Saturday, December 31, 2011

Selling Your Home the Right Way

"Univited Stager" Saturday

Hi everyone - I hope that your holidays were beautiful and that you are getting ready for a happy and successful New Year.  I am going to be adding this series from "The Uninvited Stager" every Saturday.  I'll be showing some photos of homes that could use help - and what I would do to them to improve them - so they will sell faster. 

These homes are currently on the market and they could use help.  I know that with a few deft moves with a camera and some help from a competant home stager - these homes could be improved substantially and sell faster.  Why homesellers and realtors don't spend a little extra time and money hiring the right people to whip their homes and listings into shape before they go on the beyond my comprehension.  The longer a home stays on the market - the lower the resulting sales price will be.  There will be substantial amounts of time and money spent on marketing...on utilities, taxes, mortgage payments - all the carrying costs - that could have been avoided had they bettered the look and condition of the home/listing in the first place.  I advocate "think before you leap" approach to home selling.  Fix the home, stage it, photograph it better - give it some "pizzaz and polish" and it will sell faster. Merchanize it - it's a product...after all.

1) Lighten up your photos before you place your home on the market!

The above room actually might look good - but who the heck can see it?  It's too dark. The camera is reading the light outside more - not the room. Adding additional lamps in the room would have helped...also adding some lamps without shades outside the scope of the picture would have helped as well. There are no highhats in this room - that could have helped brighten the picture.  If you do not know how to take a picture of your home that could really help sell it - hiring a professional photographer can fix that.  They would have made this room look fantastic.

2) Straighten your photos, fix what's wrong with the room, add some color and memorable items and look at your photos on your computer before you let the rest of the world see them.
There's a wonderful tool on just about every photo editing program called "Straighten." This photo is a bit lopsided - but a few clicks of the straighten tool could have helped this room a lot.  Also - it looks like the freezer door is open.  That's simple to change.  And what's the black strike mark on the dishwasher all about?  Whatever that is - it should be fixed.  Some staging also could have helped this kitchen out.  A cookbook on a stand, some fresh flowers and a bowl of red apples could have made this picture so much more appealing.

3) Determine the subject of your photo. Figure out what's important about the room that you want to get across to the buyer.
This room above could be so appealing but it looks like there's not enough room for everything
in this space - it looks cramped. It seems as if the stove is the important thing that they wanted the potential buyer to see - but they could have done that with an additional photo of it.  The dining table would have looked better if it had been placed horizontally.  Then the rug that's in front of the sofa could have been placed in front of the sofa!  Additionally, with the dining table switch, the sofa could have been placed in the center of the window. If the dining table did not need to be here, then I would have placed the other red chair where the dining table is now. It seems as if the chair might be blocking the entry to the home.

For the extra picture of the stove, I would have staged that with some wood stacked neatly or in a basket...maybe a tall vessel with some matches and I would have given the stove a nice cleaning (no trace of ash or dust).  This otherwise warm and homey room could have looked much better and more appealing with just a few changes.

4) Again, learn to use the straighten tool.  Be mindful of what the subject of the photo is...and what you are trying to sell.
This looks like a perfectly fine house.  But the picture was taken without any care - some of the information is missing. Perhaps the photo taker should have stepped back to the left and taken the picture of the sofa (and I think there should be a coffee table in front) perhaps on an angle and I would have been kneeling down for the shot.  Then you would have shown the sofa in relation to the entry and the stairs - and with a wide angle lens you would have given the potential buyer more information about the house. Taking a picture of half the couch and half the table and whatever is to the left is silly. Also, cutting off the skylight (which is a plus for a stairway) does nothing to help the sale of this home.  You need to show what's important, special and different about the home.  Merchandize!!!

5) Clean up.  Even though it's winter, you still have to show your exterior shots in their best light.

What does this photo tell me?  It says that the home has been on the market for awhile and has not sold.  Because of the laziness of the seller or the realtor, this one shot can tell me that if the sellers didn't care to clean their deck - what else could be wrong with the house.  This might be a small, little point - but in this market, you don't want to leave anything to chance.

6) Lighten up and edit your furniture

This picture is a lot better than the first pic in terms of the lighting issue, but the lighting could have been improved.  There's also too much furniture in this room.  At least move the chair with its back to the photo. That's also bad feng shui. I'd probably find another spot in the home for the chair - or I would find another spot for the love seat and place the chair there.  I would take out those tables on either side of the fireplace and I would make the mantleplace more important.  The two candlesticks (I think that's what they are) are not in scale - they are too small...they do nothing for the mantle. I would try to get a painting that is vertical to be on the mantle - to amplify height.  As it is, the horizontal picture amplifies that the room isn't that tall. You want to sell height (even if it's perceived height) when you're marketing your home. Also, there are a few items on the floor on either side of the fireplace - they should go. It's only visual distraction. I would just add a basket of birch logs for some interest and texture.

If you are having trouble selling your home, just give me a call at 631 793-1315.  We also do e-staging for those who are not in the New York area.  Just as I gave tips for the homes above, I could do the same for you - via email.  Good luck for 2012!!


jan west said...

Great samples of what not to do in order to sell a house. Realtors should benefit from your knowledge and insight. Jan

Linda Leyble said...

Hi Jan - Thanks for commenting. Just some simple changes could have made these photos and rooms look much better. Hopefully, some of the people reading this will make the changes in their own homes for sale - and then they will sell instead of stagnate!! Thanks.


Short Sale Help said...

Home staging as important as hire a real estate agent.It is necessary one for selling house fast.No one can deny its importance.It is the beauty of the which be valuable for working real estate company.


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