I had the privilege this weekend of holding open a house in Skaneateles that I knew and loved. It had been on the market for a while (a ranch, mid-$200,000s), and now was being handled by a RE/MAX agent from the east side. When I saw that she had the listing, I e-mailed congratulations to her and suggested that if she wanted someone local to hold it open or show it, I would be interested.
The owners and the agent, Marie Henry, gave me that chance on Sunday. I heard that it was being staged and painted, so I went in late last week to see it. I'd always loved its lines - very contemporary, tons of hardwoods, an immense stone fireplace, and beams and more beams. I had heard that when the owners first listed it they had their Stickley mission furniture in the house. I had only seen it vacant and then later with tenants. I was eager to see what they had accomplished.
I got through the door and immediately reached for my cell phone. It was lovely! I called Marie and told her how beautiful it was, and how glad I was that the house looked elegant again.
The owners had hired Lorrie White to stage it - also to get it cleaned and painted. The place looked newly done - and who doesn't want that in a new home? The colors were muted and allowed the rooms to flow, and the hardwoods gleamed - not a rug in the place! The furniture and accessories Lorrie brought in were just the right touch, it seemed. Four couches, end tables, lamps and (fake) plants brought it to life. So THAT'S where the couch would go....a mirror there brings in the light from the windows....the small high table in the dining area makes it look larger...the shower curtain can be drawn.....
Lorrie has written me since and sent over ideas and testimonials. Part of what she does is decluttering, and you all know how important I believe that to be! I think I've also been more aware of the concept of staging, as in a staged set.
The open house was a success, and everyone who saw the house I believe was impressed. One couple took Lorrie's card, and they have a house to sell themselves. The house is most likely sold - an offer came in prior to the open house - and the new buyers came to revel in it with friends.
How important is staging? I had written about it in the past, in reference to Dina Pollitts McCarthy's work: www.sellinstyleonline.com. She impressed me with her efforts, and the affect she felt she had on the length of time it took to sell a house. Lorrie (firstname.lastname@example.org) also believes that houses sell more rapidly, and after what I witnessed on Sunday I must agree!