Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Real Estate Staging: I'll take the door Carol Merrill is in front of

The mom of a child in my son's preschool was asking me today for a little advice for her parents who are trying to sell their house in this tough real estate market. She showed me a few photos, and for the most part they had done a wonderful job getting ready, particularly since they've lived in the house for 40 years.

Given how much stuff I can accumulate in the back of my car in a weekend, I can appreciate just how much furniture and accessories a household can wind up with over decades.

I did, however, suggest her folks remove just a few more pieces from the house.

Take a look at the before and after shots above of a dining room I staged not too long ago. The carpet and lighting fixture were updated, but the biggest impact, I think, comes from what is not there anymore.

The decorations are now simple and there are two fewer chairs (and a corner hutch you can see reflected in the mirror in the before photo).

The impression you are left with: A tidy, pretty space where you are more apt to notice the deck and yard outside.

Paring down is definitely worth it...even if it means putting items in storage for a while. You never know what will seal the deal for a potential buyer, and the impression of a large, breezy space might just do it.

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