When Rita Carr and her husband decided to sell their Las Vegas home, they knew they wouldn't have a strict timeline for the sale. "We weren't in a real hurry to move,” says Carr. "We had a long-term plan to move out to Southern California to be closer to our sons, but we weren't in any rush."
"There's a weird thing that happens when you have so much 'skin in the game,' as my husband likes to say," says Carr, a retired registered nurse who moved to Las Vegas in 2004. "You start to feel your creative juices flowing. You start to realize that you, as the homeowner, are more than capable of putting the best face on your house."
Carr says she spent a lot time on staging rooms in her house, often referencing magazines and websites for ideas and advice. She added various creative touches throughout the house, including lighter shades of paint in the kitchen and bathrooms, book placement and new window treatments. "I was going for a simple and comfortable look," Carr says. "I knew if I could appeal to a person's visual senses and creative soul through the house, we could make a potential connection."
Surprisingly, it was the selection and placement of flowers, which she would showcase throughout her house during a showing, that made the biggest impact.
"I would create centerpieces for the tables, put out a few vases and put small arrangements in unexpected places, like the bathroom or in the corner of our shoe room."
Visitors responded with compliments and questions. "They'd ask about individual flowers, they'd ask who arranged them. It was just a wonderful way to make a personal connection with people who are, in fact, entering your personal space."
Carr says those personal connections led to two offers during the third week their home was on the market. "In both cases, I had extensive conversations about the flowers with the people who were interested in buying our house," she says. The Carrs took the second offer, which was $2,000 more than their asking price.
"In Las Vegas, so many houses are second homes or homes for retirees, and so many of them have a gambling or Vegas motif when it comes to décor. I went the opposite way. I tried to make it as homey and as comfy as possible. That’s why I was so committed to the flower arrangements."
Whether your talent lies in flower arrangements, room design or office organization, the personal touches you give your home can make all the difference when putting together one of the biggest sales of a lifetime.
We want to know: What creative touches have you used when staging your home?