Tips on How to Stage a Home

Home staging is a science that can create an environment that strikes an emotional chord with buyers. Let's face it a home purchase is an investment for most buyers, but it is also an emotional purchase. A vacant property gives the feeling that the house is empty, cold, and impersonal – this keeps the buyer…

Home staging is a science that can create an environment that strikes an emotional chord with buyers. Let's face it a home purchase is an investment for most buyers, but it is also an emotional purchase. A vacant property gives the feeling that the house is empty, cold, and impersonal – this keeps the buyer from emotionally connecting with the home. You want the buyer to be able to envision himself in your home. A well staged home can shorten the time the home sets on the market. According to the Real Estate Staging Association an un-stationary home stays on the market an average of 156 days. Take the time to professionally stage it and that time can decrease to 40 days! Staging is more than just de-cluttering and painting. The main focus is setting the scene, by changing the over all mood, and visual effect of the room to make it more inviting.

Here are some rules of thumb to follow when staging:

De-clutter & de-personalize – Stash the photographs of your family and other personal pictures, remove excess books, family heirlooms, or anything that is personal.

Lights – Warm up the room with lighting, increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures.

The rule of threes – Mix up the accessories to punch up a room, use odd numbers and place them in a triangle pattern rather than lining them up in a row.

Bring the outdoors in – Place fresh flowers or plants into the room, you can even cut flowers or attractive branches from your yard and place them into a vase.

Repurpose the room – You can always change that diverse room into a guest room. Since it's just for show, you can by pass purchasing a bed and just get an inexpensive bed frame and place an air mattress on it. Once it's covered with bedding no one will be the wiser.

Art – Hang paintings at varied height levels to make a room stand out and show off space.

Stick to a theme – Staying with an over all theme will keep the flow of the home continuous.

Hire a pro – If staging is too big a project for you then find an Accredited Staging Professional in your area. Another alternative is to find a furniture rental company that provides consultation, set-up and delivery such as Brook Furniture Rental. http://www.bfr.com/

See this and other Flip Hows blogs on Homeflippingschool.com and check out our online course to learn how to flip homes and start investing in real estate.

Your Photos Should Help With Home Selling Success

Pictures tell a thousand words, and for professional home staging, excellent photography can help convey the message you want to deliver to your target buyers. Photos are used for home listings, advertising materials, and also for websites, and these photos can be effectively used to capture the attention of your target market and get them…

Pictures tell a thousand words, and for professional home staging, excellent photography can help convey the message you want to deliver to your target buyers. Photos are used for home listings, advertising materials, and also for websites, and these photos can be effectively used to capture the attention of your target market and get them interested in touring your house to see if it is the right home for them.

Many professional home staging firms provide photography services as part of their home staging packages. Photographers are either employed in-house or are independent contractors who partner with the staging company for their photography needs.

In getting your home prepared for professional photography, the following suggestions can help:

  • Personal stuff must be out of view. This would be family photos, fridge magnets, papers or mail left on countertops. Personal stuff can be distracting in a picture; these personal marriages are generally one of the first things cleared away during home staging, but make one more quick check before the photographer arrives.
  • Entry ways and hallways must be clear. Ensure that no items are blocking doors, like shoes, coats, toys and other clutter. Hallways should be free of any obstructions; even a large hallway will somehow look cramped if there are things blocking it.
  • Bedroom and bathroom should be immaculate and organized. The beds should be made, and sheets smoothed out. Pillows and throws on beds and couches should be neatly stacked or lined up. No piles of laundry should be left on the bedroom floor, and clothes should not be seen hanging from closet doors. In the bathroom, keep the toilet lid down; put away toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other personal toiletries where they will not be photographed. Towels should be freshly-pressed and hung or folded in a very neat manner.
  • Clear the kitchen area . Dishes, silverware, pots and pans should either be stored away or neatly organized in their own space. Kitchen rags or towels should not be visible.
  • Lighting is an important factor . Natural lighting should be allowed in as much as possible, so make sure your window fixtures and décor are easily adjustable. Many photographers and home staging professionals may want both daytime and night time photos of your home.

Keep in mind, good photos posted on the Web or in print advertising are an important factor in selling your home and commanding a great price for it. Avoid being impatient or cutting corners when it comes to photos.

Choosing The Best Artwork For Home Staging

A well placed and thoughtfully selected piece of art, such as a painting or sculpture, can add a nice finishing touch or burst of character to a space, or enhance the inspiration and personality for the look and theme of a specific room or area in your home. Artwork is a very important and potentially…

A well placed and thoughtfully selected piece of art, such as a painting or sculpture, can add a nice finishing touch or burst of character to a space, or enhance the inspiration and personality for the look and theme of a specific room or area in your home. Artwork is a very important and potentially effective part of professionally staging your home, and the right piece or pieces of art can dramatically transform or bring to life what is an otherwise bland wall or corner of your house.

If you have visited a book store recently, you will see different kinds of books from a variety of authors, and these books are full of the “do's and don'ts” for the selection and arrangement of artwork for the home. However, you will likely notice how one author's tip or suggestion is the exact opposite of another expert's advice, so it is not surprising if decorating with artwork is a confusing or overwhelming task for a lot of people.

There are various aspects in choosing artwork that complement your home, but if you can get these two basic considerations right, you would have better chances of creating a harmonious element to enhance the spaces and rooms in your home.

The first reminder in the process of selecting artwork for any area of ​​your home is to make sure that the piece is in harmony with or fits the mood and style of the room. A formal portrait in oil, for instance, may be out of place in a casual family room. Similarly, those posters that adorn your teenager's bedroom walls would probably not be the right artwork for the living room.

The second basic thing to remember in choosing artwork for your room is the shape and size of the area where the artwork will be displayed. If you envision a mental box right around the wall space where the piece will be displayed, the shape will jump out and be more visible to you. As far as size is concerned, be guided by the size of the wall space and also the scale of the furnishings immediately around it.

When staging your home for selling success, snapping up the right artwork for the right room will serve as great finishing touches on your space, regardless of your budget. With a touch of creativity and well-thought out decision making, you can turn your space from dull to lively.

Renting Furniture For Home Staging

In most cities and suburb areas today, you are likely to find companies and service providers that offer furniture rental services for various purposes and and with varying price ranges, often used for events, parties, and even for professional home staging. An increasing number of homeowners who are planning to sell their homes are opting…

In most cities and suburb areas today, you are likely to find companies and service providers that offer furniture rental services for various purposes and and with varying price ranges, often used for events, parties, and even for professional home staging. An increasing number of homeowners who are planning to sell their homes are opting for furniture rental rather than buying new item pieces for a variety of reasons. For example, their current home and the staging efforts needed to prep it for selling success may not necessarily match with the new residence they are planning to move in to, so the homeowners do not want to pay good money for furniture pieces which they likely won 't be using any time soon.

Whether it is a good idea to purchase furniture or rent them for staging purposes really hinges on the homeowners' current situation, as well as whether the home is currently vacant or still occupied. Generally speaking, renting furniture is a very temporary route that allows the homeowners and professional stagers to use the pieces they need without having to worry about additional storage once the items are no longer going to be used. For homes that have to be downsized as part of the home staging plan, this is indeed a more convenient option.

Renting furniture often allows for increased flexibility in creative suggestions as well. There is a limited amount of things that that can be accomplished with updating current furniture pieces and accessories; If a more specific look is necessary, rented furniture may be themore convenient option for you. Each room of the house may not necessarily need changing out pieces for rental furniture, but it is crucial that the key spaces of your home are showcased and highlighted to potential buyers.

While renting furniture pieces may be less expensive than having to purchase them, do remember that most furniture rental companies maintain minimal rental periods (three months is the general standard). If you choose furniture rental, be very familiar with the terms put down by the company.

As another option aside from furniture rental, you can look into possibly borrowing some furniture pieces from relatives, neighbors or friends.Many people these days have furniture items that they no longer use and are just gathering dust in the basement or garage. If there are furniture items you can borrow which fit with the home staging for your home, you will save money and channel the savings for other important expenses.

5 Staging Tips If Your House Isn’t Selling

Good houses do not sell. It is a sad, frustrating fact. I have staged houses that were in that circumstance-great homes, no sale (until we staged!). What I have found is that there are typically two things at play. Houses that do not sell often have an issue with price or presentation. I tell all…

Good houses do not sell. It is a sad, frustrating fact. I have staged houses that were in that circumstance-great homes, no sale (until we staged!). What I have found is that there are typically two things at play.

Houses that do not sell often have an issue with price or presentation.

I tell all of my clients that price is definitely the domain of your Realtor. Do not ask the Stager-ask and then listen to your Realtor. Now, presentation is a whole other ball of wax. That, I can totally help you with! Here are 5 quick ways to clean up and update your house to sell:

Clear the Decks

My goal for you is that every room feels as though it could be a hotel room. If you ever notice how relaxing those rooms seem, a lot of it has to do with the fact that there is very little clutter. So, how do I want you to get there? Go room by room and photograph each space. Take special note of the small items on top of dressers, on bookcases, on counters counters. For your listing photos, pack away these items and only keep out pretty, larger sized pieces. Pack away collections, valuables and breakables. Keep taking photos as you go along to see your progress. When your rooms look simple and restful in your photos, you have staged just right for you real life shows. And, bonus … you've already started packing! You're so smart!

Freshen Up Paint

Not Navajo White !! Nothing against it, but there are so many other great choices! Here are my top 5 favorite neutrals:

  • Benjamin Moore Nantucket Gray HC-111
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Mirage 2142-50
  • Benjamin Moore Lenox Tan HC-44
  • Benjamin Moore Silver Gray 2131-60
  • Benjamin Moore Stone House Stone House 1039

Add Accessories and Art

Never understimate the power of a well placed throw pillow! Updating accessories and art can make all the difference in the world for so many spaces and can be a great way to add color in small enough doses that does not intimidate buyers. New towels and a shower curtain beautifully updated most bathrooms. Ooohh … and lamps! Do not get started about lamps!

Think About The Windows

Simple window panels are really in right now with buyers. Think unfussy. And, while sheers may be nice to cover your windows when you are living there, they block light and make a room feel heavy and dark. Vertical blinds are not what buyers want right now so replace or camouflage them with great window panels. You can find many nice styles at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and IKEA for your staging purposes.

Hit the Honey-Do List Hard

All of those little things that have been on your list to do are on your buyer's list of things they do not want to do to move in. Think about what you want when you are looking to buy your next home. Do you want an endless list of maintenance and updating to be waiting for you? Probably not.

Feng Shui and Selling Your Property

Does Feng Shui have it's place in home staging? Do you believe it can possibly help sell a house? Opinions on this particular topic are varied. Feng Shui can be defined as the art of placement and encouragements an adequate interaction of the five elements in the universe: water, wood, fire, earth and metal, and…

Does Feng Shui have it's place in home staging? Do you believe it can possibly help sell a house? Opinions on this particular topic are varied. Feng Shui can be defined as the art of placement and encouragements an adequate interaction of the five elements in the universe: water, wood, fire, earth and metal, and a balance in the Yin and Yang to absolutely have a harmonious flow of energy in a particular space. In this case, it would be a home that is for sale. Applying the principles of Feng Shui to a home that is being stagnated in order to be put up for sale will indeed be beneficial for the following reasons: more open spaces allow the flow of energy, a balance of the five elements that allows for diversity, and a balance of the Yin and Yang will allow for more peaceful visits.

To begin with by trying to encourage the flow of energy in any space, one will without a doubt have to remove the clutter and open up the space for that energy can flow through. Subsequently, people will also be able to flow through easily. This means that buyers will be more encouraged to actually step into each room of the house as opposed to simply being content with standing at the doors and peeking through at what the room looks like. In a sense, the energy that is flowing through the house will guide visitors to walk through in a similar pattern. Where energy is stagnant and does not flow, chances are your visiting buyers will not go.

Similarly, making it a point to incorporate all five elements of the universe into each room of the house will diversify the materials and colors that are incorporated in a particular room. When done tastefully, this can help harmonize the content of a particular space and give it a more inviting feeling. A good example is a room that contains lots of wood or brown colors, which we include a painting with red hues to represent the element of fire, a silver curtain to represent metal and aqua cushions on brown sofa to symbolize the water element. The various colors and elements will break up the monochromatic brown and be much more appealing to the buyer's eye.

Finally, a balance of the Yin and Yang is what will bring harmony to any space. Have you ever walked into a house you were visiting and the tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. That is not the feeling you want buyers to have when they come and visit your house. The home needs to feel calm and inviting to them. They need to feel that this is a home they would be comfortable living in. Too much excitation, just as too much tension can easily deter a buyer from making an offer. A balance of the energy in the home is what will give your buyers the optimal experience when visiting.

In conclusion, whether you believe in the power of Feng Shui or not, it remains that it is part of the principles of home staging. The concepts are tied in together if you like it or not. When staging a home, you need to keep the energy balanced, you must have energy flowing through the house in order to guide the buyers through the property and the decor must be diversified and neutral. What can be more neutral, and feel more natural than the elements we find in nature? Ultimately, be it consciously or unconsciously, Feng Shui is a part of home staging. It is up to the individual home staging professional to decide if they wish to develop their Feng Shui knowledge and use it as a part of their home staging strategies or not.

When Delcuttering Goes Too Far

I just stumbled across a great blog from Interior Designer, Christine Fife, which totally resonated with me. I found myself acting like a little kid sneaking a book under the blankets as I tried to hide the light from my iPad while my husband quietly snored away near me. I think what has done my…

I just stumbled across a great blog from Interior Designer, Christine Fife, which totally resonated with me. I found myself acting like a little kid sneaking a book under the blankets as I tried to hide the light from my iPad while my husband quietly snored away near me. I think what has done my interest and kept me scrolling through her blog was her combination of humor, helpful and, when needed, blunt design advice, and strong design philosophy. By 2 am, I found myself with yet another blogger crush …

One thing that I thought was particularly helpful to her audience was her willingness to review their personal pictures with their design dilemmas and questions. I thought how cool that would be for our Rethink family to be able to do the same thing! I would LOVE to help you, your families, clients or collections answer staging questions right here through the blog to get you on track for a super successful home sale.

So, with that, I am sending out an open offer to you to send me your photos with your staging dilemmas and questions.

To give you a hint at what it might look like for us to do that, I am going to walk you through a previous client's project and show you what my thought process, inspiration, and what their sales result. Here is their story …

I was contacted by a woman who's son-in-law had recommended she reach out to me (howaring was he!). She was a lovely woman and we immediately connected over the phone. Her house had been on the market 3 times over the course of a few years without offers. She was obviously frustrated by their past failures and really wanted to be able to downsize but felt incredibly stuck by their situation. We set up a Staging Appraisal session but I have to say that I was concerned about being able to help them before I even stepped in the door. I checked out their listing online and saw a lovely home – with some gorgeous, high end details that had last been decorated in the early 80's … and it looked every bit the 80's. Polished brass was everywhere, including on the face of the kitchen cabinets. Yikes! What was I getting into!

The first rooms likely to be seen at a showing … decluttered and depersonalized way too far. Outdated furniture and it's low profile in a room with soaring ceilings felt crowded and uninspired.

My first thought was, “awesome – no decluttering needed! Woo hoo!” This view has a strong focal point already so we just need to enhance the floor plan of the room in the foreground – lots of furniture and not a great way to walk through it to the dining room – and add some updated personality back into the space. Here is what I recommended:

  • add window panels to disguise the vertical blinds in both the dining room and the sitting room
  • add chairs and a colorful centerpiece to the dining room table
  • remove the round table and chairs in the sitting room (lower right of the top photo)
  • add larger scale art to the left of the dining room entrance and place the chaise (not in view in the top photo) below to create a reading nook that feels like it is scaled better for the height of the room
  • break apart the odd shaped sectional to place a love seat below the large front window
  • add height to the furniture arrangement under the soaring front window by placing the tropical plant on one side of the sofa and a floor lamp on the other side with art behind it
  • center the coffee table in front of the love seat but just off center of the room to allow for better traffic flow
  • add updated throw pillows, accessories and occasional tables to update the look and feel of the existing furniture

The Result … bidding war in under 3 weeks on the market!

Ah, much better! Adding shades of blue, silver and plum livened up the space. Large scale art now shows the soaring ceiling rather than making the room feel cold and out of proportion. A new floorplan in the sitting room makes it much easier to pass through the room and is a lovely companion to the newly enhanced dining room.

What would you have done to this room? Send me pictures with your questions so I can help you sell smarter and FASTER!

Several Tips For Staging Large Homes

For most homeowners looking to sell their homes, the main priority of professional home staging is on maximizing space and making the area look larger. But for others putting their homes on the market, they actually need to make their home give off a cozier and homier feel. Large houses are also on the seller's…

For most homeowners looking to sell their homes, the main priority of professional home staging is on maximizing space and making the area look larger. But for others putting their homes on the market, they actually need to make their home give off a cozier and homier feel. Large houses are also on the seller's market, and many need updates and ideas to enhance their marketability to home buyers.

Depending on where you live, there may be more or less demand for oversized homes, but there are always home shoppers looking for a larger space for different reasons. Some may have a growing family and are in the market for a house that can accommodate their children, or some just want a space that is perfect for their events, parties, and events with family and friends.

Your large, spacious home will become more attractive to potential buyers with the help of home staging strategies that highlight the home's strengths and show off its many potential uses, while also making the rooms and areas intimate enough to make the clients feel at home.

  • Group furniture together. A large living room will look and feel empty and daunting if the whole space is decorated as one gigantic area. Instead, group furniture arrangements into smaller areas, creating two living rooms instead of just one; Also, a multi-purpose arrangement can be tried, such as a living room and a home office together.
  • Dark colors make the space more intimate. Neutral shades and paint colors create an illusion of space to your home. But to achieve a homier ambiance in a large room, use darker, richer paint on walls and ceilings; these absorb light and give off warmth. Suggested colors include dark hues of blue or green, autumn colors, or taupe.
  • Have focal points in areas of the home. A focal point gives a person some sense of direction when touring the home. For instance, if there is a fireplace in a sitting room, set up furniture around it and make it the center or anchor of the space, drawing their attention and helping your potential buyers visualize gathering around the fireplace with their family.
  • Plants and vintage home décor add character. To make the home less overwhelming and more alive, place plants and flower arrangements in places around the house. Meanwhile, vintage accessories from past decades such as table lamps, light fixtures, art, or vases add touches of charm.

4 Tips to Stage Every Room Better NOW

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode with the “close talker”? Ever been in that situation? If you have, you know how important space is to how you feel in a social situation. Did you know that the same thing applies to how you arrange your furniture? Could your sofa possibly be making a potential buyer…

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode with the “close talker”? Ever been in that situation? If you have, you know how important space is to how you feel in a social situation. Did you know that the same thing applies to how you arrange your furniture? Could your sofa possibly be making a potential buyer feel uncomfortable and wanting to keep their distance?

How you arrange your furniture has a big impact on how your house is perceived online and in person by your future buyers.

Believe it or not, there is a lot of psychology grounded in Staging and a good floor plan is a huge part of conveying a sense of space and openness that can sell a house quickly. There is a whole science devoted to how space affects us called Proxemics and we can use the lessons learned in that research to create rooms that put your buyers at ease and willing to make an offer.

Here are 4 things-foundation, function, flow and focal point-to keep in mind when staging your living spaces for listing photos and in-person shows:

Measure twice, move once

Measuring is the foundation for starting to create a great floor plan. It is probably your most important and most overlooked step in arranging or rearranging your furniture. Who wants to keep moving the sofa around because it does not quite fit where you want it? It may seem like a drag, but it is so much better to take the time to measure and plan a little ahead. It will save your back too! Here are your foundation steps:

  • On graph paper, draw a rough outline of your room indicating windows, doors, or any other structural features. (Fireplace, radiator, etc.)
  • Begin measuring the length of the walls along baseboards. Measure to the nearest inch and record on corresponding wall in sketch (1 square = 6 inches).
  • Continue working your way around the room until all walls have been measured and recorded. Make sure the placement of windows, doors and other structural features are recorded.
  • Measure the height, width and depth of all furniture you are using.

Function

Function is super important in creating a great floor plan. This is like setting your goal before you take on the task of moving anything. You want to understand how the room should function so that you can put your furniture to work to create that function.

Buyers want to know how they will function in a space and more importantly how their furniture fits into that function.

A great seating arrangement allows for nice conversational areas that are not too crowded and are not too dispersed. A few rules of thumb are:

  • Creating a “U” shaped seating arrangement is a basic way to make a solid conversational area.
  • Distance between a sofa and coffee table : Allow around 18 “between the table and sofa edge to give enough leg room but to be able to set down drinks or reach appetizers without training. Coffee table heights vary greatly, but a good rule is to keep the table height and seat height within 4 inches of each other.
  • Distance between seating furniture : Aim to provide between 3.5 'and 10' between seating options to help conversation flow without crowding a room.

Flow

Flow refers to how traffic moves through your space. Do you have a television in this room; is it a room that you have to walk through in order to get to the kitchen or main living area? Once you understand how the room is traveled through, you can make a floor plan that helps guide the traffic pattern. You can see in the image below that there are two entrances to the room and the furniture has been positioned to create a hallway connecting these two egresses.

Your focal point is what you want to highlight to sell your house: a fireplace, a great view, the size of the space, a wall of windows, cool architectural details, etc. It is what will make your buyers want to enter the room to get a closer look. Knowing your focal point makes it a lot easier for you to arrange your furniture to showcase it more effectively. But, what happens if you do not have a natural focal point in a room? Let's explore how you can create your own:

  • Size: Large items automatically attract interest (think about a bed in a bedroom). Start by putting the largest piece of furniture against the largest wall to help traffic flow. A bed is a natural focal point for a bedroom, and a sofa is a great focal point for a living or family room. Rugs also command attention and anchor the décor, so they make great focal points, too.
  • Color: You can totally influence mood and behavior with color. A contrasting wall color behind your sofa or bed is an excellent way to create a focal point. You can also use small intense colors on accessories such as pillows to direct the eye to a seating area and focal point. But a little goes a long way – color that is too intense can be a turn-off.
  • Light: Your eye travels easily to where it can see the best. Lighting is essential to giving attention to the main area of ​​the room, such as chandelier over a coffee table.

Is it possible to have more than one focal point in a room? Absolutely, if your room is designed for more than one purpose, such as a living-dining combination room, or a bedroom with a sitting area, you will need a focal point for each area to distinguish it from the rest of the room and to define its purpose. Just make sure the focal points agree that both sides of the room are equally formal or informal, and in the same decorative theme as the rest of it.

Baking Cookies: Outdated Home Staging Advice?

Aaahh, the old bake cookies advice for open houses and shows … that was so last century, right? I thought so until I read some compelling marketing research. I was recently reading a blog post at neurosciencemarketing.com about the importance of having a scent logo and it really did my attention because I was thinking…

Aaahh, the old bake cookies advice for open houses and shows … that was so last century, right? I thought so until I read some compelling marketing research. I was recently reading a blog post at neurosciencemarketing.com about the importance of having a scent logo and it really did my attention because I was thinking about the fact that I do not typically ask my clients to think about the scent of their house and how it may affect sellers. But, after reading this research, my advice is about to change.

Most people think that Staging is just about the visual, but it really taps into almost all of the senses and scent is a super important one (maybe even the most important and definitely the most delicate to approach).

So, what has the research revealed that will totally make you rethink this heated and controversial cookie debate? First – and this is crazy – you are 100 times more likely to remember something that you smell as compared to something that you just see or touch! And, it is so fascinating why this is – I did not know this, but your sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to the emotion, memory and learning centers in your brain. I guess this is why we are taken back to a place so vividly when we smell something that reminds us of it.

Seriously compelling when you think about selling your house, right? When you consider that the average home buyer visits 12 houses in person, how does your house stand out? Visually for sure, but the nose may be what makes the difference between an offer and no offer.

In fact, savvy marketers are already using “scent marketing” to their advantage. Brands like Westin and Abercrombie and Fitch are totally capitalizing on the power of scent. The number one selling cologne, globally, is Fierce, Abercrombie and Fitch's fragrance. In market research, employers could sniff out A & F jeans … while blindfolded! If super brands are using scent to help them make their products more memorable and sell more of them, why can not you?

All fragrances are not created equally though. Do not take this as a go ahead to offend your buyers with super smelly candles and over fragranced room sprays. Baked goods (especially cookies!) Are universally appealing and conjure up great memories of home – now that's the button you want to push! So, stock up on your Pillsbury cookie dough and smell sweet success in your future! (Sorry … I know it's totally corny but I could not resist!)

6 Habits of Successful Home Sellers

When you decide to list your house for sale, you need to immediately begin thinking about how your house is going to appear in your online listing and for your in-person shows. This means putting in some work before you take your listing photos. This is old hat to successful sellers, but for first time…

When you decide to list your house for sale, you need to immediately begin thinking about how your house is going to appear in your online listing and for your in-person shows. This means putting in some work before you take your listing photos. This is old hat to successful sellers, but for first time sellers, who have never been through this process, it's a whole new ball game. Fortunately, if you are a first time seller, you can learn from the pros!

Here are the practices of highly successful home sellers that you can use to stage your house effectively:

They Know Two Basic Facts:

1. More than 95% of buyers start their search online and

2. Buying a house is based more on emotions than logic.

By staging your house properly for your listing photos, you can tug at your buyer's emotion you dramatically increase your chances of getting a faster offer.

So, what does staging properly mean? Staging properly means way more than just decorating. Here are some examples of how Staging goes beyond just the mere placement of artwork …

They know the importance of beautiful, high quality photographs:

A great way to know if your house will look great in the online photos is to take your own pictures of each room and then evaluate the room. Think about what the strengths are of each room and think about the direction or angles a professional photographer might shoot each room from and then take your picture that way. Do you have an incredible focal point in the room? Are the surfaces of dressers, mantles, walls, etc. cluttered with small items? Can you see the assets the room has to offer?

You can even compare your pictures with similar houses that are for sale in your neighborhood by checking out your competition online.

So much of what we tune out in person is amplified in a photo, right? That's why we so often notice our own flaws in photographs that do not bother us at all when we see ourselves in a mirror – or is that just me. Once, you are armed with your own photos and know what your competitors are up to, you can make better decisions about what you can do to update, eliminate clutter and better highlight each room's assets.

They know the power of a friendly welcome:

Although technically your buyer is a guest in your house, you really want them to imagine themselves owning it. You do not want them to feel like an intruder.

• Do not request expect buyers to take off their shoes when they walk through your house. We had to do this when we walked through the house we bought and it felt very much like we were guests in the seller's house. Awkward …

• Leave your house for all shows and open houses. The buyer will not feel comfortable really getting to see what's behind closed doors and talking about the house candidly. They will only get a wonderful look at your house and feel like they do not have enough information to make a sound decision. This also happened to us when walked through our house, both times!

• Invest your money in your entry. What is the first impression when you walk through your front door. If you never enter your house from the front, do it before you show the house so you know exactly what your buyer will see.

• If possible, place a mirror in your entry where buyers are likely to “see” themselves in your house. Neuroscience research has shown that people exhibit more desirable behavior when they see images of themselves, including spending money on a desired item.

• Place a small note in your entry thanking buyers for coming to see the house. Add a bowl of candy next to your note, and you can not go wrong!

They know how to get them in the mood:

Huh? OK – I really mean to create a mood in your house. Have you ever come home from work and felt that your house was totally lifeless? It may have been chilly because your thermostat is turned down during the day. Maybe it's dark because you do not have any lights on? It is deathly quiet and does not exude any kind of personality? I know that I have felt this in my house and every time that happens, I think about what that would have like for a buyer coming to look at my house. If possible, during the time that you are showing your house, leave for work each day expecting that the house will be shown that day and leave it ready to create an immediate mood.

• Leave on classical or jazz music playing softly in the background

• Turn off the TV

• Leave on lights in each room, including closets

• Leave on fountains if you have them to create a peaceful backdrop

• If weather permits, leave windows open (unless you get a lot of street noise)

• Keep all blinds and window treatments open (unless there is a terrible view)

They show them the house in all seasons:

• Take pictures of your property at different times of year so buyers can see your beautiful landscaping or gardens

• Leave photos in a prominent location so they will not be missed

They know the power of a handwritten note:

There is so much that your house can not convey to your buyers so help them out by leaving little notes around the house. I do not mean leaving notes that say “Not Included in the Sale” – eels cold and a bit insulting to do that so upfront.

Here's what I mean:

• If you have an antique light fixture or new or updated appliance that you would like to include in the sale, leave a note about it detailing its age, history, newness, etc.

• If your house has unique architectural details, unique materials, or upgrades that set it apart from the other houses / condos / townhomes in the neighborhood, leave a note about that. Our house has a lot of chestnut woodwork and chestnut is no longer available which makes it all the more precious. I LOVED learning that as we were considering this house.

• If your house is in a neighborhood with a unique history, great amenities, awesome community spirit, that too would be a great thing to tell the buyer by way of a note.

Being proactive and incorporating even a couple of these habits into your selling process will put you WAY ahead of your competition. Best of Luck!

Tips For Successful Child-Friendly Home Staging

Let's be realistic: a reasonable number of your potential home buyers would be looking for a home that would have space and flexibility for their growing family. There may be couples who are looking forward to their first baby, or a father and mother with two children. Many of your possible clients who will be…

Let's be realistic: a reasonable number of your potential home buyers would be looking for a home that would have space and flexibility for their growing family. There may be couples who are looking forward to their first baby, or a father and mother with two children. Many of your possible clients who will be touring your property will decide whether it is appropriate for their short-term and long-term goals for their family.

You must have time to sit down with your professional home staging specialist and work out a definite plan or strategy to appeal to your target audience or clients. One thing that has to be determined is whether or not your home is more likely to appeal either to families, or to young professionals or couples who do not currently have any children or are not planning on starting a family soon. Ge, if your home is located in a fast-growing suburb with a lot of job opportunities, schools, and parks, your property would probably be getting more inquiries from homemakers looking to settle down with their growing families.

Meanwhile, if what you have on the market is a townhouse or condominium unit located downtown or in the central business district, yuppies or singles would probably be more your market. But no matter who your main target audience would be for your home staging, home stagers would still suggest a neutral them designed to appeal to the widest variety of potential clients.

Child-friendly home staging and decorating will add to your home's marketability to parents who need to find a place that is flexible enough for their growing children, and versatile for a host of activities and functions. So, what can be done to make the home more child-friendly?

  • Make the atmosphere casual and light. During shows or tours, your clients are imagining the home with their kids all over the space, walking, crawling, or running. You should highlight or emphasize how much space the house has, with ample room for kids who like to play and explore.
  • Stay away from breakable décor or fixtures. Glass containers or vases in high-traffic areas like hallways or entrances are at risk of topling over and breaking. Some clients like to bring along their kids during shows because they want to find out how the kids like the home, so make some adjustments accordingly.
  • Go for child-proof window treatments and furniture fabrics. Simple blinds or shades are safe instead of long-flowing and elegant drapes that drop all the way to the floor (these can cause tripping, or kids may not be able to resist hiding behind them or even pulling them). For furniture, use slip covers with a darker shade; slip covers are easy to remove and wash so they are perfect for families with young children.
  • Floors should be safer for young kids. Area rugs can be used to create a softer, warmer space as well as make hallways and other areas more child-friendly. Area rugs you use must have no-skid pads or be secured with double-sided tape so they do not become sliding hazards also. Do not put too much stuff along hallways and entrances that can cause kids to stumble.

4 Open House Secrets Real Estate Agents Don’t Want You to Know

Are you currently planning an open house for your property? If you are, then you're in on the right track as this step is one of the most important parts of real estate investing and marketing. Staging an open house is like having a party with you as the host. The only difference is that…

Are you currently planning an open house for your property? If you are, then you're in on the right track as this step is one of the most important parts of real estate investing and marketing. Staging an open house is like having a party with you as the host. The only difference is that in an open house, you are actually doing it to sell real estate. An open house involves setting a date for the actual viewing and informing people about it. Then all you need to do is to make the house more inviting for your guests.

In an open house, you need to appeal to a buyer's 5 senses. The interior and exterior of the property should not only be visually pleasant but also be able to stimulate one's sense of smell, hearing and taste. When a person's 5 senses are at work, you can generate a more positive response which is a plus in real estate investing. Thus, here are 4 open house secrets that real estate agents rarely divulge. Let these tested and tested solutions help you stage an open house successfully and extremely sell your property at a good price.

· Make the house look and feel good. One way to do this is to clean the house and get rid of clutter. Make the kitchen and bathroom floors sparkle and the bedrooms neat and well-kept. Turn on the lights and dress up the house with beautiful furniture. Decorate with fresh flowers, set the dining table, hang a lovely painting, plant new flowers and repair everything that's broken. Make the temperature comfortable as well by setting the thermostats appropriately. Give your house the “wow” factor and appeal to everyone's sense of sight and feel.

· Play soothing music. Make your guests feel more relaxed with beautiful music in the background. Turn on some inspiring music to make your guests feel most at home in the house that you're selling.

· Make the house smell good. You can either put photographed oils or light a scented candle in each room. Another way to do this is to also bake cookies before your guests arrive. Avoid fragrances that are overpowering such as those used by air fresheners. Instead use fresh and natural fragrances like eucalyptus or freshly baked bread.

· Serve snacks and refreshments. A way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so they say. Thus, serving cookies straight from the oven would be a plus as well as fruit juices, tea or coffee. Freshly baked cookies target both a person's sense of taste and smell.

When you're staging an open house, focus on giving your guests the best by appealing to their 5 senses. Also make sure that you have a complete file of the property that includes appraisal reports, a blueprint and many other details. Be prepared to answer questions and give your guests something to think about at the end of the day. Stage a fabulous open house and set a good reputation for yourself as a real estate investor.

Why Staging Your Home For Sale Is So Important

Staging your home for sale is an extremely important step as it may actually assist in selling your home at a much faster rate as well as at a higher price. First impressions matter the most and most buyers will have made up their mind as to whether to buy your house or not within…

Staging your home for sale is an extremely important step as it may actually assist in selling your home at a much faster rate as well as at a higher price.

First impressions matter the most and most buyers will have made up their mind as to whether to buy your house or not within minutes after entering it. Therefore, you need to make sure that you clean and organize your home so as to make great first impressions on any prospective buyer that will be looking to purchase. Unnecessary clutter and untidiness will give a very negative feel to your home, putting off any prospective buyers. Try to remove as many of your personal items from view as possible. In such a way potential buyers would be able to see the functionality and space in the rooms and be better able to imagine themselves living in it.

It is always a good idea to repair any visible faults and defects which potential buyers may easily notice. You want to impress them and so it is imperative to ensure they see no negative aspects to your home. These could be walls with peeling paint, cracks, mold stains, squeaky doors and leaky faucets. You need to make your house look fresh and clean so as to help potential buyers imagine what a beautiful home it may make once they add their own personal touches to it. Besides trying to make the house look bigger by getting rid of unnecessary clutter arrange furniture and fixtures around to create a spacious and airy ambience. Open windows, blinds and curtains to allow as much natural light as possible.

Selling your home as with any other promotion needs to be advertised. It's always advisable to place adverts in strategic places such as real estate magazines and websites so as to target as many buyers as possible. Leaflets and fliers are good promotional methods too. Make sure to include professional, clear photos of your house. A sign in your window and on your front yard, if you have one, work well. Classified ads in a local newspaper are another way to advertise. See if there is a community paper, too. Real estate agents, of course, are experts in selling property and will work with you for a commission. Word of mouth is also a great promotion tool, as you inform your friends and family of the particulars. Finally, posting online is another effective tool as some website are available for this purpose at no cost at all.

For written advertisements, these need to be well written and concise. Full property details need to be included, along with pointing out the best-selling aspects of your property, such as “includes a den which can be used for a fourth bedroom”. If you've recently installed new finished hardwood floors, you can let others know they are brand new. Make potential buyers aware of access to the house and any ease of transportation nearby, such as being a block away from a bus route, or a driveway heading up to your home. These tips on home staging will aid in selling your home in no time at all!

Staging Properties – Do You?

We've just started staging properties. In fact, we've just arrested our second property after selling around 100 without staging. I love the look. The homes feel so much warmer and we found that lookers tend to stay longer than when a property is vacant. Potential buyers seem to get comfortable and want to hang around…

We've just started staging properties. In fact, we've just arrested our second property after selling around 100 without staging.

I love the look. The homes feel so much warmer and we found that lookers tend to stay longer than when a property is vacant. Potential buyers seem to get comfortable and want to hang around to talk. With vacant properties, they walk through and leave, as if they feel awkward being in them.

I'm not sure how to judge the effectiveness of staging. Our houses are typically sold within 90 days, six months is an outside time for our company. Our staged property also took about 90 days with one of the early lookers coming back to purchase it. Did staging help? Who knows.

What do do know is that the houses feel more like homes — very clean, very uncluttered homes! I do not see that staging takes away from anyone being able to visualize their own furnishings there. And, I thought the rooms looked larger once they were furnished.

We used staging the first time to hide what we considered inherent flaws. For example, the house had one long narrow room off the kitchen that looked odd and unfamiliar. A natural buyer question would be, “What is this room for and how do we furnish it?” The stager put a seating area at one end, a child's play table and toys in the middle, and a desk with chair for a home office at the other end. The result? As soon as you walked into this space, you saw tremendous potential in using it for multiple functions all at the same time.

Another flaw that was “hidden?” was in the master bedroom. The room had fabulous light because it had large windows on two walls. The third wall had the entry door, closet, and door to the bathroom. The only solid wall was the wall directly to the side as you entered, not ideal for bed placement. So, the designer placed the bed at the far corner of the room angled between the two windows with a tall palm behind the headboard. The nightstands sat on either side under the windows and the dresser with mirror were along the solid wall. It looked beautiful, well designed, and what could have been a reduction was no longer noticeable.

Whether we continue to stage has yet to be decided. Do you use staging? What are your pros and cons? Obviously, it has to be a benefit to justify the cost.

Anxious to hear your thoughts!