When Is A House Not A Home?

As Soon As A Homes Goes To Market

It Becomes A House


The minute you consider placing your home on the market is when it needs to become a house again.  It was just a house when you purchased or built it.  It was a business transaction, and a very important one in your life.  After the purchase is when this mere piece of architecture became your home, filled to the brim with your memories and your personalities.  When you decide to pass this house onto someone else, you must look at it as a business transaction, a very large one that you want to be successful.  You are not selling your memories.  Your memories will go with you. 

Smart business people are pros at choosing and hiring the best associates to assure a transaction is successful.  When selling a home, the right real estate professional is essential.  Most Realtors have a pretty standard list of the basic things that need to be done to ready your property for sale.  The best agents have complete teams to plan and implement strategies to make your property rise to the top of the current offerings.  Interior designers are a big part of this team.  Experienced agents, and designers alike, have seen properties that move quickly and others that linger.

Real Estate Agent With One Hand Tied Behind Their Back
Don’t Hinder Your Team Leader When Selling Your House


Friday Favorites

With so many of our clients, and our agents clients, preparing homes to market this spring we thought we’d also do some updating.  This past favorite post had “good bones” and was ready for some new photo examples.


Little Black Domicile - The Perfect LBD For Your Home!

Preparing A Home For Sale

Curb Appeal.jpg

Curb Appeal-This is not a time to assume beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Please don’t ignore the suggestions to update overgrown landscape, apply fresh paint, and insure roofing and gutters are in pristine order.  Create a welcoming entrance with seasonal plantings that you keep in top condition.  We have to get the buyers to come into the house.  Which house is more inviting to you?


Decor and Maintenance –  If your home is updated and well maintained you are ready to go to market.  If not, you may be hoping that an agent is going to come in and tell you that you don’t have to make any repairs or updates.  However, if you are serious about selling a home that needs updating, then you have the wrong agent.  Updates needed are sometimes obvious, other times favorable updates may not be as clear.  This is the time to trust the professionals you are working with.

If You Think Your Taste Is “Too Personal” It Is

Personal Decor – Is your decor too personal in taste?  This can be true even when things are done to perfection.  Designer Mark Hampton, and Valentino certainly know what good design is about.  However, remembering that the goal is to appeal to as many tastes as possible, means at times even a well designed decor needs tweaking.   We’ve had buyers walk away in despair because they don’t think a house will work with the level of decor and furnishings it has now.  A few changes can make most rooms resonate better with buyers.

Again here are three examples of wonderful decor that has been personalized for “you”.  Interior design that is current shows better in online marketing and to the buyers that are intrigued enough to put your property on the must see list.

The Too Generic Decor When Marketing A Home


If your decor looks like a furniture store display we need to liven it up.  Houses that look lived in sell.  We don’t live in stores!

Staged To Sell

Staging can be too much or too little.  The best “staged” properties use your furnishings, simply arranged to highlight all the amenities of your structure.  Working with a good stager, your agent will have a “styled” property to market.

Over Staged And Too “Matchy”.

Copy of 154X4788.jpg

Under Furnished Spaces And Bad Photos Turn Buyers Away

Empty rooms are better than feeling like you are up next at a poorly decorated doctors office.  One chair with no arms is super inviting don’t you think?  A designer will be honest with you about spending some, but not more money than you have to, in regards to staging.


All Size Spaces Can Be Styled

The right combination of a progressive real estate agent, and an innovative designer, will create a decor that attracts the buyers….no matter what size the property.

AD Bedroom with Sofa
Architectural Digest

Updated Kitchens Are Important

Kitchens have to be updated.  This is the one room you can spend a moderate amount of money on to get the best investment return.  Be careful when choosing who you will use to help you plan the updates so you do not spend more than you have to.  See our previous post on kitchens…if it does not wow you it will not wow the buyers either.  They will move on to your neighbors that is updated.

See our recent post about this very kind of kitchen here.


desjar interiors paint-kitchen-cabinets-before-and-after-makeover

Common Sense Items Not To Be Overlooked When Showing A House To Sell

Below is the standard list any agent will give you.  These are all good points and the very minimum you should do if you do not want buyers walking right back out the door.

  • Remove Clutter – You don’t need us to tell you to do this.  You know you have to.  You are going to have to pack it or toss it before you move anyway, so go ahead and get it done.
  • Pet Control – Anything that looks like or smells like you have a pet needs to be addressed.  Period.  This may seem harsh but put yourself in buyer mode.  Are you anxious to buy a home where the dog/cat has destroyed something?  Didn’t think so.  Have a plan for pets when showings happen.
  • Clean- up, clean-out and clean some more. – Not just surface cleaning.  Good old-fashioned spring cleaning.  The more you clean the less you will have to spend on updates.  Funny how that works!
  • Paint – Touch up as needed and make sure paints blend.  Paints age and no one wants to see a spotted design. It goes without saying that colors need to be what is selling at the time.  Another good time to hire the designer.  Know what the smell of money is…it’s fresh paint.

The Garbo Exception


Unless you are the late Greta Garbo, whose abode above recently went to market in New York and has not been touched since the 60’s, you will want to keep reading the few extra tips from us.  These are the things our clients want when looking for a new house to make their home.


Family Entry Wall Hooks, Wellies, Umbrellas, Wool Throws, Soft Creamy White Walls, Hooks On Boards
White Simple Desk with File, Adjustable White Wall Shelves Over Desk, Swivel Black Desk Chair, Desk Task Lamp, Bulletin Boards, Pencil Cups

Things don’t have to be fancy or expensive, but areas need to be defined as to how they can be used to make their life easier.  Carving out small spaces with high function return more than the cost of the project.



Long Wood Farmhouse Table, French Bistro Chairs, White Pendant Lighting, Windows With Transoms, Natural Washed Wood Wide Plank Floors
Luxe Interactive Design
Soft Blue Walls, Light Filled Breakfast Nook, Modern Molded White Chairs, Wood Table with White Iron Base, Navy Blue Chair Cushions
Farmhouse Dining Room with Moody Blue Wood Plank Walls, Rustic Distressed Farm Table, Black Wood Rattan Chairs with Exposed Natural Maple Legs, Woven Market Baskets
Canadian Home

No matter what your decor is, remember it is part of your personality and going with you.  Our clients want to see perfect windows…clean, painted and unobstructed.


Butcher Block Counter Top, White Porcelain Farmhouse Sink, Beveled 3x6 Subway Tile with Light Gray Grout, Single Arm Chrome Faucet with White China Handle

There is a simple rule you can apply to updating your architecture.  If you would not have it in your new home then chances are neither will your buyers.  By the best you can afford.  Working with a designer will not mean you will be buying the most expensive choice.  It means you will be putting the dollar where it has the most impact…ultimately back in your wallet.


White Walls, Dual Windows with Transoms, Dual White Painted Radiators, Gallery Wall Art, Window Seal Plants, Mixed Vintage Wood Chairs, White Breakfast Nook Table
Coca Lapine

Styling a house provides balance; shows off the assets while minimizing the not so desirable elements.  Nine times out of ten, after we work our magic in a house, the owners wish they had used us years ago to make things so much more functional and appealing.  We often are hired to help the sellers settle into their new homes.  The best real estate agents also have the best designers a text away and can assist buyers and sellers rather quickly.  Wondering why we do not get that 10th owner?  They hired the wrong agent and don’t know all the benefits of using an interior designer when it’s time to go to market.

LBD Magazine January 2018 Staging vs Stying..Do We Know The Difference?

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