By Barbara Ballinger
ATLANTA—Want to let your buyers and sellers know what kitchen and bathroom trends today are apt to wow them soon in showrooms and homes? See what David Alderman, vice president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, discovered in touring the floor today at the NKBA’s annual convention here, which opens tomorrow to the trade.
Green. With the green wave spreading, manufacturers are bringing out more products like stainless steel and glass that can be reused when life cycles are up. Plus, growing in popularity are more products that save energy, conserve water, and are made locally.
Beyond granite. Granite countertops may still reign because they’re practical, but glass, stainless steel, and mahogany are gaining a foothold.
Black and white kitchens. The all-white kitchen is being tweaked with crisp black. One example: white cabinets on the perimeter, black on the island.
Faster, healthier. Steam ovens will captivate health-conscious buyers who also desire moist food cooked quickly.
Less space. With many people now opting to downsize, manufacturers are debuting smaller 15” refrigerators and 18” dishwashers. Less space also means fewer multiples—one instead of two sinks. Mirrored backsplashes and higher vaulted ceilings also help to magnify space. Continue reading »
By Sandy Dixon, InteriorArrangements.com
Think of a house as a theatrical stage. When it is not being used and is void of props and scenery, it lacks interest and rarely warrants a second glance. However, after the set designers have worked their magic, the space comes alive and sets a “scene” for the onlookers.
Whether enticing, energizing or relaxing, the ultimate goal is to elicit an emotional reaction and connection to that particular space.
The same applies to homes that are on the market. Without furnishings, many houses lack interest and buyers have difficulty imagining how the space would look furnished, not to mention picturing themselves living there. Look at home builders who have known for years how buyers emotionally connect to model homes that have been beautifully furnished and accessorized.
Due to job transfers, divorce, tenants vacating or a distant move, it’s not always feasible (or economical) to keep a home furnished when it goes on the market. So here are some simple ways to improve the marketability of a vacant property and increase the chances of a swift sale:
1. Curb Appeal: Buyers like to drive by prospective properties and many won’t make an appointment to see the inside if curb appeal is lacking. Sellers need to have a plan for keeping the lawn mowed, shrubbery trimmed, flower beds weeded, and gutters and windows cleaned. Also, eliminate any items left behind in the yard that are not included with the house or that make the property appear unkempt.
2. Odors: Potential buyers are often greeted with a blast of stale or mildew-ladened air when they enter a vacant house. Deal with the mildew before the house is listed. Leaving the heat or air conditioning running while the house is on the market helps to reduce odors. It also makes the house more inviting and comfortable to be shown when the temperatures are extreme.
3. Cleanliness: Some sellers don’t bother to clean a house before they list it or if they do, the results don’t last if the house remains vacant and unsold for any length of time. Dust, cobwebs, and bugs tend to take over if routine cleaning isn’t maintained. Some buyers get the impression that a house will require repairs if it looks dirty, cluttered or abandoned—which can dramatically impact whether they make an offer and how much they offer.
4. Lighting: Bright, well lit rooms look bigger and create a more inviting atmosphere. Make certain all light bulbs are working and that light fixtures are clean. Any dated or outlandish light fixtures should be replaced with more modern and simple fixtures. If sellers take light fixtures with them, make sure a replacement is hung before a house goes on the market. Note: For closets, attics, or crawl spaces where there is no lighting, install battery operated light disks sold at all home improvement stores. Continue reading »
By Christine Rae
If you are one of the millions of YouTube watchers of the Susan Boyle video in “Britain Got Talent” show you will have witnessed the PERFECT metaphor for staging there ever was.
Treat yourself; watch it—even if you have seen it, go there again and experience the euphoria, then come back to this blog.
People will always pre-judge appearance. Apparently its human nature, so no matter how cute the house, how sweet the deal, people will write it off as a lost leader from the outset unless it projects at least the perception of success.
In real estate, business, the movies and singing you have to LOOK good first to generate value and interest then you have to back it up with sound believable facts.
FACT: 91 percent of people look at houses on the Internet first before contacting a real estate professional or house seller.
FACT: 91.3 percent of people surveyed by RISMedia said they believe staging to be a powerful tool when selling a property.
FACT: Buyers are busy, smart and circumspect; we know the majority base a decision to review property on location and price points; then after reviewing photos decide if the listing goes on their short list of 10.
FACT: More than 75 percent of those 91 percent will drive by the property BEFORE contacting an agent to view and half of them will do it after dark.
FACT: Drive by starts on the Internet.
FACT: Putting a property on the market without FULLY staging is a disservice to the owner and puts equity return in jeopardy. We are not talking partial or surface staging; we are talking a property that has been edited, cleaned, repaired, upgraded and then functionally showcased targeting the buyer most likely to purchase.
Function, flow, color and lighting are only some of the areas that often need to be corrected. For instance, color: if you know at least 40 percent of all the paint sold in the world is sold as a result of Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
Watch those high-end furnishings and fancy décor you use to stage your listings. Real estate practitioners in California are reporting a surge in staged, unoccupied homes being burglarized in affluent areas. Thieves are making off with linens, dressers, sofas, table lamps, mirrors, and even flat-screen televisions.
“These are highly aesthetic crimes. The thief seems to be someone with very good taste, somebody who knows that mauve is out,” D.J. Grubb, the president of the Oakland, Calif.-based Grubb Co., told reporter Heidi Schumann for a New York Times article, “Houses, Decked Out for Sale, are Burglarized.”
Stager Bonnie Pearson in Emeryville, Calif., told the New York Times that she estimates that the two Piedmont, Calif., robberies in her listings cost her $11,000 in furniture and accessories.
The Oakland Association of REALTORS® sent an e-mail message warning its members last week about the burglaries and provided some tips to prevent their listings from being targeted too. For example, make sure the neighbors know that no one is authorized to take property out of the house and consider installing an alarm system.
Or, maybe it’s time to hire a house-sitter to keep watch of your vacant listings. In January, I interviewed real estate practitioner Diane Uphus of Select Real Estate in Spokane, Wash., for an article in REALTOR® Magazine about how Uphus added house-sitting to her real estate business to Continue reading »
A few weeks ago we asked the Styled, Staged & Sold blogging community to submit their best staging ideas and the responses flooded in! You can find some of your great responses featured in the April issue of REALTOR® Magazine. Find even more ideas online from your peers with the REALTOR® Magazine Online feature, Staging on a Budget. You can find ideas for sprucing up the living room, bedroom, bathroom, exterior, kitchen and more.
After you read the responses, tell us what you think! What’s the best tip you learned, or share your own favorite staging tip here!