Author archive - Karen GP

About the Author
Author

Karen GP

Actual Staging or Virtual Staging | Which is Better?

Actual Staging or Virtual Staging | Which is Better?

Presentation of a property is extremely important when it goes on the market. The challenge in seller’s minds are the expense that might be involved to improve upon what they have, to make the “product” desirable to buyers; along with gaining the largest return. In comes staging. Should the property be actually staged with furniture, or is virtual ok.

Virtual staging is when a professional adds furniture to rooms virtually to make the house “appear” to be furnished. When buyers look online the house looks great, when they actually go to see the property it will only have empty rooms.

virtual stage

Actually staging is when a professional goes into the property and sets the furniture in a way to allow buyers to see how their furnishing can fit in the spaces. They are knowledgeable of who your buying market is and what they desire. If staged, the house looks great online; and when buyers visit the property, it is the same as what they saw online.

DSC_0078 (2)wm

Which is better?

Either actually, it depends on the type of property, to market a property well, it should be staged. I suggest the best way to use virtual staging is for a model home that a builder has not built yet, their are numerous floor plans, but possibly only one built. The one built should be actually staged, while the other models done virtually. Virtual staging the other models gives buyers a better feel for how the floor plan can work for them. This allows the builder then to engage buyers to purchase additional models.

Virtual staging is not a good idea for a single family home that an individual might be selling. It might draw a buyer to make an appointment to see a house, unfortunately with less than 10% of the population being able to envision a space, the showing will typically not entice the buyer because they will be viewing empty rooms.

Actual Staging is having a professional stager come to the property and set it up with furnishing and accessories for the buying market in a way that enhances the spaces. It allows a buyer to have a “hands on” experience allowing them to envision themselves living in the spaces.

Actual staging a home whereby the sellers have not moved their furnishing out is essential, known as occupied staging. Here professional staging will blend the existing furnishings and improve upon the presentation to entice buyers. Enhancing the property to allow the seller hold onto their hard earned equity.

Both types of staging are vital to the marketing of a property. The best way to choose which to use would be to evaluate the type of property and situation of the property that is being sold. The goal is to have the property resonate with buyers. Staging a property is worth every dollar invested in it. Think of “flipping” shows, they always have a property staged before they put it on the market because they know staging brings value to the property.

Other good reads:

Virtual Staging Versus Physical Staging

Design Solutions KGP Selected As Top Professional Home Stager of 2016

Marketing a Home Well


Is Staging Worth the Cost When Selling?

Is Staging Worth the Cost When Selling?

You decide it’s time to put your house on the market. You get a few RE Agents into your home to give you an evaluation and they tell you to “de-clutter, clean, and make things neutral” (ya, ya, ya)….you listen to the advice and then do as they suggested or think you did, and your house sits on the market. Why? Because most likely you have not been able to:

1. Look at your house objectively
2. Your house has assets that are probably not being highlighted the best that they can
3. You cleaned, de-cluttered, and are looking neutral BUT probably have not created the VALUE that speaks to the buyers
4. Your personal (ahem) decorating style is probably not as appealing to many buyers as you think

So you say “so what” I’m not wasting money to have someone tell me what I need to do.
“So what,” your house will then be passed over for homes that present better, it will linger on the market longer causing you to reduce your desired price, and/or you will get into a bidding war which will be more costly than hiring a Professional Stager. Not to mention the money you are losing each month in carrying costs like mortgage, taxes, heating/cooling, electricity…

I ask my clients if these cupcakes cost the same, which is more desirable and would be the better value?

cupcake
You guessed it, the frosted cupcake. Why? Think about when you put your home on the market why a buyer would want your home over the others in your area.
When buyers are looking for a house which one will they select? The house that is polished and speaking to them, or the one that looks like every other home they have seen online. Those properties that do not present well will be passed up and linger on the market longer and at a lower price.

Why hire a professional stager? Why hire a lawyer, a contractor, seek advice of a tax adviser? Because they know how to do the job, and have extensive knowledge in the area they are professionals in.

You know if you hire a professional the job will be done right saving yourself frustration and aggravation that in the long run is worth every penny. A professional stager brings value to the home, they suggest upgrades that are desirable to buyers that will bring the seller a return on the investment. A professional stager protects your equity in your home. The house will be merchandised to impress savvy buyers for the market that the house is in. Professional staging creates a polished look that makes a home stand out online and in the market place, it creates an emotional connection for buyers to want to take a further look.

So why hire a professional to stage your house to sell, because you want it to sell, and sell faster than the competition. Is that worth the cost of hiring a Professional Stager?

Other great reading:

7 Simple Steps to Staging

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging

Benefits of Staging Your Property


How To Prep Your Home For Sale

How To Prep Your Home For Sale

staging-like-a-pro-2


What Is The Greige Rage?

What Is The Greige Rage?

Greige is a color that was introduced or identified when grays were coming onto the decorating scene after browns were the popular neutral. Although greige has been around for a while, some people, after all the browns were feeling gray was too cold, hence greige. Why and where would greige be a good color to use in a room? Let me explain so that you understand why it might be a great neutral for a room, or for selling.

Greige is that bridge neutral to help take rooms from the 1990’s beige and brown colors into the 2000’s gray trend. If you are one of those people that feel gray is “too cold,” greige is a good bridge for you. Paint is an easy inexpensive way to update any décor. When you have a kitchen that has travertine marble, and lots of brown, a greige can help you make the room look a little more updated. If you decorated last in the 90’s take a look at some greige’s because they can give your rooms a totally new look without breaking the bank.

Of course I have to talk a little bit about buyers today, they expect homes to be pretty much ‘turnkey’ they do not want to do a lot of updating. So in comes paint color to do the trick. Neutral is important when selling because it allows buyers to look at the room, not the color on the wall, or the stuff in the room. The color can actually help accentuate the architectural details that you want to emphasize when selling.

So back to why greige can be the ideal color;  identifying some ‘ideal’ greige tones that could help you update your rooms from the 90’s to what is trending is a great way to use greige. Keep in mind it’s hard to choose just one because of the undertones in floors and counters.

Although Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan (HC-81) has a bit of a green undertone, it is a great neutral to bridge that gap between being too brown to updating toward gray. The color works well.HC-81 Manchester Tan

 

machester tan

As you can see it can take a traditional space and make it feel more modern. Note the colors of the slate floors, dark gray, gray and greige. Of course using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White for the trim give the pop to the walls, taking it from “boring beige” to simply sophisticate.

Sherwin Williams identified one of their greige as Perfect Greige SW6073, it too closes the gap between the browns to a warm gray feeling, making the room feel more modern and updated.

SW 6073 Perfect Greige
Perfect Greige

This beautiful dining room is a great example of how the warmth of the color also adds sophistication.

natural cream

This traditional kitchen the granite appears to have gray in it, the cabinets were painted in a Natural Cream Benjamin Moore OC-14 which gives the room a warmer feeling then a gray which tends to be on the cooler scale of color.

Greige continues to be popular going forward into 2017 as Sherwin Williams choice Poised Taupe, but it really is a cross between gray and beige.

So if you are considering updating your rooms, but are not ready to rip out tile, flooring, or spend an arm and leg updating; consider color as a way to bridge the gap. Sometimes just changing your color on the walls to a more updated trending color might do the trick. Send me some pictures of your color changes and the difference it made in your rooms!

Other good reads:

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Eight Biggest Selling Offenders


2017 Predicted Popular Colors

2017 Predicted Popular Colors

It’s that time of year when the paint manufactures announce what they believe will be the popular color for the upcoming year.  They predict these colors based on trends they see not only in the design world but also what people are navigating towards. Color is like fashion, it will be cyclical but when the color comes back it will have a different fresh twist to it. You may have seen the predictions on my Facebook feed already, but I think it’s nice to see them altogether in one place too.

I noticed that the colors seem to leaving the neutral ‘clean’ trend that we had seen in 2016 with Alabaster and Simply White being the big news from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The colors this year have purple undertones, and have a relaxing feeling. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of a busy day, to just sit back and relax? Having these colors in your rooms, if you like them, will allow you to do just that.

Sherwin Williams says Poised Taupe will be the color for 2017. Interestingly enough I have seen the trend to more beige than gray lately in décor,  and articles about décor. So this one is not too surprising to me. It is a cross between gray and beige but with purple undertones. Being a versatile color for those that were not enamored by the gray’s that have been so popular for the past ten or so years.

 

bedroom poised taupe

Notice how the room has the gray and beige in the rug, lots of light neutrals also, giving the room a relaxed feeling.

poised taupe kitchen

Instead of the gray trend for cabinets, taupe looks beautiful in this kitchen. I especially like taupe with black it makes it look so rich.

Those that like to purchase their paint at Home Depot, and now Walmart I understand; Glidden chose Byzantine Blue (50BB 32/117). It is a purplish blue. PPG the manufacture of Glidden said “Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise. It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all of best qualities of blue and gray…”

byzantine blue bed

Soft purply blue mixed again with neutrals is such a relaxing combination. So I wonder is gray slowly fading or just morphing into a softer feeling…

What do you think of the predicted colors for 2017? We still need to see what Benjamin Moore (October 2016 they announced Shadow as their color for 2017) will come out with, which I am sure will be soon. Do you think you will be jumping on the trend, or have you been using similar colors in your decorating all along? I love to hear your feed back

Other good reads:

The Right Color for a Room


Maximize Your Property Sale|Real Estate

Maximize Your Property Sale|Real Estate

You are a home owner, creating memories, putting your special touches on the rooms, making them feel like “home.” A few years down the road, life changes and you find you need to move, panic sets in, and there is so much to do, where do you begin to prepare your property for sale? The focus needs to be how you market your home to gain the biggest return on your largest investment, your house.

$$$$$$$$$

Staging is essential in today’s real estate market to optimize marketing your house and accomplish a quick sale. Staging is the presentation or packaging of the product that will draw a buyers interest. 90% of buyers look online for their house, they are looking for a house that they can aspire to live in. They are not looking for a house that looks like yours, they want a house that will look like theirs. How to achieve that look can be difficult, but can be realized with the help of a Professional Stager.

childs bedroom as is

kids bedroom staged

If you are able to plan out your move a few years away, call in a Professional Stager NOW. They can review your house with you, giving you a wealth of ideas to prepare your house for market. The advantage of doing it now, is that you have time to enjoy the investments for yourself. It also will help you reduce the overwhelming feeling that can occur when you wait until the actual day you want to sell.

If you need to move right away, or in the near future, calling a Professional Stager is a MUST, because they will direct you to how to optimize your home for the quickest sale. After a consult you should have a prioritized list of what needs to be address and the order it should be completed to assist your sale to go as smoothly as possible.

Actually staging is vital in today’s market as some of the points already mentioned. It can be difficult to look objectively at your home, but you need to. Keep in mind your goal is to sell your house, not live their infinitely. The prized collections and cute things that make it a ‘home’ may not be the same for a buyer. Be objective. The small investment of 1 to 3% of staging your home is by far, a smaller investment with a bigger return then the 4 to 7% you pay an agent. Possibly negotiate with your agent to be reimbursed at the closing if they are not willing to pay for Professional Staging up front, you are helping them market your house.

When marketing a product- including your house, placement, price, product and promotion are all key factors. As a seller you can take control of the product to make sure it stands out above all other houses in the market, which in turn will generate more showings. More showings, higher chance of getting a quick offer. What a winning combination!

Other good reads:

Sterile or Styled | Makes a Difference When Selling

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging

Advantage of Home Staging


Color How They Work Together

Color How They Work Together

Maria Killam wrote a blog Introducing the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel  yesterday, which is so simple to see how and what colors work with one another. For those of us in the decorating industry we are all gaga about it. Back in May I took her intensive three day course; let me tell you it was chock-full of information and how colors complement one another. mkillam color wheel

She easily breaks down how colors work with one another by their undertones. When you look at a room and it’s fixed elements i.e. the floors, cabinets, stone on a fireplace… they all have a color right? The area to concentrate on is what the predominate undertone in those elements are. Some people can see it, others can not, and if you are in the can not group then it is worth every penny to have a certified True Colour Expert™ help you out.

You may think that a builder for a new home knows what they are doing when they paint the walls, but I have seen many new builds that have cooler toned fixed elements and the walls painted in warm tones. They do not work together. Color not only translates to what is on the walls, but also all the other elements throughout a space in a room. When we see a room pulled together correctly we drool over the space. The design is complementing the colors through the space. There are many professionally designed rooms that do not have the colors correct, but when it is done right it is harmonious.

So if you want a home that is coordinated and balanced, one room flowing into the next without jarring feelings, color can be the element you have overlooked. Not sure how to pull it off? It is worth every penny to have a True Colour Expert™ come and help you out. Think of it this way; an electrician, plumber, or lawyer – they all have skills that you do not embrace, pay for the help it’s worth the small expense.

Here is my testimonial on Maria’s class I took this past spring:


Exterior Color Amplify Your Curb Appeal

Exterior Color Amplify Your Curb Appeal

House color has a big impact on curb appeal. Have you ever looked at your house and felt that it could use a change, or that it might not be the right color? There are several factors to consider when you are choosing colors for your house.

First, take a good look at your house. Details like stone work or your roof are features that typically would not be painted. So use these as a place to get your inspiration for your new colors. Typically I suggest choosing two or three colors whereby the main color is going to be the siding color that will coordinate with your roof and stone work. Keep in mind that the color you choose due to all the light reflecting on it from the outdoors will probably appear lighter than the tiny chip so get a few sample pots to compare. Apply to the different sides of your house to see in various light.

modern monochromatic

Next consider the style of your home. For example, a Victorian style home can have earthy tones or vivid energetic colors, while a Farm house style is classic in white with black shutters, which would not necessarily complement the details on a Victorian style house. A modern style home looks good in a monochromatic color theme, whereby a craftsman style home would look best in colors relating to nature. Research different color combination on Pinterest and Instagram for images and ideas.country home

The next color to consider is for the trim. Typically trim is done in a white; but when I say white you have to pay attention to the undertone of the main color you have chosen. If you have picked a brown toned paint for your house, you will want a more cream colored trim. If you have picked a gray toned paint you will want a whiter, cool toned trim.

Last are the shutters, and/or doors. Again they need to relate to the elements that you cannot change with paint. Here I typically will suggest a dark color that relates to the undertone of the main house to give these detail a little pop. The door can be the same as the shutters or trim, or all together different but be sure to relay it to the main color of the house.

Stone wood and paint all coordinate

As for the finish of paint flat or eggshell are good choices for wood or textured siding. The more texture the more flat your finish should be, sheen enhances the lumps and bumps. Hardie board and vinyl are good looking in eggshell or satin. Trim and doors look best in satin giving the features a rich look.

Have more questions? Feel free to contact me. If you do change your exterior and love the results shoot me a picture!

Other good reads:

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually


Color Can Hurt the Sale of Your House

Color Can Hurt the Sale of Your House

Did you know the color of your walls could actually hurt the sale of your home? It’s true, certain colors are a real turn off to buyers, and you have heard me say it before, ‘never give a buyer a reason to walk away’ when you are selling your home.

Color can be very personal, it is similar to keeping all your personal items throughout a house when selling. In a poll done by realtor.com they found 58% of homeowners would not decorate in orange, black or violet. If you have these colors on your walls you should tone those colors down prior to putting your house on the market. Remember when it comes to selling you are trying to appeal to the broadest range of buyers, this is not the time for you to show off your personal taste.

purple bedroom

Saturated colors are a turn off and can hurt the sale of your home. The bolder the color the harder it is for the buyers not to be distracted by it. Real estate agents, TV shows, and articles repeatedly direct sellers to depersonalize and de-clutter their house before putting it up for sale, color can be just as personal so tone it down! The more you can make your house stand out and not your “things,” you will improve your appeal to buyers. I cannot tell you how many times I go on a consult to find a red dining room. Yes red is to be known to stimulate appetite, but it does not necessarily stimulate buyers to purchase, it might stimulate them to run- not what you want!

green and pink kitchen

Neutral colors are desirable to buyers when selling. Softer shades of colors create a serene feeling. By choosing calming shades like HC-171 Wickham Gray, or OC-53 Horizon by Benjamin Moore it will add a bit of color to the walls but be neutral enough that buyers will like it.

 

If you are one that absolutely loves color and has to have it, use it as an accent throughout the house. Of those polled 41% preferred the color used as accents instead of on the walls. By using the color as an accent it gives you flexibility too when decorating, it is a lot easier to change out a few pillows, accessories and art than repaint an entire room.

Goshen NY master bedroom

Keep in mind that the hard finishes like floors, counters, tiles, cabinets etc. tend to take command and dictate the colors that should be used in the house. If you are not loving these colors in your home, when you are selling at least try and work with them to create a harmonious feeling through the house, it will leave a better impression on the buyers. Keep in mind that bold saturated colors along with orange, purple, and black are very personal and should be toned down when you are selling, in the next house you can start fresh.

Other good articles

Color- How to Choose

Impressionable Color for Selling

Best Room Colors to Sell Your House


Minimal Interior Design | Why Staging Works

Minimal Interior Design | Why Staging Works

Looking at beautiful home interior designs is an enjoyable past time of mine. The combinations of furnishing, layout, and composition of the room are intriguing. You might think “oh bore!” What I do find interesting are the minimal looks that appear in interior design magazines apply to successful home selling. 

While minimal interior design to some might feel like there is no life in the room, what it does do is show cases the room’s features. In home selling that is exactly what you want to do, show case the homes interior not the “things” in the interior. The “things” in the interior if complementary, add to show casing the house.

white sunroom

When selling a house it is very hard to look objectively at your home and make it into a house that many buyers would want to have. In order to have a high success rate in selling that is exactly what you need to do, minimize, look objectively at what you have and then selectively choose what to leave when you are ready to sell.

master bedroom

I know many client will say to me, “I love watching HGTV and the way they make the homes look on the shows.” Yes, keep in mind those that are creating the look you love are professionals in the field of decorating and design. They know how to selectively and objectively look at items that when put together create a universal look that buyers will want. Why do so many viewers enjoy watching the shows? Because you can get some good ideas and see, right there, you are just like me enjoying looking at beautiful interiors!

So what are the parallels and essentials of minimal design and staging? Having neutral furniture is essential, neutral meaning solid key piece in the room. If we are working with a living room think of a neutral couch since that will be the key piece. Adding simple tables, updated lighting and a few accessories is all the room will need, if you don’t have those, then get a hold of a professional stager and rent them. In a bedroom the bed is the key piece of furniture, make sure the bedding is luxurious and the feeling is relaxing. The bathroom(s) keep the color on the walls a soothing soft blue, green, or neutral color, white add fresh, fluffy white towels and you will have a winning combination.

master bath staged1

To make a house “flow” and feel pulled together use a common color in your accessories throughout the rooms. By doing this it also gives the house the feeling of minimal but pulled together with “life.” By neutralizing the furnishings, using accessories that coordinate the spaces together you will have a minimal, but appealing house that today’s buyers will love.

Other good reads:

7 Simple Steps to Staging

Advantage of Home Staging

Piecing a Room Together That Works