Category archive - Staging Solutions

The Advantages of Staging

The Advantages of Staging

Staging gives you the advantage in the market when you are ready to sell. But wait, you are a home owner, creating memories, putting your special touches in rooms, making them feel like “home.” Why would “staging” help you? The focus needs to be how you market your home to gain the biggest return on your largest investment, your house.staing helps market a property to sell

Staging is essential in today’s real estate market to optimize marketing your house. 95% of buyers look online for their house, they are looking for a house that they can aspire to live in. I have to be honest here, they are not looking for a house that looks like yours, and 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.

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, but the advantage of doing it now, is that you have time to enjoy the investments yourself. It also will help you reduce the overwhelming feeling that can occur when you wait until the actual day you want to move.

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. It can be difficult to remove yourself and look objectively at your home, but you need to. Keep in mind your goal is to sell your house, not live their indefinitely. The prized collections and cute things that make it your ‘home’ may not be the same for a buyer. Be objective. The small investment of 1 to 3% in staging your home will give you a bigger return of 4 to 7%.

In marketing 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:

Photography and Staging | The Listing

Are Professional Staging Costs Tax Deductable


Selling | Call in Professional Help To Sell Quickly

Selling | Call in Professional Help To Sell Quickly

When selling a house you need to know what will help you sell quickly, and for the most money. Where do you get that help and information and when should you get it?

The most difficult part of selling is realizing your house may not be worth what you think it is. How do you protect your equity along with all the time and effort you have put into your structure you now call home?

First things First

When selling today, you need to realize that at least 95% of buyers are looking online first before even considering to enter into your home. What makes you look online to buy anything? What makes you go forward to buy? Typically need and value. When you stage, you create value for your property. Your goal is to entice those buyers surfing the web to take the next step to set up an appointment to look at your house in person. Remember it’s better to be looked at, then to be overlooked.

when selling make sure your house is looked at, not overlookedConsider the Following

  1. You need to stand out above your competition. You need to make sure that your house is one that buyers aspire to not only for their wish list; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, big yard etc., you also need to make those rooms appealing.
  2. Making rooms appear appealing is one of the biggest challenges I see on the MLS. Let’s face it, for some; having all the professionals taking a cut of the profits from the sale of the house can be troublesome. To have your realtor tell you to clean and declutter is an obvious step to getting your house ready for the market. Wouldn’t you detail your car if you were trying to sell it?? But the important next step is how do you move onto makeing the rooms appealing?
  3. A realtor that includes a staging consult when you list with them is a great advantage; or make a small investment to have a staging consult before you sell, is essential. Why? A professional stager knows what buyers are looking for, and can evaluate what you have, explaining the best way to present your house to stand out on the market. They take your house to the next level.
  4. Do not take the consult personally but to heart. What? That’s confusing right? To heart, what I mean is listen, ask questions if you do not understand why the changes are needed.  And paramount; react, act, and put your heart and soul into getting your house ready. Step back and really look at your house; this is one of the best steps to getting it sold.
  5. Ask questionsis it worth your time and money to update a bathroom, resurface a floor, paint your red dining room, or rent furniture. A professional stager will answer you honestly, give you reasons why it is or is not worth those updates. Again take those answers and suggestions to heart, they will give you the return back. Most of all…
  6. Think objectively. It will cost you 1% to 3% of the listing price to get your house ready for the market. Statistics have proven, that investment gives you a return from 6% to 10%! There you go, you are protecting your equity.

When selling, accept the offers of help if you do not do this as a profession. Your Realtor is a pro and knows the market and how to price your property. A Professional Stager knows how to transform your property to one that will resonate with buyers. The help is for you to have a successful, quick sale. Isn’t that what every seller wants?

Other Helpful Reads:

Photography and Staging | The Listing

Preparing to Sell, Elating or Overwhelming?


I’m Looking for a Great Realtor

I’m Looking for a Great Realtor

“I’m looking for a great realtor” the home owner says to me. This seller was savvy, they knew that the first person to call was a professional stager. They chose to have their house detailed so it would look great online. I suggested some key questions to ask the realtor when they began their search for an agent. Since they last purchased in 2002 I explained promoting a house in today’s market is different than ten years ago.

Looking back

Ten years ago realtors took a listing and used the three “P’s” to market:

  1. Put up a sign
  2. Put the listing on the MLS
  3. Prayed for buyers

Sign Home for Sale with a sold sign in front of a house

Unfortunately some realtors still do market this way. But in today’s market we have what everyone uses; the internet. Buyers are very smart, they know what is available, what price is reasonable for the value they are looking for. Smart realtors know too, they are professionals that understand market conditions and the best way to price the house or product. The difference is, the realtor that markets the new way will give you the advantage to sell faster and for more money.

New Way

A realtor that takes a listing today should be using current three “P’s” to market:

  1. Prep the house, get it ready by staging and detailing the house so it shines
  2. Pricing the house so that it is comparable to others in the market
  3. Promotion getting the house not only on the MLS but also social media, even more so then print media

facebook social media

This is the new way realtors assist a seller for a successful sale in today’s market. Things have changed a lot, of course technology has aided in those changes too. A savvy realtor knows how to currently promote a property online by ensuring the product that is being sold resonates with buyers. The presentation is important to obtain fantastic professional photos to promote on line, and on various social platforms.

So if you are thinking of selling, consider what the agents you are interviewing are telling you. How will they support you through the entire sale? The first and foremost step should be the presentation, then fantastic photography, a sharp price and once those are in place, promote everywhere the internet allows. Once those are in place the showings will go smoothly and quickly, your professional agent will obtain an optimal price, because you ensured the property was presented in the best light.

Other Good Reads

8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling

Sterile or Styled | Makes a Difference When Selling

 


Five Decorating Elements That Can Make a House Look Cheap

Five Decorating Elements That Can Make a House Look Cheap

What makes a house look cheap and one that looks classy? What items should you avoid when trying to create a look that will enhance a room, not detract from its beauty? When you are ready to sell, or even living in your house, you want your décor to complement the value of your house. You dont want things that with cheapen its appearance.  I will be the first one though, to say you do not need to spend a ton of money to decorate.

Furniture Sets

I get it, if you know nothing about decorating you go to the store and pick up the whole ensemble for a room at once. The couch, side tables, coffee table and chairs that typically do not enhance the room. First off, my guess is that you did not measure the room, so all the pieces probably do not fit in the room, or the pieces are not the right size for the room. Second the quality is probably not the best and it will not stand up to the test of time, eventually looking shotty. Mixing pieces is a good thing, giving you the ability to still decorate on a budget but with style. I always say get one good quality piece like a sofa, and then build from there.

 furniture  all the same can cheapen the look in a room

Theme Decorating

It’s ok for your child’s room but don’t do it anyplace else in your house. Too much of a good thing is just that – too much, and it will look cheap. Instead look through design magazines, and get inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. Find a style that you like and incorporate some of the things you collect within that style. I find pigs kind of humorous and have a few in my kitchen, but by no means do I have the plates, placemats, valance with pigs on the windows, pigs on every surface of the counters. Two or three objects is all you need in a room, otherwise it begins to look cheap. Same goes for the “flowers” that are put in a room. Adding too many artificial plants and flowers makes a room look cheap. Consider live plants, or if you don’t have a green thumb maybe air plants.

Color on Walls

This is a tough one for people to understand, because they go to the store, find a color swatch put it on the walls without testing it to see how it really looks.  First the overall colors in the room need to be considered, as well as throughout the house. Just because the builder painted the walls a generic white does not mean that is the best color to complement your room, it can cheapen the look of a space. Similarly using the wrong undertone in a space can make the room look cheap because it does not complement anything in the room. Not sure what color to use, get advice from a professional color consult, it’s worth the cost.

cheap looking room

Art Work

Sorry, but it can look cheap, like posters or mass production art.  Consider either making your own art, there are a ton of ideas and tutorial online for simple ideas or visit sites like Etsy and choose something original. Also the size of art is really important in a room too. Too small of art can cheapen the look of a room as can the framing of the art.

Lighting

The ‘builder lights’ that come with a house are usually very cheap, and can cheapen the look of any décor. Also outdated light fixtures do the same. When looking through design magazines and online notice the lighting and the styles. Then see if you can find similar in nice finishes at either big box stores or online. This can be tough, but the most important take away here is finding lighting that is in style now. The cut glass Tiffany lamps that were popular in the 80’s now look cheap if they are not real Tiffany lamps or in a Victorian styled house. Time to find something more in style with the times to step up the style of your rooms.

Review your rooms, do you have any of these elements that might be making your house look cheap? Remove, replace and update to give everything a fresh new look.

Other good reads:

Lighting a Room In Layers 

Arranging a Room

Lighting Can Help Sell Your House


Composition of a Good Photo

Composition of a Good Photo

Every agent knows that having high quality photography helps a house look better when it is listed.  If the composition of the photograph is not desirable, no matter how high quality the photo is, it still will not look great. That is why staging before professional photography is so important. The key is to favorably impress buyer’s perceptions. You never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so stage first, photograph second and you will have a winning combination.

What Makes a Good Photo

Here is an example of some of the photo’s I have taken of before and after, but have also included a key photo- how the bedroom looked when the house was first listed and did not sell. The bedroom is nice it shows it is spacious, but it does not give a very luxurious feeling. The seller had me consult with them to see what and how I could enhance the rooms throughout the house. They saw my portfolio and realized the difference staging can have. Although they were a little apprehensive at first as we transformed room after room, and they saw the results they knew it would work.

how people live bedroom not staged

staged bedroom in Orange County NY

The final photo reflects what buyers want, they do not want to see how people live, but the life style they might have when they buy that house. As you can see the first photo the room is filled with furniture, not giving you too much of a warm fuzzy feeling. But then we changed, the composition of the room, also known as professional staging, and took photos, the architectural details of the room shine. The house received a lot of traffic and sold quickly.

So, not only is the photo important, so is the composition of the photo.

Other good reads:

Photography and Staging | The Listing

8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling


Photography and Staging | The Listing

Photography and Staging | The Listing

Recently I was on a webinar that an agent recommended to me. The host was talking about the importance of photos for all listings. Being high resolution, professional shots. I decided to peruse the MLS and see what Orange County NY listings were looking like.

What makes a great picture?

Some agents are great with the high resolutions shots, but they unfortunately lose out because although the pictures are done by a photographer, the composition obviously is done by the home owner/agent which does not make the shot look professional. Wha, wha, they fall flat. The composition being the way the room is styled. Staging is marketing a house to its fullest potential. It’s not only cleaning, decluttering that is the obvious that should be done before listing. Would you put your used car up for sale without detailing it? Obviously no, and your house is a much larger investment then your car! Staging is making sure the house’s features stand out to attract a wide range of buyers.

dining room staged and photographed to attract buyers

Online Marketing

Today buyers, more than ever before are searching for their next house on line before they even call an agent. If they see that a particular agents listings are represented well with beautiful photographs, and emanating a lifestyle that buyers want, they keep that agent in mind. They keep that house in mind and also request to view it. Smart agents know it is important to stage a house, and offer it as part of their listing services. The Agent/Professional Stager/Professional Photographer are a team that create a marketing setting that will make your house stand out above the competition.

To be honest I believe the agent thought the webinar was about general marketing. But marketing is all about location, promotion, price and product- the house. If the product is not desirable it will not sell. Staging can take a not so beautiful house and turn it around that will sing to buyers “come live here!” So if you are considering selling now, or in the future, professional staging and photography should be included in the entire process to ensure you have a desirable product for the market you are selling in.

If you would like more information please feel free to connect with us via our newsletter, or through social media we have lots of tip to share!

Additional good reads:

Minimal Interior Design | Why Staging Works

What, Why, When | Home Staging


Selling, Who to Hire First

Selling, Who to Hire First

You’ve made the choice to sell your house, now what? Who should be the first person you connect with?

A Professional Stager

What did you say? Shouldn’t they come after the real estate agent? No, and let me explain why.

  • A Professional stager will look objectively at your house
  • Help you distinguish what features are best to emphasize
  • Explain why and what sprucing should be done to make you house resonate with buyers
  • Suggest improvements that will give you a return on your investment
  • Help you protect the equity in your house by assisting you to insure that the presentation is better, if not comparable to other houses with similar features

The Lived in House

I recently did a consult on a house that was lived in, and I mean lived in. The walls were marked up with nicks from living in the rooms. The floors although wood, were dirty with scratches and marks. The wood work around the doors and doors had pieces nicked off. The windows were hard to see through. The kitchen appliances probably had not been cleaned in a week or so, you get the idea right? The house was lived in. They were not happy with the selling price estamate their realtor had given them. They felt other houses were selling at a higher price for the same rooms, bathrooms and they had put a bit of work in the house over the years. The problem was the house did not present well. If they had a consult first from a professional stager they would have understood what needs to be attended to. Some small improvements with minimal investment can help any seller gain higher profits.

They were lucky to find an agent that knows how important staging a house prior to marketing is. The agent pays for the consult for their sellers because they know the presentation will attract the buyers to take interest.

staging makes a difference when you sell

Protecting Your Equity

A stager has an unbiased eye. We help home owners with all types of houses. Keeping with the style of the house, and the market in mind we give suggestions that will appeal to buyers. Our goal is to get you the biggest bang for any money you invest in the house. Our suggestions are to not only to appeal to buyers, but also consider how to make the rooms appear brighter, and larger. Buyers want to find a house that goes a little above their expectations. Staging helps a seller do that. So before listing, look for a professional stager in your area that can help you prepare your house before it goes on the market, or before you get that estimate from your realtor.

Other good reads:

7 Simple Steps to Staging

What, Why, When | Home Staging

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging


Value of A Good Picture

Value of A Good Picture

Many Real Estate Agents are proud to offer professional photography to their clients for their listings. They absolutely should, since the pictures are what get buyers attention. Pictures speak a thousand words right? If a house is merchandised correctly it will stand out in the market. If the picture resonates with buyers looking on line they will want to see the house.

Creating the Image

Imagine you are getting your picture taken. Either a wedding picture, family portrait, corporate portrait, graduation, any big event that you might want a professional photographer to capture the perfect image. You put on a nice shirt, comb your hair, do your makeup; in other words try and look your best?   Selling your house is no different. Would you want every family member, coworker, stranger looking at your house and the way you live every day? Or would you want them to see how your house looks when you know you are having important guest over, clean, spiffed up and beautiful.

staging a house helps the photo's stand out

 

Professional Staging and Merchandising

If you have a real good Real Estate Agent representing your house for sale, they will not only offer professional photography, they will offer professional staging consult. The professional staging consult will help you get your house in tip-top company ready shape for the pictures. Think about it, are the buyers not coming through your house just that, company? Professional staging is the “makeup” for your house. Staging will make your house desirable to the widest range of buyers. The pictures will resonate with buyer, making them to want and see your house.

Looking Good

Once you are professionally staged, your house it will resonate in the market. It will appeal to buyers because they will see beautiful pictures of the spaces that they could have if they buy your house. Professional staging reduces the time a house is on the market because the pictures stand out online. Many people may feel that they can do it themselves, but the fine details are typically not paid attention to as an unbiased professional stager would do. They see your house as a product that needs to be merchandised to be desirable to buyers. Ensure your professional pictures are done correctly with professional staging done before listing, so your house resonates with buyers.

Other Important Reads:

 


How to Avoid Bad Room Colors When Selling

How to Avoid Bad Room Colors When Selling

When you are selling, the colors on your walls can affect buyer’s. Either buyer’s react by falling in love, or pass up a house based on the wall colors. Yup, bad colors matter. The colors on your walls need consideration when preparing your house to sell. You may not like a more neutral color, but you’re moving, so having freshly painted neutral walls is the biggest bang for your buck because they will leave a more positive impression than crazy colors or worn walls.

Bad Colors

What are the bad colors to have when selling, and what is the best way to prepare your house with color when you put it on the market?

There are bad colors when selling due to multiple reasons. One of the primary reasons are because colors are so very taste specific. While you may be in love with your red dining room, the next person coming into your house might abhor red. When you are selling your house you want to protect your equity. You want to make sure there is not a single reason a buyer would turn away from your house. If you knew it would only cost you the price of a can of paint versus a price reduction in the thousands wouldn’t you opt for the can of paint?Before and After Painting of bad and good colors for selling

What colors are bad when selling besides red? Orange, purple, some yellows and other bold colors. Why? Aside from being taste specific, buyers will find those colored rooms difficult to envision themselves living in them. Many sellers will tell me that’s crazy, a buyer should look over that! A buyer won’t look over the color, they will just move onto the next house. The buyer attention will be focused on the color, not on the size of the room or the attributes of the room. Yes, a professional stager can do wonders to a room when sellers refuse to paint, but once the staging is removed, it is a room with an objectionable color.

Colors that Sell a House

Neutrals are preferred colors when you sell because they highlight the room. Ensure the undertone of the color complements the hard finishes of a room. You could have a beautiful gray color but if the undertones are not complementing the other finishes in a room, it will look off, an off colored room is off-putting.

Color can be used when selling a house, but use it to complement and assist the flow of rooms from one to another. Using color more as an accent, is a better choice then as the primary focus. Buyers are more drawn to a houses features when the colors are neutral, then they will be to someone’s décor. If the two complement one another, not over power, then you have a winning combination.

If you are not sure how to put this all together, or how to find the perfect color for rooms, it is a wise investment to have a professional stager trained in color to come in and review your house prior to selling. A professional stager has an unbiased eye that will help you create your house into one buyers are dreaming of living in.

Other good reads:

Eight Big Selling Offenders

Impressionable Colors for Selling

5 Senses of Selling


Selling Your Kitchen

Selling Your Kitchen

For buyers, kitchens are extremely important and weigh more heavily on the final decision than the other rooms in the house. To ensure your kitchen astounds buyers, prepare your kitchen before selling.

  • Begin by cleaning every single surface- ceiling counters, cabinets, counter tops, walls and floors.
  • Organize your cabinets – you will be thankful you did this when moving day comes. Any outdated foods through out. Group like things together. Edit extra mugs, glasses, pots, utensils etc. Clean out the drawers and shelves and replace shelf paper.
  • Matching appliances is a huge plus, if they are not new, or only one is new, consider replacing the others so they are all the same finish. Make sure the surface of all appliances are clean and spotless.
  • Clean the appliances inside and out, clean stove each and every grill, clean fridge out, and wash the surfaces so they are sparkling clean, and fresh – no old food odors here.
  • Buyers will look inside your dishwasher, make sure there are no funky smells. Yes although we use our dishwasher to clean everything it needs to be cleaned too. Clean your filter first – soak it in warm soapy water to remove all residue on it.  Then run 1 cup of white vinegar through your empty dishwasher on the heavy cycle. Sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher overnight, then run it through again empty.
  • Your sinks are similar to your dishwasher they need to be clean and free of everything. If your faucet leaks or looks worse for the wear, replace it. Using baking soda and vinegar in the drains to deodorize and clean.
  • If you have wall paper – remove and paint. If you have paint and have not painted in the past year, freshen up the walls with a new coat of paint.
  • Lastly add the finishing touches of décor; keep it simple but make it feel like home. Touches that speak home resonate with buyers.

Extra hints:

  • Remove trash prior to showings and make sure your garbage can is not highly visible, try and tuck under a cabinet if possible.
  • If you have pets, have a plan when you show your house where you will be putting all the pet “equipment” not every buyer likes pets.
  • Kids? Yup same idea, have a plan as to where you will be stashing the papers, toys etc. so that the clutter is not visible when showing.

Other good reads:

Paint Terms – What They Mean

Key Kitchen Improvements That Will Reap You Profit

The Hub of The House | The Kitchen