Are you using (or watching) a lot of Facebook Lives? I love to do them and watch them.
Last year I was interviewed by realtors Orlando Frade and Matthew Korman of Douglas Elliman. I hope you will take a listen – I give a lot of advice for sellers in this little Facebook Live video. Click the link below!
I can’t tell you how many times I have recommended painting and updating fireplace mantels in homes when a client is selling. Especially red brick fireplaces – when I mention it should be painted or updated, I get this “We think you are crazy Linda” look on my clients’ faces.
A vacant investor property that I staged (above) had the ugliest red brick fireplace – and someone (the investor or the investor’s painter) had the ridiculous idea of painting it even redder – making it worse!
It’s a little tough to tell in this pic – but the painter had painted over the red brick – and it wasn’t even a good job. Painting it white or off white would have been better! Adding the bluestone to it made it even more ridiculous and keeping the ugly brassy doors kept it looking too 70s.
Here’s an after shot, in the same angle. once the fireplace was redone and the furniture and accessories were placed in the room.
Adding the furniture, artwork and accessories really helped – but what an eyesore this fireplace would have been without adding the stacked stone!
NEWSFLASH – this home sold in a month! Plus – it had several other less than wonderful attributes…
- It was a little over-priced for the area
- There was a concrete backyard…no grass
- It wasn’t in the desirable school district (which was a block or two from it!)
- Neighbors have two yappy dogs which they let out way too often
Plus…a few other little things that I could enumerate. If they had left the fireplace “as is,” heaven knows how long it would have taken to sell! A fireplace mantel is the focal point of most living rooms and great rooms – you have to make sure it’s given its due by making it a special feature.
Before the investor relented and changed the brick to stacked stone – I had suggested a less expensive alternative – painting.
Here’s a before and after of my blog friend, Leslie Stocker’s, red brick fireplace…
What a huge difference!! By painting both the brick and the wooden mantel shelf – she updated her fireplace in a day. This is huge – not only for homeowners…but for home sellers on a budget. Notice she painted the brassy/gold parts of the fireplace door black, which updates it further. This needs to be done with heatproof paint. In my project, the door was spray painted with heatproof paint as well.
Another easy way to update your fireplace (when you don’t have a mantel!) is to just use a mantel shelf – and accessories.
This was another home staging project that I did over the summer – where the home seller had completely ignored having a fireplace at all. There was just a firebox in the wall – that’s it. So, I re-arranged her furniture, added a mantel shelf, art, accessories, an area rug, pillows etc – and now her living room looks like a wonderful place to sit down, relax and enjoy a cozy evening by the fire. You can see some before and afters and read more about that project here.
Home buyers are looking for their dream homes – you have to paint a picture for them. A fireplace is part of that dream for many prospective buyers, so if you have one…play it up…make it memorable. It will help you sell your house (even if you have some less desirable attributes!!
If you need help in making your fireplace look great, please contact me. I am a decorative artist also and have transformed many ugly features into beautiful designer pieces.
We staged this vacant home in Dix Hills in mid October of this year and it sold before the month was through.
Act 1: The homeseller was relocating and, at first, put the home on the market with his furnishings (very dated and the furniture arrangement left a lot to be desired). It didn’t sell.
What you notice first is the huge bench (and not the space) – and then your eyes would go to the dingy carpet in the living room. (see pics below for the “after” of the entryway).
Here is a before pic of the family room…
And here’s our “after” pic – making two seating areas and utilizing the focal point
Act 2: He then tried to sell it vacant but all that did was call attention to the dingy carpets (and the need to remove them!) and the need to repaint. Even though the homeseller had the carpets cleaned – it didn’t help at all…they were very soiled and worn.
The home looked the worse for wear without any furniture in it. The home had a great layout – and an incredible backyard – but all of those virtues were trumped by the dinginess and the home being vacant. Potential buyers could not “see” how they could live beautifully in this home.
Act 3: We staged it with beautiful furnishings and accessories – and we gave it a new lease on life. We convinced the homeseller that it was in his best interest to remove the dingy carpeting to show the hardwood flooring beneath. That brought more value to the home and gave it a lighter and cleaner appeal. It only took a day – what a difference.
We wanted the homeseller to repaint some of the rooms (the color on the first floor was a very, very pale violet) but that wasn’t in his budget. So – we avoided bringing in any yellow (which would have helped amplify the violet hued walls). When we were finished staging, the walls didn’t scream violet – they appeared more like a pale gray.
A few more pics…
If you have a home (or a listing) on the market that’s vacant, please consider staging it first. According to the National Association of Realtors, it takes twice as long to sell a vacant home. Don’t wait it out (plus a probable price reduction…or 2 or 3!). Stage it before you list it. It will always cost way less than the first price reduction.
Today’s buyers are hypercritical – if they can’t figure out how to place their furnishings because a home is vacant – they will take your home off their list…and make an offer on another.
My thanks to Janet Manno, Associate Broker and Relocation Director of Douglas Elliman for bringing me in to help this home get sold…and to Catherine Lindstadt, Associate Real Estate Broker of Douglas Elliman for doing a great marketing job.
Call me if you would like to learn more about vacant staging, staging consultations…and how to sell your home or listing faster.
PS – Want to see a vacant staging we did in Bohemia NY that sold in 1 Day? Another Douglas Elliman listing. To see the full listing go here