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Monday, December 27, 2010

Think 'Some' NOT 'None' re: Wall Art and Accessories

I invite you to take a look at my latest project, a semi-detached house located at 58 Fleetview off of Larry Uteck Blvd in Halifax Nova Scotia . I want to thank Christeen Chiasson of Royale Lepage Anchor Realty Al Chiasson Selling Team, for hiring me and for acting as my assistant when I did the hands on staging. While it is romanticized on television, Christeen saw first hand how physically demanding staging can be. I carried out a consult but the owners had not yet decided to move forward with the hands on work when later in the week, two hours before a showing, Christeen asked me if I could prepare the house for a viewing that very day. I raced around town, gathered up needed rentals and with Christeen's help got the job done. Christeen sees staging as an effective marketing tool and so not only paid for the consult but paid for a good portion of the hands on staging and rentals as well. Lucky are her clients for listing with an agent who has their best interest at heart and is marketing their property in the most effective way she can.

Some sellers have too much furniture crowding rooms, others don't have enough to create an inviting living space. The key word here is inviting living space. Buyers know within minutes of entering a property if this will be their chosen home. Without staging, a sterile blank walled vestibule darkened by heavy drapery covering the door and windows would have greeted buyers. Now, light pouring through the sheer covered windows and a piece of wall art allows the entryway to present itself as bright and airy.

This house had a sufficient amount of furniture but absolutely no wall art. Many sellers shy away from hanging wall art because of the holes left in the walls once it is removed. But.... barren walls result in cold uninviting living spaces. Today's buyers purchase homes based upon emotion. It's hard to fall in love with a living space that feels cold and unwelcoming. While I try my best to use a client's wall art, I do have an inventory that I rent to clients who have limited art work or art work that will not appeal to the target market. Alternatively, I can source out and purchase wall art for clients who will make use of it in their new homes.

Some sellers have an overabundance of nic nacs both large and small. Buyers can't help but see the 'stuff' that fills the living space and as a result fail to notice the features the home has to offer. Others have very few accessories. Homes devoid of accessories, like homes lacking in wall art, present themselves as sterile and uninviting. There is a fine balance between over and under accessorizing. This property had too many small accessories concentrated in certain areas of the house but had almost no accessories elsewhere. Decorative pillows, throws, greenery, vases with branches were needed to warm up the living space. Working within an alotted budget, and having less than an hour to quickly gather items from my inventory which is stored in two separate locations , almost all of the accessories in the photos are rentals I provided.

Before you view the following photos I would just like to say, in defense of the sellers, that the 'before pictures' which show a messy floor are not the manner in which they live. The day I arrived to do the consult and take the pictures, they were in the midst of gathering and packing belongings so as to declutter their house. The items on the ledge , however, were displayed this way by the home owners. Not a problem for personal living but when staging, too many items are distracting. The crowded line up of nic nacs draws the attention of buyers away from the room itself.

Without distractions it's spaciousness and brightness are what buyers will focus on.

The feedback has been very positive re:house presentation but over and over again a deterrent has been the condition of the walls. In my consult I recommended that certain areas of the house be painted but the owners chose not to do so. The house was staged in early December and after two weeks of comments by viewers regarding the poor condition of the walls , the owners decided to follow through with my recommendation. Unfortunately 3 weeks of viewings were impacted by walls in need of painting.

Most of todays' buyers not only want but are willing to pay more for move in ready homes. They don't have the time or inclination to improve their new homes. There are 3 main features that buyers look at to determine if a home is move in ready: current flooring, organized storage space and freshly painted walls. This home had current flooring throughout, a very good amount of storage space but did not have freshly painted walls.

Lesson learned: Listen to your stager when she suggests that you paint some or all of your home. Experience tells her this is what buyers are looking for.

You can count on Rave Re:view in Halifax Nova Scotia when you enlist our help to stage or redesign your living space.


  1. Happy New year all.
    I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. Thanks for your posts. I am now a follower here. I will be back. :-)

  2. It's fantastic what a difference such a small touch makes. Off to the shops this weekend it is! - Cathy Pieroz at Ray White Alexandra Hills



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