We stage houses on a daily basis. It is sometimes easy to forget that these structures have history and people’s lives have been played out within those walls. This house was home to a family for 35 years – they had it custom built, raised children, enjoyed grandchildren, fed the birds and LIVED there. This year it was time to say “farewell” and it was a wrenching experience for the wife in particular.
I was called in to help them get as big a return as possible to help finance their retirement. This is what I saw – oh and they wanted it in a hurry. (To see larger please click the image):
Well, I took a deep breath and told the broker, who fortunately already trusted me from previous projects, that it needed a LOT of help to get top dollar. She was on board with it so the first thing was to replace the blue carpet throughout with a more updated choice. Additionally, the window treatments had to go. Third, I selected updated paint colors throughout the home. And finally, new updated but inexpensive light fixtures were chosen to replace the brass ones. The work was done in about 2 weeks and then we staged the heck out of it!
To compensate for some remaining dated and taste-specific aspects in the house, we staged it in a very contemporary style which underscored some of the contemporary architectural features including the great ceilings and stone fireplace in the living room. This is a way of adding instant updates and perceived value by buyers. If the furnishings look upscale, so does the property!
Oh, I almost forgot the master bedroom and bath with wall paper on the walls and rosy pink sinks and bathtub…
As a stager I learned a long time ago to pick my battles. There was no budget to replace the pink sinks, matching bath tub or brass faucets, so we had to make the best of it. The blue carpet came out and was replaced by neutral vinyl, walls were painted a neutral color and the stained glass wall cabinet was replaced by artwork.
So we had the dark cabinets painted white, the large hardware removed, new vinyl flooring replaced the blue carpet and contemporary artwork that tied in the pink fixtures was a lucky find in our inventory.
There will be more Before and After’s in the Portfolio section of the main website where you can see more of the transformation, but cutting to the chase here, this house went pending after only 7 days! It is highly unlikely that would have been the case without the updating and contemporary, upscale staging.
The reluctant seller was effusive which was the best part:
IT LOOKS GORGEOUS!!! It was actually very therapeutic for me, and I think I’m beginning now to ‘let it go’…..we had almost 35 years of happy happy times there…9 grandchildren know it as Grandma and Grandpa’s place—their haven, the place they celebrate birthdays, graduations, Christmas and so much more.. we even had a wedding there…our 4 kids know it like the back of their hands….one thing that can’t be put in the ad is “Good karma is free, and included in the sale”!!! The back yard is a bird sanctuary, and we hope the new owners invited all our feathered friends to return…
Anyway, thanks for taking such good care of it—-you cannot know how much it means to have it looks so so wonderful, and so different that I cannot make comparisons…which is a good thing!! …You can’t know how much it means to ME that you showed such taste and respect for the home we spent more than half our married lives in!!
Well, that brought tears to my eyes! Sometimes, what we do actually improves peoples’ lives – not just the structures. And that’s enough for me…