Mortgage, Smart Spending

Adding Lipstick to Your Investment

You are ready to cash in your investment. It’s time to sell. And count your profits. But first a word from our “home stagers.”

More than a few words, actually, an entire column. But this time I suggest this trendy term be taken in its lightest sense. I know this is a trend because I keep reading how this “key” unlocks your home to get a fantastic price.

This experienced and veteran “home stager” recommends putting away magazines with “busy covers.” Would-be buyers might want to stop and read. So no “Hustler’s,” please.

The overall object is to show a “lived-in look: without “looking lived-in.”

This is not just a sales tool but an “art,” advocates will tell you.

So how do you do this? There’s much more.

Towels are one example. No, not the dirty ones you use after cutting the grass. But ones with “raffia or tulle.” I am not sure what those two are but just make sure they’re clean. Use fakes. Hide the real ones, suggests the stager.

Take those decorative accessories out of the kitchen. Put away appliances. But put out a cookbook (not sure why…this is not stated unless it is to encourage do-it-yourself cooks).

Detail the refrigerator and the pantry  (hopefully, you do have a refrigerator don’t you?). Yes, they need staging, too, even though they are practical areas. Get rid of crumbs in the kitchen (the food kind, not the spouse). Leave a lot of empty space.

Some of the basics she presents make sense:

Clean. Get all the flies out of the window sill, not just some of them, for example.

Also, put all beds or armoires (if you have them) at an angle. That makes rooms look bigger. It gives the area a “flow.” So does a glass of beer, but there’s no mention of that.

We have already mentioned “invite with towels.” But here’s another nice touch: add French soap and a loofah (note to editor: please check spelling here). Preferably clean and unused for both items (though how a would-be buyer would know the soap is French is a mystery to me).

The stager also suggests that closets are not those places where you stuff your umbrellas and clothes you seldom wear, but also need “nice matching hangers” for your various apparel. Also, “edit the shoe collection.” Just what that means is also unknown to me. I can wear shoes, throw them out and even leave them in the closet, long moldy and abandoned.  But to “edit” them like they are words on a page is not my thing.

Come to think of it, my own advice can be simplified to eight words. Make it seven to be succinct. This is all you need to know.

You can’t put lipstick on a pig.