If you’ve walked through a crisp, clean home for sale and wondered "why doesn’t my house look like that," usually the owners had nothing to do with it. House stagers or house fluffers are increasingly called in to do some creative editing to homes before they hit market. Homes that are staged typically sell 75% faster and usually for 3%-6% higher than the asking price. When I decided to swap my Baristaville home for another (after only living here just one year!), I was too exhausted with financials/packing to even think about getting my house in ship shape for sale. Instead, I called in an expert, whose work I had seen and admired before at various open houses. Linda Russell, the brains behind House Dressing, has the added experience of being a realtor. Her staging work has been featured on TV for good reason: she’s seen countless homes for sale and her experience adds to her innate knack for pairing down homes, strategically arranging furniture and adding decorative accents to make each room look its very best. In fact, after I invited folks over to see the "after", everyone asked if I was going to use Russell to help me make sense of my new home, a service she can also provide.
When the sale was done and the contracts signed, Russell and company returned and like Cinderella at midnight, my home and all its pretty new trappings were removed. To their credit — things like furniture placement and other style improvements are lasting ones; Russell’s team just takes away what they’ve brought in to dress the place up (mirrors, prints, window treatments). Post-staging, I look at my furniture/possessions with a fresh perspective and I’m also armed with good ideas to use in my new home. For instance, I look in my own backyard for fresh flowers (who knew those tiny white blooms on Japanese andromeda could be so elegant) rather than run to the store. I also think about what people see when they first walk into a room, rather than try to cram as much furniture in as I possibly can. And yes, my house did sell for over asking. For more information on House Dressing, contact Russell at 973 626-6343.– Liz George