Active Rain January 12, 2009

Taking the Family Pictures Down is Lousy Staging

I will be the first to say that staging is important. A home should be tidy, well-kept, and laid out in an sensible way. There are lots of simple things people can do to raise their appeal- scented candles, clearing off kitchen counters, removing unneeded furniture, and TURNING ON THE LIGHTS (pet peeve of mine. Hard to show a dark house). Appearances and first impressions matter.

All that said, some agents take it a little too far. While holding a house open today I noticed that some walls were bare, with nails sticking out. I recalled a passing remark my client made about her old listing agent telling her to take down the family pictures so that buyers would have an easier time envisioning it as “their” house. This agent had the listing for a year and couldn’t get the job done. Why were they taking her (ahem) psycho-babble advice?

Some people overdo it; we’ve all walked through homes where the sellers have their mugs in every room, Mom’s portrait above the fireplace, and a family pictures everywhere as if they are afraid that they’ll forget what each other look like. Real vanity. This isn’t that kind of home. We aren’t talking 40 photos, we are talking 5 or 6.

Nothing sells like a happy home. And if a few tasteful wedding portraits and family photos are bad staging, we had better build an ark.