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Real Home Critique - Ladue News: Special Features

Real Home Critique

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Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 5:10 pm

Ladue News stepped into a 47-year-old Kirkwood-area home for this year’s ‘real home critique.’ The 3,100-square-foot home has been renovated extensively in the five years since the homeowner purchased it, with hardwood floors, updated bathrooms with granite countertops and a gourmet kitchen with an open floor plan that leads into the hearth room. The half-finished basement includes an office and storage areas, as well as a bedroom/family room suite with an additional bathroom.

We asked three local real estate agents to tour the house and make suggestions to improve its marketability. All three were impressed with the renovations and agreed that the home was even bigger than it looked from the outside, but could be made to look more spacious by eliminating some furniture and other pieces. Below, is the rest of their input.

Nancy Hereford, Dielmann Sotheby’s

--For the size of the hearth room, the furniture is too heavy. Replace the two large leather chairs with smaller ones. Also, removing the bookcase along the wall to the bedroom hallway will help with the flow of the room. --Take down any family photos because buyers will tend to look at the pictures instead of the house. The fewer items buyers have to look at, the more they will see the space and the potential of it. (A)

--The master bathroom is updated well with a nice shower, double sinks, ceramic tile floors—all things people look for. The owner was smart to use modern hardware that goes well with the granite counters and lighting on the mirror instead of the old ceiling lights.

--The renovated kitchen is beautiful with good lighting and lots of counter and cabinet space. But take the kitchen curtains down. They are old-fashioned and don’t match the contemporary feel of the room. (B)

--Take one of the desks out of the basement office to create more open areas and allow buyers to immediately visualize other uses for the space.

Julie Lane, Janet McAfee

--The house is filled with beautiful pieces, but it would be good to take out a few of the items to make it more open and depersonalize the spaces a bit. You want to make sure it’s not so decorated that someone who doesn’t share your taste can’t see themselves in the home. (A)

--The crown molding, baseboards and doors are all in great condition, which is very important.

--The bathroom countertops are cleaned off, with just a few items on them to make it look nice. That’s a good idea because you don’t want to go into someone’s house and look at their shampoo bottles, medication, etc.

--Take everything off the basement bookcases and sparsely stage the books and knickknacks. Stack them on their side, spread things out so it doesn’t look so cluttered and overwhelming. (B)

--The basement storage area is very clean and nicely painted. It’s good that the stored items are not floor-to-ceiling because that would give the impression that the new owners wouldn’t be able to fit all of their possessions in the house.

Liz St. Cin, Laura McCarthy Real Estate

--Right away, the house has curb appeal. The outside is clean, neat and as tidy as possible for a winter listing, and makes you want to come in.

--Some of the older furniture in the guest bedrooms dates the space and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the pieces. Since it’s a guest room, extra furniture like a dresser is unnecessary and can be removed to make the room look bigger than it is.

--Remove the makeup table in the master bedroom. It implies that the bathroom doesn’t provide enough space. (A)

--It’s nice that the owner is showing off the ceramic tile floor in the master bathroom—using rugs shortens the bathroom to a buyer’s eye.

--Take down some of the surplus art and other accent pieces. Using an item like a fake tree to just to fill the corner is unnecessary—you don’t have to fill up every space available. (B)

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