Before: Tight QuartersWhen Lisa and David Shoshan became parents, they realized that their townhouse would be snug for an expanding family. Now that son Felice is 1, they are more than ready to move on to a bigger place that is closer to Lisa's family.
After three months on the market without a single bite, they realize they need some expert guidance. That's where the Get It Sold team comes into play. Real estate agents, led by Mark Rutstein, and expert stager Sabrina Soto sign on to develop a plan that will really make this place shine for the open house. First order of business? The worn out façade. Also slated for change are the open main level, where toys and inappropriate furniture are taking over in the living room and adjoining dining room. The master bedroom will also get a facelift.
If a house isn't selling it's usually pricing or packaging, says real estate expert Mark Rutstein. In the Shoshans' case, the problem is definitely packaging. The living room is a prime example of poor packaging. The dark colors and crowded assortment of large, hand-me-down furniture makes the room look smaller than it is. The room is also littered with clutter and baby toys. Clutter eats up equity, so this space has got to be cleared. Same goes for the adjoining dining room (behind the rail). It's such a jumbled mess, it isn't clear whether it's a home office, dining area or nursery. When selling a house, every space needs to be defined clearly.
After: Picked Up and PrimpedBefore, the overstuffed living room looked cramped and untidy. Now, smaller contemporary furniture (moneysaving floor models that cost around $600) and new accessories have opened up the space and given it an inviting, cohesive style. The coffee table was brought in from a downstairs room, and the smaller TV cabinet replaces the oversize piece that used to block the doorway. Over in the dining room, which was crammed with office equipment and piles of paper, the computer desk is gone, and for a $150, new dining chairs and a cool chandelier have helped modernize the space. A fully set table, complete with fresh flowers, provide the finishing touches.
Before: Stuffy MasterThe master bedroom is dark, dingy and dated. It's a great room, and it's a lot bigger than it seems, but you can't tell that because there is way too much furniture in there. The cumbersome dresser (right, forefront) and large bookcase (not shown) have got to go. Replacing the dark drapes will make this feel like a bedroom again, not a basement.
After: Relaxing RetreatNow, after clearing out the older furnishings, new window treatments and linens let valuable natural light in, creating a relaxing retreat for less than $100. The headboard, crafted from room dividers and pretty fabric, is an attractive, inexpensive way to add a custom touch to the centerpiece of the room. Fresh bed linens, accent pillows and matching end tables and lamps add charm and warmth.