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Based on the book: 

About to sell a home you've lived in for more than ten years? Avoid the "LISTLESS" LISTING.

This is the result of updating the same room. BELOW is the before pic. Too taste specific....too crowded.

As a realtor and a professional stager, I go through the homes that list each day with a different eye. I'm seeing it the way a younger demographic might see it. And Houston? We have a problem.

It is VERY hard for people to see their homes with a different eye. You get used to the weight, balance and color of your surroundings. Unless you are updating regularly and watching trends. when your home lists? It looks....LISTLESS. Many homes in my area that were built over ten years ago are lacking the pop that newer homes have. And of course we are not going to all run out and install barn doors and rough hewn flooring in order to sell our homes, but there are things you MUST be aware of.

1. PAINT COLOR. If you have a room that is painted a jewel tone....ruby, green, blue....or a strong, teal, purple. Take the time to paint it. Paint is EASY. CHEAP...and updates a room in a weekend. I cannot overstate how important it is to have neutral colors. Yellow is NOT a neutral. Red is so outdated it may keep buyers from even asking their realtor for a look inside.

2. FAKE PLANTS. Remove them. Don't put them in rooms, ABSOLUTELY don't put them on top of kitchen cabinets, and certainly don't put them outdoors. You want to create rooms with LOTS of breathing space. wreaths on the front door....unless you are selling at Christmas. It does not appeal to the younger demographic. Clean lines, a new doormat and perhaps some candle lanterns are a better choice.

3. ORIENTAL RUGS. An interesting rug here or there is fine. But wood floors are very in. In most homes I stage? The rugs go out. The floors allow the buyer to see the architecture of the room.

4. TOO MUCH FURNITURE and OUTDATED WINDOW TREATMENTS. You want to edit out your furniture to allow breathing space for the eye. A few pieces, perfectly placed, outweighs a party event with no room for walking. Remember, you are allowing for the eye to rest. That goes for the frou frou window treatments too. Long neutral panels that gracefully touch the floor are in. Patterned valances or lacy toppers? They need to come down.

5. KNICK KNACKS. Away, away, away. A few neatly placed accessories on shelves are great. But placing items on every piece of furniture? No. It does not show well in photographs.

6. TEAM LOGOS. No. A thousand times no. Take away your team logos from EVERY SINGLE ROOM. You do not want to offend a Georgia Tech fan with your Georgia flags and decor. Save them for your next home.

7. RELIGIOUS ART. Take down crosses, prayer room items, etc....And no crosses in front of the home. Please think how you would feel if a home you were seeing were full of items from a religion that was not yours. It seems off-putting. Pack them up for your next home. No religious symbols anywhere.

8. FAMILY PHOTOS. Nope. You are selling a commodity where you want the buyer to envision THEIR FAMILY not your family.

9. LIGHTING. Did you know that bell shaped shades are out? If you can afford to replace them with drum shades on at least the lamps in the rooms you first see? That is a great choice. And think about updating the dining room chandelier and kitchen lamps, if they are older than ten years. They are prime examples of a dated house.

10. THE BATHROOM. Nothing. Can I say this again. NOTHING should be on the counters of a bathroom when you are showing a home. I have, on occasion, allowed a soap dispenser and some well placed hand towels but this room should speak of peace and absolute cleanliness. No colored rugs on the floor....perhaps a white or grey rug but tone this room down. White, grey, pure clean everything.

My listings get the full force of my years of staging experience. But some people already have.a realtor they love. Great. But allow me to come visit for a staging consultation. For 200.00? You could change the result of your listing and find yourself on the way to your new dream home. I'd love to help you see your home through the eyes of a buyer. And's an online dating world in terms of real estate. Your photos are the first YES to your home. Be sure that they appeal to every aged buyer. And lastly, YOUR REALTOR SHOULD USE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER. I cannot state this enough. I am a super photographer but I do not have the skills nor camera equipment that a professional realtor photographer has on hand, Do NOT ever bypass this step. My sellers know I will pay for photography, advertising, and do a video walkthrough of their home for faraway buyers. This is an important financial transaction and no steps should be skipped.

Interested in what staging can do for you? You can see my work HERE. Let me know if I can help you. It might be the best 200.00 you have ever spent to protect your investment.


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