Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Colorful Mistake!

I received a call from a nice gentleman seeking a home staging consultation on his property here in Northeast Florida.  In order to prepare myself, I decided to take a look at the property before meeting with my potential customer.  As I drove down the street, suddenly a burst of orange creamsickle color brightened the horizon.  " No.  This can't be the house,"  I said to myself.   As I stepped out of my car, I was still in amazement.  What was the owner thinking?  This color was definitely overkill to put it mildly.  I noticed a workman in the house and approached him to see if I could take a look inside.  Much to my surprise, the inside was beautiful. The owner had really cleaned up the property, painted it a nice neutral color, installed beautiful Pergo-type flooring and thick carpeting, and installed all new light fixtures.  I was really impressed with the interior.  As an experienced  professional home stager, I would have no trouble enhancing the inside. My problem would be how to get prospective buyers past the orange-colored facade. I completed my tour and noted my plans for marketing the property. 

About a week later, I met with the owner of this vacant home and informed him that while I was very impressed with what he had done inside the home, I was a "bit" concerned with the exterior color.  He could not understand my concern, thinking he had selected a beautiful tropical Florida color and if a buyer was so narrow-minded about the color, he should keep driving.  Obviously, I had hit a sensitive note! I responded by telling him that I am also a lover of color but selling a home is not about a seller's paint color affinities; it's about what a potential buyer would like.  I gave him some beautiful color options and emphasized that 90% of buyers like neutral colors in their homes and that if he expected to sell the home, he would have to repaint it.  All the staging in the world would not help this house unless he did so.  I was  brutally honest and I know he did not want to hear that, but as a professional, I had to do it.  Needless to say, I didn't get a contract to stage this home.  He is interviewing a few other stagers before he decides.

My point in telling you this story is to reiterate how important it is to work with a professional home stager before you decide on improvements to a home for sale.  Part of our job is to prevent homeowners from making expensive mistakes.  We are constantly educating ourselves on color and design trends both for staging and for redesign purposes.  If my friend does not paint the outside of his house, it will sit on the market for months and grow stale causing him to reduce the price.  As you all know,  paint color is one of the most important features of a home when trying to sell it.  It sets the mood for the entire home.  If you know anyone who is thinking about selling a home, please suggest that they contact a certified home stager to prepare the home for sale before the property is listed.  87% of buyers find their homes on the Internet. If the pictures are not beautiful, they will scroll down to another property listing and not even consider that home.  A seller only has one opportunity to make that first great impression.  Hiring a professional home stager as part of a  marketing plan to sell a home makes "cents"!

~ "A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart!" ~ Confucius


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