Are “Designer Touches” A Good Thing When It Comes To Selling?


I see lots of listings advertising “designer touches” throughout and more often than not, this is what I see. A beautiful home that has been exquisitely decorated all to the current owner’s personal taste. I see these same homes still on the market week after week and month after month. Why? Because they are too taste specific. Yes, the home is beautiful and well maintained and priced right. But the field of potential buyers has been limited to a narrow pool of people who happen to have the same taste as the owner and waiting for that buyer to appear. Everyone else walking in is thinking; “I have to paint, remove wallpaper, tear out the window treatments, etc. It’s too much work. I want move-in ready”.

This property is an excellent example of the difference between decorating a home to live in versus staging it to sell. It’s a 3 bedroom 3 1/2 bath Palm Desert, CA home that has been on the market for 15 months. The owner paid a hefty chunk of money to an interior designer to decorate the home to her personal taste. The owner is a lovely, lovely woman whom I very much liked and I know she spent a fortune on original artwork and the finest accessories and furniture.

Nearly every room in the home was painted pea soup green – yes, I said pea soup. The entryway, livingroom, dining room, family room, kitchen, hallway, office and one of the bathrooms including all the doors, baseboards and casings were all painted pea soup green. There was lots colorful artwork and bold accents of black and red and yes, more green. The family room was used as a dining room and the dining area was used as the (teeny tiny) family room. There was also furniture everywhere. Oh and I forgot to mention the entryway built-in and living room fireplace wall was painted in faux-suede charcoal.

In this case, buyers could not see past the pea-green, clutter and all furniture nor could they visualize changing out the dining room with the family room. Always keep in mind that 90% of the population cannot visualize so telling them they can just change it after they move in will be a huge deterrent to them making an offer.

After 15 months of watching other homes in the area sell and hearing how much everyone hated the color and that men especially hated the color, artwork and wee little family room, the owner decided to bring in a stager.

The property is being sold furnished so after the home owner took what she wanted, we changed all rooms back to their original functions, used what was left and after moving the sectional to the family room, brought in a new sofa and cocktail table, artwork, lighting and a few accessories.

Family Room Before Family Room After

Kitchen Before Kitchen After

Living Room Before Living Room After

Hallway Before Hallway After

And that is why sellers need stagers. We can neutralize your home and, still working with your existing belongings de-personalize your property making it move-in ready and appealing to a much wider field of potential buyers.

Note: If you have a client looking for a primary, secondary or vacation home in the California desert area or to see this property, please contact Debra Volmer of Windermere Realty at 760-597-9803.

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