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Staging: The art of distraction

Posted by Rona Fischman  July 6, 2007 11:56 AM

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Robert Bruss tells sellers to improve the look of their home before putting it up for sale. Gee, there’s a concept! People would rather buy a clean, bright house instead of a dark, dirty one. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Not so, dear buyers! The dirty one is likely to be cheaper. The elbow grease or even industrial cleaners cost less than the inflated price tag on the staged home.

So buyers, when is a staged house the one you should buy? When it is the right house. Just like the dirt and dark can distract you from structural or functional problems, so can beautiful staging. Whether the house is staged or not, pay attention to what you need and the way you live. Will this house look as nice with your stuff in it? Do you need curtains for privacy that are not there now? Is the bedroom big enough for the two dressers you use, not just the single one there now? Do your kids put their toys away every day?

Sellers, I cannot tell you how many of my buyers walk into a staged house and say “it will never look like that if I lived here.” Too much distraction is bad, whether it is dirt or beauty.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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