Great tips from this Sydney Austrailia home stager. Lori
Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori’s web site, LoriCain.com or call 918-852-5036.
As a professional property stylist (or home stager), I get to see a lot of rooms. You see, it’s my job to help home owners from all different backgrounds, (and with different sorts of properties), to get their homes ready for the ‘for sale’ market.
Whilst I do help lots of different people, in different places, I find I’m often helping my home owner friends get a handle on some surprisingly common decorating goofs.
Now, let me just say to you up front, that many of the things on the list I’m about to share with you, aren’t really a big deal for you – when you’re NOT SELLING YOUR HOME. That’s because, when you’re not selling, your house is about your wants and needs.
But when you are selling, that same property isn’t about you anymore. It’s really about your buyer’s wants and needs. Now that it’s time to sell, these decorating goofs can damage your chances of a better sale without you even realising. Some of them can cost you big bucks if you’re not careful.
With the help of my list of top 20 decorating goofs, you’ll be able to see where you might be going wrong. Once you know what to look for; you’ll be able to make a few changes that will ultimately help you put your (home’s) best foot forward, for a great impression.
1. Poor use of your space
This is all about not defining a room’s purpose and I simply have to say that’s one of my golden rules. Bedrooms should be shown as bedrooms, dining rooms as dining rooms. This is really what buyers want to see. Not your bedroom as a home gym or your dining room as an office or play room for the kids.
2. A look that’s too personal
By too personal I mean a few things, including a room being too formal (AKA uncomfortable), too colourful (AKA a burden to change) or too themed (AKA hard to see past and still a burden to change like in our top picture).
3. A room with too many of your ‘little things’
“It’s the little things.” How sweet. But no – really, you can have too much of a good thing my friends. Pack up most of your nick-knacks, including porcelain roosters or frogs, dolls, stuffed animals and the like. After all they don’t come with the house, do they? Put them away for safe keeping now. In the end it will save you time, and buyers will see more ‘house’ and less ‘you’.
4. Over furnishing a room
My next 4 goofs are closely related, but still separate. Check out the photo of the girls room on this page. Here’s a girl’s bedroom with so much furniture the door can’t be closed – at all. Not only does it make the room feel smaller, but it can even make a buyer wonder if the furniture is in fact holding the door up.
5. Having furniture that is too big for the room
This is the problem with those furniture showrooms; the furniture seems much smaller compared to the room and the other things around it. But when you get it home, it sucks up your space quicker than a vacuum cleaner. Do you think you could live with just one of the 3 seater sofas in the short term to help you open the room up?
6. Poor furniture placement
In my experience this is most common in bedrooms and living rooms. You might even be familiar with furniture layout I like to call the ‘washing machine effect’ see below right for an example. You know when the furniture is lined up against the walls like the spin cycle in your washing machine? It’s far better to bring sofas, coffee and side tables in closer together as they make for much better conversational groupings. If you have a large room like the one at the bottom here, don’t spread your sofa and coffee tables out, it looks weird. Instead, consider adding another function to the room like perhaps a dining table or another sitting area. Aim to use the furnishings you already have for this one.
7. Poor traffic flow
Grouping your furniture too close together so you can’t get past without bumping into furniture, or having to walk through the middle of a seating area in a passage way are also big goofs. This may not be a problem for you, but what about the agent who needs to bring several people through at once? Very often the agent and his/her buyers will need to move around the same room all at the same time. Take that into account before buyer groups’ start coming through for a look and plan ahead.
8. Competing with your home’s architectural style or location
I can’t stress this enough. If you are selling an igloo, then a seaside decorating theme is unlikely to help you sell your house. Same goes for new builds full of antique furnishings. You’ll only be limiting your buyer pool in a very big way. That’s because buyers in the market for an igloo will expect to see an igloo interior. Keep it simple by being sympathetic to your home’s style and location.
9. Blocking a great view of the outdoors
If you have a great view, show it off. I’ve seen homes by the ocean where overgrown trees and shrubs almost completely blocked the view from the yard or balcony. Buyers had no real idea what was there. You also want to make sure that house hunters can see your place from the kerb.
10. Having your kid’s gear invade almost every room.
It’s an easy trap for us parents to fall into. But the reality is it just screams plain old untidy, with an obvious lack of storage. When you’re selling, just keep a few of the kids’ favourite things on hand, have a container that can be easily filled and then stored, without a lot of fuss, in no time at all.
Have you got any decorating goofs you’d like to share?Donna Ross
Great Impressions Home Staging & Property Styling
Sydney and Newcastle