Are you familiar with the children’s book series “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” or “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late” by author and illustrator Mo Willems? If not, in a nutshell it’s about a pigeon who wants to do things he can’t and he’s VERY persistent about either driving the bus or eating a hot dog etc. etc. It’s pretty funny.
Well, as a designer and home stager, I’m thinking about calling Mo and asking him to write a parody called, “Don’t Let the Pigeon Stage the House!”
If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, you’ll need to put your best foot forward. Don’t be that pigeon who’s so excited to list your house that you toss “Aunt Vivies” portrait onto the mudroom wall because the entry looks empty now that all the coats are actually hung in the closet!
In addition to calling in some help, i.e., a professional home stager like MOI, here are some initial things to consider when getting your home ready to sell:
1. The exterior of your home is the first impression you’ll make on prospective buyers, so take some time to walk around the outside of your house and spruce things up. (You may need snow shoes if you live in New England thanks to yet another storm!) Straighten the mailbox, rid the house of peeling paint, fix those cracked steps as well as the bent railing and hammer out the dents in the garage doors. Sweep the steps, mow the lawn and trim back those tall hedges. Consider adding a door knocker to the front door, a new indoor/outdoor rug for guests to wipe their feet and place some flowers in tall urns to flag the doorway.
If you let the Pigeon take control, you may be faced with this, which is NOT everyone’s idea of a Gentleman’s Farm!
DRESSING THE ENTRY WALLS
Now that you’re home is picked up both inside and out, as well as SUPER organized (toys and dishes are put away, the laundry is done or at least tucked away, food is in the pantry, kitchen & bathroom counters are cleared off etc.), you decide to put some art on the wall. The Pigeon says, “Honey, what do you think about making a family collage on the entry wall? That’ll look great, don’t you think??? Honey? How about it? Do you hear me because I think it’ll be great!!!”
Let me tell you, DON’T PUT PERSONAL ITEMS ON THE WALL! People are nosy and instead of looking at that spectacular molding throughout the house or that spacious closet you’ve so perfectly used and organized, we humans will be staring at your photos wondering if we know you!
Instead, see how else you could decorate while making the space useful. If you have a formal entry, place a console table along the wall and add some fresh flowers, hang a mirror over the table, offer a chair and/or stool to sit on to take shoes off and don’t forget some interesting lighting. All together, this helps prospective buyers get a sense of what it would be like to invite guests to this new home.
If there’s a mudroom entrance, useful doesn’t mean dowdy. Add some coat hooks, baskets to help organize (especially helpful on those busy mornings when a last minute showing takes place), a cool piece of art or bright colored throw pillows and a new rug. You can tell the space is busy, but it’s organized and offers a welcoming vibe. Take a look at this.
The key to getting your house “sale” ready is really to create a warm welcome and show prospective buyers how well kept your home has been. You should showcase organized storage areas (everyone has stuff!) and decorate the rooms for which they were originally designed (dining area is for eating, not a playroom, bedrooms are for rest not working out).
In addition to professionally staging the home, one of the most helpful tools Spaces by LLG offers is a binder of “after” photos, which makes preparing for showings much simpler. It’s a great reference tool and is especially helpful because even children (young, tween, teens) can look at photos to see what the room should look like and then help prepare for the showing while you’re making school lunch!
First impressions matter the most when trying to be competitive in the real estate market, so take the time to properly stage your home BEFORE it hits the market. Spaces by LLG’s record proves that a staged home paired with a reasonable market price and realtors who hustle, will reduce the number of days on the market…maybe to one if you’re lucky! Don’t doubt it…it just happened for us! Enjoy the journey and LOVE YOUR SPACE! LG