Today in Cincinnati Real Estate

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HEMLINES GO UP, HEMLINES GO DOWN (Or, What Fashion Can Teach the Home Seller)


Hemlines go up, and then they go down. Ties and lapels get narrower, and then wider, and then narrower. Navy blue is the new black. Except when ivory or red is the new black. What we pretty much know for sure about fashion is that something new is coming that is going to make whatever is in your closet look old. We’re quite used to this.

We expect these fluctuations in taste about what is inside the bedroom closet, but as homeowners we sometimes forget that there are similar fluctuations in taste about the bedroom itself.

Skinny blinds? Wide blinds? Vertical blinds? Curtains…or not? Valances…or not? Then there’s the whole matter of the floor: Hardwood? Carpet? Low pile or deep pile? SHAG is back??? (Why?)

Much as I loved it at the time, the dress I purchased in 1985 just doesn’t appeal to me now. And similarly, many of the home features that were installed at that time don’t hold much appeal for the current buyer. Nor some of the features from 1997. And not the ones from 1978 either. (Thanks to the television series “Mad Men,” home accessories from 1963 do suddenly have a new cache…but only sometimes, and only those in great condition. Oh my, this can get complicated!)

Maybe as a homeowner you don’t care. Sometimes I know I don’t. My 1986 mixer looks like a relic, but I adore because it was a gift from Nana, and it isn’t leaving my house until its beaters won’t spin even one more time. Maybe you feel the same way about the curtains you put in your family room in 1981. You loved them then, and you love them now. But when you switch from being a homeowner to a home seller, it may be in your best interest to rethink, and look at the curtains through the buyer’s eyes.

Why? Because we know that the easiest way to sell something is to sell what people are buying. Honestly, that phrase is as close to magic as anything I know: If you want to sell, sell what people are buying.

Those family room drapes from 1981 are probably not what today’s buyer is looking for. (Let’s be honest…there’s a strong chance that your buyer hadn’t even been BORN in 1981!) By simply taking down those curtains you might be able to give that room a fresh, bright look that will be very appealing to current buyers…and help them see your house as a place that “fits” them.

I know, I know. It might seem crazy to you to make changes to a house you are leaving. But remember, marketing your home is kind of like dating. (See my archived blog post “Speed Dating in Real Estate.”) If I were going out on a first date tonight, I wouldn’t put on that once-beloved dress from 1985. (In a perfect world, he’d see all my wonderful qualities despite the tired old dress. But the reality is…that out-of-synch dress just might be a little too distracting.) Home selling is dating on steroids. Ask your agent what all the cool houses are wearing this season. Some mini “outfit” changes just might help you turn your house into SOLD.

On Facebook: Laurie Simon Goldman, Sibcy Cline Realtors

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