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Posted at 05:54 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Skinny mirrors: You look great, and the house does, too

Special to The Washington Post


Does this mirror make you feel better about yourself, and buying this home? (Pat Kennedy)

The latest trend in home staging is not something that makes a house or condo look great, but a trick that makes the buyer look better while they are inside the property: Skinny mirrors!

Without a doubt, these mirrors are mood enhancing. I mean, who doesn’t like to see themselves looking as if they’ve just shed a few pounds?

I’ve been noticing them in what appear to be professionally staged homes. I’d walk in with my clients to stare into a very flattering image of all of us. Then walking down the stairs, I notice in the stairwell there is another one, and again we all look wonderful! In some properties, I’ve counted four or five of them in various rooms.

This is certainly an interesting form of subliminal marketing, and we don’t want our listings to make people look fat! But does it cross some sort of line?

Today’s sellers often make substantial investments in professional home staging. They go far beyond mere de-cluttering and changing curtains or bed linens. They often remove their own shabby-looking furniture and have rented items brought in to transform their rooms into Pottery Barn spring catalogue centerfolds. And I’ve seen good staging turn previously frumpy houses into shameless flirts that sell almost instantly for top dollar.

While I try to coach my own buyers to look beyond the presentation to the real attributes of the house, I do try to make sure that my own listings need little or no imagination to get other agents’ buyers’ hearts racing. It’s an essential to have a listing look wonderful if it is to be competitive in the marketplace. But should I help the house flatter, not only itself, but also the buyers and agents who come through?

Next week, I have a gorgeous new listing coming on the market, and I’m wondering about bringing in a few skinny mirrors to make buyers feel as good as the house looks.

So what do you think? Do you think I should slip in a few of these little tricks of the trade into this already great looking house?

Pat Kennedy is a real estate agent at Evers & Co. and a blogger onActive Rain.

Other blog posts by Pat Kennedy:

Raccoons in the attic

Georgetown home prices

Rosedale cottage: A historic renovation

Are you a real estate or neighborhood blogger who would like to contribute to Where We Live? E-mail us at realestate@washpost.com.

By Pat Kennedy  |  05:54 AM ET, 03/19/2012

 
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