How To (and Not to) Stage a Condo For Sale


Andrew and I have been looking for a permanent home again. More on that later (but if you are thinking of selling yours and live in the South End, Newton, Arlington or Winchester HIT ME UP).  What I have learned from going to open houses and looking at listings is this- people have really bad taste. I sound like a bitch, I know, but my GOD the things I see shock me!  But nothing really shocks me quite like seeing a $529,000, 925 square foot condo for sale with listing images like this… clearly, it’s being rented by some college kids, but if you are a realtor you clean this crap up! It’s why you get paid your percentage! Can you even believe they had the balls to not only post these but also call this ” a gorgeous unit”?!?!

P.S. For those who don’t live in Boston, yes, this is what half a million buys you.

Things to do to stage your house for photos and open houses:

– CLEAN UP! Get rid of knick knacks, magazines, mail, toys, anything little that clutters tabletops and bookcases.

– Limit the number of family photos displayed.  If you have a gallery wall up, that’s fine, you can leave it be.  But if you have 27 framed pictures on counters and dressers and the like put them away.  It is harder for people to picture themselves in your home if there are images of you everywhere.

-Fresh flowers do wonders for a space. Keep them clean and simple. A bunch of tulips here and there is enough- no overdone centerpieces.

– Burn candles or spray a fragrance- nothing turns me off like a musty smelling room.

– If you have already moved out, make sure everything is spotless, take out all nails/ picture hangers and patch holes and paint.  You want to give off the image of a fresh start, not like you grabbed to stuff and got the hell outta dodge.

If your house has been on the market with no bites for a while consider these ideas which might be a good investment:

– Repaint any rooms that have a polarizing color in them (bright red, blue, pink, black, whatever).  It’s amazing how many people see a room color they don’t like and it makes the whole space seem “not right”. Pick a very neutral color like Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan or Edgecomb Grey.

– Throw down some cheap and neutral sisal rugs in place of worn or busy patterned rugs that people may not like. The solid serene color will make the space seem bigger and calmer.

– Neutralize kid spaces for those who may not have kids or have kids of another gender or age.

– Curb appeal is everything- make sure you have mowed the lawn, pruned the hedges, cleaned the gutters, patched any paint and swept stairs/patios/etc.

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