I had a call from a Realtor who was rather puzzled as to why a particular house was not selling. It was about the same size and quality of several other new builds in the subdivision. All of those had sold very quickly.
After some thought, it dawned on her that the unusual placement of the stairs may have something to do with it.
The stairs were open to the basement, which was not so unusual, but they were in the center of the house dividing the eating area and the living area.
This chopped up the whole floor plan, but it also allowed for small (very active) children to fall over the railing if there was any furniture close to the railing.
She called me in to get my opinion.
I agreed with her assessment immediately.
We decided to stage the house to take the emphasis off the stairs/railings. We placed furniture so that buyers could see there was a way to do it without endangering any active children. You can see the issue in the photo.
The solution was very simple in reality.
We staged the house beautifully to de-emphasize the stairs. Then we arranged the furniture to make sure the buyers could see that this would be a safe place for their family.
The living room had a lovely stone fireplace. We dressed it up and made it a great focal point for the whole living area.
This house finally sold shortly after it was staged.