Living room in Eagle County |

Living room in Eagle County

Sarah MausolfVail, CO, Colorad
AE House Staging DT 11-10-07

EAGLE COUNTY, COLORADO With the housing market in a slump, shoppers realize they can be more finicky than usual.Faced with a growing selection of listings, buyers are dismissing properties over flaws and decorating faux pas they would normally overlook.Thus, for sellers looking to unload their homes, staging becomes increasingly important. Staging is decorating a home to make it attractive to buyers.When Edwards resident Susie Eggen put her three-bedroom condo on the market a few weeks ago, she asked for feedback from friends.I had six of my friends come over and they said, Get rid of this, this, this, this, she said.In the master bedroom, a brass coat rack laden with bathrobes and T-shirts got the nix. Eggen stashed the coat rack and cleared vases, jewelry boxes and general clutter off the dresser. She also deep-sixed a dresser near the entrance to the bedroom.It just opened it up so it doesnt seem like youre walking through a tunnel, she said.Complete with a neatly-made bed piled with decorative pillows, the master bedroom has become the showpiece of Eggens $599,000 home. Everyone walks in and they go like this: Whoa! Eggen said, spinning around. And thats the impression I wanted.

In staging a home, the master bedroom and the kitchen are the two most important areas to consider, said Matt Iverson, a broker associate with Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate in Arrowhead.Thats where most people make their buying decision, he said.Confronted with empty rooms, buyers can have trouble picturing their furniture and their families situated inside.If you put furniture in it, it helps them visualize it in scale, Iverson said. If you just see an empty living room, sometimes it looks small or sometimes it looks big and cold.Along with adding a sense of scale, staging can inspire customers to form an emotional attachment to a home, Iverson said.When youre buying second home real estate, its an emotional purchase, he said. Its going to be their family retreat, where they come to relax, so you want to make it look like a relaxing, family environment.Arts & Entertainment Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or

Here is a brief lesson on how to stage your home. Seduce them with scent: Nothing sends buyers scurrying away faster than a stench. Wisconsin resident Robert Rainek, who is sellling his $3.2 million vacation home in Wolcott, suggests baking bread or cookies to add a sweet smell to the space. Bake some cookies and have them out to eat, he said. You want to get all their senses going. Clear the clutter: That gnome collection may rock your world, but to outsiders, it looks like junk. Scott Marino, a listing manager with Help-u-Sell Mountain Realty in Eagle, suggests removing childrens drawings from the refrigerator and making stacks of books or newspapers disappear. You dont want the place to look sterile, he said. You want it to look lived in but not cluttered.Eggen simplified her dining room by removing a silk palm tree, a cupboard and a tea cart. Stash worn furniture: Get rid of the La-Z-boy from 1972. When youre staging, you dont want to have a broken-in couch with lumps, Iverson said. You want it to feel very fluffy and new. He suggests placing crisp sheets on beds and topping them with plush comforters. Florida resident Krista Nicklaus, who recently staged her Beaver Creek condo, adorned the bed in the master bedroom with a down comforter and fluffy pillows. Go easy on the paint: While florescent pink walls might inspire a Thats hot from Paris Hilton, they might send Eminem into a bout of battle rapping. If you choose to paint the walls, stick to neutral colors, Marino said. If youre painting a cherry red on a wall, for some person that may work. For another person, they may just turn around and walk out. Add strategic accessories: Rainek accented the kitchen table in his Wolcott estate with wildflowers and place settings. I think that really gives it a warm, nice atmosphere, he said. Likewise, his bathroom features decorative towels that match the homes Southwest theme. The person who cleans the house arranges the towels with decorative folds and contrasting colors. Up on Beaver Creek, Nicklaus completed her decor with window treatments, silk flowers and ceramic plates. That little stuff is so important to just finish the condo or home, she said. We saw a few this summer and the actual decorating was beautiful, but they just forgot to accessorize and I think that is so important to finish the house.

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