When looking for a home to buy I always look for the home that is poorly decorated. Why?
They are less expensive to purchase initially. I can decorate with the best of interior decorators. And I haggle hard, too. Remodeling can take a lot of money, usually more than we predict.
But what if you are selling? You want to get the best price you can for your property. You want to have a product the looks perfect. You want a product that attracts lots of potential prospective buyers and wows them!
One of the ways you can do this is to present more architecture and a lot less décor. Décor that is trendy will be out of date in just a few years. Save money and get more bang for your dough. Can you identify ’80s style sofas? Probably you can and so can your prospects. Good upholstered sofas or love seats can be ageless. And then there are those kitchens with melamine cabinets with those oak handles. Those are a death nail to resale right now. But Shaker style kitchen cabinets have been around for 250 years and look great in a lot of houses.
Architecture that is everlasting works and saves you money. It’s the best! Study up and win with architecture.
What does this connote?
Most homes are a series of squares and rectangles that you can make more striking by doing the right trims and balanced furniture placement. Make less work for yourself by replacing and repairing things as needed with good neutrals that will work over the years. Classics are our friends. Theme decorating will impair you.
In one example, think of bathrooms with white porcelain fixtures, bead board paneling and beautiful marble on the floors. They never go out of fashion in traditional or cottage style homes, while other things like colored fixtures could.
People want to see balance and conviviality in spaces. They want alluring conversation areas, comfortable dining rooms, and tranquil, romantic master bedrooms.
They also have a fantasy that if they find the right home they will have a perfectly organized, socially active life with all the possessions they have ever wished to have.
You want to play to this yearning. What do people want? They want to impress others, have good relationships and a attractive space.
So how far from this fantasy is your home?
The hard work necessary to make a space look great may come down to a lot of cleaning and organizing. Immaculate closets, beautiful furniture, striking art and good taste all come into what works when you need to sell.
And people want to move in and be comfortable without having to do a bunch of work. Most people don’t have time, skills or ready money to fix everything that’s a problem with your house.
But the biggest issues many sellers have is they have a lot of stuff like dated wallpaper, peeling paint, musty bathrooms and tattered furniture that turn off home buyers and make them run away!
Instead of an peach wallpaper border you want some nice wide crown molding. Then look for some built in storage cabinets and/or shelves. Trim them out so that matches to outside architecture of your property. If your house is traditional in style you might build an over-mantel over an existing fireplace. But a mid century modern house might look great with cork floors that are true to the architectural style of the home.
Choose simple paint in neutral colors instead of heavy labor paint treatments.
Use stone and marble in neutral colors, too. Think classic instead fancy and overdone. When selecting things like newer floors go for wood, ceramic tile, or stone, not vinyl.
Have carpet cleaned or replaced if it is very grubby.
Always keep in mind that you may well need to move. Plan for it by purchasing upholstered furniture in solid colors. Avoid wild prints or strong patterns and furniture pieces that are very large.
Collected furniture looks more chic than sets or suites that match and take up too much space.
Have plenty of nice lighting. Lamps will do if your home is lacking in built in lighting. And furnish the rooms so that the first glimpse into every room is very nice-looking and inviting.
Make every door and drawer look great when open. Serious home buyers look everywhere, in particular if they are really interested. Some will just look because they are allowed to. So be ready for this scrutiny. Lock up your jewelry and all your financial information.
Do not remodel greatly unless things are in poor condition. Just polish, clean and stage spaces beautifully for their most logical purposes. Choose classic architecture and furnishings that isn’t too trendy. Make whatever you buy work as long as possible by choosing classic design styles that work with the basic architecture of your property and the next home, too.
We staged eight properties with the same stuff over a period of 20 yrs. Anyone can do this. Just look for classic, eclectic furniture and save lots of money. All our dining rooms were preped with a cherry drop leaf dining table, 6 black lacquer Queen Anne chairs and a black lacquer contemporary buffet. This mix worked well for us. I reupholstered the chairs countless times and had a lot of fun doing it, too. Friends would visit us just to see what we had done different with the same old stuff. That drop leaf table was actually one of the first pieces of furniture we ever bought. It even worked in some small apartments, too. That’s the kind of things you want. Much of our furniture was used and refurbished. Very little of it cost a lot of money. You can toss contemporary in with antiques and have everything work just great.