Home Staging Tip: Pull Back The Curtain - Don't Hide It, Fix It

By
Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

 

When preparing a home for sale it's important to remember that buyers tend to be suspicious...and for very good reason.

Too often sellers try to hide the negative aspects of their house.

I've actually heard real estate agents, who should know better, suggest hiding things...

cover a damaged floor with a throw rug...

place a large piece of furniture in front of a damaged wall.

It is not only ethically wrong to try and hide things from buyers, it's not at all practical.

If there is damage of any kind, and you try to hide it, it won't stay hidden for long. 

 

 

 

Honesty is the best policy. If you don't fix it, don't hide it.

From a Home Staging standpoint...fixing it is by far the best choice.

 

Worn floors or carpet, very old appliances, dirty, faded and/or damaged walls, broken or missing trim, dated plumbing or electrical fixtures....all examples of things that should be addressed PRIOR to listing.

Buyers not only see these needed improvements as an expense, they see them as a huge inconvenience.

A more important thing to consider: these items are a giant red flag to buyers that the house has been poorly maintained. If they believe the house has not been cared for, their perceived value of the house drops considerably.

If any offers are made, cost of improvement will be a factor.

Buyers' estimate of cost will always be two to three times the actual cost of improvement.

 

Making all improvements PRIOR to listing

results in a faster and more profitable sale.

 

Since we are talking about hiding things...

It is human nature to want to see behind the curtain.

We are drawn to things we think are being intentionally hidden from us. 

As a home stager I've always suggested that my sellers should pull back the curtain.

Shower curtain, that is.

It has been my experience that most sellers, and real estate agents, pull the shower curtain closed. Sometimes it's because the tub and/or tile is not in the best condition, sometimes it's just habit. 

 

I tell my sellers to clean the tub and tile spotless, remove all grooming products and

 keep the shower curtain open...pulled to one side.

 

Human nature...closed curtain triggers curiosity. Open curtain and buyers will concentrate on the room and not the tub.

Also...closing the curtain will usually make the room feel smaller. It's like creating a wall where there shouldn't be one.

 

Inspired by:  Windows Speak Louder Than Words  Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

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Rainmaker
1,948,031
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Sharon Tara - I am surprised you haven't been featured yet. But it can still happen. You did an excellent job.

Thanks for the mention for inspiration. It's nice to know someone out there thinks of me. But you are great and truly loved by this platform. I wish you all the very best. 

May 08, 2019 08:11 AM #16
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP  I'm not posting as often as I used to...think I'm off the "feature" radar. LOL

Thank you! I really loved your post and wanted to reblog it but the option wasn't available so I did this instead. Thank you for forcing me to write. 

May 08, 2019 08:32 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,728,710
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Honesty always wins the day, Sharon. In California every listing and selling agent does a written Agent's Visual Inspection where we note the defects we see, and sellers need to disclose any known defects. Fixing them in advance is the best policy.

May 08, 2019 06:05 PM #18
Rainer
53,767
Virginia Youngblood
DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company - Charlotte, NC
DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM®

Sharon, thanks for posting this great, helpful information! I am inspired, by your this post, to write again on Active Rain soon. 

Hope all is well for you and may you continue to serve well as you help Realtors and Homeowners as they rely on your staging expertise.

May 08, 2019 08:21 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,931,601
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Boy, do you really hear A LOT as a general rule or just one or two real estate agents suggesting hiding flaws? In a public facing blog post, that does not help our public credibility and I don't see that in the real estate professionals in my small rural area of the World Sharon Tara .

If the place needs a new tub enclosure, if the floor is dark and damp because it leaks during showers, the buyer and the seller both know it before and during the property presentation. But the price reflects the need for new windows that have lost their seal, that the roof if going to need to be replaced in the next few years or it does leak around the flashing causing that ceiling damp spot. Don't need a home stager or house inspector to bring it out into the opening. Handy man specials sell and buyers paying cash are looking for projects to putter on with no bank financing underwriting involved.

Had a listing yesterday needing a new roof that is obvious and that was pointed out to the buyer during the showing. He is widowe, he and his little dog wanted a retirement country home with land location, with good bones but that comes with a job jar for a cash purchase. The seller was happy to discount the price when we let them know the offer and nothing is under the rug, hiding behind a curtain. We list what we sell and tell them that's the way it is like Walter Cronkite used to in black and white.

May 09, 2019 02:11 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,388,332
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Absolutely, buyers always pull back curtains. It's just human nature. So making sure whatever is behind the curtain is spotless is important!

May 09, 2019 04:04 AM #21
Rainmaker
493,362
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I agree, sellers should not be deceptive but obviously want the house to look good.  Addressing the major issues up front is mandatory as they could become even bigger issues later on.

May 09, 2019 07:34 AM #22
Rainmaker
2,414,846
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Show & tell (taught in first grade) is no myth. Eventually all is required to answer to this dynamic and if not, the courts are clogged with these pursuits

May 09, 2019 07:49 AM #23
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Lottie Kendall  A great policy! 

Virginia Youngblood  Thank you! You should blog as often as you can! I'm not that active blogging anymore because I'm not that active staging...my husband retired last year. I still take on consultations now and then but for the most part I am retired also.

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573  No not a lot...but more times than I should. I understand your point, not wanting one or two bad apples to spoil the rep of all. Stagers have often been misrepresented as deceiving and trying to trick buyers. I am not at all accusing all real estate professionals of giving poor advice.  As is  is fine. It's the ones who don't disclose that are the problem.

Kat Palmiotti  It's funny how some sellers don't even consider that buyers will open the closet door. LOL

 

May 09, 2019 08:42 AM #24
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR  It is so much better for the sellers if they address issues prior. They have total control that way. 

Richie Alan Naggar  I love the show and tell analogy. Thank you!

May 09, 2019 08:44 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,214,159
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

You are absolutely correct about this, Sharon Tara ... when I was appraising I always saw these smaller maintenance issues as a clue that other larger ones might exist too.  Not at all what a Seller wants potential buyers thinking ... or home inspectors or appraisers either.  Rule of thumb?  Just as you say ... fix it.

EXCELLENT post and advice ...

Gene

May 09, 2019 08:51 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,948,031
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Sharon Tara - Your voice has been heard and you have been FEATURED! 

Congratulations!

May 09, 2019 02:07 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,496,556
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Amen to all the stuff out of the tub & off the counters! Drowning in products of one kind or another. Your words ring true - open it up if you're not hiding anything.

May 09, 2019 03:07 PM #28
Ambassador
3,748,301
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Sharon and a well-deserved feature. You're right about the shower curtains. It says that you have nothing to hide and it opens up the room. 

May 09, 2019 06:43 PM #29
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  Thank you! The small issues that are in view are always going to make buyers wonder what issues exist that they can't see. I appreciate you sharing your experience to reinforce my point!

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP  One more thing to thank you for!

Lyn Sims  I can't stand seeing the sellers' personal grooming items laying about. Nobody wants to see your stained, wet face cloth hanging over the tub. ARRGGHHHH.

Speaking of personal....

My son just closed on a house and there was a shaving razor left in the shower....false teeth were found under one of the radiators. LOL

May 10, 2019 07:12 AM #30
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Kathy Streib  I am not a fan of a closed shower curtain. A real pet peeve for me.

May 10, 2019 07:13 AM #31
Rainmaker
159,043
Sandi Gerrard
Saint Thomas, ON
It's all about colour

Great tips Sharon! 

May 10, 2019 08:15 AM #32
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Sandi Gerrard  Thank you!

May 11, 2019 06:45 AM #33
Ambassador
3,025,838
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I’m sure you have walked into more than one house that you would call overpowering; with a different Glade air fragrances in every room. You can’t enjoy the home because you don’t know what they are hiding Sharon Tara 

May 11, 2019 07:54 PM #34
Rainmaker
2,087,430
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS  I have an allergic reaction to scent like those fresheners...I have to walk right back out again if there are too many of them.

When we made our offer on our last house, we stated that all fresheners had to be removed prior to inspection. When we got to the house for the inspection I knew immediately that they hadn't done it. The agent insisted they had.

There was no doubt in my mind there were still some there. Sure enough the agent found two that the sellers had missed. The nose knows. LOL

May 13, 2019 07:22 AM #35
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Sharon Tara

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