With the rare exception of people with a design degree or experience staging multiple homes for a living, the customer needs to understand that "staging" on your own (or after buying a $25 book) isn't staging.
Instead I like to call it "cleaning" or "reorganizing."
EMAIL #1 after being asked to review a stale property listing. FROM FRANK>
> My #1 tip is it needs real staging.
> see http://blog.franklyrealty.com/2007/07/throw-up-listings.html
> People confuse "cleaning" with staging.
> Want some advice? Join ActiveRain.com and put a post under the group called
> Stage it Forward. Show them the photos and see what they say.
> Declutter declutter declutter.
> I'm not a stager, but I bet she would change all the bedroom colors and take
> out all the kids stuff. Bathroom would remove all the extras that aren't
> It is very hard to live in a place, while selling it
> You might have to pay $1,000 -$2,000 for a real
> stager, and maybe even $1,000 to repaint, but that is chump change vs
> dropping your price $10k-50k.
REPLY FROM SELLER
Thank you very much for the advice!
We've pretty much been constrained by the fact that we're still living in the house with a relatively small child, so we haven't wanted to disrupt _her_ life by doing anything drastic to her comfort zones (Yeah, pink walls aren't exactly fashionable). I'm definitely willing to offer to re-paint the walls in the house to any interested buyer, but perhaps my agent hasn't been too forward in communicating that to them. Will definitely have to sit down and have a talk with her about that.... :)
Your site's definitely been a fount of ideas, though: After reading up on it, I found two immediate tunings that I think will help. For one, the kitchen is really cluttered by a microwave on the counter.
Installing a new microwave/exhaust fan over the stove, and perhaps replacing the stove/oven as well, might help make the kitchen look a little bit more roomy, even if the cabinets and countertops are a little dated. The other thing I noticed is that our living room looks *really* small with all of the furniture we have piled into it. I'm hoping to address that by getting rid of a couple of the cabinets that are in there, moving the recliner downstairs, and spreading everything else out. All Frankly™-inspired ideas, of course, so thank you VERY much once again!
I'll see about taking some more pictures with my Canon after we re-stage things, and send those in for the listing...
FINAL REPLY FROM FRANK
No need to bother offering the allowance for painting etc. It doesn't work that way. People have no vision. They instead have this GUT reaction to a home that just "feels right." The proper staging (and don't call it staging unless you use a pro, otherwise calling it "cleaning or rearranging") is basically a manipulation of that "gut feeling."
A stager's mantra is "kitchen and bathrooms". They would probably spend the $2,000 on new counters (everyone wants what their parents have, and that is just expected now) but don't put in the cheapest black ones. And yep appliances help a ton too.
Is it an option to get your other place first and that way you can fix it up properly and sell it?
Don't you dare put in a new microwave with an old stove. Basically do all 3 (4) or nothing. You don't know how many times buyers laugh when they see two stainless steel appliances and 1 white newish fridge.
I just had my Mom's place redone for like $20k ($600k house) to sell it. I'll be showing the before and afters.