When it comes to gaining a competitive edge in a slow housing market, Scottsdale real estate agent Jean Steed doesn’t rule any idea out.
So when Steed heard about agents in New York City sprucing up homes by displaying original artwork, she quickly latched onto the concept.
“When it’s a buyers’ market, you can’t shut down or turn away from any venue of advertising,” Steed said.
Hanging local art in a home is one more way to entice buyers, she said.
For Scottsdale artist Bela Fidel, it’s also a way to get more exposure.
Four of Fidel’s contemporary paintings, which feature strong, vibrant colors, are hanging in one of Steed’s homes. The four-bedroom Scottsdale house on Via Dona Road is listed at $1.3 million.
“It’s good that people see it,” Fidel said. “It’s even better when they love it. And it’s wonderful if they buy it.”
The home was sparsely decorated because the owners were getting ready to move, so the paintings added a lot of ambiance, said Steed, who keeps Fidel’s brochures and business cards handy. Plus, the owners didn’t have to pay for staged artwork.
Fidel’s paintings also have caught the attention of Amy Rozines, who owns a home staging business.
Original art works well, especially in the higher-end market, where it’s selected to specifically fit particular homes, Rozines said.
Art helps to warm up the house — bringing color and height to a space, she said. The idea is to draw people’s eyes to specific features in the home, Rozines said.
And it extends beyond paintings.
Stagers sometimes decorate rooms with custom rugs or sculptures, she said.
“If the house is priced right and it looks better than the competition, you’re going to be the one that sells,” she said.
Fidel said she’s enjoyed showing her art in Steed’s home and hopes to do more.
Last fall, Steed gathered a group of eight local artists, who set up a makeshift gallery in the three-car garage of another home she was selling. Some 40 or 50 people came to the event.
Steed hopes to follow up the show’s success with another later this year.
For now, she’s working with other artists on an individual basis.
“It just, to me, is a special little touch,” she said. “The blending of real estate and fine art is just such a nobrainer.”