The expectation or preference for many buyers of second homes in Hawai’i is that the resort condo or single family home they purchase will come “turnkey furnished.” Other buyers lean towards developer sales, new construction or building from scratch on vacant land as selecting furnishings and art is for them part of the fun. In the middle ground is the buyer who wants a property to be furnished enough that they won’t miss a beat with vacation rentals, but still plan to put their own personal touch on the place so it feels like home when they are in the residence.
Newly listed 49 Black Sand Beach oceanfront home (MLS# 276792) comes with furnishings selected by Zylstra Interior Design and custom artwork
Less Can Be Better Than “More” in Staging a Home For Sale
The flip side of the equation is seller’s preference both during the listing period and in what they plan to move with them. To be honest, with a number of primary residences where Pam and I have been the second or third or fourth listing agent, the key to our success was convincing those owners to finally stage their home by packing up the tennis trophies, African masks, and photos of the family’s excursion to Dolphin Quest or charter fishing.
Here’s a Puakea Bay Ranch home (MLS# 276113) that is well priced at $1,499,000, but has an art collection that can distract prospective buyers
I empathize with sellers who have extensive collections of art, and collectibles from years of travel to exotic destinations. I do too. But the art of selling your home is helping a wide range of buyers put themselves in the picture. I hate bringing a buyer to a listing only to have them remember an unusual piece of art but forget whether the home had a swimming pool!
Sometimes Staging a Home For Sale Means “More” is Needed
Developers understand that a furnished model sells buyers on a lifestyle, even when the homes they are selling have yet to even come out of the ground! By thoughtfully staging an empty or almost-empty home with simple fixes like accent walls and art, we can get a listing to stand out for the nine out of ten buyers who begin their search online.
I just listed a newly completed home in North Kohala (MLS# 276088), an ocean view residence on 14.5 acres already set up to be a farm or horse property. The sellers are packed and ready to move on, so I worried the interior would look flat in MLS photos. Luckily, the founding artists of Living Arts Gallery in Hawi were happy to come to the rescue on short notice, lending original artworks for our photo shoot.
The trick when you have a listing with a location as spectacular as this residence does, is to pick art that draws the eye to the views rather than competing with them.
Master bedroom has ocean on the headboard side, Kohala moutain views when you wake in the morning
The art doesn’t have to be surfboards and dolphins just because you’re in Hawai’i. I love the choice of this Tim Pervinkle photo printed on canvas, “Reed Reflections,” as a headboard in the master suite (above). The colors and watery subject of the photo mirror the ocean horizon views beyond; if you look closely, the angle of the reeds in the photo is echoed in the angle of the windswept ironwood trees visible through the window. And what better metaphor for how the events and places of daily life are reflected in our nightly dreams.
Living room wall just made for art does not compete with indoor-outdoor ocean view lifestyle
For a big empty wall in the great room, the gallery artists chose a painting of a landmark that buyers of this home would pass driving from shopping in Kona or swimming at one of the Kohala Coast beaches. The landscape of Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is paired appropriately with paintings from Connie Firestone’s Guardian series.
Guest bedroom used as home office…the painting over the desk is like another window to the outside
Hanging above the desk in the third bedroom, currently used as a home office, is another landscape, this by gallery owner Mary Sky Schoolcraft, that made me do a double-take. It wasn’t commissioned for this home, but could have been!
If you want to buy the artwork featured in this listing along with the house, it will have to be done through the gallery. Unfortunately, Living Arts Gallery just lost their lease, so if you are in the Hawi area this month, stop by for their Going Out with Style sale. The 70-some artists whose work is sold by the gallery will still be living and creating on-island, so no problem if you have a new home in Hawai’i in need of some art.
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)