Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Seeing the beauty

My Nº 1 quote when advising a seller on listing their home - 

"How you live in a home

is not how you sell a home"

There's no question that we all accumulate stuff - stuff we need, stuff we don't need, stuff we love, stuff handed down to us, given to us, or the 'just because' stuff. And, unless you have a big home, most of that stuff is either packed in a closet, (and I mean packed), or on display, making it difficult for anyone, including you, to enjoy the sweet spaces of your home.

Living with lots of personal 'items' is one thing, but having it all around when you go to sell is another. The challenge this stuff causes is that potential buyers can't look past your personal items to 1) see the house and 2) visualize how their life, their stuff, will look in it. 

That's why decluttering, with a healthy rinse and repeat, again and again, is critical to a successful sale. 

There are apps that walk you through a year of decluttering, there are trained (and untrained) personal organizers readily available to work with you in your home, and a great selection of organizing/decluttering self-help books, and almost every home and lifestyle magazine offers a thorough read on the subject. Implementing any one of these tools will go a long way to accomplishing the job.

Another issue I constantly see is the lack of updates and refresh of a person's interiors. It's been said that personal style and aesthetics change every seven years. There was a time when a home owner purchased a living room set and that was it. I'm not sure that isn't how we should be approaching our home purchases (for the long haul), but I do know that the mauve's of the eighties don't work in today's world of interiors, just as the Tuscan warmth of the 90's don't. Bringing your home current with a fresh coat of paint is just a basic job any seller should decide to take on, and quite frankly, a must!

My final tip for getting your home ready for market is to edit. It is one thing to declutter (critical step), and to freshen up your interiors with a coat (or two) of paint, etc., but you must also edit what you leave in your home. That includes your furniture, art and accessories. By doing so, the bones of your home are the star, not your personal belongings. Let a potential buyer see the rooms - the floors, windows, walls and flow! Don't get me wrong, you want your home to feel warm and inviting, but it doesn't take much to accomplish this - a few key pieces of art, furniture and accessories is all it takes.  Let the rooms be on display, not you!

Now comes my disclaimer - I am a known collector - I have a passion for anything French or English, I enjoy textiles with lots of pattern and love an eclectic  mix of wallpaper. I prefer a more curated look to interiors and enjoy living with items that make me happy, and there are a lot of those! When I renovated my kitchen, I did so in a way that goes against traditional real estate speak. Which takes me right back to my opening quote -

"How you live in a home

is not how you sell a home"

When it's time to sell my home, I will be sure to declutter, freshen and edit my interiors so the bones of this sweet Tudor shine. 

To better showcase my thoughts on this subject, take a gander at these before and after photos taken from a recent listing of mine in Seattle -

I recommended an updated paint palette throughout the home to
compliment the light filled spaces and charming cottage feel.  
Working with, not against, the flow of the rooms, I changed
the furniture layout so as to invite you into the home.
I love wallpaper, but it must stay fresh and current! Removing
big pieces of furniture and changing the layout went a long
way to showcase just how big this bedroom is!
I recommended the sellers declutter, paint the dated cabinets and remove
the wallpaper to deliver a simply charming and completely modern kitchen!
Don't forget the outside. It doesn't take much - in this case we did
some clean-up, added a few plants and a place to sit and enjoy!

Until next time,

la chasse au bonheur

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