Have you turned a less-than-perfect room in one of your listings into a showpiece? REALTOR® magazine, in conjunction with our new Styled, Staged & Sold blog, is creating a slide show featuring some of the best room makeovers by real estate practitioners.
Send in your before and after room photos, along with the following information:
- Room featured in your makeover:
- What was wrong with the room:
- What you did to improve it:
- Your Web site:
- Please attach before and after photos. Also, please include a photo of yourself.
We’ll be selecting submissions to feature in an upcoming slide show at REALTOR® magazine online.
Please e-mail the above information to Melissa Tracey at REALTOR® Magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Constance Forrest and Susan Painter
Design psychology is a subject you know something about, even if this is the first time you’re hearing about it.
When we’re asked what design psychology is, our best sound bite comes from the world of real estate. When helping a buyer find a house, after going on “The Journey of Many Houses,” have you ever had the experience of walking through the door of the umpteenth house and being overwhelmed with the feeling: “YES! This is the house!”—before you’ve even seen all the rooms?!
Most people make the decision to buy a home having spent less than 20 minutes inside it.
But why? What makes a house just seem “right” to a client so quickly?
As psychologists, we want to know what gives someone the “YES!” feeling — and as designers, we want to know how we can create it — every time. For real estate practitioners, getting to “Yes” means making the perfect match between client and property.
Design psychology is the only approach to design and architecture that recognizes our responses to the physical world are essentially emotional in nature.
At ForrestPainter Design, we’ve adapted psychological interview and testing methods to let us understand our design clients’ emotional responses to the physical world. And then we use that wealth of information to design ideal spaces for them.
Over the next few months, REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged and Sold blog will have information from the fields of psychology, neurobiology, immunology, and design that can help your clients satisfy that deepest of desires: to live in a house that is truly a home.
TRY THIS TECHNIQUE
In order to get to ‘YES!”, you need to know more about your client than the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want in a house. To know what their ideal home would look like — ask them!
We use a technique we call “Castles in the Air.” Continue reading »
By Martin R. Delossantos
In my real estate and staging experience, I’ve discovered that it is always simpler to stage a unit when it’s bare, which allows the unit to become a clean canvas. When cleverly decorated, it can de-emphasize the lack of good space planning or it can highlight prime features in new or older construction.
MY STAGING CHALLENGE
Last year one of my clients tried to sell his condo. It was on the market for nearly a year. First, he tried to sell it on his own. Next, he used a non-local REALTOR® that was not familiar with the building. He was beyond frustrated so he finally pulled the listing. A top-producing real estate agent stepped in and asked for the listing. The REALTOR® then brought me in to resolve the interior dilemma.
Problem areas: The condo was dated in style. It shrieked 1980’s with mirrored walls, grey marble floors, large wall vents, white Formica cabinets in the bathrooms, and old white appliances in the kitchen. A gaudy Lucite ceiling fan hung in the dining area with warm purple, puffy valences. In the living room was a wooden, sea captain spindled stair case rail with carpeted stairs leading to the bedrooms upstairs. The fireplace was back-splashed in cemetery green marble.
The best features: The home’s top assets were the living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, and its balcony with panoramic views of New York City and marina views. The kitchen also had gorgeous custom cherry cabinetry.
What I did:
- I removed the puffy valences to open the vista.
- I had the place painted white to modernize walls and bring in the marina since the mirrored walls reflected the light.
- The place was cleaned thoroughly.
- I placed real plants inside and on the balcony.
- I chose all modern furniture and artwork.
- Splashes of color finished the look.
The result: The unit sold in four months.
Take a look at the slide show of images to see more of the transformation.
Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
Is there a science behind selecting the right colors for your listings? In this month’s Realtor® Magazine, I spoke with experts in the field of design psychology to learn how the color on the walls may affect buyers’ moods. (Read the article: “Can Color Cost You a Sale?”)
For years, psychological research has been offering insights into how the brain reacts to color choices. Such research is often tapped by the marketing field in making products more desirable to buyers.
Can these same studies be applied to motivating such big purchases as a home? It’s a leap, but at a subconscious level, certain colors on walls may evoke buyers who enter a home to feel more welcoming and even warmer (which may be particularly nice for rooms in chilly areas of the home).
A recent study by lead researcher Juliet Zhu of the University of British Columbia found that red seems to improve attention to detail. (The findings appeared this month in the journal Science.) The researchers speculated that we’re taught at a young age that red means danger so red might slow us down and prompt us to zoom in on details (so would that make it a good choice for, say, surrounding the fireplace or to bring out other key details in your listing?).
While color preferences and psychological responses vary, research has revealed some of the following commonalities, according to The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute and Architects Design Group (also included below is suggestions of what rooms the color may work best in).
- Red: Increases energy and heart rate, creates excitement and stimulates the appetite. Best for: Dining rooms
- Orange: Adds comfort, warmth, and cheerfulness and too much can bring about feelings of cautiousness. Best for: Living rooms and Continue reading »
By Filomena M. Thompson
Short sales and remodeling … NOT a good idea! If your client is unfortunate to have to sell their home as a short sale, the last thing she’ll want to do is make any home improvements.
Short sales are named as such because the seller has to sell his home for less than what he owes the lender and the lender has to approve the offer that is received. If the lender refuses to process the sale of the property as a short sale it will go to foreclosure.
Making any remodeling improvements to the home will likely make no difference in the lender approving the short sale. What’s more, if your client doesn’t have the money to stay in the home, how can he possibly have money to remodel?
If your client is not in a short sale situation and would like to make a few improvements before putting it on the market, then go for it. Contact an ethical, reliable contractor from the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) network and make those improvements.
By Christine Rae
Got your attention, eh? Isn’t it amazing that negative headlines capture our attention more than positive ones?
Well now that I have your attention may I set your mind at rest by saying the necessity for staging your listings has not gone away. But what has gone away is half-completed staging, surface staging, fluffy staging and vignette staging.
You might say I have a vested interest in saying these things and I do but they are for sure happening. So putting your head in the sand and ignoring these changes may cost you a listing or your customer to lose equity return. What do I mean?
When things get tough, and times are leaner, many people cutback on marketing, which I think is crazy since marketing is a leading contributor to sales success. Most marketing gurus will tell you to evaluate marketing but stepping it down in tough times sends a message all of its own (just as stepping it up would).
Staging property is a marketing advantage that you cannot afford to forfeit. You don’t know what your competitor is doing, also many home sellers are contacting stagers directly in order to maximize market appeal. This will be your competition.
Oh, by the way, stagers are good sources for listing referrals! Have you ever thought of that?
What is important for you to know is that the staging industry has grown exponentially. Therefore, there are great stagers, bad stagers and those who muddle Continue reading »