snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > SLC Central > SLC

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13 June 2018, 10:45 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,959
Default Staging your house

So we're moving - or will be when we get the final stuff done to get our house ready to sell. Looking around at prospective properties to buy - and looking at the houses like ours for sale to compare - it's obvious that either I have no taste and lots of crappy old mismatched stuff or people are staging their houses with furniture and accessories that they don't actually live with. I prefer to believe the latter!!

One thing I keep hearing is to depersonalize - and I do get that, but do people really expect older houses that have obviously been lived in to look like a model home? Will that make a difference for resale and "eye appeal is buy appeal"?

Anyway if anyone out there has been through this whole process can they offer some tips and advice on how to make a house look like the kind of place someone else would want to buy. Are there things that make a difference in terms of decoration and decor and then other things that just don't really matter?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13 June 2018, 11:14 PM
RichardM RichardM is offline
 
Join Date: 27 March 2004
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 4,218
Default

When we sold our house a couple of years ago, we barely got one offer at $20k under asking. As it turned out, thankfully that offer fell through. So we spent about $10,000 on new paint and carpet. We also got a new realtor. When the house went back on the market, we had 4 solid offers in 6 days. We took the top one at $15k over asking or $35k more than the first offer. This was in the very hot Dallas TX market so your results may vary. By the way, after spending $300k on our old house, the new purchasers spent well over $100k remodeling including a complete redo of the roof line. They raise it and extended it to form a new patio by the pool.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 14 June 2018, 12:00 AM
Cervus's Avatar
Cervus Cervus is online now
 
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 21,075
Default

As a seller, I was told the #1 rule is: Declutter. When buyers are too focused on looking at your personal stuff, it can distract them or even turn them off.

The second rule is clean the house thoroughly. Vacuum, clean, dust, hire a cleaning company if you have to. A dirty, dusty, or smelly house can indicate that it wasn't taken care of. I have no idea how true this is, but I followed it.

When I listed my house for sale, I was careful to take down any personal stuff -- artwork, photos, posters, etc. My decorating themes can be a bit extreme and I didn't want my skull collection and vintage pinups, for example, to scare people away. Also, the pictures of my house listing were going to be public (and still can turn up in a search despite selling the house 5 years ago) and I felt uncomfortable having my life on display. Since I was putting everything into a storage unit anyway, this made it easier to stage the house. I left the furniture in place, and the books in the bookcases. I had some houseplants and decorative vases that I set on the mantle and the desk. Sort of like a hotel room or model house, I wanted to leave enough generic things to show that someone could live there. My Realtor told me I did a good job staging, and that I could have left more personal stuff on the walls. I didn't tell her that my taste in art can be NSFW.

It didn't matter anyway, because within a week of listing I had several offers but only one that wasn't absurdly below my asking price. That one came from a property management company looking for a rental property, and they went above my asking price, sight unseen. I accepted their offer since it wasn't a seller's market and no one was likely to make me a better offer.

Now, from a buyer's perspective: I hate seeing houses that have been obviously flipped to include the trendiest kitchen and bathroom design, because none of it is to my taste - and usually it doesn't fit the style of the house, either. I'd rather buy a cheap fixer-upper and use the money I'm saving to fix up the house they way I want it to look. For example, I hate granite countertops with a passion and they will discourage me from buying a house unless I plan to gut the kitchen anyway. Any carpet is getting ripped out, I don't care if it was just installed. I hate carpet. It's dirty and gross and I can't live with it. And I'm repainting all the rooms. Apparently I'm in the minority because most people want a house that's move-in ready. But I am extremely finicky about what I live with. If the house is clean and has good bones, I don't care about things like paint color or flooring because I'm going to take care of that myself.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 14 June 2018, 11:36 AM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 16,252
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
As a seller, I was told the #1 rule is: Declutter. When buyers are too focused on looking at your personal stuff, it can distract them or even turn them off.

The second rule is clean the house thoroughly. Vacuum, clean, dust, hire a cleaning company if you have to. A dirty, dusty, or smelly house can indicate that it wasn't taken care of. I have no idea how true this is, but I followed it.

.
That's what the realtor suggested we do. We're still working on it.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 14 June 2018, 12:51 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
Join Date: 03 March 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 2,069
Default

I've had to take care of my mom's house after her passing, and getting it ready for sale. Decluttering is by far the most important part, and making sure that the house is clean. Dirt doesn't sell.

Due to her age and health, the kitchen floor looked very rough until I put a good bit of elbow grease to it.

Make sure that the first impressions are impeccable: front of the house, and the first thing you see when you walk in the door. In our case, it's the foyer, the hallway, the living room, and the kitchen. I've made sure those are spic-and-span. The bedrooms are tidy with beds made, and the bathrooms are clean.

We've intentionally left all furniture in the house, but we've emptied just about every closet, cabinet and cubby that can be emptied.

OY
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 14 June 2018, 01:31 PM
iskinner's Avatar
iskinner iskinner is offline
 
Join Date: 06 May 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 396
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
One thing I keep hearing is to depersonalize - and I do get that, but do people really expect older houses that have obviously been lived in to look like a model home? Will that make a difference for resale and "eye appeal is buy appeal"?
It's not about making your house generic and exactly like every other house. As it was explained to me, it is about creating -- as much as possible -- a blank slate that buyers can most easily imagine in their own style.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 14 June 2018, 02:32 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,503
Default

One suggestion I've heard a lot is to make sure that any "bold" walls are painted a more neutral (bland) colour.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 14 June 2018, 02:46 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is online now
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 25,540
Default

It is somewhat germane, so I'm going to use this space to share one of my favorite websites:

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 14 June 2018, 02:49 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,959
Default

The pictures are bad, so, so bad, but the captions are priceless! There are some very clever people out there!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14 June 2018, 06:18 PM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
Join Date: 11 November 2005
Location: Oxford, PA
Posts: 4,108
Default

Sue, I think you should just print out a lot of pictures from the site GenYus shared, and people looking at your house will think it is GREAT in comparison.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 14 June 2018, 07:16 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 18,262
Glasses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
One suggestion I've heard a lot is to make sure that any "bold" walls are painted a more neutral (bland) colour.
My only bold wall is a neutral color--gray.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14 June 2018, 07:46 PM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is online now
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 28,372
Jolly Roger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
One suggestion I've heard a lot is to make sure that any "bold" walls are painted a more neutral (bland) colour.
That pretty much describes every wall in my house. Looking around the first floor: The dining room is deep green, the living room is orange and the kitchen is turquoise. Upstairs is no better, this is the floor in my bedroom:
Eschers Geckos
The walls are what I like to call Aztec sacrifice red.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14 June 2018, 08:31 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is online now
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 25,540
Default

That's pretty cool except for late at night when the imagination is active...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 15 June 2018, 12:34 PM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
Join Date: 11 November 2005
Location: Oxford, PA
Posts: 4,108
Default

All the advice has to be weighed against the property. Part of why my sister loved (and bought) her old house was that one wall was bright orange and really made the place look good. It was a pretty dark part of the house otherwise, so the wall made it look bright and warm. My parents were selling the house for my sister and painted that wall a neutral off-white, and made the room and the adjoining kitchen feel much darker and colder. The place didn't sell, so my sister repainted the wall, I think to a sunshine yellow. It then sold pretty quickly since the place was much warmer and brighter.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 15 June 2018, 01:25 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,959
Default

Paint colour was one thing I wondered about. Honestly if you go by the flip shows we should be painting the whole house shades of grey . We do have two rooms that have strong colours because these were the colours chosen by our children when they lived at home. I wouldn't mind painting them since they could probably do with some freshening up anyway but I get conflicting advice - some say go with a neutral palette and others say go with the colours that are trending right now. I suspect grey may be on the way out though so what is trendy now? I'm guessing not a nice beige but who knows maybe it is!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 15 June 2018, 02:01 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 8,893
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
It is somewhat germane, so I'm going to use this space to share one of my favorite websites:
Some of those are indeed pretty bad. Some of them are kind of weird.

What's so horrible about a thoroughly cleaned out garage with a small table in it?

Or about several people sitting out on a patio with a cooler? (I have the horrible feeling that the problem might be that they're young black males.)

-- in any case, I doubt that any of them, or anything Sue doesn't do "right" in staging the place, will top the place one realtor took me to that caught fire while I was viewing it.

Additional note: if the roof is leaking so badly that the interior walls have taken significant visible damage: don't spend what money you've got putting cheap paneling over the interior walls, while not fixing the roof.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 15 June 2018, 02:06 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
Join Date: 03 March 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 2,069
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
We do have two rooms that have strong colours because these were the colours chosen by our children when they lived at home.
I wouldn't sweat it for kids' rooms, unless it's totally extreme. If it were the master bedroom, I'd be a bit more cautious.

OY
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 15 June 2018, 02:12 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,959
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Some of those are indeed pretty bad. Some of them are kind of weird.

What's so horrible about a thoroughly cleaned out garage with a small table in it?

Or about several people sitting out on a patio with a cooler? (I have the horrible feeling that the problem might be that they're young black males.)
Most of those pictures would be ok in a family album, not so ok when you're trying to sell a house. Those real estate shots are meant to highlight the house not to show people! The worst I've seen personally are pictures with loads of clutter or a sink full of dishes, one odd one that was an extreme close up of the toilet and even those make you wonder what the hell the real estate agent was thinking! If you can't get a decent picture don't take one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
I wouldn't sweat it for kids' rooms, unless it's totally extreme. If it were the master bedroom, I'd be a bit more cautious.

OY
That's what I was thinking to be honest. I think our house is the kind that would appeal to a young family so it would make sense to have "children's" rooms. On the other hand if our agent thinks we're more likely to appeal to young professionals who would be setting up an office or something maybe it would make sense to repaint.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 15 June 2018, 02:18 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 18,262
Glasses

When a work friend of mine was staging her house, the agent brought in a professional photographer. Since my friend hated clutter and also had terrific taste in furniture, the end result looked like a photo spread in a ritzy architecture magazine.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 15 June 2018, 02:55 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 8,893
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Most of those pictures would be ok in a family album, not so ok when you're trying to sell a house. Those real estate shots are meant to highlight the house not to show people!
The nice clean garage with the table in it didn't have any people in it.

And the caption to the one on the patio seems to assume that the people in it don't live there.


-- certainly the current standard for showing real estate may be to show it with no humans. But it seems to me that photos showing 'here's how the family enjoys this space' might easily also be taken as encouraging the viewer to think how they'd enjoy it too.

FWIW I've seen houses with nothing in them, and houses with every bit of the people's lives still in them including the people, and in most cases the rooms looked better to me in use. Empty rooms looked smaller than they were to me, and often depressing. (I will admit to wanting to go around and pull all the blinds on a couple of houses in which the people living there apparently never wanted to see through the windows, or to let the light in.)

Maybe I'm just unreasonably grumbly this morning, however. I should probably get to work outside, that usually helps.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I need out of this house! geminilee Rantidote 35 26 November 2016 06:35 PM
The Feline Fun House TallGeekyGirl Wild Kingdom 7 26 September 2014 05:13 AM
A creative house Jenn Fauxtography 24 14 June 2010 07:20 AM
Stolen house snopes Crime 3 20 April 2008 11:34 PM
House 4/3/07 Giselle Sightings 9 09 April 2007 10:49 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.