The Incredible Power of Staging

I have to admit, I had no idea or expectation of our home going under contract within the first day of listing. When we bought the place a year ago, it had been on the market for over 9 months, and under contract three times. We decided to list it on the first of September because we figured it would give us enough time to show the house, get feedback, improve things, and sell it within six months or so. Yeah, that didn’t happen! And while I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the inspection goes well and we breeze by our option period (it’s up on the 12th! Wish us luck!) I’m not exactly packing up yet.

One thing our realtor told us was that the photos really sold the house. As soon as it went up online, she started getting calls. And all of them said, “We love the pictures!” And while you guys gave me some awesome tips to improve on those, it looks like they were at least good enough for the meantime. Just for comparison’s sake, let’s look at the photos of the home when we looked at it, and compare with the current condition. I think you’ll notice that a few small changes made a very large impact!

One important note: I don’t want you to think I’m judging the previous owner’s style. I’m not. It’s totally great if this is how they set up the space to work best for them. However, I don’t think it showed off the house to its best advantages. Here’s a list of my cons from the previous condition of the house when we bought it, and some changes we made prior to our listing to help it show better.

Previous – 2011

Old Living Room

Cons:
– Massive sofa blocking the walkway and open feel of the space
– Mismatched furniture crowding the room and blocking light

Current – 2012

Current Living Room

 

Changes:
– Modestly large sectional freeing up the walkway
– limited amount of furniture making the room look more spacious
– large artwork to emphasize raised ceilings

 

Previous – 2011

Old living room setup. There's a huge window behind that tv unit

Cons:
– Massive tv unit blocking a large window
– Busy brick fireplace distracting the eye and clashing with decor
– outdated fan

Current – 2012

Changes:
– Painted fireplace to relax the eye and disguise the tv
– Removed furniture from window (I used to have a large piano there)
– updated fan
– latest edits: removed cow/chicken paintings and moved them to the dining room

Previous – 2011

Cons:
– large hutch taking up space
– small table off-center below chandelier and blocking door access
– dark, overbearing window treatments

Current – 2012

Changes:
– painted accent wall to add definition to the space
– properly scaled furniture to maximize the size
– centered table below chandelier
– removed window treatments
– latest edits: Removed photo gallery and replaced with cow/chicken paintings

Previous – 2011

Cons:
– cluttered countertops
– Above cabinet decor (it’s pretty hit or miss, and the plants get dusty)
– angle of photo crops out an entire wall of cabinets
– lots of mismatched rugs
– exposed trash can

Current – 2012

Changes:
– two photos of kitchen show the size from all angles.
– empty countertops add visual space
– barstools show extra seating
– however I should have removed the coffee maker, magnet, and paper towels above the refrigerator. Oops! Noted for the future

Previous – 2011

Cons:
– The angle makes the room look small
– visible water heater makes the space look utilitarian (which it is, so it’s not a huge deal)
– kinda Plain Jane. But I would have loved for that set to have stayed with the house!

Current – 2012:

Changes:
– LOTS of added storage! The hutch and appliance cart added a lot
– Color, though it could be bad. I feel my laundry room was very much to my unique taste, so this could have gone poorly
– Hanging curtain to hide water heater. I really should steam this : /

Previous – 2011

Cons:
– dated wood tones
– that’s about it

Current – 2012

Changes:
– Painted doors white and vanity gray
– Added mosaic border to mirror
– New brighter light fixture

Previous – 2011

Cons:
– More window blocking. It’s hiding behind the large dresser and mirror
– Gym equipment. Enough said.
– Oversized furniture. You have no idea how large the room is when it’s this full.
– Random mirrors

Current – 2012

Changes:
– Laid out furniture to maximize space
– Let that light in! We made sure the window wasn’t blocked.
– Scaled down the size of the furniture. This room is huge, and now it looks like it!

Previous – 2011

Cons:
– AGAIN with blocking the windows! I totally don’t get that. I guess it saves on electricity. But it made the rooms feel dark and cluttered.
– Too. Much. Furniture. There’s stuff everywhere!
– Cheap suspension rod and curtain to block off bathroom. It just emphasized the problem.
– Dated window treatments.
– Dog stained carpet. It smelled pretty bad.

Current – 2012

Changes:

7 thoughts on “The Incredible Power of Staging

  1. Love the before and after shots. Seriously, why would you put furniture directly in front of the windows like that? We’ll probably be selling in the next year or so, thanks for the tips!

  2. I love what you did with your laundry room. And I’m glad you didn’t paint all of the walls white. I hate looking at white walls. It’s really boring. I can understand blocking the windows. I have to deal with migraines all the time and really dark rooms help with the pain.

    1. Glad to know there’s a fellow migraine gal around! I used to have them infrequently until I had my daughter, and now I get several each month. My neurologist said hormonal migraines after birth are really common. It sucks. I’m kind of hoping having another kid will whack out the hormones again so maybe they’ll go away! But that’s probably just wishful thinking 🙁

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