Saturday, January 21, 2012

What Not to do When You are Selling Your Home

"Uninvited Stager" Saturday

Today while perusing homes for sale, I decided to look in a state that has a pretty strong home staging industry.  Listing after listing featured very nicely furnished and edited rooms, no clutter and they all felt very warm and inviting - like a stager had their hands all over the place!  But I kept looking and found some that were problematic - and here they are. 

When you are selling your home and the house down the block is also for sale (and it's neat and furnished beautifully), you had better sharpen your home's presentation.  Why?  Because you are only inviting the buyers to go elsewhere.  You are, in fact, helping the guy down the block to sell his home faster because yours doesn't measure up.

1)When your home has unusual features, as in this corner fireplace, you need to show the buyer how to furnish the room.  Leaving it vacant will only have your home on the market for a much longer time.  Buyers need to "see" how to place their furniture in such a room.  Would you pay a lot of money for something you have no idea how to use?  I didn't think so!!

And why bother with the mums and the lone vase on the mantle?

 2) Above, another corner fireplace in the same listing - this time in the bedroom.  A prospective buyer might say "Uh, I guess I can't have the bed face the fireplace." Having even a minimum of furniture - a bed, two nightstands, a dresser and some artwork - would help the buyer "see" how to furnish the room.  There are some great features in this room - the round window, the tall ceilings, the mantle...a balcony right outside - but these features are not being played up. Additionally, having furniture in this room would have hidden the vacuum marks (pet peeve of mine!). Unfortunately, this room is designed rather poorly and that's what the buyer will remember.  A creative furniture arrangement would have allowed the buyer to focus on how nice and warm the room is - rather than focusing on a room's problems and "where the heck do I place the bed?"

3) This is the same listing - there are angles everywhere in this house. I love angles - but most people do not have any idea of what to do with them.  They will pass up this house that otherwise is very nice and clean with beautiful hardwood floors. Show the buyer a home that is furnished - then they won't focus on "how do I place my furniture in this room!"

4) Is it so hard to make the bed nicely?? Doesn't it look like there's something else hidden underneath there? And would it be so difficult to get rid of the clutter to the left?  A missed opportunity.

5) In this bedroom, it looks like your head will always hit the ceiling.  I would have made this bed differently.  I would have had the pillows lying flat on the bed instead of upwards. I would eliminate the larger pillow - it indicates if you are any larger than this pillow when you're in this bed - your head will bump the ceiling.  I would have smaller, wider lamps on the nightstands. Alternatively, you could eliminate the bench at the foot of the bed and pull the bed forward and add a headboard. 

6) In this space, I would have placed the bed where the dresser is.  When possible, the bed should be the first thing you see in a bedroom - it's best on the focal wall.  This bedroom could be spiced up more - it's a little bit dull and uninspiring.  Some artwork, simple panels on the windows, pillows, a throw - all in green, orange and brown (my favorite color scheme) would make this bedroom more appealing. I'd ditch the track lighting - it's not in keeping with the traditional tone of the room.

So - just some ideas and suggestions from me this week.  If you are selling your home and you aren't getting any bites from buyers - just give me a call at 631 793-1315.  I can help you make your home more attractive to buyers.

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