Always the Best Home Staging

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Preparing for the Photo Shoot

Posted on February 10, 2018 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

You’ve made the decision to sell your home, and you’ve hired the top realtor in your city. You decided to stage the home yourself after receiving a consultation from a home stager. You are thinking about straightening up when the phone rings. The call is from your realtor who tells you that tomorrow at 3:00 pm, the photographer will be there to take your listing photos and just tells you to make sure the house is clean. You know there must be more to it than that! The stager gave you some things to do, but you haven’t done them all. So here are some quick tips on preparing for your listing photo shoot.


1. Kitchen

Clean the kitchen so that it is spotless! Make sure you have removed all papers from your kitchen desk and taken all the magnets off the refrigerator. Clean inside all your drawers and cabinets. Remove utility items from the countertops and replace with a bowl of lemons or apples.

2. Living Room/Family Room

The stager told you which extra furniture should be removed to make your rooms look more spacious---get busy. At the stager’s suggestion you purchased new decorative pillows for the sofa and throw to create warmth in the room so put those items in place. Luckily you’ve already had your carpets professionally cleaned so just a light vacuuming is needed. Put away any personal photographs.

3. Dining Room

Set the table with placemats, dishes and wine glasses if you have matching ones (no knives, you don’t want anyone to get hurt). You want to create the impression of having a special meal in this room so potential buyers can imagine themselves doing the same. If you have some fresh flowers, add them to the table. Do not use a tablecloth---this looks old-fashioned and more than likely your home will be marketed to a family in the millennial generation—we don’t want to remind them of their grandmother’s house.

4. Bedrooms

Depersonalize the room by hiding your personal items, including photographs and dirty laundry. Straighten your closets as the photographer may take photos. At the stager’s suggestion you purchased a new bedspread and decorative pillows so make your bed with them.

5. Bathrooms

Remove all personal products such as shampoo, makeup, shaving items. Clean, Clean, Clean, until everything shines. Yes, dull chrome will show up as “dull chrome” in your photos. Empty trash baskets and put out the new towels that stager suggested you purchase for Open House or showings.

6. Turn on all lights

Make sure that all light bulbs work. Be especially careful that those bulbs in the same room are the same color tone so they all photograph the same.

7. Pets

Remove all evidence of pets such as litter boxes, dog toys, and bird seed. Make sure you can take your pets away or lock them in the garage while the photographer is photographing the rest of the house. He will be moving around the house leaving doors open.

8. Outside

Make sure all kids’ toys and sporting equipment is put away. Make sure your lawn is cut and if you have time, spruce up your entry with some fresh flowers or new plants. Remove any dead leaves and prune any bushes that need cutting back. Wash your driveway, your walkway and clean the front door.

Hopefully, you’ve had the windows professionally cleaned—if not, get busy and do it yourself.

As you can see, there is a considerable amount of work to get your home ready for the listing photos, so it is best that you put together a schedule so you are not trying to do it at the last minute.

Remember most buyers look online at photos before they decide to visit a home. So all of your hard work will pay off by making those photos look great and enticing your next buyer to want to visit your home and make an offer.


So Happy I Staged My Home

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

 As stager you always want a good outcome when you stage a client’s home. You want to feel like you have contributed to making the house feel welcoming and you have helped in the sales process.


You as the stager want your client, the seller to have a positive outcome and you want them to have the feeling of I am “So Happy I Staged My Home”. I attempt to create that feeling by putting “Love” into every home I stage.My goal as a home stager is to have potential buyers walk into a home and say “Wow, I could live here”. I recently had this exact experience in a home I staged.


Although it was the realtor who initially invited me to put a staging bid on the home, it was actually the seller’s mother who made the final decision to choose me as the stager.


The home was a typical California home in Silicon Valley—three bedrooms, two and one half bathrooms, good location, great school district, close to shopping and restaurants. I staged it for a young family who wanted space for both family and individual needs



My staging included a large master bedroom with a sitting area to be used for quiet time for parents.


I also included a home office as many Silicon Valley individuals work at home either full or part time.


Finally I included a child’s room that had plenty of space for creativity and fun. This was to be a complete staging as the house was vacant.


The home sold after being on the market for only four days. There was one Open House, which resulted in multiple offers. The buyers were definite about this being the house they had looked for months and their bid resulted in a sales price of $230,000 over the listed price. That was a WOW that made the owners and realtors overjoyed, and the buyers were happy to finally have found their dream home.



The comments I received were as follows:


Realtor: “Not only was I as a realtor happy with Janie’s work, but the sellers were the ones that selected her for the job to begin with. I credit her work for a great showing and the multiple offers.


Home Owner: You didn't miss a beat in your attention to detail. Loved the signs and artwork and color palette!” “Thank you so much for the job you did staging my son's townhouse. I appreciated the way you tied the rooms together. Wonderful....thank you, thank you”.


Buyer: “We’ve been looking for a suitable home for the past few months and haven’t found a place we fell in love with enough to make an offer until yours. My 5 year old daughter is in love with “her room” and in her words—“This is the best house everrrrrr!”


Mom is infatuated with the idea of lazy weekends sipping tea in the patio. And Dad is charmed by the whole home and watching his girls light up. We will take care of it with the same love you’ve already nurtured it with.”


Remember this was a vacant home when I staged it and as I said earlier I attempt to create that feeling by putting “Love” into every home I stage.


This is the perfect result a home staging experience can give you the seller as a client. It will make you say I am “So Happy I Staged My Home”.


Preparing To Sell Your Home:Decluttering

Posted on July 29, 2017 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Preparing to Sell Your Home: Decluttering

You’ve made the decision to sell your home and you know you need to do several things to get it ready for sale. You’ve been reading on what you need to do and you keep hearing about “Decluttering”--- and you have several questions ---what is it, how do I get started?

Decluttering is simply getting rid of unneeded “stuff”.

Here are eight quick steps to decluttering your home in order to sell it.

1. Designate a space where you can store things to begin the decluttering process. The best place to choose is the garage -- move your carsoutside to give yourself plenty of room.


2. In that space clearly mark the following areas: Donate, Sell, Move to New Home, Discard. As you go through each room of your home, put them in the one of the above designated areas.


3. Start at the first place a potential buyer is going to see--- your front yard and entrance. Get rid of old planters with dying plants, kid’s toys, and lawn accessories.


4. Now let’s walk through your front door --start with the entry way and the entry closet.  This sometimes becomes a receptacle for unused junk. Get rid of all that unused stuff by using one of the four areas listed above.


5. Go through each room of your home and repeat the above process—Donate, Sell, Move to New Home, Discard. Get a friend to help you if you can’t bear to part with “stuff”.


Focus on all the old magazines, old paperback books, family photos, games, and any faded accessories that are just taking up space.


6. When was the last time you cleaned out your linen closet? Now is the time to do so -- get rid of all of those faded and mismatched towels.


Same thing with your kitchen—get rid of all the containers you’ve been saving “just in case”.


7. Next focus on your side and rear yards--get rid of the same things you did in the front yard.


8. Finally:

Donate your stuff that has some value.


Sell your good stuff at a yard sell, on Ebay or Craig’s List.


Move it to your new home. Pack up items that you are moving and label every box as to the contents and where it should go. You will eventually have to do this step, so do it now.


Discard the rest of the stuff—the easiest way is to rent a dumpster from your trash moving company and park it in your driveway.


Now sit back and enjoy a nice glass of lemonade – you deserve it.


10 Tips On Preparing Your Home For Sale

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)


 

So after giving it lots of thought, you’ve finally decided to sell your home. Where do you begin you wonder?

                        Here are 10 tips on preparing the exterior of your home before it goes on the market.


1. Start by visiting the Trulia and Zillow real estate websites for your area. This will give you an idea of your competition. Look at the pictures and see what you like and what you don’t like about other houses that are for sale. These become your models.


2. Decide if you need to have your home painted. If that’s not an option, check into having it professionally power washed. That will make a world of difference.


3. Drive through your neighborhood and really take a look – is it clean, inviting, or dirty, unkempt, and unappealing? You can’t change the neighbhood, but look at your exterior of your home the same way—clean and inviting is what you want.


4. Make sure the driveway is clean and free of oil stains and cracks—if not, power wash it, repair those cracks and if necessary reseal the driveway. Repeat the same with your sidewalk.


5. Repair your fence and gates—make sure all gate latches are in workable order and replace them if they are worn or not working.


6. Make sure your garage door operates properly—does it need repair or painting?


7. Remove all debris from your gutters and eaves. Replace any broken or out of date light fixtures.


8. Check your yard—both front and back to make sure the lawn is kept freshly mowed, all your plants and shrubs are trimmed, and dead ones are replaced. New flowers and plants will do wonders for the look of your yard and consequently your home.


9. Check your exterior doors and sliders to make sure they open and close easily. WD-40 does wonders for sticky or noisy doors.


10. Store all landscaping equipment out of sight. Repeat the same for toys, bikes, and non-drivable cars.


First impressions either make or kill the deal—you have to make potential buyers want to come inside to see all the wonderful rooms your home holds, so make the outside of your home inviting.

 

Future articles will focus on the interior of the home.

 

 

So You've Decided To Sell Your Home--Now What?

Posted on April 30, 2016 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)



Consider Hiring A Professional Home Stager for a Consultation

 

You’ve decided on an agent and she has given you comparable homes for sale in your area so you can view what homes are competing with yours. You’ve had all the necessary inspections, and you’ve fixed up the outside. You’ve cleaned, and cleaned and then you clean again.

Now what you ask? You’ve heard about staging, but you have already furniture so what should you do? Your realtor suggests meeting with a Professional Home Stager to get a consultation. Is there a charge you wonder? What if you like your home just as it is? Why do you need a consultation? You need a consultation because you see your home as you always have--- HOWEVER you don’t see it as potential buyers do.

Here is what to expect when you hire a Professional Home Stager for a consultation.

• The stager will more than likely want to speak with your realtor before meeting with you as the realtor may want to share her ideas about how to the home more attractive to potential buyers. Please remember, the realtor’s job is to market your home to get the best price in the shortest amount of time.

• In a consultation, your stager will discuss with you the best way to prepare your home so that it looks its best. She will discuss how to focus or showcase the best parts of your home and how to draw attention away from the “not so desirable areas”.

• A stager will discuss how and why you should de-clutter your home. We all (including myself) have too much of everything in our homes--- too much furniture, too many decorative items, too many books, etc. Removing some or a lot of the aforementioned items will make your home look more spacious--- and that’s a good thing.

Here is an example of a consultation I was involved in where I suggested that the homeowners remove many of the items in their bar to so that potential buyers could imagine enjoying a drink at this gorgeous bar.

Before Consultation



After Consultation


 

Look at how clean and inviting the bar area looks with removal of some items. This helped to showcase the great shelving and gathering area.


A home stager is able to see your home objectively and view it through the eyes of a potential buyer. No matter how much you try, you can only see your home through your eyes and youcan’t understand why it would not appeal to everyone—after all it is YOUR home.

Below is a picture showing a bedroom in another consultation I undertook. I suggested to the homeowner that removing some of the furniture as well as rearranging other furniture would make this room look more spacious and more appealing to potential buyers.

 Before Consultation



After Consultation

I also suggested removal of some of the decorative items—such as removal of the fabric on the bed posts to give the room a lighter feel.


 

A stager will explain that you want prospective buyers to walk in and picture themselves living in your home and they can’t do that if they keep picturing you and your family living there. So as hard as it might be, that means remove most if not all of your family photographs. This will help potential buyers imagining themselves in the home-- and that’s a good thing!

Some other items a stager may suggest are:

o changing the paint colors in your home to appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers.

o changing outdated lightening fixtures.

o removing some of the clothes in the closets to make the closets appear more spacious

o removing dead or dying plants.

o cleaning out your pantry to make it appear that it has lots of room for food storage and by all means make sure you pantry is super clean.

o new bedding and new towels to make your home look fresh.

The above are just a few of the items that can happen in a consultation, and trust me they all make a difference. Professional Home Stagers help to make a potential home buyer become a home owner of your home. And that’s a good thing!


Oh yes, there is a charge for a consultation and it is money well spent!  

 


Why Do I Need to Hire a Home Stager

Posted on January 20, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Why Do I Need to Hire a Home Stager?



What exactly is a “Home Stager” and how can that person help me-- you ask when the real estate agent you’ve hired to sell your home suggests you need one.

 

Don’t I just have to clean the house, fix some of the holes in the drywall in my children’s bedroom where they’ve practiced catching their baseballs? Well I guess I should also clean out the garage—so why do I need a “Home Stager”.

 

Yes it is true that years ago when you got ready to sell your home, the things listed in the above paragraph were all you needed to do. However in the new arena of competition for homes and getting the best price, you do need to do more and that is why your real estate agent suggested hiring a stager.


According to a study done by the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are professionally staged spend less time on the market. This can be important when you’ve already found your new “dream” home and are anxious to sell your current home. For the sake of brevity, the following are two important facts from that report.


“In California, we studied 81 homes that were staged prior to going on the market. On average, they sold in 20 days.”


“We also studied 17 homes that were previously on the market (un-staged) and those homes sat on the market, on average, for 62 days. Once staged, they sold, on average in 28 days.”

 

The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. A home stager can help you to make sure that your property will stand out from others by suggesting things from de-cluttering your home to removing and then rearranging the furniture to make sure your home appears as spacious as possible.

 

The purpose of “staging” is to make potential buyers see themselves living in your home. So that means de-personalizing your home of family photos, and knick-knacks. It means getting the home into a “ready to move in” condition.

 

A stager may bring in art work, and home accessories that will give your home that up to date look and “Wow” factor.

 

Can you do these things yourself? Maybe yes, if you are willing to be honest. You’ve lived with that crack in the drywall for years, so why didn’t you fix it? Because you overlooked it. That art work is faded, why didn’t you replace it? Hmmm—maybe you do need a stager. 


You may just need a consultation with a stager who can suggest what needs to be done to get your home in shape or suggest what accessories you should shop for that will update your home.

 

However if you are busy like so many people today, you don’t have time, talent, or the desire to find new accessories. You don’t see why a potential buyer might not like your macramé hanging plant holders that you made in the 80’s. You don’t know which pieces of furniture should be moved out to make your rooms look larger. You don’t understand why a buyer might not like a bright red bedroom.

 

Well a professional stager can help you with all of the above. Check with your tax person as you may be able to deduct the staging fee as you are preparing your home to be sold.  Remember the fees you pay a stager you will get back in return because it means your home will certainly sell before one that is not staged. Why pay your current mortgage longer than necessary?

 

Hire that stager!

 

 

 


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