Wednesday, April 23, 2014


On one of this mornings blabber-fest chat shows I heard an "expert"hocking her self-help book say, "you will never be as beautiful, as thin, or as young as you are today" and I have to admit, I don't completely agree with that. Now, obviously, we won't be as young as we are at this moment ever again…DUH…but never as "beautiful," however you define that, I disagree.  One of the incredible things about waking up everyday is, just like the rising sun, we have the option to start over, redefine who we are, and to change our course.  Sick of those extra pounds you gained over the long, cold winter (and, yes, I'm talking to myself)? Great, well, today you can choose to change that by walking, running, working out or doing something, ANYTHING, to lose the weight.  Mad at your other half? Make up! Hate your hairdo? CUT IT. Want a more beautiful backyard? PLANT SOMETHING!  I'm often turned off by people who are quick to judge, especially self-proclaimed "experts." The same can be said of House Hunters (and I'm talking about both the people and the show)!  The other night as we nestled into bed to prepare for another grueling day of work, we flipped on House Hunters (as routine as brushing and flossing in our home) and instantly we were turned off by the couple and wanted to toss our TV out the window and into the Hudson River below.  The wife hated the drawer pulls in the kitchen, the husband wasn't a fan of the curtains, both thought the backyard looked "drab and dreary" (it was winter in Minnesota and the yard was under three feet of snow).  Like the "expert" on this mornings show, they couldn't see the potential that a new day might bring.  As the annoying realtor kept yammering, "you can change that" I thought of something I offer every time I stage a house…a book deal.
Staging has become an important part of the selling process because, as our lovely House Hunters showed, potential buyers pick apart just about everything.  I remind sellers over and over that they aren't selling the house to themselves, so "dumbing down" the design is essential in order to appeal to a more broad (or dumb broad) audience. Simple colors and easy layouts are good starts, but sometimes you need to go the extra mile to get extra moolah for your house.  Two little things I love to do when prepping a house for the market are just an example of ways to make your house shine:
1.) I like to type up key information about the house on 3x5 cards and leave them throughout the house.  That way if your main broker isn't doing the showing, anyone can share the features not obvious to most, like solar panels, radiant heat, new windows, new roof, energy efficient appliances, new garage doors, etc.  Make it fun: "those floors you are stepping on are travertine from Italy.." etc.
2.) If you live somewhere like we do (with changing weather and falling leaves) your view might change from season to season.  Or you might just have beautiful shots of your home, inside and out, that someone walking in TODAY might not see (the top photo is the sunrise in my Moms front yard in Palm Springs, California in February, the middle photo is a close-up of a tree changing it's color in our backyard last fall and the bottom photo is a clients lovely pool and flowers in summer..something a potential buyer wouldn't see if looking at the house in January. I like to gather the best shots of a house and, with the help of, create a 25 page bound book.  I place the open book in the entry way so visitors can enjoy everything you love about the house..and hopefully BUY IT!