You’ve got Personality…

Heavily decorated in jewel-toned colors popular in the ’90’s. Most 30-something buyers will find this style dated and too ornate for their taste and will link the home to the decor.

and I’ve got the realtor blues

It’s tough to walk into someone’s home and tell them they have to basically change the way things look if they want to sell. Imagine that. You’re telling a potential client the way their house appears now just won’t do. Those are ‘fighting words’ for some people and homes with the strongest personalities can be the most daunting. It’s a delicate job, but someone has to do it. The trick is getting it right and having your homeowner on board from the start.

Neutral colored walls and furniture with pops of color, but overly cluttered and congested-looking. Will a buyer focus on the room or get distracted by the things in it? 

 

Full time realtors see homes every week and are constantly looking at homes online. They work with both sellers and buyers and are very much in touch with the local market. An expert takes it even further and is fully aware of the types of homes that are selling, the latest trends buyers are attracted to, popular color choices and decor. They know how a house should be photographed, what should be eliminated in a room and how to get the buyer to pay attention to the house, layout and features of the property. What so many sellers don’t realize is the majority of today’s buyers don’t separate the home’s furnishings from the home.

Personality is expected in a house, it represents you and makes your home unique and special. However when it comes to selling, you have to look at your house – most likely your biggest asset – as another product. Do you want to sell and get the best price the market will afford? If so, you need to market this product to the fullest, beginning with making it as attractive to the widest audience possible. The idea is to cast a far-reaching net and bring – in person – as many potential buyers as possible.

Neutral sofa with simple graphic design rug, updated light fixture and streamlined coffee and end tables. Pale gray walls and minimal decor allow the buyer to take in the layout of the room and not get distracted or turned off by the decor. This is more of what they’re used to seeing in the popular stores, catalogs and online so automatically it all feels updated. Remember, you’re staging to sell, not to decorate.

 

If you have a heavily-decorated home it will be hard for buyers to look past your decor. You’re counting on them to like your style and choices, which may or may not happen. This decreases the size of your buyer pool right from the start since most buyers begin their search for a new home online. They will literally give each home about five photo clicks or so and if they don’t like what they see in the photos, you’re off their list. 

I’m not suggesting you make your house look completely neutral or go out and buy all new furnishings. A small investment in some updated decor such as textured jute or sisal rugs, style-appropriate throw pillows, contemporary-looking lamps or light fixtures and solid-colored bedding will go a long way.  In a tough real estate market, you have to do your best to make your house stand out from the 20 or so competitors. Why wouldn’t you do this from the start?

Contemporary artwork and solid-colored bedding give this bedroom a chic, stylish feel without distracting. This is often easy to do with existing furniture and some heavy de-cluttering.

 

You have to put your ‘home decorating feelings’ aside when you’re serious and ready to move. If you hire an expert, take their advice and also price your home to the market – you’ll sell sooner than later and most likely at a higher price. Contact me if you’re thinking of selling and would like to know where to start. I do a full detailed pre-sale walk through and most of my own staging. I’ll hold your hand until we get to the closing table!

Comments

  1. I could not agree more! My realtor did exactly this and she spent a lot of time walking through my house taking notes on what needed to change. I thought I had a beautiful house already and I did, but it “needed to appeal to a broader market” as my realtor said. So with a to-do list 4 pages long, I got to work along with her help and walah… my beautiful house went from a Princess to a Queen. It looked amazing. I cannot tell you how liberating it was to take down all of the draperies, paint the entire interior Edgecombe Gray and move my furniture pieces from one room to another – mixing and matching furniture and artwork until we achieved the look we were hoping for. It was so much fun and I plan on carrying this look through to my new house. Don’t fret when they tell you that you have to neutralize and de-clutter. It sounds scary but you just might find that you like the end product better than what you started out with – I definitely did.

  2. Staci Coe says:

    Pam’s post is very helpful and honest! This is what you want from your Realtor. I recently helped a dear friend get her home ready for sale and we had some tough conversations about editing furniture, photos, and even minor interior painting and landscaping. I had done this with my Mom’s property several years before and we even updated appliances in a kitchen when we could not afford an entire redo. I encouraged her to go on Pinterest and other websites and look at some updated homes and even like Pam mentions, check out store displays. I told her that by packing up things, she was actually just getting a jump on her move and eliminating all the items she did not want to take when she downsized. Once she started, it was a runaway train ! She loved getting her house cleaned out and ready to move on and now she could sit back and let her Realtor market and sell her home at it’s best.

    • Thanks, Staci! You hit the point perfectly – eliminating items and scaling down actually gives you a big head start on your move. Why spend money and time packing up and taking things with you to your next home that you’ll eventually throw out when you unpack? Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Pam Foarde, Realtor | licensed in the state of CT | William Raveis Real Estate | Al Filippone Assoc. | 75 Station St Southport, CT 06890 | Page last updated:
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