Ready Set Market – Part I
By Tracy Eisnaugle
Over time as we live in our homes we tend to accumulate clutter, adding the latest trends, attaining things we just have to have or gifts we didn’t necessarily ask for. Somehow we find the space and incorporate more and more into our homes. One of my professional duties is to provide design consultation services to real estate agents. Some people use the term staging, but I do not offer furniture or design services to my agents’ clients, eliminating any sales pressure for the homeowner. My goal is to assist the agent by guiding the seller through their home providing an outside professional opinion of what needs to be completed to achieve mass market appeal, relieving the agent from the dreadful task of giving constructive criticism to their clients whom they will be maintaining a long term relationship with.
Each agent has their own preference for market style and after a brief discussion of each other’s range we find a happy medium that works in the best interest of our clients and for the marketing of the home. The general rule is to de-personalize and de-clutter, but in today’s market each property has its own specific needs and financial limitations.
Here is a list of pointers to assist those of you who are selling your current home or working with clients to sell theirs.
Curb appeal, maintain a fresh layer of mulch and make sure that the yard stays manicured including picking up any dropped fruit etc. Keep all the palm trees trimmed and clean, we might take them for granted but people move here for those tropical trees. Although it is hot, especially this time of year, keep up with fresh annuals they add a pop of color for photography and a warm welcome.
Nothing is worse than a house with an odor. Odors continue to live in fabrics and soft fibers, therefore we need to locate the source and eliminate it. Please do not use plug in or automatic spraying air fresheners, many people are sensitive to the artificial fragrance and they also create the false impression that you are trying to cover up an odor even if you are not.
If a property has been vacated we might find an abundance of nails and picture hangers. Remove all nails, repair the texture on the walls and touch up the paint.
If you have a house of many colors aka a “Skittle House” there are two options; if the home is vacant and the budget allows then paint the entire interior a soft neutral wall tone and a simple white for the trim/molding. The ceilings can either be painted the wall color or a flat version of the trim/molding color. If the home is not vacant then we need to understand that the current owners are still living in their home and the best solution is to get two or three bids for paint the home a neutral color throughout and use those quotes to assist in the negotiation process.
Clean, clean, clean nothing is worse than a dirty house.
Stay tuned for the continuation of Ready Set Market – Part II with additional tips and techniques in next month’s edition.
Tracy L. Eisnaugle has practiced interior design in Sarasota since 1997 and is currently self employed providing design consultation services in the area. She is a graduate from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and continues her education by attending annual conferences. Her past experience includes, Design Center Manager for Lee Wetherington Homes, high-end residential design and model merchandising. Tracy may be reached at 941.232.3358 or by e-mail at email@example.com.