Friday, June 28, 2013
Do you pass the yardstick test?
Have you decided to put your home up for sale? After you have done the standard steps--clean, de-clutter, and complete all deferred maintenance items--it's time to take a serious look at each room in your house and determine if the furniture placement highlights the spaciousness of the room.
Even small spaces can feel large if the furniture is well placed. One of the biggest issues seen in homes on the market today is either too much furniture or awkward furniture arrangement. Either of these usually results in constricted traffic flows throughout rooms.
If there isn't ample space to walk around and/or through rooms, buyers will feel that the home is not large enough for them, has insufficient room to entertain family/friends, and just does not feel comfortable. So try this simple yardstick test and see if the major rooms in your home pass.
First, find a standard yardstick or a tape measure that extends and locks in at 36". Then, starting at your foyer, turn the yardstick horizontally, center it on your body with your arms extended straight by your sides and start walking through your house following the major traffic patterns. Take note of where the yardstick will not pass through without angling it. Dining rooms are common places where this happens as they seem to accumulate extra furniture. In the dining room in the the photo below you will see that there is only 18" between the back of the chairs and the glass side table. This is the main walk way through the dining room. What message is this sending to a potential buyer?
You're just not looking for the yardstick to fit between two pieces of furniture either. Check the distances between the furniture and the walls, or that stack of boxes and other items that have been collecting in corners of rooms, a large potted plant and/or the bar stools and kitchen island that extend into the great room. Just keep walking and noting the distances. On to the bedrooms, where dresser drawers often open into mattresses and multi-purpose rooms (like offices) share space with large-scale pieces of exercise equipment or double as guest bedrooms. How about your childrens' bedrooms with the bed, dresser, desks, bookshelf and stacks of toys? And let's not forget about hallways that have accumulated bookshelves, display pieces or wall-mounted shelves. Just how many places do you need to turn that yardstick sideways to slip through, as in this photo below. There is only 23" of space here. Notice how generous the space is beyond the yardstick towards the top of the photo. Yet the furniture placement literally acts like a funnel and constricts the traffic flow between rooms. Potential buyers will "feel" this.
So, now that you've checked your whole house, did it pass? Most homes have numerous areas like the above photos and these do need to be addressed before you place your home on the market. That means it's time to move furniture or remove furniture. The glass table in the dining room above should be removed to open up the walkway. The desk and chair in the second photo should be moved to another area where they will be more functional so the traffic pattern will open up.
What may be acceptable in terms of interior design furniture placement may be entirely too constricting when you want to sell your home. Selling is all about showing the space, not the furnishings, so if there are furnishings that are hiding your "space" remove them to storage. Think about two buyers and possibly two agents circulating through your home for a tour. Can they all comfortably stand in one room and discuss the merits of your home?
Have the solutions? Good, time to get to work. Stumped? Then it's time to call a qualified home stager. A home stager can quickly help you open up those clogged traffic patterns and make each room welcoming to a buyer. That's their specialty. They will also identify other areas of your home that could be addressed to improve the saleability of your home, whether that is paint color, accessories or furniture arrangement. CALL HOME AND CURB APPEAL LLC - 262-893-5555
Feel free to call me for a consultation. And, yes, I'll bring the yardstick!