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Staging to Sell: A Case Study in Pictures

By Evolution of Style on Jun 28, 2013


It's no secret that I'm a real estate junkie that probably needs a 12-step program. Even though I have no intention of moving (ever again), I still love looking. Waste of time? Perhaps, yes. But, I could argue that golf is a waste of time too, right? We all have our hobbies.

Anyway, in perusing the listings recently, I couldn't help but notice the look and feel of homes that were "sale pending" vs. those that are still on the market. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what sells. Yet, some people still don't get it.

First, let's start with what works.

Ahhhh, yes this works! Such a simple, classic, elegant look, staged to perfection. Don't you love it?



It's got an open concept floor plan, which appeals to the masses, but the way that it's staged just says "Welcome Home" to me. I'm guessing that's why it's "sale pending".


What's even better, is that it's a tri-level home - definitely a 1970's-1980's style of home. I grew up in a tri-level, and they're great family homes, but many that are on the market are stuck in a time warp. It's great to see one that has been brought into the 21st century.

A lovely, open white kitchen.


And check out this cozy little den, complete with an inviting stone fireplace. I could totally picture myself curling up on the couch with a book, in front of a roaring fire.


In the basement - they've even staged a little desk area, making great use of a corner space.


And let's not forget the inviting backyard. Perfect!


And then there's the "don't" portion of this study. First, let me say that you don't need to have a remodeled home or spend a fortune to get your house real estate ready. But, apply some common sense, and put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. It's really that simple. I know it's difficult, since you're selling something with such personal ties, but try to be objective - or find a friend who doesn't have an issue with speaking her mind.


I'm figuring that this seller is either 1) shut down to the idea of home staging, 2) has no friends that speak their minds, or 3) has a mute realtor. Or maybe all of the above. This is about the most overwhelming interior I've ever seen. Imagine an unsuspecting buyer walking into this home! (although thanks to online listings, hopefully no buyer is that unsuspecting). The wall spackling alone that would be required to get these walls into paint-ready shape is enough to scare away a potential buyer. Gallery wall gone bad.

Is that a real parrot sitting on that white thingy hanging from the ceiling?


The wall art continues in the kitchen, and migrates to the cabinets.


Notice the slight of hand used with the curtains in this room. "Oh look, it's French doors leading to a tropical retreat! Aw shucks, it's just curtains."


And then I found this little gem in another listing. Look at this newly remodeled kitchen! Gorgeous, yes?


And it features a stone fireplace too. With built-in double ovens. Um, what? So I suppose you market this home as a "Chef's Delight, complete with three ovens." I can't understand who would think this was a good idea. Like, ever.


So there you have it - going from one extreme to the other in the land of real estate.


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