Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Staging a Period Room

A Realtor colleague recently asked for my help in staging a home that was filled with Victorian furniture. In this particular real estate market, period homes are almost nonexistent. Most homes in the area have been built in the last 25 years and the vast majority of the homes are less that 10 years old. 

Home sellers who have lovingly accumulated a collection of furniture for years can be emotionally attached to their decor. Distinguishing the difference between how a homeowner lives and what it takes to sell is critical. Homes with heavy period decor can appear dated, be distracting to buyers and can make it difficult for purchasers to project their own style. All of these factors - especially in a difficult buyers market - can exponentially increase the selling challenge.

There are two key components required in preparing a home with heavy period detail for sale.
  1. Understand that the changes required such as moving items to storage are not an indictment of the homeowners' taste or style. We all have things in our homes that we love that are simply "stuff" to someone else. The focus in home staging is making your home appealing to the largest number of buyers. That fact can strike lovers of period detail and making a home really vanilla and lacking in personality. In reality, it means bringing a fresh and up to date look that is widely appealing.
  2. Be prepared to make big changes. Storing a great deal of period furniture and renting more contemporary furnishings may be necessary. Paring down (or completely removing) period accessories will probably be a necessity.
Staying positive, doing your homework and keeping your focus on price and condition is critical for home sellers in this challenging housing market.

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