HeartWork Organizing

Helping you find peace and purpose through organization and design

Why Remove Pictures when Staging March 27, 2012

Filed under: Staging — HeartWork Organizing @ 2:00 pm
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Removing personal pictures from your home is one of the first and easiest things you’ll do when staging your home for sale.  There are three reasons you want to remove personal pictures from your home when it’s on the market.

1.  You want to leave room for the buyer to imagine their family, not yours, in the home.  First impressions happen very quickly, and it’s just easier for a potential buyer not to have to erase an image of your family so they can picture themselves at home.  Only about 10-20% of buyers can imagine the changes they want to make to your home.  Don’t stress the other 80% who can’t.

2.  Buyers love to wander over to your wall or table of family pictures to see if they know you.  It’s only human; we want to connect.  They’ll want to see if they know you from high school, if you look like them, or if your kids are about the same age as their kids.  Any time they spend trying to make these connections with you, they aren’t making the connection with the house, which is exactly what you need to have happen.

3.  It’s just prudent to safeguard your family.  Buyers are strangers, after all, and there is no reason that you need to let strangers know how old your kids are, what activities they participate in, and what your family likes to do in your free time.

Most sellers don’t want to remove family photos because they think that means removing the frames and necessitating a new paint job.  Not so.  One easy trick is to replace family photos with landscape art that goes with your decor.  In this shot, you can see that the homeowner doctored  a family hallway montage, and now it features some peaceful seaside shots.  Still pretty, still framed, but now something that draws you through the space to the next beautiful room, instead of slowing you down in the short hallway.

easy staging tips

If your home is on the market, and you haven’t yet taken down or swapped the family photos, what are you waiting for?


How to Get the WOW Factor in Just One Day July 30, 2011

Filed under: One Day Interior Redesigns — HeartWork Organizing @ 8:03 pm
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Color.  Need I say more?  Just a little.  Just the right values.  Just the ones that will highlight the stuff you already own.  Improve the lighting.  And a little shimmer never hurts.  See for yourself.




Same furniture.  Same rug.  A whole new attitude.  If the entry into your home isn’t saying wow, please call me. We can help.


Stage, Sell, Save the Window Treatments March 25, 2011

Filed under: Staging — HeartWork Organizing @ 8:10 pm
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You might wonder if there is a rule about window treatments when selling a home.  The first time was involved with someone selling their home (I was 16), the seller told me point blank that it is expected that the window treatments go with the old home.  Not so fast. There is no hard and fast rule, in fact.

Plan on leaving the window treatments if:

  • They are hard wired and custom-fabricated hard treatments (such as plantation shutters), but be sure to include them in the listing description as features of the home.  Custom fabric treatments never have quite the resale value we’d like them to have, since they are usually taste-specific and can be outdated in just a few short years.
  • You no longer like the style or you are planning on replacing most of your furnishings in your new home.
  • You have a comfortable budget to bring new window treatments in to the new home.
  • You don’t have skills or time to uninstall and then reinstall them in your new home.
  • The home might sit vacant for sale, and would look uncared for if the windows were bare.

On the other hand, consider taking the window treatments with you if:

  • You have a very limited budget for new window coverings, and think that you might be able to re-use some of the window treatments.  Even many honeycomb shades can be rehung in a new home, but be sure to keep the original brackets and screws taped securely to the blinds in transit.  You may not use all the blinds, but you might be able to outside-mount a blind that was previously mounted inside the frame, for instance.  
  • You will be keeping most of your furnishings and accessories in the new home, which means your window treatments will likely coordinate with the look.
  • You no longer love the fabric, but you still like the hardware (which can often be as expensive or more so than the fabric).
  • You know the house will not be sitting vacant.
  • The styles and fabrics are current enough to be used in other places in your new home.  Floor length window panels, which are the trend today, can often be redeployed in many rooms in a new home.  They can be even be updated with embellishments to fit in with alternate decor.
  • And perhaps most importantly, consider excluding the window treatments in your listing, even if you have no real desire to take them with you.  This gives you an easy negotiating point with the buyers.  Many buyers today are asking for multiple, even sometimes outrageous, conditions to close a deal.  Sometimes these conditions are presented even after a “final” agreement has been reached, but before closing.  If you exclude the window treatments and the buyer demands them, you can easily offer them up and appear as accommodating as possible.

Whatever you decide to do, be clear about the window treatments in your initial listing to promote a good relationship with agents and buyers.