Ready, Stage, Sell?

Living Room Before

Living room before.

Recently I’ve noticed an increased interest in Home Staging. While there are no real guarantees with staging, a staged home is easier to show and leaves a more positive impression with buyers. So as a seller, how much effort and cost should you put into staging? My answer is simple, consider the condition of the house first and foremost. You can decorate all you want, but if the paint is peeling, appliances are old, bathrooms and kitchens are dated, decluttering and rearranging furniture won’t change much. Your first step in this case would be cleaning, updating and repairing. If that’s not the case, then take a look at the big retailers of home design, Rooms to Go, Pottery Barn, IKEA, West Elm, Ethan Allen and so on. View their catalogs or design showrooms and use them as a guide. To save money work with your existing furniture as much as possible, depersonalize and declutter. Think foundation pieces with minimal and neutral accessories and arrange furniture to highlight the features in each room. For example, if you have a beautiful fireplace, cozy up some seating around it. Beautiful view from a window? Make sure the glass is spotless and find a way to place furniture to enjoy the view. Likewise, if furniture placement is awkward or off centered, try floating the pieces away from the wall or window, to draw the interest away from the negative. Think of your rooms as a marketing brochure, highlight all their features and benefits. If you still can’t wrap your head around the idea of staging, talk to your Realtor and remember anything you do now will help when you’re actually ready to move out.

Living room after.

Living room after.

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A Contemporary Stage

Before: An unusual staircase space.

Earlier this year, I staged a contemporary house. The owners were very motivated, receptive to ideas and had already done a lot of work. I mention this because it made my job much easier. The before picture you see is an unusual space at the foot of the basement stairs. Without spending too much money, we needed to find a way to simplify the spot without drawing too much attention. Take a look at the after picture and let me know what you think.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/magicalmakeoverinteriors/sets/72157626784065739/    With a larger budget we probably would have eliminated the spot all together, but time and money were key and the house sold in just about a month.