Reluctant to stage your home ? I get it.

You are reluctant to stage your home, I get it. You love it as it is, so why shouldn’t someone else. You took time to pick out that purple/orange/lime green paint for the bathroom. You love the layout in your family room with those 2 comfy sofas you have had forever, where the dog loves to curl up. Your wall of family photos makes you happy and no, you don’t have a bed skirt, they are too much trouble. I get it.

So here lies the problem and might be the reason your home isn’t selling as quickly as you had hoped. How does that purple paint in your bathroom look in your online images. Does it make a small room look even smaller and darker. Does the floral shower curtain look too busy. Does it really show off the good points you are trying to emphasize in that room.  Does the lack of a bed skirt, lumpy, flat pillows and mismatched bedding say “Serene Master Bedroom”

You may think that your home looks perfect and is ready to sell, but remember: not everyone likes green paint in their living room or a floral bedspread in the master bedroom. Both men and woman want to envision themselves in your master bedroom. Show the buyer there’s enough space for both. You’re going to need to stage your home.

When listing a home, especially if you haven’t been involved in the world of real estate for a few years, you make the mistake of assuming that everyone walking in for a showing has the same taste as your family, and it would sell in no time. After two or three months on the market and zero interest, it may be time to switch things up a bit. Despite your reluctance to change the place you called home for 20 years, calling in an expert who does this for a living could be a game changer.

I sometimes have clients who are resistant to staging a home (a realtor may have called me in to be the bearer of bad news) but by the time I have done a staging consult they are starting to “get it”. Even newer homes need staging. One particular client was dead set against staging, but the area and price bracket their home was in, dictated the presentation required to sell. After a few days and a lot of persuading on the part of the realtor and input from my report they finally decided to go ahead.

Result, the home sold in 3 days after I staged.  A similar home, 3 doors down had been on the market for 6 months and had had a price reduction, which was far more than the cost to stage.

Change is hard but sometimes necessary and getting the right advice can make the process so much easier.

 

 

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Using moveable colour in home staging

You hear the word “neutral” all the time when talking about home staging but neutral has many different meanings. Using neutrals on large elements in a home makes sense. Flooring, surfaces, wall treatments etc. are large investments and a homebuyer wants to know these will be elements they can live with for many years. Having said that, if your home has features that date it, there are techniques home stagers can use to enhance the positive features and using “moveable colour” is one way to do that effectively.

 

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Colour moves us. It attracts us and stirs our emotions. I have seen many homes where the homeowners have put some staging techniques in to play by decluttering, depersonalizing and removing every last accessory etc. until they are left with a bland, beige box. Yes, you can go too far when preparing a home for sale, removing focal points, colour and anything that will attract a buyer to those online images.

Movable color in items a seller can take with them can update a home for very little cost. Moveable colors are bedding, towels, area rugs, artwork and accessories. By adding pops of colour to every room you instantly freshen and add interest but they have to be the right colours in the right amounts.

Stagers know how to get this right. We stage to highlight positives, create focal points and showcase a home that will attract your target buyer. If your home is occupied, very often we can use what you have, in a way you may not have thought about. If moveable colour is needed to add the finishing touches, we can make you a list of items needed and recommend where to find the best prices or we can shop for you or rent items from our staging inventory.

 

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With a vacant home a stager will choose the furniture, accessories and moveable items that will best highlight your property and appeal to your buyer.

You only get one chance to impress and cutting corners will only hurt your home sale. A small investment ensures you have your best foot forward from day 1 and saves you time and $$$$ by doing it the right way.

 

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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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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.

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