Here we go again!
I was reviewing the New York Times weekly online feature, “On the Market in New York City” showing apartments for sale, as I always do each weekend, and once again found many examples of how these listings can benefit greatly by some expert and professional home staging advice.
I know we have all probably seen worse photos of homes for sale, but after all, these are featured properties in the Sunday New York Times!
Here is what I, a professional home stager, have to say:
The artwork in this kitchen (below) is so HUGE, both in terms of the size of the piece of art as well as its subject, a pair of hands, that a buyer’s eyes will immediately go towards it, rather than the kitchen. This is such a huge distraction.
Also, the counters have too much clutter: Pare down the knickknacks on the counter under the art, and limit counter appliances to no more than three.
Come to think of it, an updated dining set and lighting fixture would also help.
Continuing with this same apartment, this living room (below) could certainly benefit from removing the easy chair. It’s unnecessary and is crowding the room and impinging on the kitchen, never mind the fact that it’s unattractive. Also, place the area rug under the front legs of the sofa, not floating under the coffee table.
It’s best to keep exercise equipment out of the bedroom (below). In this case, it’s blocking the closet and tells the buyer there’s not enough room for anything in this apartment.
Also the messy and overstuffed bookcases are distracting buyers from the great view! And as all home stagers know, it wouldn’t hurt to invest in some nice bedding and throw pillows to make a buyer envision themselves relaxing on this luxurious bed, taking in the view.
And finishing up our analysis of this same apartment, what room is this? A study? Excercise room? Den? Guest room? One cannot tell. Each room should have one purpose and one purpose only so as not to confuse the buyer or send the buyer the message that the apartment is so small that four functions need to be shoved into one room.
Moving onto the next apartment for sale, a duplex in Brooklyn. I am sure this is a very nice home, but without any staging, it is not shown to its fullest potential.
For example, the living/dining room (below) photo shows a high chair in it. Not only is this unattractive, but homes for sale must appeal to the broadest range of buyers so that they all can envision living there. A childless older couple or a single person cannot picture themselves living in an apartment that screams “A family lives here!”.
Also, the fans on the console and across the room (lower right corner) tell the buyer this apartment must have air circulation issues, or worse, is hot.
Moving onto the bedroom. Keeping the crib in the master bedroom (below) tells a potential buyer with children that there’s not enough room for them in this apartment. It may be that the crib is in the bedroom because the parents want to be near their infant, but it should definitely not be shown in a photo, nor during an open house or viewing.
Also, I’m sure other home stagers would agree, this bedroom could benefit from the addition of a table lamp on the nightstand and a piece of art over the bed to warm things up.
Is that a play pen I see in the foyer (below)??!! This is totally unacceptable. Not only does a potential buyer stumble upon this when walking through the front door, they are also told “there is not enough room in this apartment for your baby’s things”.
When stepping out onto this patio (below), buyers should think “Aaah…I can’t wait to be sitting out here relaxing and reading my book or entertaining my friends”. While I know it’s winter, do we really need to see the collection of empty pots? These should be stored away and out of view. If possible, the furniture at the far right end should be brought here so it is the first thing the buyer sees.
And last but not least, I love the furniture in this living room (below), but it is too young and hip and colorful (red, blue, green, black, white) to appeal to the broad range of buyers. The red console and the zebra end table at the very least should be replaced with more neutral pieces, and the blue wall painted a more neutral color.
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