Four times, I've been interviewed by artists who wanted to sell their homes, and I was reminded of these experiences at a house I looked at today.
The first was a well known area painter who had paintings all over the walls, and they were not hanging there. There were murals all over the place. My big mistake was suggesting that we summon Mr. Carroll, my favorite painter, to hit the place with a few cans of Benjamin Moore - a nice neutral tone! I got shown the door. This seller was convinced that the murals would make the house sell for a bunch more money than I thought it would fetch. Maybe it did. They were pretty cool murals.
Next time, I was much more diplomatic and got the listing. It was a big old funky "as is" house and the buyers made a point of telling the sweet elderly gentleman artist who lived there how much they loved the mural in the dining room. Then they summoned the guy with Benjamin Moore and lost the mural.
The third and fourth times, most of the art work was hanging on the walls, and a lot of it was pretty fabulous. Both of these artists sold a lot of their work. Still, I'm convinced that these houses took longer than usual to sell because of the quantity of stuff on the walls - and the sculptures in each room of one of the homes. It was all pretty amazing stuff that people paid lots of money to own, but it distracted buyers who came to see the place.
When artists list their homes, it's harder for them to go through the de-personalization process than it is for most of us. And it's harder for agents, at least this agent, to get the message across that the artist in residence can't overdo it. Some of the stuff (or if it's a little odd, most of it) needs to go into storage.
One of the fun parts about having artists as clients, is that I've wound up with some amazing stuff on my living room walls!