Archive for February, 2008

The Kids Room – Buyers Will Want to See the Floor (Part 2)

February 18, 2008

Previously, we focused on a staging a child’s room. The focus there was to manage the toys and remove unnecessary furniture to make the room appear larger. A child’s room is easier to stage than a teen’s because we have more influence over a child. With a teen, the objectives are the same – clear the clutter and open the room up – but the tactics are different.

Make sure the teen understands what is happening and why. They many not want to move; they may actually resist moving and work against the seller’s efforts to keep the home presentable. Moving is probably the most traumatic event they have experienced. As a parent, the seller must create a win-win environment.

At the risk of getting into the realm of parenting, I am going to suggest a technique that will help get the teen on to the “let’s sell the house” team. My suggestion is quite simple – bribe them! Teens can always use some extra money, so lets use that to our advantage. Another suggestion is to accommodate their need for an individualized space without scaring off buyers.

Let’s talk about the financial incentive first. The teen must understand that their room must be kept clean and neat. One idea is for the parent give the teen an amount of money each week. It is their money, but they cannot spend it until the end of the week. Check their room each day. If the room is not clean, the teen must pay back one-seventh of the week’s incentive.

The biggest issue for a teen room tends to be clothes. Clothes everywhere, except where they should be. First, get anything out of season stored away. Second, place extra shoes in a box in the garage. And third, if the teen has a collection (CDs, baseball cards, dog collars, whatever) it needs to be stowed away.

If the room needs paint, paint it, but here is one area where the seller may be able to compromise with the teen if there is an issue with repainting, as the current paint color may have been a very personal choice. Neutralize the paint color on all the walls except one. On one wall, paint with chalkboard paint. This black paint allows the teen to draw whatever they want on the wall, erase it and do something different next week. It is a great outlet for personal expression and the single wall can easily be repainted. Potential buyers may actually like it!

If this is not a viable option, consider allowing the teen to choose the color of the fourth wall (within reason), or allow them to choose the paint color and accessories for their room in the new house. This will give them something to plan and look forward to, as well as feel involved in the selling/moving process. When preparing your home for sale, getting your teen on your side may not be easy, but it pays huge dividends in the long run.

All the best!

Monica

703-851-2690

Preferred Staging

the art of home preparation

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The Kids Room – Buyers Will Want to See the Floor (Part 1)

February 5, 2008

Part 1 of staging a child’s room focuses on homes with small children. The solutions here are very different than those of a teen room. A small child’s room needs to convey joy, order and achievement without overwhelming potential buyers with clutter, cartoon characters, princess themes or football motifs. The children typically have the smallest rooms in the home, so creating the impression of space is vital.

As usual, the walls of the room is a main focus. Remove any boarders or stuck on wall art. Tone down the paint and make sure the ceiling is painted flat white. Most children’s rooms do require a fresh coat of paint and a good carpet cleaning. Go with white or an off white on the walls. Painting pink or blue gives you a 50/50 chance of being correct in any one room. In this market, not very good odds.

A child’s room should have no more than 4 pieces of furniture. 1) a bed – put the smallest bed in the smallest room, 2) a dresser – make sure the top remains free of clutter, 3) a small bookcase about 2/3rds full – buyers equate reading with a happy home, 4) a night stand with lamp. Any more furniture, and a small room will become very cramped.

Place the bed against a solid wall, not against windows (this is not just staging, but a safety recommendation – during bed-jumping sessions, a window is a hazard). In a child’s room, it is fine to have the bed pushed lengthwise against the wall, just make sure the bed can be made without straining. The bookshelf should be adjacent to the bed. Across the room is the dresser.

Add a mirror over the dresser, a few posters, and some small fluffy pillows to the bed. Add some stuffed animals to the bed and the top of the bookshelf.

Reston VA bedroom before staging Reston VA bedroom staged

What to do about toys! Well, that’s a hard one, but our favorite strategy is to obtain 3 to 6 large storage containers with lids. Place them in the room and have the child divide their toys between the containers, keeping their security items separate. Place the containers in the closet or in some other storage area. The child can only have access to one container at a time. This keeps all the toys accessible to avoid any sense of loss on the part of the child, while keeping the available toys to a manageable level.

Next week, we tackle the teen’s room.

All the best!

Monica

703-851-2690

Preferred Staging

the art of home preparation