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Sandy Balzer Tobin's Blog

By Sandy Balzer Tobin | Agent in Needham, MA

Selling a home: One room, one use

In the early process of getting a house ready for sale, people will ask for advice on how to get their home in shape. What I find is very often there is a room in the house being used for multiple purposes. This is when I point out the “one room, one use” rule.

 Many times there will be a desk with a computer and printer stuck in the corner of a formal living room. Sometimes the dining room table is covered with paperwork, doing double duty as an office.  In one home I visited, a first floor bedroom was both a guest room with a bed in one corner and a play room filled with shelves and baskets of toys in the other corner.

Many of us may live like this, combining our spaces in different ways to suit our needs. Unfortunately, when you’re trying to sell a house, this confuses the buyer. “What is this room?” they ask. It should be perfectly obvious what the room is, but buyers can’t see past your “stuff.”

If your house was built with a formal living room, stage it that way. A bedroom is fine to be used as an office, as long as it’s only an office.  Your kitchen may be where your budding artist has his paints and easel set up, but that scene is not going to help sell your house. When buyers walk into a home, they need to immediately be able to picture themselves living there. You don’t want anything to impede that vision. If your living arrangements are not conducive to the original intent of the room, you’re going to have to find another place for those items. When you move to your new home, you can spread those things back out anywhere you like. It takes a little sweat equity sometimes, but the results are well worth it.

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