This Oakland Bungalow Got the Cora Sue Anthony Treatment

Take some home-staging cues from the woman who knows how to spin real estate straw into gold.

Two-Bedroom Bungalow In Oakland

Photo By Arthur Sharif With only 1000 square feet of space, the right staging is beyond essential. 

Herman Chan could tell. He just ... knew. "You bought this house eight years ago, didn't you?" he asked when he first walked into the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow in Oakland, Calif.'s up-and-coming NOBE neighborhood. He was right on the money. "It was the moss green," he says. "That color was so hot." And now it's not.

He loved the little jewel-like home and knew he could find the right mate for it. "It's petite, but that's typical of bungalows from this period," he says. "The fact is, it's a perfect condo alternative for a San Francisco ex-pat." The lot is small, with no yard, which means no maintenance for busy millenials. And the enclosed garage goes right into the house, a rarity that increases the safety factor immensely.

But that green! The home needed to be shown to its best advantage. Chan called in his secret weapon.

"I work with Cora Sue all the time," he says. "I love her. This is her art. She knows how to listen to the client, understand the market and convey a property." As an example he mentions an awkwardly laid-out loft he sold a number of years ago. With Cora's staging, it sold quickly. Now back on the market, "it looks awful, and it's just sitting there."

For this home, he and Cora brightened the walls. "Gray is very hot now, so is off-white. It brightened the space." The previous owners had used different colors throughout, which "compartmentalized everything," says Chan. "When you have too many blocks of color, it's like a dress with horizontal stripes. It does a small space no favors."

The single light color created a flow, "creating a unified space," says Chan. "And there are tons of windows, more than the average bungalow. So we left them naked and open, and capitalized on the light coming in." Finally they used sparse but impactful furnishings that "let the buyer understand that with the right furniture, you can live here, too." 

Priced just under $400K, it's an affordable option in this cray-cray market. Sometimes the right staging is just what a bungalow needs.

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