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How to Make Your Listings Feel Larger



Without furniture, this 800 sq ft, 2 bed 2.5 bath townhome sat on the market for months. Every potential buyer complained that furniture would never fit. Once the furniture was in place, this home sold within a few weeks.  By adding furniture and accessories, your seller will ensure that buyers see how a home’s square footage can be utilized.

You have a great new listing with one small problem-the size of a room.  With a little strategic planning, your client can transform any room or awkward space into place with purpose that adds valuable square footage to their home.  The right furniture and accessories will make any small space feel larger and spark excitement in the eyes of the buyer.

The addition of furniture to vacant rooms always makes a room feel larger.  The key is to use pieces in scale with the room.  Your client will want to be sure to use pieces that work in real life and not attempt to use miniature sized pieces.  Use simple furniture with clean lines.  Consider a loveseat and two chairs rather than the traditional sofa and chairs.  Adequate seating in a living room is key to showing buyers that the main living space is suitable for today’s lifestyle and entertaining with family and friends. 

Glass tabletops work well in small rooms and round tables tend to make the flow of traffic easier.  Bold artwork with great splashes of color adds drama to every room, including small rooms.  Have fun with accessories; this is where they can go bigger.  Tiny accessories usually end up looking like clutter, so keep the accessories exciting, but avoid over doing it.

In occupied homes, most clients need to remove some furniture.  Oversized armoires, extra dining chairs, dining table leafs and exercise equipment will probably all need to go.  When a client is using an extra room for storage, be sure they turn that storeroom into a room with a purpose.  If it is a small bedroom, turn it in a cozy guest room.  Most homeowners have enough furniture in other rooms that pieces can be re-purposed and used to create nightstands and small dressers.   Check to be sure adequate light is provided for all rooms, including small ones.


Most Sellers have enough existing furniture in their homes that pieces can be repurposed and used in other rooms so that each room shows its best use.  Less wasted space equals more valuable square footage.

When a home has an awkward nook, make it work to the seller’s advantage.  In a living room, it may be a great place to display art or to build display shelves.  If there is a small nook off the stairs, this can be a great place for a small desk and chair to create a small home office area.  In the master bedroom, a nook can be turned into a cozy seating area for reading or even a sexy spot for breakfast for two.

Low ceilings can be made to feel higher.  Use “up” accessories-a floor vase with an upright arrangement, a tall upright plant with an up-light, a floor lamp that lights the ceiling.  Keep the top shelves of high furniture or cabinets clear.  Placing items close to the ceiling will make even a higher ceiling feel low.  Be sure there is nothing stored on the floor under the furniture to attract the eye downward. 

Curtains hung from the ceiling all the way to the floor will make the windows feel larger.  In many rooms, you can hang the curtains all the way across the wall from one corner to the other corner to really maximize the feeling of large windows.  Sheer white or linen curtains will allow natural light in.  I always prefer to keep them open for all showings regardless of the size of the room-the more natural light the better!

Set your seller’s mind at ease about small rooms.  With a little creativity small spaces can be turned into big assets!

Nickie is the founder of and She is a certified IBE Healthy Home Practitioner, Certified Usui Reiki Practitioner and Feng Shui Consultant. She has lived on both coasts (as well as in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains of Colorado) of the US and currently calls Los Angeles home. You can find her in plenty of spots in the online world and should you happen to catch her at home, she will probably make you something yummy!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dallas Real Estate Guy

    July 27, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Wow, the pictures really do make a big different, lighting also helps.

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Killing the Killer – Giving the Death Penalty the Needle



His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

— from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan

A Good Week For The Death Penalty

lethal injectionThis week the Commonwealth of Virginia put the DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammed, to death by lethal injection. His accomplice and fellow trigger guy, Lee Boyd Malvo,  gets to live out his days in prison.  He was too young to get the needle. Not quite 18. But for a few months, he would have been killed, too.

In Ohio, the State is playing around with the idea of switching from the the three drug “cocktail” to a single drug protocol that can be used by stabbing the needle into a muscle if a good vein can’t be found.  It seems like the Ohio executioners couldn’t find a good vein after 18 attempts on Romell Broom and the Governor had to call off the execution.

It seems that both Ohio and Texas are trying their damnedest to catch up to Texas as the States who kill the most criminals.  It’s an uphill battle.  Texas kills a lot of criminals. And pretty damn fast, too.

The Death Penalty Doesn’t Work and Doesn’t Even Feel Good

I’ve heard of two reasons why the death penalty exists at all:

  1. Retribution – this is the “eye for an eye” argument
  2. Deterrence – if murderers know they will die it will make them less prone to murder

Sure, it feels good to call for the head of high profile killers.  Most certainly, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, will be facing the death penalty. The 9/11 terrorists that are about to go on trial in New York are facing the death penalty.  For these folks we, as a society, want justice to be swift and severe.  Well, we’ll get severe. Swift is another story.  The court martial of Maj. Hasan and the trials of the 9/11 terrorists will go on forever providing vicarious thrills for thousands of cable TV viewers and fodder for the “fair and balanced” network screamers.

In the end, though, it’s always a little bit anti-climatic.  Once the criminal has been put down we quickly forget what it was all about and move on to the next high profile atrocity. More to the point, it doesn’t “undo” the crime.  Killing the killer doesn’t bring the dead back to life.  It rarely heals the broken lives of those the murders affected.

Deterrence is a joke.  You can watch the news any night of the week to listen about drive-by shootings, gang-related murders, drug deals gone wrong or wronged boyfriends going nuts and killing their lovers and, sometimes, the whole family. The death penalty does not deter nut cases, whack jobs or people who just plain crack up in the moment and happen to have a gun handy.  It doesn’t deter teens and young adults starving for attention, love and validation from doing what it takes to get attention either from the gang or from the media.

In short, the death penalty doesn’t work and it should be abolished.  I won’t be holding my breath.

On The Other Hand…

… it’s perfectly OK to remove any semblance of reproductive choice from women who have no access to affordable health care.  It seems that the “‘Just Say No’ to Everything” party is pulling out the old chestnut — abortion — to kill health care reform.  They couldn’t kill it with all the scare tactics about the ‘Public Option”. God forbid, one dollar of government money be used to assist poor or even moderate income women with access to the full menu of health care options.

Of course, it’s a nice trick to kill health care reform.  Women of means can always find a doctor who can help terminate a pregnancy and pay for it. It’s the poor and lower middle class who will bring children into their world of financial hardship with limited or zero access to good health care even for the child, lack of educational opportunities and general hardship. No matter whether the pregnancy was bought on by rape, incest or just plain sweet talk from an older man promising love and security but leaving as soon as the fun’s over.

Of course, poor women don’t have high-powered lobbyists on Capitol Hill.  Poor women don’t have lots of money to line the campaign coffers of candidates.

Big Pharma wins.  Big insurance companies win. Politicians win. People most in need of access to affordable health care….sorry.

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I was sitting in a RE/MAX Company meeting eight years ago today. One of the agents cell phone was getting blown up with calls from his son in D.C.  Jim got up and left the meeting. When he walked back in, he set his radio in the middle of the conference room table.

Nothing was said.

Everyone got up and left.

My daughter pulled into the parking lot as I was pulling out. I rolled down my window and said, “Go home.”

“Mom, what is wrong?”

“Just go home”…I could not speak.

We made it home in time to see the second twin tower attacked and come down.  Like most of us across the United States we were in shock and numb. My younger children were in school.  I wanted them home.  No one knew what would come next.

It took a terrible event to show again the greatness of the American heart. Let us never forget that same courage, generosity, and kinship still pulses through us.

Today as we reflect on our memories of that day, where we were, and what occurred on 9-11, let us stop and remember and pray for all the families that lost loved ones that day.

Let us reflect on the unity we felt as a Nation as together we set aside our political differences and really were One Nation Under God.

Photo Credit

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Conference Coverage

Inman’s Got Enough Money. Let’s Give Some To MFFO



It doesn’t get any better than this – you can actually get Inman Connect Tickets and help a charity at the same time!  I was the lucky winner of Inman Real Estate Connect Registration Passes and with the creative help of some friends (thanks @tcar and @andykaufman) decided to auction them for charity.

Inman Connect San Francisco
I’m sure @jbern had no clue what was going to happen when he started the competition: What’s Your Tweet Worth? ….between Jay Thomson’s raffle and this auction, there are some creative minds at work to help our colleagues as well as great charities.

So here’s what I would love for you to do –

1.  go place a bid

2   spread the word  **tweet it! facebook it! email it! **

3. check on the bid

4.  spread the word again **tweet it! facebook it! email it! **

The highest bidder will win full registration to Inman Connect San Francisco (both Inman Connect and Blogger’s Connect passes) and proceeds will go to Mothers Fighting For Others (that’s a $939 value).  What are you waiting for??? Go Bid!  We will be announcing the winner before the weekend.

**thanks for the tix Inman!!  Let’s see how much money we can raise**

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