By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Laundry rooms are an important part of the house for home buyers, but this space can often get overlooked when it comes to staging. After all, how much can you really do to spruce up a washer and dryer, particularly if the laundry room is only a small room or even inside a closet?
But regardless of how much space your listing has, you’d be amazed at what a little staging can do to make buyers consider the laundry room a more inviting space and not just a dreaded space for chores.
By Julea Joseph, Reinventing Space
[Reposted with permission from Reinventing Space blog.]
What is it about model homes that make them so appealing? Is it the freshness of all new; is it the sassy paint colors, the perfectly placed furniture, art and accessories or the beautiful groomed backyard that makes you want to plop right down on that comfy club chair?
Well…. Yes to all the above.
From blue print to drawer pulls, that model home is meticulously planned by builders and skilled professionals to make it beautiful.
Models homes are lovely because they have the latest and the greatest, are fresh and new, and are meticulously detailed. Psychology–more than decorating–is applied to make them look so fabulous.
So how can you make your next listing as appealing as a model home? Here are 10 ways.
1. Clean. Those nice angled vacuum lines, gleaming windows, and perfectly manicured lawns in model homes speak to a potential buyer: You don’t have to do a thing. Translate that into: A little elbow grease goes a long way.
A super clean home says “turnkey” to the potential buyer. Have every inch of the home, blind slats to porch light glass, super clean and perfectly coiffed. According to a national 2011 survey done by Home Gain, a $290 cleaning investment gives a $1,990 price increase, or a 586 percent return!
2. Fresh and smells good. People buy homes on emotion, and your five senses are a direct path to your brain. If a home smells and looks “funky,” “doggy,” “smoky,” or if the stove is coated with cooking gone bad: The home is off their list.
Just like you would detail your car to sell it, invest in clean and spotless carpets, patched, repaired and freshly painted walls, and new appliances if the old have seen better days. Be wary to skip this step and take the low road with room refreshers, candles, and stove burner covers. Potential buyers are not fooled.
3. Color. Any advertising executive will tell you color is a key to properly packaging a product, and a listed home is just that, a product. Throw away the off-white manta of old school home staging rules. Welcome to the era of HGTV. Using color is a powerful and inexpensive way of making that home stand out from the rest, and with so many decorating TV shows boasting the benefits of color, you better get hip to hues.
Staging pro Sharon Brown with Homescapes by Design in Roseville, Minn., offers her clients a checklist before they list their home for sale. The point of the checklist is to make sure the home is show-ready before the for-sale sign goes up and the first potential buyer walks through the door, and even before photos are snapped for the MLS.
The following are the changes Brown most recommends to her clients in getting a home ready to list:
1. De-cluttering and removal of all personal pictures and items. Have the buyer to see the space as something they could own. Too many personal items crowded in a space makes that a challenge for buyers and clutter can detract from the features of a home.
2. New neutral, good quality rugs.
3. Re-painting several rooms into neutral colors, if needed.
4. Replacing and updating lighting fixtures.
5. Make any small repairs (or big ones if needed).
6. Purchase of matching appliances in the kitchen for a cohesive, finished look.
7. Update major furniture (furniture can be rented for the duration of the sale).
8. Move furniture to show the rooms to their best advantage, including moving very large furniture out of rooms to give them a more spacious feel
9. Incorporate decorative details that help give the home an inviting, finished feel. See the before and after photos below.
Attention stagers and real estate professionals: Do you have a great example showing how you transformed a dated, cluttered fireplace into a hot selling feature? Please send before and after photos of your simple fireplace staging solutions to writer Melissa Dittmann Tracey at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for a future article in REALTOR® Magazine.
By Barb Schwarz, Stagedhomes.com
Before you show your home to any potential buyer, you want to make sure the staging is perfect. Follow these general tips and your home will look better than the competition.
FOR THE INSIDE
- Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep accessories and objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1, 3, or 5 items. In general, a de-cluttered home helps the buyer mentally “move in” with their own things. Rearrange or remove some of the furniture in your home, if necessary. Many times home owners have too much furniture in a room. When it comes to selling your home, thin out overcrowded rooms to make the rooms appear larger.
- Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. If it hasn’t been used for three months…put it away! Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, magnets, pictures, etc.
- In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, tub, shower stall, and commode top. Keep only the most necessary cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels in one or two colors only.
- Take down, reduce, or rearrange pictures and objects on walls. Patch and paint all walls, if necessary.
- Review the house interior, room by room, and… Continue reading »
By Barb Schwarz, Stagedhomes.com
You’re at a fundraising event when someone stops by and asks what you do. “I am an Accredited Home Staging Professional® or REALTOR®,” you say. Unfortunately, that description will not spell out the value you bring to a transaction to the consumers and others you tell it to.
In today’s blog post, I thought I’d share with you how to make sure every message you deliver, whether delivered in person, print or online, is as effective and powerful as it should be.
No matter how you meet a consumer or fellow real estate industry professional–whether in person, through your blog, web site, or even Facebook and Twitter–it’s essential to make sure that the messages you provide instantly give a vivid picture of what you do and the positive impact of your work.
1. Have power messages to clarify what you do.
Those you come in contact with may be unfamiliar with exactly what you as a real estate professional or stager do. In fact, often consumers have various perceptions of what real estate professionals do, and often they are not correct. Equally, many consumers and real estate professionals have misconceptions about staging and what stagers do.
Make sure to include a power statement immediately. For stagers, and real estate professionals communicating the value of staging to sellers, consider mentioning the selling impact of staging as proved by the ASP® statistics we provide you with at Stagedhomes.com, such as “I help sellers sell homes faster and for more money.” You may also consider sharing “I’ll gladly share how staging helps sell homes for top dollars in any market.”
For many years I’ve developed messages that speak directly to the needs of sellers and their real estate professionals. Some of them include key staging specific messages, such as:
1. Decorating is personalizing, staging is depersonalizing. Staging is not decorating.
2. Staging is not about decorating your home; it’s about selling your house.
3. “Clutter eats equity!”
4. “We can’t sell it if we can’t see it.”
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Do your home’s walls look a little bare? Some artwork can go a long way in decorating a home — and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
Real estate pro and stager Terrylynn Fisher says artwork can be an important accessory in finishing off a room. And while purchasing art can be expensive, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to get great art that you can use again and again when staging properties. I recently spoke with Fisher of Empire Realty in Walnut Creek, Calif., for REALTOR® Magazine’s February “House & Home” issue, where she shared with me some of her favorite inexpensive home updates (see Finishing Touches and Easy Solutions for Kitchens and Baths).
One of her favorite affordable artwork solutions for staging: Purchasing high-resolution, professional photographs on CD. The CDs contain 90-plus photographs–everything from architecture, scenery, locations to animals–and can be printed in sizes up to 24’’ x 36’’. The $25 CD has a range of photographs to choose from so she can always quickly find artwork to use when staging her listings and print it at the size she needs. Fisher, who has a Web site featuring tools for staging, sells the Print on Demand Photographs at her Web site, www.StagersLIST.com.
Hanging photographic art has become a big trend in home decor recently, according to an article from the Associated Press. Black and white photographs, streetscapes, landscapes, and portraits can make walls come to life, the article notes.
Hanging portraits can be a tricky one in staging a home for sale, however. What do you do when a family wants to cover their walls with family portraits when trying to sell their home? Can you make it work or will such artwork surely distract buyers? And is there any other artwork you should avoid when trying to sell a home?
By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
Help clients see the design potential in a living space instantly. Change the dining room color from lemon yellow to plum purple — before painting. Rearrange new furniture — before moving day. Get staging tips, watch design videos, and add curb appeal with these four iPhone apps.
M.O.C. Interior Designer, LLC
Customize the layout of a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and more with the Home Interior Layout Designer app. Created by interior designer Mark Lewison, “Mark On Call,” and based on his book, “What Would You Do With This Room,” this app even lets you take pictures of actual décor and architectural finishes, such as carpet, flooring, rugs, etc., and add them as a “skin” to a surface in your virtual design plan. Use the palette of colors, patterns, fabrics, furnishings, wood, and stone options to explore the design potential of a room. The app also offers a measuring tool, design advice, sharing of designs between app users, and the ability to make a shopping list for all your customized home purchases.
Scripps Networks, LLC
This app offers the “best of” from HGTV, including real estate videos, pictures, tips, and advice. Watch clips of HGTV shows “Curb Appeal,” “Designed to Sell,” and more. Getting ready for an open house? Look up tips and tutorials on staging and design for better buyer appeal. And see before and after photo slideshows of room transformations. Continue reading »
By Martin R. Delossantos
A local film company calls: The condo unit I was representing was being considered to rent for actress Mischa Barton to stay in while she filmed in Jersey City. Unfortunately for me, the developer whose condo I represented decided he did not want Barton, or anyone with pets—and Barton did not want anything without her two little doggies.
To the developer, it was not about short-term money for potential long term headaches. It was about his need to SELL this unit in his building because he actually renovated it himself and did not want to spend any more time or money to restore the unit if those sweet little pooches chewed and scratched his gorgeous cherry soaked oak floors and moldings.
Problem areas: The unit was unusually laid out, which was keeping buyers at bay. The biggest problem was the main room; the space had no definition.
Was it a kitchen? Living room? Dining room? Also, the unit had a dead fireplace. The developer created too much kitchen by installing too many cabinets—albeit beautiful hardwood cherry—with glossy dark granite counters and sleek stainless steel appliances. (I suppose he was banking on a discerning chef, but that can limit your buyer pool.) If the main room was left empty, all you would notice is a big kitchen.
The space needed to be kept generic and balanced to attract the most amount of prospects. The buyers Continue reading »