Staging to Sell in Lake Oconee

I found this article in some real estate news, and the words exactly echoed my thoughts and observations from showing Lake Oconee homes for sale!  If you are preparing to sell a home at Lake Oconee, take heed!

Those brass light fixtures send a message to buyers: C-H-E-A-P

Rooms for Improvement


Inman News®

<a href="">Brass light fixture image</a> via light fixture image via

Don’t get Steve Somogyi wrong. He doesn’t hate all brass finishes — just the really shiny, yellow-toned stuff that he thinks screams “Cheap!” when homebuyers notice it in light fixtures, switch plates, doorknobs, etc.

That brass tone was fashionable a couple of decades ago, but its day is done and it has to go if it’s in a house you’re trying to sell, according to Somogyi, a real estate agent and interior designer.

In prepping a small house for the market recently, he switched out every single brass light fixture, switch plate, door hinge and knob for ones with an oil-rubbed bronze finish that’s a very dark brown.

Dark-toned fixtures and hardware may work to deformalize a room.Photo/Sea Gull Lighting.

By buying the replacements from a big-box store and a website specializing in closeouts, the homeowner spent $300 to $400 for materials, he estimated, and a contractor/installer made the changes in a day.

In a larger home, such changes might be too complex or expensive to do throughout, but at the very least, sellers should take a hard look at the front-door hardware that greets potential buyers, he said.

Nickel-toned finishes haven’t lost their appeal to homebuyers, designers and real estate agents. Photo/Sea Gull Lighting.

“I spent a lot of the money on the door hardware in that house because I do believe that your buyer knows within a few seconds whether they’re going to buy,” Somogyi said. “When you feel an expensive door handle vs. a cheap handle, you can feel the difference.

“I try to sell an emotional experience, that the place has been loved,” said Somogyi, an agent for the North Clybourn Group brokerage in Chicago. “That energy comes out.”

Although he’s a fan of dark-toned finishes (and certain antique golds), Somogyi said the general homebuying public continues to accept the recently popular satin-nickel tones as being “up to date” — though he suspects an appetite is brewing for the next big color.

“Lighting fixture (and hardware) finishes have certainly trended away from polished brass over the years,” said Jody De Vine, director of marketing for Sea Gull Lighting in Riverside, N.J.

We’ve seen more transitional styling and finishes that cross over between traditional and modern. This became quite evident in the use of polished and brushed nickel.”

Decorative switch plate image

De Vine said chrome finishes have gained popularity as a “clean” style, and that dark browns and iron-blacks come across as cozy and work well in updating traditional styling. Those browns and blacks also seem to be a popular choice when trying to deformalize some rooms, she said.

Somogyi said not to overlook hardware details because buyers notice them.

“Those switch plates and outlet covers that have crusty paint on them? They only take a minute or two to switch out,” he said.

And if you have recessed can-lights in ceilings, take a look at the “surround,” or collar, around the openings, he said. “Over time they get to be a yellow-y color that stamps them as being dated, dreary or old. I’ve seen a million of these.”

Mary Umberger is a Chicago-area freelance writer.  The original article is in the Inman News 

Brass was the ultimate in fixtures in the 80’s.  We proudly installed a beautiful brass light fixture in our dining room during that period, and we took it with us and enjoyed it in our Lake Oconee home during the 90’s.  It now resides packed in the basement of our present home,  as I finally realized that brass is out of date!  Just as we gave up our favorite hair styles and clothing from the previous decades, it pays to realize that our favorite home accessories need to be updated, too.  Of course, we can keep our favorite brass hardware as long as we live in a house, if we prefer.  But to sell in today’s market, it pays to update the style of our accessories.  I have priced light fixtures in the big-box stores as a service of my staging practice as a realtor here in Lake Oconee.  It is true – buying home accessories in such a store, and replacing them in a house is a “cheap” way to entice a buyer to decide on your property. It changes the ambience of the home, and makes it move-in ready.

For more staging tips, and more information about property in the Lake Oconee Area, contact Suzie or Jim Hudson at RE/MAX Lake Oconee. Phone Jim, 706-453-6253, or Suzie, 706-347-1115. To search for property go to With our MLS, we have the keys to all property for sale in the Lake Oconee Area.

About Look@LakeOconee

Suzie and Jim Hudson, A Unique Team Suzie and Jim Hudson have long been known in the Lake Oconee Area as trustworthy people who like to give back to the community; Jim as a previous banker, and Suzie as a teacher. Jim's past experience as president of a local bank makes him well suited to negotiating and preparing contracts for home buying and selling. After residing in Atlanta for 20 years, the Hudsons moved their family to the Lake Oconee area in 1990. Having grown up in the local town of Eatonton, Jim has an insightful knowledge of the past and present development of the area. He has served on the Greene County Development Authority for many years, making sure that the local area is developed to its full potential. Real Estate Specialty Designations Jim earned the realtor designation of SFR: Short Sales. Foreclosure Resource which makes him well suited to navigate the current economic environment. On entering the Real Estate field, Suzie followed her eye for design to become certified by Property Staging Consultants in the new field of home staging. Present Status Jim and Suzie first settled in to a historic home in Greensboro and enjoyed the small town life. Jim and Suzie now live in a gated community and enjoy the pasttime of golf. Jim has created guidelines evaluating the various features of all the local golf courses from his personal experience playing them to help the prospective buyer choose the golf experience that best fits his/her game. Full Service, Internet REALTORS Jim and Suzie Hudson were among the first local realtors to use the power of the Internet with Realty to reach home buyers across the nation. They continue to be at the forefront of Internet real estate sales. Their new blog is Look@LakeOconee, which focuses on real estate, staging, and the Lake Oconee lifestyle. The Hudsons joined the RE/MAX company in 2011 and now have a world-wide reach for new buyers and sellers. Relationship with customers does not end at closing. Jim and Suzie have made customer service a cornerstone of their real estate business, often fielding and monitoring home repairs for absent home owners who have purchased second homes at Lake Oconee, or who are selling a home here. Staging to sell is complimentary for homes that they list, and they advise sellers to complete deferred home repairs before placing their home on the market.

Posted on March 19, 2012, in Find a home, Staging to Sell and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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