One of the more challenging recommendations stagers give to sellers is to remove all draperies. Sellers often hesitate saying, “All the draperies?” The brief answer is yes—unless privacy is an issue. “Oh, but we paid $28,000 for them!” And we understand, truly; however, they were for the homeowners’ living enjoyment in this property. They only had a $28,000 value to the owners at the time they were installed. They are not a selling feature of the home today, unless we can find someone who wants those exact drapes, in that style and color, with the amount of money you want for your property.
More often than not, even Realtors don’t see the true value of removing some (if any) drapery, and sellers even less. Take this property for example. It is a large home in an estate community. The windows at the front of the house look onto the driveway. As you can see, the drapery are simple white sheers—not overly dated, but definitely a reflection of personal style for a window of this kind, and very typical of many large windows of this type and era. (Because they are more than two stories high, they haven’t been cleaned since they were hung decades ago, either.)
A professionally trained stager’s first instinct will be to recommend that they need to come down to allow maximum natural light in; however, if a seller or an agent resists, the stager may may defer to the agent/seller even though they know and believe it will really help.
Stagers don’t be afraid—trust your training, and your instincts!
Take a look at the after picture and you’ll see how magnificent the space looks now! The entry is flooded with beautiful natural light and positive energy—you can feel and see the difference. Thankfully the seller listened to and followed through with the stager recommendations, and they wished they had done it years ago!
Another thing to remember is that 96% of buyers start their property selection on the internet, which means first impressions COUNT. And many buyers do their first drive–by in the evening, to assess curb appeal and decide if they want to make an appointment for a showing. Now with the curtains removed, buyers can see the magnificent, sparkling chandelier all the way from the road. We must not hide the selling features of the home; let them all shine to attract as many suitors as possible.
Lori Pedersen, October, 2014