Don’t Make This Mistake When You List Your Home For Sale

When it comes time to sell your home, a common mistake many homeowners make is that they Decorate their home to sell rather than Stage their home to sell. When you decorate your home it is all about you, the homeowner. As lovely as it may be, it is still your taste and your design style. This point was recently made very clear to me when a homeowner turned down my offer to help stage her home because she said it had been professional decorated and was in “show ready” condition. Professionally decorated it was…in a formal French Country style that would appeal to any buyer who also liked formal French Country and had the furniture and accessories to match. Sadly, that professionally decorated home is still on the market 8 months later; even after two price reductions.

French Country by Charles Faudree

 

When you Stage your home, it is all about the Buyer, and since you don’t know who your Buyer is, it is important to appeal to ALL Buyers and ALL tastes. Maybe you love French Country but maybe your future buyer loves Contemporary, or Early American, or Eclectic or Shabby Chic….you just don’t know. This is why neutral paint colors on the walls, no distracting collectibles, photos, or taste specific decor is the only way to go. Buyers need to imagine their furniture, their photos and their taste specific decor in your home.

 

staged home

 

Once staged, you may think your home lacks character and personality…that is exactly the point. Remember, the best way to Stage your home for sale, is to undecorate your home. If you do, it will appeal to more potential buyers and get you a quicker and better dollar offer. Then you are free to move on and decorate to your heart’s content in your new home.

 

If you would like help Staging your home for sale or undecorating your home, give me a call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Things Buyers Don’t Care about (Part Two)

In my last post I highlighted items one through five of the 10 things buyers don’t care about when they are looking to buy a house.  Here is the eagerly awaited  part two of my list (6-10) of things Buyer’s Don’t Care About.

 

6. Your family living situation. How you live in your home and how you market your home for sale are TOTALLY different. I understand why the bunk beds are in the dining room ( the in laws are visiting for the Summer) and why a pool table is in the living room ( you never use the room anyway) but buyers don’t care. Buyers are not that imaginative and rooms  must be staged as to their intended purpose or else Buyers just get confused.

 

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7.Your wonderful memories. Your children were raised there, the family gathered there for every holiday, your husband built the awesome tree house. Sad to say but buyers don’t care. Buyers are looking at sq. footage, number of bedrooms and baths, school district, and a number of other things, none of which involve your good memories of the house. You MUST detach yourself from all those house memories  if you truly want to move on and make the sale. Remember, the day you decide to list your home, it no longer “your home”… it is now a” future buyers home”.

 

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8. Your favorite place in the world. Okay, you adore the beach (who doesn’t)  but shells, mini lighthouses,  lobster pillows and hanging wood signs that point “This Way to the Beach” in a home located in say, Utah, is not appealing to buyers. Themed rooms or homes  decorated based on your favorite vacation spot is just going to limit your pool of buyers. Remember, just because you love Provence doesn’t mean buyers do.

 

Which leads me to…

 

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9. Your decorating style (or non style). Buyers don’t care about the fabulous wallpaper that you spent 6 months looking for or the stenciled boarder you so  painstakingly put up in the nursery. Buyers don’t care that you think the dated brass ceiling fan is  ”just fine” or that the blue wall to wall carpet from 1985 is “still in great shape”. Buyers want to see updated and current light fixtures ( no brass) , neutral painted walls ( if you have wallpaper, take my word for it…take it down), neutral flooring, and nothing taste specific ( refer back to #8) like dated flowery home furnishings.

 

And Last but certainly not least…

 

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10. Descriptive Adjectives. If your friends and family use words like “Unique”, “Funky”, “Out of the Box” or  ”Wow” (and not in a good way) to describe any part of your home..assume there is a problem. Buyers are NEVER looking for these things in a home. Think of your home as if it was the dessert at a huge dinner party. Let’s say you decide to serve ice cream. Your first inclination is to mix together  Rum Raisin with Pistachio with Rocky Road. Not a whole lot of people are going to find that appetizing. Same goes for your home. Much better to appeal to everyone and serve something maybe a little boring like vanilla ice cream with colorful sprinkles. Pretty much everyone likes vanilla and the colorful sprinkles add just enough color and pop to keep it interesting.

Unique, Funky Out Of The Box and Wow...and not in a good way

I want to leave you with one more photo of a kitchen in a home that I was asked to stage where I was honestly left speechless.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you think every kitchen should have a life sized doll next to a shopping bag that says “Born To Shop” and a porcelain shoe?….I love my job!!!

My List of 10 Things Buyers DON’T Care About (Part One)

Along with Color Consulting and Redesign, I do a fair amount of Home Staging. Today I would like to share my list (part one) of the 10 Things that Buyers DO NOT care about when buying a new home. The list is beyond cleaning and de-cluttering as I assume most sellers already know the basics (no family photos, remove the clutter and clean, clean, clean). This list makes up the most common 10 things I continue to see and hear on almost every staging job I go to….so, here it is.

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1. How much you paid for (fill in the blank) back in the day.  Fact is, Buyers don’t care how much it cost you to decorate, remodel, fix, or update your home. If it is not adding to the appeal of the room it needs to go…which brings me to my pet peeve…

 

2. How much it cost you to have those custom window treatments made…this is a big one. I sometimes think half the houses here in the North East have dated window treatments (like Balloon shades) made back in the 1980′s that cost “over a $1,000 a window”. If your window treatments are blocking half the light coming in and are so full of dust mites that they are a bio hazard..get rid of them!

 

3. Trophies. Again, maybe it is just a Northeast thing but almost every kid’s bedroom I go into has shelves or bookcases lined with trophies. Yes, I know how proud you are that your first grader is a Tae Kwon-Do champ and that your high school student is headed to (fill in the blank) on a full athletic scholarship but buyers just don’t care. Trophies are dust magnets, distracting and a turn off for buyers who don’t have children as gifted and wonderful as yours.

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4. Your wonderful, adorable, PET. Yes, I do understand how much (fill in the blank) means to you and your family but nasty chew toys, hairy dog beds, food bowls, cages, giant bags of pet food, and God forbid litter boxes in the bathroom are a turn off to buyers. Just like on Craigslist, sellers of home items will stress “comes from a pet free home”;  buyers want to think they are buying a clean and pure pet free home as well. Now I am a huge animal lover so I understand your pain but you must hide any outward signs of pets.

 

 

5. Collections. Buyers don’t care if your passion is priceless Mayan artifacts,  Star War Figures, World War I memorabilia  or Porcelain Kitty Cats, the point is, they are taste specific, dust gathering distractions. Pack them away for your new home.

 

Part two will be  6-10.  In the meantime, here are a few  photos to give you some clues…what would you put on the list?

 

 

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