September 10th 2014
The New York Times
Q. Do I need to stage my balcony before showings?
A. A balcony is an extension of your living space, said Rebecca Edwardson, an associate broker at Warburg Realty in Manhattan. And as such, it should be given its due. “It’s always a good idea to do home staging,” she said. “Including the balcony.”
Balconies sometimes require more attention than the rest of the home. “Because they’re small and people don’t use them that much, they often end up being neglected,” Ms. Edwardson said. “City soot builds up and makes them dirty, or people use them as a makeshift storage area.”
The first step is to make sure your balcony is neat and spotlessly clean. You want to ensure that potential buyers see it as a perk, she said, not “a dirt collector.”
Barbara Brock, co-owner of the New York home-staging company Sold With Style, said: “A balcony or terrace in Manhattan is a revered room. It’s a luxury to have one, and I’ve always taken the view that it’s an expanded room of your home.”
The goal, she said, is to make it look like an appealing place to relax. Furnish a small balcony with a lounge chair in an outdoor material like wicker, along with a side table just big enough to hold a book or a drink. “If you have a little more room,” she added, “I would put out a small bistro table.”
You may also want to add a decorative object like a sculpture, a metal-framed mirror or a vine-covered trellis. And if you don’t have time to grow real plants, she said, convincing artificial ones will do the trick for showings.
“Faux is just as good as fresh,” Ms. Brock said, especially for homeowners who will be away from home and unable to water for extended periods while the home is on the market. “There are faux outdoor plants that just look terrific.”
An outdoor rug can help pull these pieces together, making the balcony seem like an inviting living space. And if the balcony has a stained or ugly floor, she said, it will “cover up a multitude of sins.”
But try to keep costs within reason. A balcony is a seasonal space with limited utility, Ms. Edwardson said, so “it’s probably a good idea not to put too much money into it.”