As many of you know, I used to be in the antiques business, it was family run and I was third generation. A photo of my dad is below at an antiques show in London. My brother is still dealing and I am still attached, running antiques shows for local charities.
This post was inspired by Ron and Alexandra Seigel post this morning Marketing Savvy - The Importance of details well worht a read. As I was leaving a comment it reminded me of an event from when I was actively dealing in antiques.
I was on a trip to Hong Kong and walking past a shop with a friend we saw some figures that were quite late, very dirty but attractive. We went in, inquired about the price negotiated and purchased them together.
Once they arrived in the UK and we cleaned them, we had to decide what to do with them. My friend was a young dealer like me, but not from a family of dealers, so he did not have the same name as I did. We decided to split them up, there were five figures of men in robes on horses. We took one pair and I consigned them to auction with one of the large auction rooms in Amsterdam. Their next catalog came out and they were not in the catalog. I called to discover why and was told they had considered them so good they had held them back for a sale in Monte Carlo.
We were both in attendance, and sat and watched in amazement, firstly the auction room had given them a full page color photo, and am elaborate description. We both had felt they were rather late, and been deliberately vague when consigining them. Bidding began and they went up and up, people were bidding on the phone, and in the room. They eventually get knoocked down at a price with buyers premium considerably higher than we paid for all five figures.
It was all about presentation, compared to a dirty window on a street in Hong Kong these had been given their own shelf in a display cabinet in Monte Carlo. The amazing thing is they were bought by a dealer from Hong Kong who could have bought them for a lot less.
We repeated the procedure with the other big auction house, and had a smiliar result with the remaining three figures.
It was all in the details, the presentation. I did see them on the next trip I made to Hong Kong, they were now mounted on very fancy acrylic bases and had a very high price on them, again, this dealer had an eye for presentation.
I see the same thing with manxy of the dealers who rent booths, they use a very general way of displaying their merchandise, the pieces do not look special. With a little effort and attention to detail they could probably get a higher price and sell more quickly making the pieces appear more exclusive than they already are.
How does this relate to real estate and selling your home? Preparing your home for sale beforehand, making sure all the light bulbs work, that the house is clean, windows washed, freshly painted, any repairs made, etc. and then staging the rooms and the house giving attention to the details will enable you to obtain the best price. Don't be like the owner of that first shop in Hong Kong, allowing us to make a handsome profit because he did not pay attention to the details.