The Shocking Truth About Granite

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Granite. It’s the word realtors and buyers love to see in the description of any house. It’s the current buzz word in real estate that is immediately associated with quality properties that are updated. It’s the material my design clients ask me to help them select time and again. After all, who wants to invest thousands in a countertop and not get it right?

The shocking truth is that if you choose granite as an upgrade to help sell your home, you might automatically turn off the very people you want to attract; home buyers. Why? Because a granite choice is extremely personal. As a home stager, granite can be an ugly word. No amount of staging can convince a buyer to purchase a home if it has very taste specific granite, unless that one in a million buyer loves it too.

Homeowners continue to install it though, because they’ve been told by professionals, design magazines and TV decorating shows that it is the right choice; the choice that will be a great return on investment. This is exactly why I installed it in my own home years ago. And because of all the hype the last 10-15 years, granite has been elevated to “king of the countertop mountain,” so to speak.

But the reality is, most prospective buyers aren’t aware of the advantages of various countertop materials, so they continue to ask for granite as a safe choice. They can walk into any property and easily identify this upgrade as a good investment. It’s costly and everybody wants it, so it must be good, right?

If we weren’t all drinking the Kool-Aid, would we still select granite if we truly wanted an investment that would attract buyers not only today, but in the future? I don’t think so.

Yes, granite is a natural product that has unique qualities; inherent beauty and depth of color that can only be generated through thousands of years of heat and compression within the earth’s crust. But it has drawbacks that make it less than perfect:

  1. Maintenance – Most granite needs to be periodically sealed due to the porosity of the stone. This porosity can also trap bacteria; not good for kitchens where the bacteria of raw meat can rear its ugly head.
  2. Durability – I’ve heard clients say, “I can cut right on my granite and take hot pots off the stove and put them directly on it.” Well, yes you can if you want to dull your knives and run the risk of having your granite crack. Since granite is a natural, igneous rock, it can have fissures within the slab. These weak areas can cause cracking if the expansion and contraction is too fast due to extreme temperature changes.
  3. Cost – since granite has been around for a while and new alternative materials are becoming available, the cost is starting to go down a bit, but it is still a hefty investment for most homeowners.
  4. Movement – This is the kicker; the characteristic of granite that makes it sooooo taste specific. Either you love all the movement created by the veining of each type of granite or you don’t. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with most people. And because buyers are either in one camp or the other, home sellers automatically alienate a large group of buyers just by the granite selection they make.

So you can see, granite has issues. If we’re going to invest bookoo bucks in home improvement knowing that we want to attract buyers now or in the future, why aren’t we selecting products that have no maintenance and will appeal to most people?

Times are changing. We are starting to wake up. We are educating ourselves as to the benefits of alternative materials to create interiors that will stand the test of time and give us the biggest bang for our investment dollars.

Let’s make our selections as timeless as possible so a buyer doesn’t walk in a house and immediately know the year the home improvement took place.

Quartz countertops, anyone?

What do you think about granite?

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

 

Related Resources:

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

How To Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

1 Easy Way to See If You Need a Professional Home Stager

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Thinking about selling your home and not sure if you need a professional Home Stager? This is an easy way to find out. Stand in the doorway of each room in your home and take a photo with your cell phone. Now look at the photos you’ve taken and ask yourself, “If I saw these rooms online, would I want to go see this house enough to make an appointment with the Realtor®?”

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Keeping in mind that 90% of buyers search for houses on-line (National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers) and 45% of them do not read the comments, but rely strictly on the photos to convince them to see a property (Wall Street Journal), it is critical for your house to look sensational on-line.

Now look at the photos you’ve taken again and ask yourself:

Do I notice the decorative things in the room instead of the room’s space?

Do I notice the worst features of the room instead of the its best?

Do I notice the backs of furniture more than the way to circulate through the room?

BEFORE - First thing you see is the back of the couch.

BEFORE Staging – First thing you see is the back of the couch and too many decorative items.

AFTER - Now you can see how spacious the room is and the fireplace focal point.

AFTER Staging – Now you can see how spacious the room is and the fireplace focal point. Pulling furniture and accessories from other rooms provided the right balance.

Do I notice bold jolts of color on the walls instead of neutral color(s) throughout to create flow?

Do I notice dimly lit areas instead of overall even lighting?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you need a professional Home Stager.

Home Staging is more than just cleaning and decluttering a space. That’s just the beginning. A professional Home Stager knows how to utilize design elements and principles to highlight the very best features of your home so that it will appeal to the largest group of buyers. Professional Home Stagers can prioritize which items you should address first for the best return on your investment.

Your home is quite possibly your largest investment. Before putting it on the market, don’t you want to make it look exceptional so that you can get the best possible price?

Isn’t it time to call a professional Home Stager?

Related Resources:

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, IL – “The Box of Chocolates Dilemma”

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.