Monday, October 22, 2012

If You Ask Me About Home Staging ... And You Did.

He may be your best friend, but ...   
These are some of the questions I've received lately from readers and others.

You can ask me home staging questions and offer your own give advice on my Facebook Group Page.

Q: Our fenced backyard is a wasteland. We let our dogs have the run of it, so we have basically no landscaping there. The front yard has good curb appeal. What can I do?

A: There really isn't much you can do, is there? Fencing a portion of the yard would cost money, look less than satisfactory, and probably make your dogs unhappy.

Replacing your fencing with invisible fencing would also cost money, and necessitate landscaping the backyard.  

I'd make sure the landscaped areas around your home that are outside the "dog run" look really pretty.

With luck, you'll find a buyer who wants a backyard that's low maintenance and dog-friendly.

Q: Are twin beds okay in a guest bedroom, or should I stage it with a queen bed?

A: If you have only two bedrooms, I would stage both with a queen or double bed. But if you have three bedrooms, I'd stage the third with twin beds. If the third room is small, even a single or a sleeper would be fine.

Also, let your budget be your guide. Don't go out and buy beds you don't want or need.


Q: Should I change the bathroom faucets in my home? They are gold. They work well but I know they aren't the latest style.

A: In my eBook, I recommend changing faucets and other hardware like hinges and doorknobs so that  metals match. Matched hardware makes a home look more like a new home.

The gold faucets will definitely date your home (unless they are actually sold brass and in an historic home). However, if you are on a tight budget, and the faucets are in great condition, and you're not replacing other outdated, fixed features such as 40-year old countertops and pink toilets, I'd let the gold faucets stay.

In other words, it depends on your home, how you've priced it, and the type of buyer you expect to attract.    
Faucets don't have to be expensive. And installing one can
be a DIY project. Photo: Tiek Built Homes.  

Q: When we stage our home, do we need to convert our home office back into a bedroom?

A: A home office is a definite perk. But homes for sale are listed according to how many bedrooms they have. So, if you reduce the number of bedrooms in your listing, you might as well reduce your price and the desirability of your home!

A room is a bedroom if it has a closet. My advice would be to stage your home office as a bedroom, but keep its office status as well. It's all in how you arrange the furniture. Either squeeze the office space down to just a desk and chair. Or squeeze the sleeping space down to a convertible sofa or sleeper chair.

Most bedrooms have space for a small office if you make the bed either a
day bed or sleeper sofa. Buyers see the flexibility of the space. Photo: BH&G.

Q: I plan to paint all three bedrooms in our home. Is it important to paint inside closets, too?

A: Good for you for giving your walls a facelift! Remember to keep those colors light and neutral.

Even though the job may sound daunting, I recommend painting closets. You may have already decluttered your bedroom closets. If not, painting is a great excuse to empty them, then discard or recycle or put into storage what's left.

The good news is that when you paint a closet you don't have to get too fussy about wall imperfections and such. You just want it to look bright and clean. For this reason, I always paint closets white rather than the color of the bedroom. Give the ceiling a fresh coat of white as well, and you'll be surprised what a difference it makes.

Do YOU have a question about staging your home for the real estate market? I'd like to hear it.

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