One of the most important aspects of staging a home for sale is addressing the problem areas. Virtually every home has them—rooms that are difficult to define or rooms that are not finished or are slightly awkward. The key is to spin these perceived problems into positive attributes.
Too many people say things like “this house is never going to sell because of this problem”… or that “we know we are going to have to give an allowance for that problem.” The truth is that by creatively staging a “problem room” or area of the home, you can note only eliminate the “weakness” but showcase a unique strength that makes the home stand out from the rest. To illustrate, I will give you two examples of homes I worked on this year that definitely had problem areas, but that we were able to creatively stage… and sell quickly!
The “missing kitchen.”
When I first looked at this home, it had incredible curb appeal but they were having trouble selling it because there was not a kitchen. There was plumbing for the kitchen but the owner had not put it in yet. What I did was to bring in a small round kitchen table, set it with a simple floral in the middle. Then I placed a tall chop block against the back wall where the cabinets would go. I put a cookbook, a rack of faux fruits and a simple assortment of pretty jars to indicate there would be cooking and entertaining there in the future. It was such a dramatic transformation that not only did they not get the objections anymore…but they got an offer that led to the sale. Currently the new owners are putting the real kitchen in and the past owner was thrilled at what we accomplished. We took the “problem area” and creatively staged it in order to make the problem disappear!
“Stairs to nowhere.”
I had not seen an issue like this since going to the Winchester Mystery House in Northern California. This house was bank owned and something had happened in the building process so that the plans changed but the stairs still went in one room to the ceiling. It was very unusual and it had another room next to it with pillars—making it seem possible that this could have been intended as the original entrance. But it is my job to make it look presentable and give it some function. I made the room into an art room with easels for canvasses and the stairs provided additional “shelving” for artwork and framed pieces going up to the top. It was not perfect but at least it did not look as out of place. Did we completely eliminate the problem? No… but we took something that was a major deterrent for buyers and helped them to imagine a creative use for the room.
Stay tuned later this month as we tackle two more “problem areas.” In the meantime, if you have problem areas in your home and need help staging them creatively in order to sell quickly, please contact us today!
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