eye for what looks good and what doesn't. It's been my experience that design is not easy, especially paint colors, and I have witnessed countless professionals put up stuff that makes me shake my head thinking "you think that looks good???"

Yea...now that I'm thinking on it. I've seen some really expensive stuff look really bad.

Originally posted by @Frank Wong :

Ok, It's pretty bad, I was expecting something worst. I am a little disappointed. lol 

This is what I would do to salvage it.  

1. Living room- Take that wood thing off the wall.  Go find a large painting from HomeGoods or something.  Gotta be a big one like 5x8 since it is a big room.  Replace it with the new painting.

2. Breakfast table and chairs.  Just remove it.  You can't put mid-century modern furniture in that house.  Come on. Take all that stuff off the island. It's taking away from the size of the island.

3. Dining table.  Can you replace the chairs?  Get some gray cloth chairs and vase and put it on the table.  If not just remove all of it. The colors kill the room.

4. Master Bedroom- Change the blanket.

The listing agent should pay for it.  It's like the stager didn't even try or they are playing a joke on the seller.

 I pretty much 100% agree here. 

Some of the individual pieces aren't bad, but some are ....very special, and should never see the light of day.  Even a white sheet would be better than that bed spread.

@Mindy Jensen

Wow...the dining room is beyond anything I've seen for staging.  And you just have to appreciate what looks like a stripper macrame top over the toilet.

Calling yourself a stager doesn't mean you have taste.  But I've also seen interior designers with taste that is way out there.  Hopefully they didn't pay everything up front...have the realtor talk to the stager to replace anything that has wild, loud, Picasso like colors.

I have used stagers and have full reign to see what they have done and just say no.

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