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Advantage of Home Staging

Advantage of Home Staging

Staging and Redesign created an info-graph showing home sellers the monetary advantage of staging a home prior to selling. It shows that IF a seller stages their home before they list it to sell, they will be reducing the time that the house is on the market. By reducing the time on the market the seller ends up saving money and actually making more money by staging first.

Take a lookReal cost of home staging


Not only are there reoccurring carrying costs (heat, electric, water, taxes, mortgage etc) that the seller continues to pay, but a house looses momentum and interest to buyers every month it is on the market. To entice buyers to become interested in a home that has not sold in over 90 days an Agent will suggest a price reduction to energize the listing again.

The cost of staging a home can run from 1% to 3% of the listing price of the home, depending on the condition of the home. On average a seller will see a 6% to 10% return on that investment. Staging will cost less than the first markdown you need to take on your home. 

Take a look for yourself, try out the Home Staging Saving Calculator plug in your numbers and see the difference of not staging a house, vs. having it staged first.


Design Solutions staged homes have averaged 52 days on the market. Staging works and saves sellers money. If you are thinking of putting your home on the market call Design Solutions first. It will save you money and will help you get your home sold!

Still not sure read this article Should I Stage My Home

New theme

New theme

Design Solutions KGP has a new look. Enjoy.

Money/ Earth Day

Money/ Earth Day

Earth Day is here, we try hard to save energy, be green , recycle, try not to pollute our Mother Earth.  Sometimes it is easier to talk about, think about then really do. Here are some facts about going even a little green in your home to help save some money.

For every $1 you spend on home improvements to decrease annual energy bills, the value of the home increases by $10 to $25 dollars.  So you say big deal, but if you translate this to a 3000 square foot home these numbers can translate to a $8,000 to $25,000 increase in the market value according to The Appraisal Journal. Utility bills are one of the higher expenses in most houses. Some green improvements can lower those bills by as much as 20 to 30% that could be a considerable savings for anyone.

dollar sign

Simple things like insulating your pipes, adding insulation to your attic, weather stripping windows and doors can start saving you money. Of course if you own an older home doing more aggressive up dates like tankless water heaters, and more efficient air conditioners can help save a lot of money. It’s something to consider if you are feeling the pinch of escalating utility cost of your house. It’s also wise because when you decide to sell your home, these improvements will be looked at quite favorably.

Now that’s money in the bank, for being Green- I like that, don’t you?

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates

Home Improvement Projects | Inexpensive Updates

Home improvement either you love to do it, or hate it.

After being in your home for a while you start to look around and see things that might need some updating or just need a change. Then comes the question of how much is this going to cost me…Here are some ideas to help save you some money or inexpensively get an updated look in your home.
paint canThe biggest change and least expensive thing any homeowner can do is paint (but not necessarily this color!). A fresh coat of paint in a room can make all the difference. If you have done some renovations and you may have imperfections on the wall, go with a flat or matte finish it will hide some of those. When using color or deciding on what color to use, find something in your home to give you inspiration. Maybe it is a color in a printed pillow, a shade of color in a picture, rug, throw or an accessory you have.  Use those bits of color to develop a color scheme to update the room. I suggest to clients that are looking to redecorate a room, or those that are thinking of putting their house on the market to paint at least once every 5 years.

The accessories in a room are also something to think about for an inexpensive update. Get some new accent pillows, maybe a new throw or lamp, those small inexpensive purchases can give a big impact most of the time.

If you feel that your kitchen is in need of an update, and you don’t want to do a total renovation, see if you can use the existing layout and possibly just update the cabinet doors, maybe your budget will then allow you to splurge for the granite you love. Maybe a new floor is all your kitchen needs. Objectively look at the space and see if you can work with much of what you have.

Bathrooms are another room that can get expensive to update. Again, can you leave the layout- big savings. Possibly put down an updated tile floor with a larger tile say 12×24 to achieve an update look. Possibly you can find floor models of sinks, faucets, tubs that you have in mind which can save you money. Even just updating the light fixtures can change the feel of the room- especially those builder “Hollywood” light fixture so popular in the 80’s and on! When updating  think of the feeling when you go to a luxurious  spa. The bathroom is a new “retreat” room for many people today.

Keep the 5 year mark in your mind when owning a home. If you have the same window treatments, bedding or pillows, your walls are a little scuffed up, or you still have those posters you hung in college as art, maybe it is a time for a change. These fixes can be inexpensive and make a huge impact in a room. If you have some other idea’s I would love to hear about your home improvements!

Before You List on MLS

Before You List on MLS

Before you have the pictures of your home put up on the MLS here are some improvements that will benefit you greatly and gain a great return.

Home Gain Real Estate Blog posted results from a national survey of nearly 600 agents last year to determine which low cost home improvements will give sellers the advantage in today’s market.  The top five nationwide home improvements are:

  1. Cleaning and de-cluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI / 99% recommended)
  2. Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase / 313% ROI / 97% recommended)
  3. Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI / 80% recommended)
  4. Landscaping ($540 cost / $1,932 price increase / 258% ROI / 93% recommended)
  5. Repair Electrical or Plumbing ($535 cost / $1,505 price increase / 181% ROI / 92% recommended)

Cleaning and de-cluttering continues to be the number one home improvement since the survey was originally conducted in 2003. What does that mean, what does that entail? I suggest to my clients that this is the first step to preparing a home or the market and it is the best time to get packing and organized. It will really save you a lot of time in the long run. Get three boxes one for items that will be moved to your new home,  a bigger one that will be tossed with all the items you have not even looked at or used for the past six months or more, and the smallest of the boxes will be one that you move but holds those items that you really don’t use but have sentimental value (like the first car keys you ever had.) Buyers look everywhere, an organized home will also make it easier for you when you have to have it ready in a snap because a realtor has a showing.

Lightening and brightening means replace all those old outdated Hollywood lights in the bathroom, put 100W bulbs in all the lights in your house, give your rooms light paint colors or a fresh coat of paint. You may have a passion for pine green, but you can paint your new home that same color. Get things up off the floor,  broken window blinds, or outdated curtains off the windows. Now is the time to make your home bright and airy feeling.

Home Staging, this has to do with placement of the furniture, the flow of the room, and how the contents in the home sends a message to buyers relaying an ambiance to the home. This can be difficult for some home owners because they cannot look objectively at their home. A lived in look is not a long for look for buyers. Update pieces of furniture, maybe new bedding and fresh new accent pillows. These are items that you can move with you, so enjoy the indulgence of the update. This is the one area that many homeowners fall short in getting the home ready for the market.  If you do not know where to begin, it is well worth the money to have a professional home stager work within a budget you feel comfortable with to come in and help.

Landscaping and all repairs are important because if you cannot grab the buyer within 10 seconds from the outside, which is all the time you have, they will walk away. Don’t expect  buyers will replace or fix repairs in your home, they will most likely walk away to find a home that is kept up. landscaping

Your expectation to sell your home quickly will be accomplished if you concentrate on the top 5 improvements where they are needed in your home. Your home is now a house that is a commodity that needs to be sold. Make sure you take the best steps to ensure it’s sale. If you have concentrated in these area’s your sure to be on your way to a profitable sale!


Why Stage a Vacant Home?

Why Stage a Vacant Home?

Why stage a vacant home? Simple reasons:

  • To make it easier for buyers to envision how they could live in the home
  • Add warmth and personality to a home
  • To create a longed for look vs. a lived in look
  • To arrange an unusual layout flow and bring logic to the spaces

If a property is worth selling then it is worth doing everything you can to appeal to potential buyers in order to sell the property. Vacant staging can be done in a few rooms or the entire home. Hiring a professional that can create the ambiance that needs to be conveyed to the buyer, is important. Having an agent that understands the importance of staging and how it can impact a sale, is also essential. Experience agents that walk into a sellers home and suggest staging, should be listened to. They know their market, they know what buyers want.

This vacant home In Cornwall NY had beautiful bones but it had nothing to “speak to a buyer.” After a few rooms were staged, buyers could then connect, visualizing how they could live within the house.  When a buyer enters a home that has no furnishing and just empty rooms they are welcomed by blank walls- not so intriguing.

DSC_0024Vacant entrance






After staging, the empty rooms become warmer giving the buyer the ability to easily see how they can make this house their home.

staged entrance in Cornwall on the Hudson staged living room in Cornwall NY






By adding furniture to the rooms, creating warmth and ambiance is what helps sell a home. This house had been on the market for over a year and no one purchased it. After it being staged it received an offer in the first month. By allowing buyers to see how rooms can be utilized, and furnished with items that create value for the space the vacant home becomes more appealing. Do you think it makes a difference?

Let me know your thoughts……

Fall Clean Up

Fall Clean Up

The growing season is coming to a close but it does not mean that you have to give up interest in the garden when cleaning up.

Take a look at this article from ehow home, it has some excellent pointers and great ideas to keep color in your landscape.