If your home’s For Sale sign is becoming a fixture, still there in this red-hot spring real estate market, you might be doing something wrong. Staging is what designers do to give a home maximum eye appeal. Ave Bradley, Kimpton Hotels’ vice president of design, is responsible for creating welcoming atmospheres that appeal to a wide group of people, which is exactly the effect a home seller wants. “The important thing is to create a space that’s warm and inviting, a place people want to linger,” says Bradley.
She tells us how to get our home ready for prospective buyers.
Bag the clutter … and the laundry
“Never underestimate the impact of clutter. A room that’s clean and well organized is more inviting. Also, I don’t want to see the remnants of someone else’s life. I don’t want to see their toothbrush, or their bra on a sofa! Throw everything in a trash bag and put it in a cabinet.”
Say it with flowers, not food
“Nothing is more welcoming than flowers. I like to see a big, vibrant, fresh flower arrangement. Put one in the bathroom and the living room. I see people offering these extravagant food spreads. It’s just not necessary. Also, be careful about cooking smells like bacon or fish. People want to smell lemon or lavender when they walk in, not pizza.”
Paint walls a neutral color
“In older Victorian- or Spanish-style homes, strong colors work. For most modern homes, a neutral but warm scheme is best: taupe, celadon green, white. The same goes for furniture. The bigger and bolder, the fewer people can relate. It increases the sale chances if a room’s colors are quiet and people can imagine their lives there.”
Bring on sunshine and smiles
“It’s important to get the right broker with a welcoming attitude. When you walk in, you don’t want to see a selling agent who’s arrogant. And open up drapery — there’s nothing more off-putting than walking into a place with the drapes drawn. It reminds people of sickness. Let the sunlight shine in.”