Lets Play a Game!
Im going to pick a house on the market, that has been staged by a "professional" stager or possibly the homes owners and Im going to point out certain things i would have done to showcase the home differently.
I will start off with what they did well and lastly what i would have done differently.... Let's begin
1601 Wendy Way
Manhattan Beach,CA 90266
Of course from above you can see they have a great manicured yard, the white picket fence and the american flag hanging, all these subtleties scream the "American Dream" which is what buyers are after.
Below you can see they are showing off their front door which personally i love these farm type doors, they are great when you have children or pets to keep inside but still want to feel the nice breeze or waiting for a neighbor to stop by.
The backyard is a huge selling point and they did a wonderful job simply and elegantly placing furniture and not adding too many little accessories to make it seem busy and unkept. I get the sense of togetherness here and I want to have bbqs with all my friends.
I started off with what they did right so I'm a little out of order now how someone would view the property so lets take a step back and start at the beginning again.
Below is the first image you will see once walking into their front door. Some of the furniture in this room is beautiful, but what are some of the feelings you get immediately walking into the home? Do you feel a little crowded? a little busy? People I want you to understand this is the homes first impression. Whatever room is the first image people will see walking in will be the first impression of the home and they will carry these feelings with them from room to room, even if its not the case. It is so important that if you do nothing else with your home that you at least have the first 15 seconds of your home perfected with the sense you want buyers to feel the rest of the way through.
SO ...here is what i would have done (its also important to note quickly that this family is obviously living here during the sale and so often families think their home is great just the way it is and they dont want to be inconvenienced moving or packing things until they absolutely have to. Well im here to tell you, that you absolutely have to start packing before you put your home onto the MLS, because it is no longer your home but the future buyers and if you want to get top dollar for your property you need to inconvenience yourself and your family a little to reap bigger rewards at the end... AKA MONEY! )
So as i was saying, in order to make this space feel less cramped i would have asked the family to get rid of or store their sofa, I wouldnt have hung the mirrors in this room, first they are too high and secondly they create a busy feeling next to the three pictures of the ocean. I would have asked to put away half of the alcohol bottles on the bar cart and taken this long coffee table into the family room which you will see later. So that leaves us with the beautiful silver console and the wicker chairs, photographs of the ocean, fig tree, small side table, bar cart and lamp.
I would place the console where the sofa is, so nothing is blocking a pathway, I would get two more wicker chairs and place them around a small round coffee table or possibly could use the small side table. I would place the chairs in more of a circle so that people are not sitting with their backs against the window, as no one likes their back against a window and its not proper to block any sun or windows. When all is said and done it would look something more like this ....
These pictures are in a tight space so it looks cramped but if we did the same thing in this home it would look great because they have the space for it.
In the kitchen below i would take away the floor mat. i know something so small just doesnt seem that big of a deal but whats its doing is cutting up the wood floor making it appear less long and because its already a narrow galley kitchen we want buyers to at least see how long the space is by showing the continuation of the wood. Also i would take away the picture beside the door and leave the clock. Keep this very simple and clean.
These outside doors swing inward for some reason. I would get a handyman to make them swing outwards, thus allowing me to put the sofa on one side of the fireplace and across from the chairs. If switching the doors to swing outside was too big of an issue i would leave the sofa as is and put the chairs on each side of the fireplace facing the sofa. This would allow ample room and pathways to access this area instead of cutting off the one corner and now you have to go around the sofa to get to it
Also hide your tv. There is no reason to showcase your tv if there is no space for it. Especially since you will see they have a third family area in this home with a tv. Putting your tv like this makes it feel like your trying to fit a tv in the room and there is no where else to place it which is not good. Better to let people imagine where to put it if its not obvious.
Below is their Master Bedroom and unfortunately it looks small and not much of a suite vibe because they decided to keep the big wood dresser or armoire across the bed. If they got rid of it, the room would look so much larger in comparison. Also take off the small blanket almost falling off the bed and throw it over evenly from one side to the other or get rid of it. I know everyone needs curtains but in this home they already have shades, So to keep things off the floor and giving the appearance of more square footage i would take them down and I would hang the mirrors in this room to possibly filter more light in.
Dont leave shampoo bottles in the showers for people to see and dont use rugs in the bathrooms if they are small bathrooms. Also dont put anything on top of your toilets because it actually makes the bathroom seem smaller or less useable. In my head im thinking, "there isnt enough space to put q-tips on the sink so i have to place them on my toilet?" gross... just dont put anything there but maybe a rolled up towel but i prefer not putting anything
This bed is blocking some of the shelving from being useful.... thats kind of counteractive right? also makes the space seemed crowded and small. Dont hang things from the ceiling and let your kids know its only for a short time for photographs and in the meantime they get to pick only a couple of their favorite toys and the rest they need to pack up. Dont allow the tantrums of children to get in the way of you helping make money for their college fund. They will survive.
I would take away all the childrens toys from this room below and place them in the actual childrens rooms. If they got rid of some of the dressers in the kids rooms there would be more space for the nice doll house and small table with chairs. Now before you get all crazy with me and tell me that this room is meant to be a children's play area, let me remind you that you can show a childrens play area off without having childrens toys. I know that makes no sense to you but keep in mind this family has already taken us through two other possible living rooms, so if im a buyer and I see a third living area im automatically thinking play room. Also you can show this by open a book and leaving it on the sofa and place some books on the shelves and now its become a nice reading room or lounge area.
Then I would take away this sofa table behind the sofa because all its doing is housing more of the childrens toys. What does this say to a buyer? There isnt enough pantries to store items, or closet space ... why else would toys be all around the property? You want to avoid this and not allow your children to take over the spaces as you are selling. Especially not for photographs. If anything make sure everything is hidden for photographs and then if you want to bring it back out for everyday use so be it but in the photographs your home needs to shine!
So remove the sofa table and place the sofa back a little ways and put the coffee table that was in the front of the home that i didnt like back here in front of the sofa and there you have it.... Plus take away any family photos on the bookshelves. People want to buy new properties not the memories of someone elses family. Keep the home looking like new development by depersonalizing each room
Its a gorgeous home with great bone structure. Make sure buyers can see that and not get distracted by anything else.