I’m always fascinated to see how people decorate their homes — whether it’s a 19th-century desk or a floor-to-ceiling Jackson Pollock, decor pieces reflect the owner’s personality and bring a space to life. Yet if your property is on the market, your decorating taste might be something to reconsider; in order to ensure buyer interest, a home’s interior design should appeal to a wide audience.
I usually recommend hiring a stager, someone who will handpick furniture and accessories that best highlight the features of your space, allowing buyers to more easily envision themselves at home. In some cases hiring a stager might have a big impact on the final selling price. Simply put, well-chosen décor is profit.
I spoke with Jill Vegas, New York City professional stager and interior decorator whose decorating tips are regularly published in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Martha Stewart Living Radio. She has staged the homes of heads of state, celebrities and royalty, and can tweak personal decorations in any space so that it attracts a wide range of buyers.
“You need to see the property as a product on the market,” she told me. “Realize that your taste may not appeal to potential buyers, and trust the real estate agent and the stager when they say something has to go.”
“You want to make sure that whatever buyers see is a selling feature of the property, not a personal collection or item. I like to think of myself as an artist helping buyers see the natural beauty of a home — highlighting the architectural details and natural light so that it just feels good.”
Jill told me the story of a client whose decorating choices made buyers hesitant. I asked Jill how sellers could avoid similar pitfalls.
“During a staging consultation, I met with a woman who insisted the window treatments had to stay. The challenge was that the window treatments blocked the light, made the apartment feel smaller, and were visually distracting from the incredible view. Then she insisted the Lalique collection of figurines remain on display. The collection? It was the first thing buyers would see when walking inside.”