There are a lot of reasons why I enjoy working with Karen Negrete at Transform Your Home. She is an amazing talent, an efficient professional, and most importantly she keeps me laughing while working in this sometimes challenging world called real estate. This week Karen has allowed me to post a recent article she wrote on how to, well, how to let go and get on with the selling of your home. Enjoy.
“I think I can stage.”
by Karen Negrete at Transform Your Home
Q: I watch a lot of HGTV and I think I can stage my own home. Do you have any tips?
A: HGTV is the best! I wish I owned stock in HGTV. But HGTV is, well…a TV show. The hosts get to have their hair and make-up done plus their clothes get picked out for them which is pretty cool if you ask me but most importantly (besides the hair and make-up and clothes ), they’re allowed “do-overs” in case if they make a mistake. As in “Oopies, I picked out a wall color that resembles clown barf now that it’s on the wall”. They make it look easy which isn’t to say staging is brain surgery but unless you’ve got a good eye for balance, visual weight, color palettes, etc. along with ice in your veins, you might want to leave it to someone else.
Why? Simply put, it’s difficult to be objective about one’s own house. Just because you love “it” doesn’t mean a potential buyer is also going to love “it”. Plus you’re going to have to get tough with yourself. Are you really going to be able to take down your children’s “artwork” that they did when they were in kindergarten……when Kennedy was in office?
What about getting rid of all the embroidered dollies that your Aunt Esther made and who makes you feel guilty when they aren’t prominently displayed? Worst still…..what about “the chair”? Everybody has “the chair”. The chair that belongs or belonged to your husband/father/uncle/grandfather that was once a lovely piece of furniture and now reeks of beer spills, stains of melted cheese avalanches, memories of Super Bowls parties gone by and that will only be removed from the house over somebody’s dead body. There’s trophies, the antique doll collection with actual human hair that you paid an arm and a leg to own, miniature shot glasses that you’ve lovingly collected from all over the world …..and the list just goes on and on. This is by far the toughest part for homeowners. How can you now remove these things or anything in your home for that matter that elicits such memories? See? It is impossible to be completely impartial when it comes to your own home.
Your home is your largest investment….unless you were smart enough to have bought a ton of stock in HGTV. You need to have an impartial person help you get rid of and change the things that detract from your house. Someone that will give you permission to finally take down the foiled and flocked wallpaper (that you and your dad put up) and by doing so, will help you to bring your house into the current century. That person could be a friend, your Realtor, or your friendly neighborhood stager. Just like a blind date, buyers want to be swept off their feet. Buying a house is an emotional thing. Buyers are most likely to buy a home that will make them feel good about themselves, that will impress their family and friends, and that will make a positive statement about them. People want to buy a lifestyle. And just like a bad blind date, buyers are not going to buy a house that’s the equivalent of a bad comb-over or someone with perspiration issues.
My tip to you is to do your homework; go to the library or buy books on how to stage your home. Go online to a Realtor’s website or to an MLS website and look at photos of houses for sale. Go to a stager’s website and study the before and after pictures. But if you really want top dollar for your home, don’t skimp on your marketing team; hire an experienced Realtor and consult with a Staging Professional. Besides, having a room the color of clown barf…well, it just isn’t right.