Dr 9021-OH! Home Makeovers

Real Estate Agent with Five Star Real Estate

Ever had to turn an "Okay" listing to an "OH WOW!" listing?

I had a frustrated seller call me recently. He and his wife had their home for sale for a vey long time with no offers and very little traffic. He was looking into hiring me for the job as his listing was due to expire with the last realtor. I was wondering myself why it had not sold since by the exterior appearance it seemed to be an attractive home in a gorgeous wooded setting in popular Forest Hills area, Grand Rapids, MI. The price seemed within the realm and it had plenty to offer for the money.

As I entered the home I quickly figured out what was an obvious problem. The interior appearance-boooring...yawn, yawn. The views of the woods and wildlife from inside were amazing, but as I scoped out the interior views I was left unimpressed.

There definately was potential. The home had dramatic ceilings and interesting angles. It was just hard to see it through all of the white and grey haze. That was the big problem. The walls, were all painted white or blah light grey on the main level. This, coupled with the fact that it was vacant and there was nothing left inside for any kind of warmth.

It is sometimes hard to be honest with potential clients about their home because we want them to like us. We don't want to tell them that the home they have lived in and loved for many years needs some interior makeovers in order to produce a sale. A lot of the time it is a simple matter of paint and proper staging. That computes to an inexpensive way to create WOW factor to ultimately sell the home. There is an easy way to communicate this to the sellers by just saying "I don't mean any offense Mr and Mrs seller, but if you want to sell this home, these are the things that are neccessary." Taking along before and after pictures like the ones below can be helpful too.

When these kinds of changes are made, it usually makes all the difference in changing an active listing to a sold listing.

Here are some examples of some before and after shots of some homes where we added color to the walls:

Living Room Before Makeover                                   Living Room After Paint Makeover:                             


Master Bedroom Before Makeover                              Master Bedroom After Paint Makeover



Before and after photos where we staged the home:

Living Room Before Home Staging Makeover                Living Room After Home Staging Makeover

living room before stagingLiving Room After Home Staging

Dining Area Before Home Staging Makeover                 Dining Area After Home Staging Makeover

Dining Area Before Staging Dining Area After Staging

If you have a listing that has been sitting on the market for some time and you feel it is priced right but producing no offers or showings, you may want to take a second look at the interior and see what your potential buyers may or may not be seeing. Is it warm and inviting? Are the wall colors boring? or distracting? Is there too much stuff or not enough stuff to showcase your home? It may be time to try a little Dr 9021-0H Makeover. Keep the colors neutral.  I like a sand color on the walls. If using a bold color, use it as an accent on one wall in the room. If your adding furnishings don't overdue. Less is often more, as they say.

It will definately be well worth the added effort and your clients will see the value of your expertiese in these areas. After all they want to see that SOLD sign in their yard.

Have Fun!

Sue Prins

Five Star Real Estate Professional

Visit me on my website at www.sueprins.com

Comments (14)

Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen
Good post. The paint "makeover" in the master really did make a difference, even without furnishings. The colors really add "oomph" and accent the great fireplace. Thanks for sharing.
Mar 18, 2008 03:09 AM
Pam Joffe
Solaris Realty - Tampa, FL
Sue - I really liked the changes, I would like to see another post in the future as to how sucessful the changes were.
Mar 18, 2008 03:13 AM
Royal Goodman
Royalty Home Solutions - Madera, CA
"We Treat You Like a King"
That has been proven over and over again. The first 30 seconds after walking in is the most important. The client is thinking if they purchased this place, it would be ready for their friends and family to come over so they can show it off. Thanks. Royal..
Mar 18, 2008 03:22 AM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI
Hi Vickie- Thanks for your comment. Yeah I wish you could have seen the home owners response after it was painted. She walked in and fell in love with her home all over again. I am sure she wishes she would have taken the risk t paint with color while she was living there.
Mar 18, 2008 07:34 AM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI

Hi Pam- Thanks for your comment. These changes made a HUGE difference. The one that is staged sold within weeks after. The one I had painted is new again on the market and we have 3 potential buyers. I expect an offer soon. It is my hottest listing. I have actually had people through it that went through it when it was listed before without the changes and they loved it. Could not believe the difference.

Thanks again Pam!

Mar 18, 2008 07:38 AM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI

Hi Royal - Could not agree with you more. Those first few moment walking in the home set the stage. People generally like to be able to picture themselves in the home just as it is. It is hard for most people to visualize the changes. That is why color is such an easy fix to warming up a home.

Thanks for the comment!

Mar 18, 2008 07:43 AM
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Hi Sue, Great blog post.  Staging can make a huge difference.  We've all seen the difference it can make...in this market, it has been the difference between a sale or no sale. Color is a huge part of this as well as the right placement of accessories.
Mar 18, 2008 09:12 AM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI
HI Lola- I always love hearing from the master blogger :-) I appreciate your comments. It really is amazing what a little color and pieces of furniture can do for a sale. Thanks for thinking of me!
Mar 18, 2008 02:21 PM
Please Delete Account Please Delete Account
Please Delete Account - Barton City, MI
Hi Sue, Thanks for the great blog on staging.  It is refreshing to read that you are upfront and honest with your clients.  Each seller needs to take a step back and look at their house through a buyer's eyes.
Mar 19, 2008 07:49 AM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Sue...I'm curious.  Did you use a stager or did you do it yourself?  And, if you did it yourself where did you get the furniture?


P.S.  Your choice of colors was wonderful.

Mar 19, 2008 08:29 AM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI

Hi Heidi- It is so nice of you to comment. I went to your profile page and I was so excited to see who you were. I recently went to a home that you staged. I saw your card on the table and picked it up. I was very impressed with your work. I am not 100% possitive about what home it was but I remember it being staged really well. I think it was a home in the Calednia area in the woods up on a hill. Pond in the front. Does that ring a bell? We saw so many homes that night so I can't be sure of the street name.

Anyways I was very impressed. Obviously, because I remembered you through your work. Great Job!!!

Mar 26, 2008 02:48 PM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI
Hi Kathleen- Thanks for the wonderful comment. I did not use a stager. I did it myself. The furniture is my own. I have extra because my husband is a contractor. We stage our homes that we build for the Parade of Homes.
Mar 26, 2008 02:54 PM
Please Delete Account Please Delete Account
Please Delete Account - Barton City, MI

Hi again, Sue.  Thank you for your wonderful comment back!!  You have a great memory in describing the house you visited on Austhof Woods.  I love staging and helping Realtors and homeowners get their homes sold quicker and closer to the list price.  Thanks again for the comment back.

Mar 26, 2008 11:32 PM
Sue Prins
Five Star Real Estate - Forest Hills, MI
Realtor- Greater Grand Rapids, MI
Hi Heidi-That's it!! Austof Woods. Beautiful home. We did consider it but in the end they liked another one better based on the area. The home was perfect for them though. Just not the area.
Mar 27, 2008 01:50 PM