And does the architecture of the house really matter when homeowners and stagers aer supposed to produce something generic, hoping to make the home appeal to as many potential buyers as possible?
Does anyone really know the difference between a Queen Anne and a Victorian? Mission/Priarie vs. Arts & Crafts? And my pet peeve – Tudor vs. Stick? Surely the bottom line is – “So what if the home is Second Empire – the kitchen’s a wreck and the bathrooms haven’t been touched since the 60s!”
It does matter. If you decorate a Tuscan villa (aka Neo-Mediterranean) with big heavy, intricately carved oak country pieces your buyers cannot see, let alone FEEL, the space, the archways, the detailing, the proportions, the innate beauty and warmth the builder created. You’re leaving money on the table.
The way to get the most value out of any home, i.e. to truly appreciate your home, is to
1. Identify what you’ve got
2. Acknowledge and look after it appropriately
3. Add value in a congruent, harmonious way when you take it to market.
I mean, appreciate in the sense of acknowledging it, i.e. being happy and grateful that you own it, and appreciate it in the context of adding to its value. Maintaining the home and keeping in step with the times is a major part of appreciation – just the same way one updates one’s wardrobe, car, TV. The other part of appreciation is the room-by-room steps you take when the home is being offered for sale, to maximize every opportunity.
Knowing what your house is, does not mean you have to “keep” everything authentic. No-one wants a kitchen from the reign of Henry VIII! I am no longer the purist I was. There are always choices – in decor, in upgrades, in styling. You will have more success with a home if you stay within style. Simply put, a Victorian (or indeed anything “picturesque”) will look better with more curly, circular shapes and richly textured layering than a Mission-style home; a Tudor looks best with square, symmetrical styling (and lots of large floral patterns, brocade, bouillon fringe etc.) and Arts and Crafts looks best with simple, linear stuff. While one might feel obliged to do an Arts and Crafts in all Stickley furniture, I don’t think you need to be so literal. However, you should choose something simple, with strong lines.
Architecture is regional. (We know this; presumably because of climate.) If my readers would pardon an enormous license, I would group the architecture of the Northeast and Mid-lantic part of this country into 7 broad categories. This then would guide me (and does in my staging business) as to the style best suited for every house, therein creating a congruent, harmonious, cohesive home that will yield maximum money when sold.
My 7 categories are:
Each category gives you
an overall feeling – be it simplicity or multi-layered complexity, sophistication vs. plainness, calm vs. excitement a certain look – in terms of color, line and texture and a guideline on symmetry. Then and only then do I go generic, always looking to widen the home’s constituency of buyers.
Identify what you’ve got, and let that guide your appreciation accordingly.
And now I’d like to invite you to pick up your free copy of my Seasonal Showing Tips for Home Sellers at [http://www.JulietJohnsonStaging.com/tips] where you will learn how to use all that we associate with each season to reach buyers on an emotional level. Private Party in cartagena beaches