First Impressions Are Lasting

If you are selling your home, the minute a prospective buyer walks in the door, you want them to smile. You don’t necessarily need a WOW! You want the reaction to be a resounding: OH! This means: How nice! This is possible. I see myself in this house. I could live here. I could BUY this!

You want to show your space as a home, and have it be just neutral enough so that people can imagine it being THEIR home…in ONE SECOND. That is how fast the brain will make this determination. On Madison Avenue, the time revered axiom is “go with your gut”. Make no mistake, this is what buyers are working with as they search for their new home.

Much of what I do for my clients is similar to the “staging” process for selling homes. For clients, this process is specific to their environment and their particular vision of how they want to live and what is important for them to display. With just a small tweak, you can stage your home to sell. Take a look!

Depersonalize It:
Take most of your family photos down. This tends to unconsciously inhibit people from imagining living there and feeling like the home could be “theirs”.
Style your bookcases carefully. The image above is a client’s study. The bookcase takes on a unified yet decorative feel. There are many books, but the look is organized and uncluttered.

Frame It:
Home sellers with little or no artwork can create interest on a wall by hanging different sized framed mirrors. This makes a great visual impact and creates the illusion of a larger space.
Use black and white photos to jazz up a wall. You can get inexpensive ones, big, with inexpensive metal frames. Use iconic NYC architecture, for example. Looks great!

Color It:
Paint one wall an accent color and keep the rest a neutral color.
Consider painting hallways a darker color so that entering rooms will feel more dramatic.
Painting the ceiling white, with a hint/tint of color makes the room glow.
If you have old furniture that you know you aren’t going to take with you, such as a dresser or small tables, you can sand them down and paint them a festive, bold color.
A solid color area rug can redefine and unify the space. The sofa and club chairs will pop off the rug and the furniture will take on new life.

Minimize It:
Too many pillows on the sofa can look cluttered.
De-clutter all knickknacks from tables and bookcases. Don’t put lots of objects in front of books; this is counterintuitive. (Image above.)
Try to put all of your kitchen gadgets away, off the counter so the counter can appear bigger. This will make your kitchen seem larger.
Make sure that rooms are well lit during the day. Get some “up lit” lamps and regular floor lamps. Interiors are more interesting with varied lighting. (Again, image above.)
Make sure your closet floors—yes, floors—are free and clear if possible. It will make the “storage” aspect feel bigger/better.

Spend It:
Take down old curtains and install simple wood slat blinds to neutralize the space.
Get a runner/rug for the entrance hall, again a solid is safe.
Change the handles/pulls on your kitchen cabinets…could make them look much better
Change lamp shades if they are old and crooked. Make sure that all lamps work.
Please, if you don’t have the money to paint all the door and window trim when showing your house, at least make sure that they are all clean and without hand grime. The door too. There is nothing worse than dirt at a door handle.
Brand new towels and shower curtains are a must in the bathrooms. When in doubt white is clean and classic.

These are just a few ideas, from a design perspective, that could help sell your home, and help you in the new home you purchase!

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