Monday, May 14, 2012

MLS Monday

Today, I'm starting a new series, "MLS Monday".  I will take an active MLS listing and give recommendations based on my 10 years of experience as a stager. For this post, I've selected the beautifully decorated living room of this gorgeous home to evaluate. 

The list price is $840,000.  The notes on the MLS page state that 'the owner is a professional decorator' and I don't doubt it.  She has done an amazing job.
But decorating is different than staging.  Staging is about allowing the features of the house to be showcased.  A home is decorated to meet the tastes, comfort and style of the family living in it.  A house is staged to appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. 
  • The ceiling fan should be replaced with a light fixture. I would go with a drum shade for a more modern look. I'm no fan of overhead lights but they are necessary for selling.
  • There is too much furniture and too many accessories in this room.  These items are taking up valuable square footage.  It is essential that square footage be opened up for the room to show as large as possible.
  • We don't want large furniture in front of windows.  We are selling the windows and the view--not the sofa, plants and lamp.
  • I would flip the sofa to the opposite side. The two small striped chairs would be placed on angles where the sofa is. The scale of the chairs will allow more of the windows and view to show.  Also, moving the chairs will open up the area adjacent to the foyer. As the room is arranged now, the backs of the chairs are a visual block upon entering the room.
  • There is a small woven stool next to the sofa, near the fireplace, that I would remove.
  • I would remove the over sized coffee table.  It obstructs a buyer's path to the fireplace, (which will be open, if the chairs are moved).  Fireplaces are the #1 amenity buyers look for in a home.  If the coffee table must stay, I would removed the chest under the coffee table, the wooden box on top of the coffee table, and the small bench (difficult to see in photo) between the sofa and the coffee table. A piece of furniture between a sofa and coffee table is really, really wrong. It is desirable to have the space surrounding furniture completely open.
  • On top of the chest of drawers, under the smaller window, there is a tall wooden chest of drawers, multiple framed personal pictures and a yellow lamp.  I would remove everything but the yellow lamp. Too many items on a table top reads like clutter. I would move the lamp to the opposite side of the top of the chest.
  • I would remove the small desk behind the orange chair under the other small window. I would move the distressed red end end table next to the sofa under the window. I would place the plant on the plant stand next to it.
  • If I were staging this living room, I would removed the wooden crate on the hearth of the fireplace.  I would also remove the picture above the mantel.  It is too dark for this room and it covers the beautiful stone work of the fireplace. (Remember, we are selling the fireplace--not what is on it.) A few large candlesticks and a piece of pottery on the mantel would show better.
  • Moving the sofa would mean the upholstered chair and ottoman would not be used in this living room. 
The rug is the perfect size and texture for this room.  It anchors the furniture while allowing the hardwood floors to show.  This owner has beautiful furnishings and style.  It is always a pleasure to stage a house with wonderful resources! 

This living room is a grand example that the house you live in and house you are selling are different.  It is better to show a house that is 'under' decorated yet still feels warm and inviting.

Can you see that even a beautifully decorated house can benefit from being staged?

If you would like help in staging your house for sale, please contact me.
Linda Beam

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