A recently wrote a post about someone that listed with another agent because I told her that her home needed to be staged. Envisioning all of her furniture in storage somewhere and one black chair in her living room, she passed on my advice.
Most often, when I recommend staging, I recommend that we use sellers’ existing furniture, we just position it differently to give things a cleaner look. Things like floral printed couches don’t photograph well, but a simple slipcover can make a HUGE difference. Your stuff, just cleaned up for photos.
Some things that need to be done to homes are obvious. If your home looks like this photo, then there is no way for anyone sitting at their computer in Illinois to have any idea what the room actually looks like. They would just know that you all have a lot of stuff. I’m not sure that is the message you want to sent to people when you are trying to sell a product…your house.
Here is a recent staging redesign that Margaret Oscilia with Creative Concepts and Contracting did for one of my clients. Now it might look like we used different furniture, but she just flip flopped the furniture in the family room and living room. Still the seller’s stuff, just cleaned up.
This seller had many beautiful items, but they just weren’t arranged in a way that would look good in a photograph.
So Margaret came in and worked her magic. Taking his items and rearranging them and then adding a few accents here and there. What we got, was a much cleaner, easier to photograph living room. The fact is that most people don’t have that decorator’s touch. It’s not a personal insult that your home doesn’t look like an HGTV show. Most people don’t have picture perfect homes. This is your home and you want to be comfortable in it.
If you are looking to sell a home in the Salem Oregon metro area, I highly recommend, at minimum, a staging consult with Margaret Oscilia which runs around $100 or so. She will come in and tell you what YOU can do to make your home look better for photos. A staging redesign is around $200+ depending on the size of the house and what is needed. It is money well spent and chances are you have furniture that will work just fine. Let her help you rearrange it so that your Salem Oregon real estate agent…which would be me by the way (okay, okay, shameless plug)…can help take good photos for your marketing materials. One of the most important things listing agents should do for clients is help you prepare your home for the real estate market place.
If pictures speak 1000 words, then I think the words buyers will be uttering are crystal clear… “I want that house.”
When we were house hunting, I was amazed at 1)how some people live and 2)how some people didn’t seem to think their home needed to be on its best behavior when potential buyer were viewing it.
And, when selling a house, I was amazed at how many people cannot see beyond the current owner’s stuff and style. Our home, for instance, had some odd color choices inside of it (you love them or hate them). Many people took one step in the door and said no and walked out… because of paint. Really? To me, that’s a $25 fix and if I love the location, the layout, the amenities… who cares?
Amy I have been in many houses where decluttering was the easy fix. Yes many people have a strong comfort level with dirt.
I LOVE the phrase “their home needed to be on their best behavior.” I might have to use that in a blog. That is exactly how it should be.
There are many buyers that get stuck on the tangerine accent wall, or the dark red kitchen walls. Many buyers focus on the furniture and not the house. I spend a lot of time prepping buyers about focusing on the house…not the sellers stuff.
Wow! The before and after picture dramatically demonstrates what a stager can do, and that house was no where as bad as some I’ve seen. Even the simple act of removing the ugly chords and wires from the site line was enough to her earn her the $100 fee.
In our market, where sellers are feeling the pinch in pricing their homes, it’s hard to get them to spend the extra for a professional consultant. Staging fees here are more expensive, but covering two mortgages while you wait for you vacant house to sell, I dunno, I’m no mathematical genius but that would seem to rack up pretty quick, too.
Amy, conventional wisdom is that buyers look past paint. Like all conventional wisdom, it deserves to be questioned. Color is like incense or music: it sets a mood. That mood is not always conducive to getting a buyer to say, “I want that house.” Listings that my office has had that we’re done in tasteful (of course, a normative concept) of earth tones and sages tend to do great – even better than those in a strict neutral palette. Those homes that have lots of bright, bold colors, well, those listings tend to be around for awhile. Even a long time. Here, it’s a narrow pool of buyers who are looking for something hip and contemporary. It’s hard to overcome that first visceral response, and red accent walls – no matter how much I personally love them – tend to put the kabosh on them short listing that particular house for a second visit.
Julia that’s why I choose this one because just a few small things can make a huge difference it how it looks. The stagers here in town are very reasonable, and I can’t imagine not using them to get a house ready.
Thanks for the post Melina! This is such a perfect example of what we do best — highlight a homes features. In the second photo you really can see the beautiful architecture of this room. When it came time for us to remove our staging the owner even purchased the art we used for staging so they could keep that look. It’s hard to be impartial when viewing our own homes and we love helping home sellers get that model home look using their own furnishings. You are right that most potential buyers can’t see past the “stuff” or the image that is presented and we love making your listings look fabulous!
I think it is a great example of what you guys do best. It’s amazing what just a couple of hours can do to clean things up a bit. Your rates are so reasonable too.
Great site. Thanks for your thoughts.
Kasity thanks for stopping by.