Archive for June, 2011
We’ve heard it a thousand times – home is where the heart is. And it’s true. But as we also know, it’s so much more.
Our homes are where we experience some of the most profound and the most mundane moments of our lives. It’s where our babies take their first steps and where we wander about in ratty robes with sleep crinkles on our cheeks in the morning. It’s where we feel free to laugh at our own ridiculousness, yell at the people we love, cry with abandon into our pillows.
It’s our retreat from the world and in many ways, our expression of who we are to the world. There seems to be some intrinsic desire in most of us to decorate our homes, to create spaces that feel comfortable or elegant, energizing or relaxing, depending on who we are, and sometimes, who we want to impress.
I believe that it’s in our homes that we connect with the world of art. Yes, we can go to museums and galleries and look at art. We can admire it, be moved by it. But that art doesn’t become a part of our lives. It’s with the art in our homes that we truly connect. The art we live with daily, whether it’s a print from Pottery Barn, a child’s drawing or a painting that hung in grandma’s dining room, is the art that matters to us.
And if we could be a part of the creation of that art, how much more meaningful would that be? Well, we can. Most artists will do custom art, or commissions as they’re called in the art world, at a cost comparable to purchasing a painting off the gallery wall. Not to mention, collaborating with an artist to come up with the perfect piece for your home is much more fun than a trip to Cost Plus.
Helping people purchase a home and watching them feather their nest, so to speak, is one of the things I love most about being in real estate. And in San Francisco, the variety of homes and the creativity of the people who inhabit them is endlessly fascinating.
And because I’m such a believer in both home and art, I’ve partnered with well-known San Francisco artist, Jay Mercado, to present “The Artful Space, A Celebratory Salon Where Art Meets Home.” It’s being held Thursday, June 30, from 6-9 p.m. at Jay’s studio, 4754 California at 10th Ave. Of course there will be wine and nibbles, but there will also talk of art and collaboration, of home and creativity. And should the topic come up, you know I’m always into a chat about real estate. RSVP at http://artmeetshome.eventbrite.com and check out some of Jay’s work at www.jaymercado.com
It takes mere seconds for buyers to decide whether or not they like your home. Almost everything after that is simply justifying their initial first impression.
Hence all the discussions agents have with their sellers about curb appeal and staging, and why they do things like bake cookies during open houses. It makes a difference.
Sellers often balk at some of the things agents suggest they do to their home to prepare it for sale. Remodeling a bathroom, changing landscaping, swapping out appliances, painting inside and out – that can run into multiple thousands of dollars. You may not be able, or willing, to spend that much.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t many things you can do to improve your home prior to putting it on the market. Cleaning your home until it’s spotless is the easiest and most obvious. Getting rid of clutter and editing your belongings, putting everything that isn’t absolutely essential into storage and making minor repairs to anything that’s broken are also, in my opinion, must-dos.
Once all that is done, it’s time to consider staging. Staging can range from the complete furnishing of a vacant home to simply rearranging your own belongings to show off the features of the home more readily. And that’s what staging is about – showing off the home. It’s about allowing the buyers to see the best your home has to offer and to be able to imagine themselves living there. A buyer shouldn’t walk into your home and have their attention immediately grabbed by your stuff. You aren’t selling your stuff; you’re selling your home.
To get more ideas for staging your home, please come to the staging seminar I’m hosting this Saturday, June 11, with stager Peggy Hughes of PHA/Peggy Hughes and Associates. It will be from 10 – 11 a.m. at the Paragon office on 1400 Van Ness Avenue. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.609.9496 to RSVP.