Million Dollar Gain

Few projects better illustrate the value of home staging in the sale of residential real estate than a recent transaction (closed on behalf of the sellers by John Bigelow of Hammond Residential Real Estate) at 8 Kennedy Road in Cambridge just off Brattle Street. Owned by the same family for decades and under-occupied for years, the property was first presented to realtors in the spring of 2013. Its dilapidated condition offered little chance to realize proceeds in excess of its assessed value of $1.76 million. Even though it was located steps away from Tory Row and contained more than 4,200 square feet of living space over three floors. Instead of moving forward, the home's "second generation" decided to postpone its sale, to empty its contents and to invest in cosmetic repairs, landscaping and … home staging.

For this project, Up-Stage used furniture and furnishings from its extensive collection that would provide a contrast to the historical roots of the home, including (among many other pieces): a ten-foot, Mid-Century Modern sofa in the living room that emphasized the size of the space; a generous mahogany table in the dining room (paired with a modern sideboard and chairs) that highlighted not only its size but also the faded elegance of its details; a brass bed and modern sofa on the third floor that "converted" a former "rec room" (with bathroom) into a spacious master bedroom suite; and, industrial work tables in the kitchen that showed how the layout might be re-designed with a much needed renovation.

The job was completed in five days (from signing of a contract to photographs), enabling the client to begin marketing at the tail-end of the fall market. We are pleased to report that it was sold to the first potential buyers to visit the property. At only a slight discount from its list price of $2.7 million. Resulting in a gain of nearly one million dollars from emptying its contents and investing in cosmetic repairs, landscaping and home staging.

John Bigelow Testimonial:

"Heidi has an intuitive sense for choosing furnishings and accessories that highlight the special architectural features of a home. Her design for the public rooms on the first floor greatly enhanced their scale and grandeur. Her elegant 'transformation' of the third floor - from 'rec room' to an elegant primary bedroom suite - filled an important need for most buyers and underlined the unique physical features of the space. Heidi and her team created just the right tableau for beautiful interior photographs. Her manner and presentation to the seller clients was relaxed but business-like. I appreciated not only her design sense but also her professionalism, ability to respond quickly, attention to detail and willingness to make changes based on the needs of the clients."

Jonathan Haar testimonial:

"Months of work emptying, cleaning, landscaping and repairing our family home had generated little enthusiasm from my mother as she watched the world that she had lived in for 50 years vanish. But she smiled for the first time in a long time when she saw how Heidi had staged it for sale. How it now gleamed and would present so well to the future family who she hoped would bring their new lives to our home. It was a good omen. The amount offered and speed of the sale exceeded our expectations. So did Heidi. She is a ball of fire, with a vision and presence that has to be experienced. We even had her peek into our own living room and re-arrange it. Amazing, after 20 years of living in our home, we finally have a living room we can use. I can't say more than that. She has become a family friend."

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