FurnitureConsignment.com Blog

It's Your Move, but Arrange to Sell

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 25, 2014 @ 11: 59 AM

uIMG 5561Despite the arctic cold, we're starting to see a predictable harbinger of spring. Realtors and home-staging professionals are flocking to our showrooms. They're hunting for furniture and accessories to update the homes they hope to sell in the next few months.

 

Some 40% of home sales occur between March and June. Homeowners are busy prepping for that brief window of opportunity. The smartest ones know that clever staging can boost the selling price significantly.

 

Staging is an art. And since we work with some of the best in Boston, I can offer some of their secrets:  

 

First, update your lighting. Cheap fixtures and lamps from the 1970s are a big turn-off for buyers. So are cracked or stained lampshades. New lamps and shades bring immediate warmth and style into a home - and that's a purchase that won't put a big dent in your wallet. Our showrooms offer lots of choices from classic to trendy.

 

Put things in scale. Homeowners often roll out a rug that is too small for the room. Maybe it was a quality hand-me-down from a relative or they got a bargain at the rug store, and they figured that something on a bare floor was better than nothing. News flash: a small rug in a big room is like a postage stamp on a lawn. It shrinks the room visually. We have rugs in all sizes. If you don't find what you need in our stores, then softly gleaming hardwood floors are a better bet.

 

De-clutter. Pack up the dust-collecting tchotchkes. Nothing says Grandma like an army of Hummels. That could be a turn-off to the thirtysomethings looking for a chic nest in which to start their families. Also, take a hard look at your furniture. If potential buyers have to hold their breath to squeeze around a king-size mattress in the master bedroom, you've got a problem. Get rid of furniture that overpowers a room.

 

One last tip: beware the curse of IKEA. We've all committed a few sins in the name of frugality. Say you bought some particleboard furniture a few years ago. You hauled the box home and assembled it yourself. Now, you're selling your house. Keep in mind that nothing depreciates an upscale home faster than cheap furniture. Just a few quality pieces -- bought on consignment - would reinforce the concept of quality in your home.

Topics: real estate, home, delivery, change, life, staging, lamps, lamp, consignment, boston, Interior Design, Antique furniture, chestnut hill, pick up, Furniture, Hanover, customers, plymouth, children, audience, target, kids, moving, spring break, designers, rug

Dog Training into Life Lessons

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, March 26, 2013 @ 10: 24 AM

"I'll take him!" I told the breeder. I could barely see 367px Boxer puppy fawnanything in the dark, grimy basement, but I'd seen enough to know this puppy was the one. Fourteen weeks old, he was a beautiful fawn Boxer, the last of the litter. I was 23, working hard at my first job, and living in Kentucky. I learned an important lesson that day. Never go look at a puppy unless you are ready to buy one.

 

He was the clumsiest, goofiest, dumbest and most loyal dog on the planet. I named him Boston, after my hometown, and he joined my other dog, Captain, a cocker spaniel. Together, those two dogs were wilder than any three-year-old on a sugar-high. I couldn't leave them alone. One time I returned from a long day at work to find Boston on top of my kitchen table doing the full body wag while captain was chewing on my brand new sneaker. They destroyed the carpet in my first home. They required lots of care, food and vet. I spent more money than I imagined.

 

Captain had been a mistake, too. I bought him while I was in college. I used to take him with me to campus, leaving him outside the classroom with strict instructions to "stay." When class was over, I'd be lucky to catch a fleeting glimpse of his tail as he made a beeline for the sorority houses. All afternoon, the girls would lavish him with treats and attention. Smart dog: he scored more than I did.

 

Looking back, I wasn't ready for one dog, never mind two. I made a lot of mistakes in my 20s.

 

All that came back to me yesterday while I was in our showroom in Plymouth. A customer was looking at furniture for her daughter. At 23, the daughter had launched a fast-track career. In fact, she'd already bought her first condo, the mother explained proudly, and she needed a bedroom set.

 

uimg 9898There was one problem. Her daughter had fallen in love with some slick, cheaply-made furniture she'd seen in a catalog. The mother walked through our showroom, shaking her head. "I've got to get her in here!" she said. "If only I could just show her what quality looks like, maybe she'd re-consider."

 

No, I thought. She won't. Smart as she is, the daughter has to make a few mistakes first. She'll buy the catalog set and watch it fall apart over the next few years. When she moves into her next home, she may try to sell it - and she'll realize it depreciated faster than a pink convertible. In fact, it will be close to worthless.

 

But the lesson won't be. And, just like her mom, we've learned to be patient.


Topics: boston, Antique furniture, Furniture Consignment, Furniture, Quality Furniture, American Made Furniture, dogs, dog

The "Reasonable" Offer

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, April 13, 2012 @ 10: 25 AM

TempleMarket22Oct20115"I would accept a reasonable offer on the altar table." The gentleman - and potential consignor - indicated with a sweep of his hand on the long, rectangular table in his living room. The piece was clearly old, but it was rough-hewn and lacking any ornamentation.


     Curious, I asked him what he would consider reasonable. "A good offer would be twelve thousand," the man said firmly, "and a reasonable offer would be six thousand." 

     I gulped. Would that be in dollars or peanuts? I thought. I quickly squelched the comment, because I knew he wasn't joking.

     Asian furniture occupies a special niche in the consignment business. China is an ancient country, and treasured possessions such as porcelain and furniture typically have been passed down from generation to generation. In this case, the eight-foot altar table was more than two hundred years old. Its construction and workmanship suggested it had been built during the mid-Qing Dynasty, China's last dynasty, which ruled from 1644 to 1912.

     How did the table get to Boston? The gentleman's mother had been a pioneer of Asian-influenced interior design who had visited China frequently to scour that country for antiques after it opened to the West in the early 1970s. Some of her most important pieces had been consigned to the Boston Design Center, where showrooms had built vignettes around items she had collected in Japan, Korea and China.

      Her son had inherited some of her favorite pieces, including the altar table. While it wasn't as rare or exquisite as something you might see in the Shanghai Museum, it was beautiful for its history and provenance. Yet the price he was seeking was still astounding - at least for our customers.

     Sentimentality sometimes creates a fog ofgr 001 528x421 confusion for consignors when it comes to the value of their furniture. In this consignor's mind, the altar table may have represented his mother's adventurous spirit in venturing into a place as economically chaotic and primitive as China in the 1970s. Or the table may have been a reminder of her celebrated career as the doyenne of Chinese-inspired d├ęcor in Boston.

     But our buyers wouldn't see those things in this rough table and we couldn't command the price he was asking. We agreed that Furniture Consignment Gallery wasn't the right place to sell the table, and we parted as friends. In leaving, I offered him some advice. Antique stores that specialize in Asian furniture attract knowledgeable connoisseurs. After visiting with some specialty stores his pricing expectations could be validated or he may find that he would need to reset them. They would at least appreciate his altar table - and the story of the woman who launched it on its long journey to the U.S. Secretly I was hoping he would decide otherwise and give us a chance.

Topics: Price My Furniture, Chinese Antiques, Ancient, alter, Furniture Consignment Boston, Furniture Consignment Hanover, Furniture Consignment Newton, Antique furniture, Furniture quality, Furniture Consignment Gallery in Hanover, Solid Wood, Furniture Consignment, Furniture Style, Furniture Consignment Gallery Newton, Furniture Care, Furniture History, China