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Blogs Karen's Blog Reduce the Clutter and Sell More Homes!

Posted Jul 01, 2010 6:52 am (11 years ago)

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Renewal Zone - real estate renewal class - Interior Design Basics for Real Estate Professionals

Ok - so you you're telling me you never learned about home staging in real estate school!   Home staging can greatly impact how quickly a home is sold and the price for which it is sold.  How important is that!  

Contrary to popular belief, clutter is not synonymous with homey. Clutter makes spaces look smaller and will make an “obsessive-compulsive” buyer absolutely twitch! If you have a cluttered listing, you may want to make the following suggestions to the homeowner:
1. Clean and organize cabinets, shelves, closets and remove as many items as necessary to eliminate the crowded look. Yes, as you know, prospective buyers do open closet doors and kitchen cabinets. If closets are jammed with clothes, the closets appear smaller and leave the impression that there is not enough closet space. If cabinets are tightly packed, buyers will form the opinion that the kitchen is too small and does not have adequate storage.
2. If there are too many accessories, artwork, and knick-knacks, select a few tasteful items to complement furniture, shelving and countertops, and then ask the homeowner to place the rest in storage. Stand books upright on book shelves and organize books according to size and color.  If there are so many books that double stacking is necessary, have the homeowner put some of the books in storage.  You may want to use a stack of two or three books next to artwork or a small plant to create a grouping, or display an accessory on top of a small stack of books.
3. Use baskets as a way to store and organize magazines, rolled towels, or other items. Baskets are usually are made in neutral colors, from natural materials, and complement almost any interior design style.
4. Clear the kitchen countertops. One or two carefully selected items on each section of the countertop is plenty. If there is an island, place a large floral or single accessory in the center and remover everything else. Appliances should sparkle. Remove any notes, magnets, etc. from the refrigerator.
The three goals in staging a home are:  to create a feeling of warmth and comfort, to allow the prospective buyers to mentally place their furniture in each space, and most importantly, to help the buyers visualize themselves, their family and their friends enjoying every area and feature of the home. These are critically important, emotional steps in the buying process. If the buyer cannot see beyond the clutter, these steps will never occur, and the prospective buyer will move on to look at the next home on the list!

You may want to check our real estate renewal class on Interior Design for helpful information on the impact on prospective buyers of colors and style.