Staircases that Sell Homes

If you're a builder, you know that creating the "wow factor" inside a home can start right in the entry foyer --- with a circular staircase. Realtors report that circular stair systems send a message of greater value and make a strong impression when buyers walk in the front door.

"A circular staircase creates a positive first impression as people walk into the home," says Kurt Geschwender, CRP, CRS, Geschwender Real Estate Co. "It's a one-two punch. You've created strong curb appeal to move them off the street and into the house. Then you need to close them with the first impression as they enter the home.

"I've found that a buyer will mentally buy the home after they hit the front door ... and that they tour the rest of the house looking for reasons why not to buy it."

Realtor John Lynn sums up what many potential homebuyers are thinking --- circular staircases are generally seen as a symbol of elegance.

"I've rarely seen a curved staircase in a home that wasn't eye-catching in either its design or placement," says Lynn, SRES with 5 Star Real Estate Pros at Keller Williams Mountain Partners. "People see a straight staircase design and think of a wide range of purposes for that staircase from basic functionality to being a home's centerpiece for connecting life upstairs. However, a curved staircase makes a dramatic, jaw-dropping statement in a home and appeals to homebuyers on an entirely different level."


Staircases that Upsell a Home

Along with the design of a stair system, homebuyers gravitate to the materials contained in the staircase.

"A staircase mimics a person's style," says Craig Kurtz, president of L.J. Smith Stair Systems. "That's one reason why we offer so many different stair component designs, wood species, stainless steel, metal and iron product options.

"In today's marketplace the trend is for cool iron balusters matched with warm wooden newels and handrails. That marriage of wood and iron allows homeowners to 'play' off both materials so that the stairway complements other design elements of the home."

Kurtz points out that all the iron balusters L.J. Smith sells are hand made, assuring that no two balusters are exactly alike. The slight variations in each piece add character to a stairway.


Staircases Big Seller

According to Geschwender, balusters have big "eye appeal" for prospective buyers. "We're seeing a lot of metal products in a variety of combinations," says Geschwender. "This can have a positive effect on the buyer's perception of the property.

"Balusters with some flair or uniqueness help prospective buyers believe they're getting a custom staircase, created just for them."

Lynn relates that every client walking through a home is different ... and one person's idea of beauty may be less than ideal for the next client strolling through the home.

"If a staircase enhances the home interior, it will feel like it flows as you traverse it," says Lynn. "Likewise, a stairway that does not seem to fit a room feels for like an obstacle for people to overcome.

"The shape, style, positioning and material of a staircase can be a positive or negative in the buyer's mind depending on how it fits into the overall design of the home.

"I've noticed that most people prefer to match the materials in a staircase to existing fixtures of the home to give a consistency of theme or design. Having a staircase with a little bit of color, material or design contrast allows them to offset or even showcase the staircase in the home. As with every aspect of a home purchase, it all depends on the individual buyer."

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