As many of you know, I market homes in very unique adult lifestyle communities, Tecumseth Pines and Green Briar/Briar Hill in New Tecumseth. I found this great series of posts written and published by Ginger Foust, an Active Rain Blogger and Home Stager from Oakhurst, California about preparing a home owned (usually for a long time) by a senior citizen.
In this post, Part Six, Ginger discusses the home with too much stuff and how effective de-cluttering can make a huge difference.
Thinking of marketing your home in Tecumseth Pines or Green Briar/Briar Hill? You owe it to yourself to talk to me before you choose your realtor! Call me, Chris Smith @ 1.866.936.3500
Selling Grandma's house is often difficult, even when selling to another grandma.
In Oakhurst and Fresno California, our home staging company is frequently asked to do consultations and stagings at homes owned by seniors in Oakhurst, it's surrounding communities and in Fresno communities.
Here is what we often see:
- Decades old floral and plaid furnishings and window coverings.#1
- Outdated kitchens and baths with oak cabinets, brass fixtures and vinyl flooring, #2
- Outdated light fixtures, #3
- Carpet & other flooring issues #4
- Wallpapered and paneled walls #5
- Rooms cluttered with years of collectibles and memorabilia #6
- Family photos everywhere.
This blog post is #6 of a series addressing each of the above with photo examples and solutions. Most of these issues can be addressed with low-cost, creative thinking and a simple consultation our Oakhurst based home staging company to help seller's move forward in the sales process and increase their chances in many that sale faster and for money return on this major investment.
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TOO much STUFF!
I know that people hate hearing it and I hate saying it but STUFF eats equity. Every square foot of a house for sale has value....IF it can be clearly seen and is put to good use.
As we go through life, most of us collect items and things seems to accumulated quickly. Some of those items have great meaning to us and others we can't let go of for sentimental reasons.
When I am asked to do a staging consultation on a house filled with personal collections and memorabilia, it's frequently painful for the owners/sellers to hear that most of their prized items need to be packed away and put into storage for their eventual move. I always say "pack it now to save you time and energy later" but these issues remain a struggle and often sometimes an obstacle that may not be overcome.
Here are two very sad situations:
This is the home of an elderly couple. It sits on 40 acres and (any men reading?) it has 12 garages, plus other outbuildings and a horse set-up. If you were to ONLY read about it, you might be interested. HOWEVER, if you saw photos online or walked in the door you would probably move on to the next listing.
During my consultation I gave the sellers as much information as I could to help them out. I always try to be as gentle as possible, but they took offense to most of my suggestions. I DO understand their feelings and I DO empathize but here are the results.
This consultation was 5 years ago when the market was much better here. The house is still "listed" today, in the same condition, and now with an over 400K reduction in price. The husband has since passed away and now this woman cannot move closer to her children because she cannot sell this house. I feel so bad for her but at least it's not as bad as the following situation................
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This next consultation also took place 5 years ago and it seems like only yesterday. The seller was a part time real estate agent and her husband was retired. This home is in a sought after location and had SOME updated features which buyers would have loved seeing, but they couldn't.
This home was so jam-packed with their keepsakes and memories that, even I didn't notice the stainless appliances or the wood floors or the updated light fixtures in some rooms. It was all just overwhelming and claustrophobic.
I completed the consultation and their reaction was that they were just going to wait and see, since it had only been on the market for a few months (with no interest). I kept checking back and nothing was changing. They kept dropping the price significantly. In the end, they lost the house in foreclosure. It eventually was sold by the bank for almost 500K below their original asking price. These seniors lost EVERYTHING except their stuff.
I cannot imagine how painful that must be!
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In sharp contrast to the two sad stories above, here is what staging CAN DO. (even to grandma's house.)
This consult also took place 5 years ago, so it's a direct comparison with the above examples. These sellers (seniors also) took my report to heart. They already knew that they had some sweat equity work ahead of them, but they didn't know how far they should go. They started packing immediately. I delivered boxes to them daily, which they promptly filled. They remedied almost everything that I had mentioned in the first 5 blogs in this series. The worked hard and in the middle of it they didn't"like" me very much, but they kept trudging forward.
This seller had many collections and she understood that packing them was just plain logical. After she packed I still had plenty to work with to properly stage her home.
Even with honey oak cabinets and some of grandmas things still remaining, isn't the AFTER above more appealing for everyone?
The sellers rooster collection and collection of decorative bottles did not disappear completely. Professional staging always leaves some personality pieces.
This savvy seller understood that even overfilled cabinets need some minimalizing when staging a home and together we got it done.
It took two weeks for them to get it ready. Then....it SOLD in two weeks.
You can read what the seller of this Oakhurst home had to say on our Professional Staging Website. It's testimonial #1.
Although these examples are from times gone by, the same things apply today. Stuff eats equity!
Our goal, in this business is to help people achieve their DREAMS. Moving is rarely a dream but it is a step towards that dream and if you are stuck in your home, dreams are being left behind.
Call a Professional Home Stager today so that your housing dream can become your reality.
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Dream Interior Redesign and Staging by Ginger Foustis a full service, licensed and insured CSP ® Professional Home Stager, Interior ReDesign/Decorating Specialist, consulting and training company.
Locally serving the California foothill and mountain communities of: Oakhurst, North Fork, Bass Lake, Coarsegold, Ahwahnee, Wawona and Mariposa. Also serving areas of: Fresno, Clovis and Madera, California and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
We provide Virtual and Conceptual Staging Worldwide and we will very soon be offering Professional Stager Training in California, Nevada, Idaho and Hawaii, as part of the International CSP ® training program, Certified Staging Professionals. Also offering CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for California Real Estate Agents as an approved RESA instructor (Real Estate Staging Association).
Click here to see short slideshows with examples of our work. When the first show is over, click on OTHER SHOWS to see more.
Visit our website at http://www.dreamredesigns.com for more information of call 559-877-2442
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage