Monday, July 25, 2016

Our house is a very,very,very fine house

Our house is a very, very, very fine house........

Crosby, Stills and Nash knew how to write a song.  But how do you sell that very, very ,very fine house with two other houses for sale in the neighborhood?

I had the privilege of working alongside a great home stager for a few months.  I learned so much.  I loved it and have gone on to stage a few homes for family and friends all with great results.

The most recent house I worked on was for one of our kids.  That is probably the hardest because people are emotional about their homes.  When the kids said they were about to list their house I told them that I wanted to give them a few pointers on what to do to make their house memorable.  I wasn't sure if they wanted my advice...but they said they did,  so here goes.....

The week before they listed we walked through the house together.  The house was in great shape and was recently painted both inside and out.

Clean and fresh ?-check

There were a couple of other homes for sale within a block.  One of them had an open house so I went to take a look.  It was very nice but not memorable

Can they compete?-check

We need to get people in the front door.  The pictures need to be awesome.

Their house was very Pottery Barn.  Striped down and not memorable.  Nothing special.

So I started at the front door.  Boring.  Nothing to make a drive by want to come in the door.  So  I lifted a turquoise star from my fireplace mantle, an orange pot from my backyard and moved some decorative pots from their backyard.  The front door still needed some life, so off to Home Depot for some blooming flowers for the pots out front.  Magic, now you want to come inside- check.

The living room was a little dull too, all neutral colors, no spark.  We added decorative pillows in the orange and turquoise that were at the front door.  Wow,  what a difference a few pillows make.  The room came alive.  We added a tray to the coffee table with a bright pot on top.  Make them remember.  The house with the orange pillows-check.

The dining room table was nice but not tablescaped.  We added beaded place mats, beautiful dishes and glassware and Mercury glass candle holders with the chunky,  fake candles.  Make them want to sit down at your table-check.

The kitchen was recently gutted and beautifully updated but things were just not quite right on the soffits and the table was not set.  We found some great placemats in a closet, used their regular, everyday pottery and added a couple of accent small plates. To take it over the top we added fresh sunflowers that perfectly matched the stoneware.  Fresh flowers-Check.

Family room....another easy one, a few bright pillows and some fresh flowers.  Make them want to cuddle up in front of the fireplace.  Check.

Their bedrooms and office needed the same little spruce up.  Just pillows and a few plants and fresh flowers. Check.

The kids bathroom needed a  few bright towels that we pulled from my towel stash, another touch of turquoise with the already there grey towels and we were in business-check.

Back yard just needed a few rolled beach towels and a few pot spruce ups.  There were kids toys in the backyard and they were all moved to the side yard, still accessible to the kids for play but out of sight to the people looking to buy. Sold in three days amidst some stiff competition.

I have a few funny stories about homes I have visited.  Most people do not want to rent furniture and do the whole rent furniture staging, like you see on tv.  Most of the time you can make  a home look better with just a few simple touches and a trip to Home Goods and Home Depot. I also would add a trip to Trader Joes for some flowers,  especially when you first list and before pictures.  The pictures have to be good or your house does not even make it to the drive by.

Unsaid but critically important, choose the right realtor and price it right.  Our kids uses a longtime friend,  Brian Gubernick,  at Home Helper Consultants.  Thanks to Brian and his team for the amazing photos.

"Home where my music's playing, home where my love lies waiting, silently for me".....Homeward Bound- Simon and Garfunkel

Coming soon:
A rehearsal dinner from afar
How to pack for a beach get way
A girls outing and mini reunion
Ya-Ya's Bookshelf
A Boy's Baby Shower
Top Five Albums- another fun one

Keep singing and hug those kids and puppies.
Love, Ya-Ya

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