Category archive - Staging Solutions

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.

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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:


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


No Brainer De-Cluttering

No Brainer De-Cluttering

When it comes to selling, or just living in your house, clutter is one of those things we always realize we have. There are so many items though that we can get rid of. Here are 20 items that you don’t have to agonize over to depart with when de-cluttering. This is the easy stuff!

  20 Easy Items To Get Rid Of Now

  1. Plastic/paper bags- they will multiply before you know it, keep less than 12
  2. Expired coupons- if you like to clip go through once per month prior to shopping and purge. Or better yet just get the items you are going to buy online and print, better still get from your smart phone
  3. Old Magazines – pull the article/picture you think you need for future reference, add to a file by subject; toss the rest
  4. Old Newspapers- read and toss, if you have an article cut it out and file, same as with magazines
  5. Mail- before it even touches the counter pull out all junk mail and recyclerecycle
  6. Old Clothes – each season ask yourself when was the last time I wore this, if the answer is over a year, get rid of it!
  7. Pantry Items – all the canned and boxed items group together in an area of your cabinet, contact your local food pantry and donate what you will not consume in 2 months.
  8. Broken things- If you haven’t repaired it in a month, you probably don’t use or need it. Get rid of it
  9. Chipped dishes, mugs, and glasses- they’re in the back of the cabinbet right? Give yourself space and get rid of them
  10. Take-out menus – They’re online, get rid of themgarbage bin
  11. Expired Cosmetics- old cosmetics can harbor bacteria eww, some ingredients lose their effectiveness so get rid of them
  12. Books – those that you thought were just OK, or you would not revisit or use for reference edit them out for new books
  13. Electronics – anything that does not work, or work well, get rid of
  14. Stained, ripped bedding- will you be painting soon to use as drop cloths? If not get rid of, another words if you have no intended use, dispose of them
  15. Towels- those that are worn or have holes can always be used by your local pet shelter or veterinary office- they use bedding tooorganized linen closet
  16. Accessories- anything you have not worn in a year, this means shoes, jewelry, purses, ties, scarves, gloves etc. donate
  17. CD’s or DVD’s- those you haven’t listened or watched, get rid of them- especially if you have VHS tapes move on!
  18. Empty boxes- use these to pack up all the clutter you are throwing out and get them out of your house too. If you need storage buy plastic bins because it is more protective then cardboard
  19. Travel brochures – you can find more information online than in any pamphlet you have picked up to read about
  20. Toys- this can be a little hard with the kids around. As kids grow, so do there interest, donate those that they no longer use to a charity that needs them

before and after declutter

Once you de-clutter a space it feels more inviting. By removing all the extra stuff, giving it a home the room feels more relaxed. Start with one room and see if it gives you a new perspective.

Other Good Reads:

Clutter Prevent it Before it Takes Over

Organizing a Kitchen Part 1

Organizing and Decluttering a Closet

Case Study on Book Cases


Are You Taking Care of Your Home or Is It Taking Care of You?

Are You Taking Care of Your Home or Is It Taking Care of You?

 

You build, buy new, or used you are excited to make your home yours. You paint the walls; fill your rooms with treasures to make it your own. The years go by, your home falls into the background … are you taking care of the home or is the home taking care of you where family memories are made?

Hmm… what, that makes no sense!? Like in any relationship it is a two way street. Many times when I go on a consult I can see the home owners were energetic when they moved into the house to make it their own, and then forgot it. Now… the decision comes to sell; repairs need to be made, and the question now I need to invest the money now? A fresh coat of paint is needed on walls, the tiles that are lose need to be replaced, the worn carpets are no longer desirable, the chimney needs cleaning, septic now needs to be pumped and maybe an appliance or furnace needs replacement.

As a homeowner we have obligations to our home. Some repairs are major like a new roof, windows, siding, some cosmetic like paint, updating light fixtures, replacing stained worn flooring. It is important to maintain both while you are a homeowner because it maintains the value of the home, and your home is one of your largest investments.

When I go on a consult the concentration is on the priorities where a seller needs to invest the money to obtain the best return on that investment. Yes, sometimes it is a new roof, but many times it is smaller and simpler. If you love your home and are thinking hmm, in 2, 3, 5 years I might sell… here are some suggestions.

  1. Look at the “workings” of the house.

Have you cleaned the furnace, pumped your septic in the last 3 years, and cleaned your chimney, made sure your appliances are working.

chimney-sweep

These effect in the value of your home

  1. Look around the outside of your house.

Are bushes trimmed, lawn maintained, landscaping colorful, pool maintenance updated taken care of, patios/ outside architectural elements power washed, clean- desirable

gardens along a house

These can increase the value of your home

  1. Look around your rooms and the interior.

Imagine who will buy your home. Remember when you fell in love with your house and wanted to create family memories here… now is time to think of “today’s” family. Many times people wonder if they need to update, things to consider are:

  • Flooring if it looks worn replace or refinish.
  • Kitchens and master baths influence buyers choice of house heavily so make sure these are up to date.
  • Look at colors and lighting are they desirable with the trends.

These can effect the time your house sells in

Caring for you home now will at least keep you in consideration with the competition when you do sell. If you are not sure where the best investments would be to make in your home if you are selling within the next couple of years contact us and we will help you create spaces within budget that works.

8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling

Cleaning Secrets when Selling

Sterile or Styled | Makes a Difference When Selling

 


A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

9 out of 10 home buyers search internet photo’s when looking for listings. They are doing their research online, gaining their information and comparing homes. So what are those pictures worth for a residential real estate listing? If the images are well done, they can result up to a 3.9% increase in the final sale.

What is a well done image? One that enhances the scene- a photo that tells more of a story. As a stager I review a lot of listings and it still amazes me to see images of rooms that do nothing for the home.

Here are some of my ‘cringes’ and simple suggestion to correct the problems to make your home attractive to buyers

  1. Dead body in the bed- Yes the covering pulled over the pillows. Add two pillows per person that can sleep in the bed. If it is a twin have two, if a King have six. Pillows lend a touch of luxury feeling that buyers love.
  2. Too much furniture, yes you can have too much and it makes the rooms feel like there is none. Open your spaces up, move furniture out and/or re-purpose it to other areas.  LR
  3. Not enough furniture, make the room have a purpose with personality. To add a chair and a vase with flowers in an empty room says what? If you do not have anything to put in the room leave it empty or better yet ask a professional stager to help you out to highlight the key areas in your house to their best ability.
  4. Your ‘stuff’ all over. If I am buying a house I want to see the house, not your papers, collectibles, kids toys, toothbrushes, etc. you get it. Start editing because you want to sell, and you do not want to have so much stuff to pack when the time comes. Clearing out the stuff makes the room appear spacious, neat and clean. clutter kitchen
  5. Controversially don’t go overboard though to be sterile. Similar to the room with not enough furniture you need to still give the spaces some personality but it does not need to be unnecessary clutter.
  6. Buyers feel pets are a turn off. Cute little Fido does not help your listing. Remove pet paraphernalia and evidence of your pets for the photos and when showing.
  7. Cell phone photo’s or photos posted at the wrong angle, that are blurry. As a seller you are paying your agent big bucks to market your home. Are they representing it in the best possible light by posting pictures as mentioned?
    sideways picture on MLS

    yup, this was a photo on the MLS of a house in the position as you see it. I did not rotate the image

  8. Not enough photos. Is your house that big of a mess to list yet? Wait, take care of what needs to be done, then list. Seriously, remember you are in competition with every other house out there. What is the rush? Unless you are being transferred to another state in two weeks. To list a house that is not ready to be marketed is a turn off to buyers, it just creates a listing that becomes old on the market that needs to be marked down $10,000 after three months.

Prepare your house first, if you are unsure where to start get a professional stager in to help you set your priorities. Remember to interview your agent too, to ensure you have one that will be marketing your property correctly.

Details – Speak Loud and Clear

A Picture is Worth- What?

Marketing a Home Well


Eight Biggest Selling Offenders

Eight Biggest Selling Offenders

First ask yourself, when was the last time you updated your décor? Was it in 1990? Before?

Decorative fashion trends come and go but some of the choices we made then, could be the biggest selling offenders now, if you are trying to sell. I have said it before, and will say it again, you need to be objective when marketing a house for sale. Here is a list of the biggest offenders to buyers and how to correct them making your home look like it is in this century.

The biggest offenders to buyers now are:

Dense floral wallpaper and fabrics. Look at your walls, furniture, and drapery this was a big trend and nothing screams outdated more than seeing these. Remove the wallpaper and slipcover the furniture if you cannot replace to remove these offenders.

dated floral couchesWallpaper boarders around the ceiling or as a chair rail. These were an inexpensive way to add detail to a room because the finer details of crown moldings dissipated. Remove these and simply paint the walls one color.

Shiny brass hardware, unless high quality, do not stand up to time and start looking pitted, discolored and rusty. Today the choice is matte if you still love brass, or replace with nickel or chrome. Replace door knobs, faucets, lighting fixtures and handles on cabinets to something more desirable and with trend today.

Overstuffed furniture; I get it “it’s soooo comfortable” but 9 times out of 10 it is too large for the space it occupies and is not in style today. Buyers will see this cumbersome furniture literally as the “elephant in the room,” remove and update.

Lots of color and texture – think bright tiles all those mixed patterns, sponged walls, lots of color all very visually stimulating which is not what you want when selling. Tone it down to neutral colors, use the texture and color as accents in the room in pillows, art etc., not throughout the room as the feature.

too much pattern and dated tile

Carpeting in bathrooms; one word, YUCK! When selling you want to create the spa like feeling in the baths. Spotless clean bathrooms are what a buyer wants, so lose the carpet and invest in a tile floor if you need to, but remove the carpet. While we are talking about carpets, remove area rugs too for photos and when you are showing. Clean fresh open space is what buyers love.

Wall to wall mirrors on slider closet doors are no longer in fashion. Remove and paint the doors or replace if needed. Mirrors do help a room look larger, but today mirrors are decorative accent pieces. Even in the bathroom the trend is to have a decorative mirror with a nice frame versus the large piece. Look at something like Mirror Mates to improve yours.

Tiffany style glass hanging lights. If the furniture, walls and overall ambiance are updated these might work, but if the furnishing through the space are from 1990’s or earlier they will look really dated. Either remove and update with a more current style light fixture, or time to purchase new furniture. The light fixture might be a little less expensive when selling.

decor faux pas

As you can see in the picture examples these are houses did not sell quickly because the overall image they projected was dated. Buyers could not see themselves living in these dated homes and moved on to ones that were updated and felt fresh. Keep this in mind when you put your house on the market, it can make a difference of lingering or selling.

Should a Seller Waste their Time and Money on Staging

Staging, Why Bother, Who Needs It?

8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling

 


Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

Which Paint Color Is the Right One?

When it’s time to paint a room, do you agonize over which color will work? Have you painted a room you chose from a chip and through “this will be it!”; only to find it is not the one? Paint color can be tricky but it does not have to be.

I recently attended a conference in Toronto to learn how to make sense of it all. There are many blogs, websites and tons of information on color, but they are typically just that, information on color. When it comes to finding the right paint color it can be tricky because there are so many elements in the room to consider. If they are not being considered, you will feel like the room is not “quite right,” but not knowing why it is not “quite right.”

A great example I have, when I first moved into my house I chose fabric for drapes in my dining room because I liked it. Similarly, I found wallpaper that I thought would look lovely giving me that beautiful airy tone on tone look I was trying to achieve. Low and behold once the room was completed it was OK but not “quite right.” Yes, everyone said they “loved” the room but something was off. One day my daughter said “Mom, I think the drapes are faded or something,”  they looked dirty compared to the wall paper! When choosing fabric for the drapes and the wall paper they looked ok together from the samples I had, but the beige’s were “not quite” right. That’s when I fell upon Maria Killam’s blog and discovered it’s all about the undertones.

beige colors

The yellow/beige in the drapes was not working with the pink/beige in the wallpaper making the drapes look dirty. Needless to say it became a huge project (info for another blog) to remove the wallpaper and paint to make everything work together; an expense I could have avoided if I only knew then what I know now!

Through Maria’s course I learned to distinguish the difference in colors, and why they work or do not work within a room. You see you need to take all the element in the room, distinguish which undertones are going on, if the color is on the warm or cool side of the spectrum, muddy or clean and then you can start to eliminate some colors to consider others. I truly believe either you are born with this instinct or you need to learn it. Not all is lost, I mean 90% of the time I was getting it right but did not know why. Now when I have a client say “but I really love this color, can’t I use it instead?” I have the facts and ways to show why a color is the correct choice over another so that the room looks great, not that “not quite right look.”

Other posts you might enjoy:

 

Try Out Your Room Colors Virtually

The Right Color for a Room

Can the Colors of Your House Affect Your Mood?


8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling

8 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling

You say you are ready to move, your house on the market, but it’s not selling. There are many factors that can be causing your house unfortunately not to get an offer. These are the 8 most common reasons.

Think back when your realtor toured your house and you discussed what should be done prior to selling, and spoke about the pricing did you…

Start Packing

A cluttered home eats equity. A home that is filled with furniture and your personal collections can be overwhelming buyers. All the stuff you have not been using for six months can be packed up and put in a storage unit. By doing so your rooms will start to appear more spacious.

Say Goodbye

Yes it’s hard, all the memories that have been created in those four walls is hard to part with. Nevertheless, if you cannot be objective and realize that your house is now a product on the market with similar, that needs to attract a buyer, you will not be able to sell. Marketing the house involves price and product, if you are not willing to listen to professionals as to what the best price is to market your home, and how to stage your home to appeal to buyers, you will have a tough time selling.

Stay For the Showing

I know it is hard to leave your home open to someone you do not know. Buyers want to know what they are purchasing, they will open closets, drawers, check out your refrigerator, and they want to freely comment on what they see. They will feel uncomfortable doing just that with you there, moving onto the next house.

Hire a Cleaner

A buyer enters your home with eyes wide open, they see everything. This is the time where every surface needs to be white glove clean. Look up and around every room, if you see any look of wear or dirt and you cannot get it clean, then replace it.

Open Windows and Window Treatments

Buyers love light and bright. If you have heavy window treatments remove them, even lace curtains panels, and screens remove and let the light shine in. Having all windows clean too is important. Then if the weather permits open a window or two and let the fresh air in. Fresh air helps eliminate odors and is far better than masking them with candles, and air fresheners that buyers could be sensitive to.

Remove Excess Furniture and Neutralize

Although you may feel your furniture is situated perfectly for viewing the TV there may be too much making the room feel cramped and difficult to navigate through. Buyers like light and bright spaces, the less furniture the more spacious a room feels. Along with the packing move a few unnecessary pieces out opening the room. In addition, keep in mind light neutral furniture allows buyers to look at the room, not the furniture. You want them to see the spaciousness and feel that their personal items can fit into the house.

Forget About Your Honey Do List

Make sure all repairs and taken care of before your house goes on the market. Remember, once you have an offer, an inspection will take place; any potential problems can make you lose the sale. Buyers today are looking for homes that are move in ready with little to no maintenance issues.

Have Professional Photos Taken

Remember the photos online are the first impression buyers get of your home. If the photographs reflect the beauty of the home then you will get the buyers requesting a showing. If your photos are not impressive, you are losing potential buyers at a click.

Other good reads to get your house sold…

Listing? Make Your House Speak Luxury

 

What, Why, When | Home Staging