Some time ago I viewed a small, vacant 1 bedroom condo and after submitting a proposal to merchandise the property for sale, the homeowners decided they could save money by doing it themselves. They were very nice people and when they called to let me know their plan I sincerely wished them a speedy, profitable sale. They purchased some furniture, set it in place, had it photographed and waited for the offers to start rolling in. It didn't take them long (only a couple of additional mortgage payments) to realize that their listing wasn't capturing the attention of potential buyers. Have a look... can you see why?
You will notice it is a small, fairly narrow living room (not uncommon for a 1 bedroom, downtown condo these days). To the right of the sofa is a door leading out to a patio.
From this home stager's point of view, what they did isn't all bad. They used an area rug to anchor the seating and they chose light, somewhat "airy" furniture. What they didn't realize is....
- Heavily patterned rugs make small spaces seem even smaller and pull potential buyer's eyes down.
- Positioning furniture right up against the walls does not make rooms feel more spacious.
- Flow is as important as function.
- Color is crucial for setting a mood and creating interest.
- Greenery provides an element of "life".
- Angled flooring and furniture can visually widen a room.
- Artwork keeps buyers eyes up and moving throughout a room.
- Accessories enhance and help soften furniture.
- Good photos are crucial for generating buyer traffic.
Jackson West is the founder of Reveal Estate Home Staging and a Certified Staging Professional Instructor. His interior redesign work can be seen in the book "Home Staging For Dummies" as well as magazines including multiple editions of the "Staging Standard". He is also featured on a television series for the W Network. While his niche has long been downtown properties in a higher price range, the principles of design, functionality and flow he implements are equally effective in every home.
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