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Top photo shoot styling tips for selling a home

Home Stagers are experts in styling homes for photo shoots. In a few hours we can whip and flip a home into a stunner. Your on-line photos are the #1 advertising element of your for sale home. Don’t stop short when you publicly introduce your home to potential buyers by not making it perfectly groomed for its Internet close-up.  Here are a few of my top tips and techniques.

Make your bedroom a showstopper

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Master bedrooms are a big deal for buyers. A place to relax and unwind from the stresses of the day and every room needs a focal point. Plump those pillows (no pancake, lumpy old pillows) invest in fresh new pillows and bedding. It’s a small investment that can go with you to your new home and trust me it makes a huge difference in how buyers react to online images.

Make bathrooms sparkle with a spa theme

 

Every bath needs fresh, clean, fluffy towels, a seat down, glistening surfaces, and not a personal product present. No toothbrushes, potties, boxes of tissues, bath rugs on the floor, toilet brushes, cleaning products etc. etc. Many bathrooms are small and the least bit of clutter will make it even smaller online.

Kitchen counters

Remove all clutter, small appliances, paper towel, vitamins, paperwork, boxes of cereal etc. etc. Kitchen counters tend to be a dumping ground for all and sundry. You want to show how spacious your counters are and highlight those fabulous finishes. Don’t forget to remove rugs, door mats, dish soap and tea towels from stoves.

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Photography and Lighting

I can’t stress this enough. Hours of of staging and prep will be ruined with dark, blurry images taken from bad angles. This is your chance to shine and impress buyers who are seeing hundreds of online images of the competition. Open all drapes and blinds. Often perfect opportunities to wow are lost when a beautiful view from a window is unseen or you can’t see how beautiful flooring or molding details are. If your images aren’t cutting it hire a professional, you won’t be sorry.

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A little Prep

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Prepping your home for Winter sale

It’s been a brutal winter so far in my part of the world. Snowbanks are growing higher by the day and it’s hard just to get in and out of the house, let alone starting to think about preparing for selling. But the truth is, now is an ideal time to get a jump start on the competition. While many sellers are waiting for the first well awaited days of spring to list their home, you could be well on your way to sold.

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By using the winter as a time to improve your home’s interior appeal, it’s possible to command a higher price when serious buyers are out and about (and lets face it, you have to be serious about buying a home to slop around in this weather ) Put your snow days to good use and start the dreaded chore of de cluttering. I know, you’re cringing at the thought of mountains of books, movies, unworn clothing and the 27 travel mugs in the kitchen cupboards. We’ve all been there, (myself included having moved recently) You need a plan of action, someone to cheer you on when what you really want to do is to be curled up with the remote and Netflix. A staging consult can be a great motivator to get you started.

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When I first visit for a home consult one of the things I always hear is “I know we have to de clutter” but many times sellers underestimate how much time this really takes. You can’t just sort through 10, 20 or in some cases 50 years or more of belongings in a couple of weeks. Not if you want to minimize stress and wine consumption 🙂 Plus you may be removing some things that could be used as props for staging the home, while other things you think can stay, will not help your sale. Start by doing one closet, one drawer, put everything into a laundry basket and sort while watching t.v. if that helps get you get started. Starting is the hardest part so the sooner the better.

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Winter is also an excellent time to get a hold of trades, to do any repairs or renovations that will maximize selling appeal. During a consult a stager can recommend where to spend $$$ for best bang for your buck and where to save, by not doing renovations that will not bring a solid ROI. I read a report today that indicated both male and female buyers rate master baths and walk in closets as top of their wish list when purchasing a home, so upgrades in these areas are sure to be a worthwhile investment. Come Springtime when all the other sellers are scrambling to find a painter, plumber etc. you are already ahead of the pack.

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Selling a house requires you to make a potential buyer think that the home is already their own. Nothing gets in the way of this feeling more than another person’s clutter. Often, the things that buyers interpret as clutter are a homeowner’s prized heirlooms. Rather than purging your house of personal photos and accessories all at once, it can be less jarring to pack up your personal items slowly and move them into storage. These few weeks left of winter represent a perfect opportunity to start this process.

A little Prep

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Staging tips for the Holidays

Home Staging during the Holidays

How much is too much?  Should you put up a Christmas tree?  Is it PC to do so?

One thing to consider is who are your target buyers? Do your neighbors decorate their homes for the season?  Do you live in a family oriented neighborhood?

 

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If you do decide to decorate for the season while your home is on the market, this is not the year to turn your home into Santa’s grotto. You don’t want prospective buyers to concentrate on your collection of 75 nutcrackers or your village complete with train station, you can enjoy those next year in your new home.

Keeping festive décor to a minimum will ensure buyers will still notice your home’s beautiful features and not be distracted by too much visual clutter, plus crowded spaces feel smaller.

When placing a tree be careful not to interfere with traffic flow in the room, remove a piece of furniture if need be and place in another room or storage. Choose your colour scheme wisely and try to coordinate with the rooms décor. Keep it subtle and sophisticated and save the macaroni ornaments made by your toddler and the paper chains for next year.

 

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If you have a fireplace play this selling feature up and do a tasteful arrangement on the mantle to create a beautiful focal point in the room. One display in the centre of the dining room table and a few natural elements in the kitchen will carry the theme through.

 

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Last but not least curb appeal. Leave those inflatable, flashy and cute items alone, much as the kids want you to put them out, just don’t. This is the time to really use restraint – less is more. A simple, lovely wreath on your front door and small evergreens in pots at either side of your door with twinkling white mini lights will say “welcome” and appeal to buyers without going overboard.

 

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December house hunters are serious ones so you can’t afford not to appeal to each and every buyer.

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Collections : The Art of Display

One of the things a homestager usually recommends when prepping a home for the market is to de clutter and pack up collectibles. Especially if there is a theme. Not everyone shares the same love of monster trucks and cartoon characters and selling a home is all about the buyer and not your tastes.

Too many items make a home look cluttered (not enough storage in a buyer’s mind) smaller than it actually is (clutter eats square footage and equity) and claustraphobic. Having said that, you do need some focal points to add interest and colour.There are a few tricks we stagers use to get the right look. Presentation is everything. In stores items are arranged in an artful way. Your rooms can come to life with that same type of attention to detail. Small details can have a huge impact. Something as simple as repeating the same size or style of baskets or boxes can create a clean and uniform look. Repetition is pleasing to the eye. So if you repeat basic shapes or use one color it will create a unified look which can bring a serene and calming feeling to the room.

Group

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 Simple is best.

Group in odd Numbers.

Choose interesting shapes and items.

 

Nature

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Use Natural Elements 

Metals, basketware, shells, rocks

Group with books for interest

 

Green

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Green always looks fresh

Brightens a neutral palette

Use what you have

 

Baskets

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Use as artwork for texture

To hide and contain clutter

To add subtle colour 

 

Colour Block

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Use a variety of objects and shapes

Larger items have more impact

Use spraypaint to get the look 

 

Books

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Adds height to smaller objects

Larger items anchor a display

Inexpensive props

 

Flowers

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Keep it simple & seasonal

Use one style & colour of flower

Group 3 in different height vases

 

Less is more when staging to sell

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