Posted on March 10, 2013
Home staging is without a doubt one of my favorite subjects. It’s basically the intersection or coming together of two of my most loved concepts – home decorating and selling real estate. Over the years, I have looked to Nate Berkus and Barbara Corcoran for tips on how to make a home or room look better and appeal to as many buyers as possible. And today, my source for home staging tips is Boston Magazine. In its recent March issue featuring the Best Places to Live 2013, Boston Magazine said, “Sellers, Take Note…” and offered these six tips on staging your home:
- “Stage early. You may think the clock starts with the first open house, but the pictures are what actually kick off the selling process. Turning on lamps during a shoot is key. ‘Natural light casts blue,’ says Julie Chrissis, of Chrissis & Company Interiors. ‘Lamps throw yellow light and most people relate to that warm feeling.’ Limit your listing to 10 to 15 images. Anything more just overwhelms.” My two cents – 100% yes to the warm lighting and the number of photos….
- “Ban the books. We’re a well-read city, but the idea of living inside a library can leave buyers feeling claustrophobic. If you want to keep a few tomes on display, align the bindings on the edge of a shelf. And pack away any [subject matter] that might be off-putting.” My take – this is an extreme situation. Most sellers have an appropriate amount of books on display. But if the number of books is overwhelming and distracts from the space, then by all means, get rid of some of the books.
- “Update the paint. New paint is the cheapest way to overhaul a room. ‘Fresh paint can really clean the whole house up, get rid of all the scuff and dirt marks that bear traces of someone else,’ says Heidi Pribell, an interior decorator and stager.” I couldn’t agree more – new paint always seems to do the trick of giving a fresh, clean look, which is priceless when it comes to selling your home.
- “Stash personal effects. ‘You want buyers to come in and feel comfortable, not like they’re trespassing,’ Pribell says. While wedding photos and graduation pictures must go, Chrissis suggests keeping a few ‘nondescript’ candids on hands. ‘A buyer should ask, Did that come with the frame?’” My feeling on this is similar to my thoughts on the books. As long as the number of photos isn’t excessive and the depictions aren’t too revealing in nature, it’s fine to keep them. The other rule of thumb is to make sure the personal effects aren’t such that they prove to draw more attention than the spaces or rooms in your home. You want to keep the buyers focused on the task at hand – buying your house – and not figuring out your familial relations and friendships.
- “Pack up the home office. ‘With our community of entrepreneurs, I see a ton of people who work from home…but most don’t do so in the neatest way,’ Chrissis says. Since home offices are the hardest to photograph for MLS listings, consider boxing things up here first.” From my perspective, let’s just say that when it comes to selling a home, neat can’t be beat. Having orderly, de-cluttered spaces optimizes the sale-ability of a home.
- “Leave the lights on. Do agents a favor and illuminate your home before potential buyers arrive. The last thing you want is someone fumbling through your bedroom looking for a lamp.” Can I just say – Alleluia and Amen?! Not to mention thank you in advance for leaving those lights on and saving us an extra five minutes which sometimes we don’t have when showings run late and travel is highly trafficked.
For more information on this or on the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (781-267-2844 or www.homesalesbylisa.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.