Becomming a Best Seller |

Becomming a Best Seller

Post Independent Writer

Becoming a Best Seller

All the world’s a stage – including your home

Act II: Consult with a staging professional

Recently I wrote an article about “staging” homes for sale. Home staging is the process of transforming your home from a beauty school dropout to a Hollywood star so buyers fall head over heels in love.

My article recommended you look at your home as if you’re seeing it for the first time. That’s easier said than done. Most of us are so emotionally involved in our homes it’s virtually impossible to feel detached. The solution may be to consult with an interior designer who can view your home dispassionately and professionally.

Meet JoAnne Vennes, a talented designer of commercial, retail and residential projects. You have probably seen her work. She designed the walk-in facility at Alpine Bank on 8th Street, the remodeled interior of the Glenwood Springs Mall and the original “Cassies” restaurant in Carbondale. If you’re lucky, you have been entertained at some of her clients’ lovely private homes.

JoAnne has been staging homes for herself and clients for 30+ years. She bought her first house when she was only 19. It was a two-story Cape Cod that had been on the market for over a year. With virtually no money but a good eye and plenty of creativity she sewed window treatments, cleaned, painted and refurnished from garage sales until she was satisfied. When she put it on the market, it had increased considerably in value and sold in 30 days.

She still has a fondness for orphan homes which no one else wants. JoAnne transforms them from ugly ducklings to swans buyers aspire to own.

View homes as a product to market

JoAnne and I talked about why it’s so difficult for sellers to observe their homes as buyers observe them. JoAnne explained, “Home owners see their homes as comfort zones to retreat to at the end of a long work day. They should strive to step back and with the help of a design professional, view their homes as products to market.”

What can a seller do to prepare their home for sale before they consult with a professional designer?

“Taking photos of the home for themselves and their professional will be a big help. Pictures help sellers spot problem areas they never noticed before.”

JoAnne added, “Put Grandma’s collections of door stoppers in storage while marketing a home.” Sellers are comforted by family treasures but they won’t help sell the property.” She’s right. Less is more, more, more when staging a home.

A brother in Scottsdale, Ariz., just had his home staged by professionals. Family photos and objects d’art which caught the eye more than seconds were removed.

The bottom line: Do as much as you can to eliminate personal effects so your buyers visualize themselves in the home rather than you. It allows them to mentally move in and try it on for size. Realtors know when prospective buyers start talking about furniture arrangements, they’re close to becoming real buyers.

How professional designers help owners market their homes

“A good designer can see problems and knows how to correct them. By moving furniture on an angle, changing locations of art pieces and rearranging accessories, a home can be redefined to make it more visually appealing to buyers. If the sofa is sagging, think about buying a new one before putting the home on the market. It will improve the appearance of your current home during showings and your new home after you sell.

“Remember that designers, who charge by the hour and don’t sell products at markup prices, can save home owners money in furnishings and materials,” JoAnne explained.

Dazzle buyers with a home that’s never looked better. Call an expert who knows how to set the stage. Contact the designer of your choice or call JoAnne at JoAnne Vennes Designs, (970) 379-4877.

Sharon Beattie


Sharon R. Beattie Co.

(970) 945-6266

(970) 618-8966

Picture Captions:

Before and After (Paint, lighting fixtures and a quick shuffle)

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