A Realtor, a Seller, and a Home Stager Walk Into a House

House. They walk into a House! I know what you were thinking and that that venue would be appropriate AFTER closing, but our Realtor, our Seller, and our Home Stager are together for a reason. They have joined forces to get this house sold! In today's market, it takes more than “neat and clean” or…

House. They walk into a House! I know what you were thinking and that that venue would be appropriate AFTER closing, but our Realtor, our Seller, and our Home Stager are together for a reason. They have joined forces to get this house sold!

In today's market, it takes more than “neat and clean” or “light and bright” to get top dollar quickly. Blame it on the Millennials. Blame it on HGTV. The reality is that home staging is rapidly becoming a necessity in real estate sales. Skeptical? The National Associal of Realtors (NAR) 2015 Profile of Home Staging has some compelling evidence that properties benefit from home staging. But what about our Realtor, our Seller, and Our Home Stager … how do they benefit?

First up, our Realtor. Our Realtor knows that a property that languishes on the market costs time and money. A home that has not been professionally prepared for sale is often destined for a price reduction which translates to more time, more money, and less commission. Fortunately, our Realtor knows the value of home staging and has a competitive advantage by offering the home staging consultation as part of the listing package. No more uncomfortable conversations about cleaning and smells. No more dealing with over-the-top décor or hoarders. Our Realtor trusts our Home Stager to have these discussions in a kind and tactful manner, leaving our Realtor free to focus on getting the house SOLD, not getting the house READY to sell.

Our Seller needed a little more encouragement. “Why can not people just look past my stuff?” our Seller muttered. Our Home Stager explained that less than 10% of home buyers can look past existing furnishings and how important first impressions are. After a tour of the house with our Home Stager, our Seller not only understood the value of home staging, but was guided to find out that home staging was not about major renovations or isolating their taste in décor. Home staging was no longer an annoyance, but a way of preparing the house to appeal to the most buyers. No one can force a seller to stage their home, but educating clients is the first step to getting them engaged in the home staging process. Some sellers will only need a little help. Some will need a lot. The Seller in our story not only embroidered our Home Stager's suggestions, but hired our Home Stager to style each room for maximum appeal.

So how does our Home Stager benefit? Ideally, sellers would call a Home Stager before they call a Realtor, but many sellers do not realize the value of home staging, so partnering with realtors just makes good business sense. Home Stagers do not typically choose this profession because they love cluttered, uninspired, or vacant homes. It's the beautiful transformations that are made with simple changes. Follow that transformation with a quick sale at the asking price and you have one giddy Home Stager. That's what home staging is all about.

Of course, there are no guarantees that home staging will make the property sell quickly or for the best price, but simple economics tells us that an improved product will increase demand and command a higher price tag. Realtors across the country are partnering with Home Stagers and include consultations in the listing package. This NAR infographic notes that “Among homes that are staged: 62 percent of sellers' agents offer the home staging services to their sellers”. Now that's a partnership!

So, the next time you see a Realtor, a Seller, and a Home Stager walk into a house, you will know that they are in a partnership to maximize the potential of the property and get that house sold!

The Differences Between Effective and Ineffective Home Staging!

Do you know the difference between a “good” and “bad” home staging? Unfortunately, many sellers and investors do not, and they end up wasting money on poorly done stagings that fail to achieve the desired goal of maximizing their home's value and offers. Here are some common mistakes that diminish the quality of the staging…

Do you know the difference between a “good” and “bad” home staging? Unfortunately, many sellers and investors do not, and they end up wasting money on poorly done stagings that fail to achieve the desired goal of maximizing their home's value and offers.

Here are some common mistakes that diminish the quality of the staging or – worse – fail to improve the home's value at all:

1) Too many pieces of furniture, furniture that is too large, or out-of-date styles, patterns, and colors. Crowded and unattractive rooms defeat the whole point of staging to sell – making rooms look larger and more appealing to buyers so they can better imagine living in and enjoying the home.

2) Art that is hung too high or is way too small or the wrong color for the room or wall. Small art ends up looking like clutter in photos. Art should dramatize and enhance a room.

3) Poor accessorizing using out-dated items, small items, too many different colors, or the wrong number or size of items, which tend to make a room look unbalanced and messy to buyers. Alternately too much white in a room with no contrast to add interest will not emotionally appeal to buyers.

4) Too-small area rugs that look like scatter rugs under coffee tables or dining tables – the legs of tables and all the chairs should sit comfortably inside the outside margins of area rugs. For living rooms, the rugs should meet up with sofa and chair legs or go completely underneath furniture.

5) Lack of lighting which makes rooms look visibly colder. It's surprising how many homes lack table and / or floor lamps that both serve to dress up the space as accessories and most importantly, light up rooms to make them look better! A common saying in staging is “light and bright sells”!

6) Heavy or frilly / fussy window treatments. I generally suggest removing these to both reflect current trends and lighten up rooms. The one exception to this is leaving panel drapes if the colors are neutral or at least work well with the colors in the room and are kept to the side to let in as much light as possible.

7) Too-small or out-dated accessories (like cute plaques, roosters, and dish towels in kitchens, tiny soaps or florals in bathrooms).

8) Small plants plopped in corners of rooms. Greenery – faux or real – is great to add warmth and fill in empty corners, but the plants or trees need to be large to make a design statement in the space and not look silly.

A good home stager has:

1) A solid knowledge of furniture and accessory scale and number of pieces appropriate to each room that will help buyers visualize the best use and maximize the space at the same time.

2) A good design eye for colors – what colors play well together and in what amounts, the best color scheme that works with existing items and finishes in the house but also that will appeal to buyers, keeping in mind not only trends but the geographic area and seasons. For example, warmer or deeper colors in accessories like orange, red, navy, dark gray, bronze work better in colder months. Lighter greens, blues, teals, yellows are great summer colors IF they work with what's in the home already.

3) Knowledge of design trends. An effective home stager needs to know the “hot” colors, furniture styles to use in vacant homes (transitional for many areas, more modern styles for many cities), and trends in accessories and bedding.

4) Experience in knowing how and where to hang art as well as the appropriate sizes for each room and wall, and the best colors to use in each room to achieve the desired emotional response.

5) Education in home staging (and ideally interior design as well), and membership in a staging association like RESA (the Real Estate Staging Association) or staged homes.com

12 Lessons to Learn

It's not about YOU! As a professional home stager, education is a part of my job description. I explain to sellers what and why they need to do or do not sell their house quickly for top dollar. And as with every learning experience, there are fast learners, slow learners and some who (choose) not…

It's not about YOU!

As a professional home stager, education is a part of my job description. I explain to sellers what and why they need to do or do not sell their house quickly for top dollar. And as with every learning experience, there are fast learners, slow learners and some who (choose) not to learn at all. This post addresses some of the issues that sellers have to understand when selling their home.

The most important and # 1 lesson that has to be learned: It's NOT about you anymore! It's about your potential buyers. What do buyers want today? If you can figure that out and implement it, your chances of selling your house will skyrocket.

# 2 lesson: Staging is MUCH more than moving some furniture around and adding pretty accessories. Staging understands advice on updates, repairs, curve appeal, paint colors. Stagers also address traffic flow, hang appropriate art in correct size and height, create focal points, repurpose / remove furniture and accessories, add suitable furniture and accessories, hang window covers when appropriate, address lighting issues and much more.

# 3 lesson: Most buyers can not see beyond what is in front of them. If a bedroom is showing as a playroom or office, they have great difficulty visualizing it as a bedroom.

# 4 lesson: For most people, vacant rooms are just as difficult to visualize because there is no frame of reference as to the size, function, layout, etc.

# 5 lesson: The majority of buyers today are looking for a move in ready home, and they are willing to pay more for it.

# 6 lesson: Most, not all, sellers can not effectively stage their own home because they do not have the objectivity that it requires.

# 7: lesson: Decorating and staging are OPPOSITES. Decorating is geared toward the owners preference in colors, style, etc. while staging is geared towards the target market … probably not the sellers preference in taste at all.

# 8 lesson: Every house benefits from staging, no matter what the price point. Million dollar houses, beautifully decorated houses will all need some amount of staging.

# 9 lesson: Updating and repair work is just as important, probably more important, than the necessary decluttering, depersonalizing and neutralizing that every house needs.

# 10 lesson: Next to a stager, a seller's best friend is a professional photographer. Over 90% of buyers today start their search for a new home on the internet. What is the point fixing, updating, staging your home if you have no pictures or poor quality pictures online?

# 11 lesson: In the vast majority of cases, the cost to stage your home for 3 months will be much less than your first price reduction.

# 12 lesson: Curb appeal is just as important as the interior. Most people will do a drive-by of your house before they decide if they want to see it inside.

How To Organize Your Home For Rent?

Home seekers have a limited budget to work with. In a bad economy, the situation is hard on everyone. Paying a hefty brokerage is just another added burden. In such a case scenario, you have to bend & make your home appealing for a potential client. The harmony of the place should attract them on…

Home seekers have a limited budget to work with. In a bad economy, the situation is hard on everyone. Paying a hefty brokerage is just another added burden. In such a case scenario, you have to bend & make your home appealing for a potential client. The harmony of the place should attract them on its own.

Begin the process by looking at your home from the home seeker perspective. Ask yourself the most important question, “Would I rent this place if I came here to live?” If your mind says no then look at the weak points of your property.

Ask yourself these questions –

  • What's missing?
  • What can you add?
  • How can you minimize maintenance?
  • Is the power backup working?
  • Do you have parking?
  • Does the furniture needs polishing?
  • Any pest issues?
  • Are the toilets clean?
  • Is the kitchen cooking ready?
  • Is the gas line intact?
  • Can you add air conditioning?
  • Is the place child friendly?
  • Will you allow pets?
  • Are you ready to decorate more?

The more features you add to the mix, the more you can charge from your potential customers. You have to read what your client wants before they arrive. It all depends on the level of management you can give to your home for rent. The more features you add to your home, your responsibilities also shoots up.

Here, it is better to ask your tenant regarding the features so you add it according to their wishes. You can also mention the self-maintenance aspect within the rent deed to improve the life span of the items provided in your home. There are many people moving from different cities, and they do not bring their own luggage with them. This is the situation that favors add-ons which raises the rent of your home.

You can prepare your home in three stages.

1) Stage one – Give the basics

Add basic features to your home to give the tenant the basic option. If they have a limited budget, then you should be flexible enough to change your strategy. Do not be fixated by a specific number. You should consider that if your home is not rented out then rent money is lost.

2) Stage two – Mid level facilities

Give a second tier features to your home for those people who want something extra with their basic home. This could be furniture, and some other features that can be added to your home. This spikes the monthly rent which helps you in the long run. This helps in those situations where people want something extra according to their need.

3) Stage three – Max level facilities

In this segment, you give all the possible facilities you are willing to provide, depending on the demand of your client. We are talking about being ready for all possibilities. This way you never lose a client when you have multiple homes to manage for rent.

How To Get More Home for Rent Queries?

Real estate is the prime destination for investors. When you have money sitting in the bank, then you are losing out on opportunities. Rather than going for a commercial property, it is better to invest in residential. People will always need a place to stay, and since you will always remain in business. We have…

Real estate is the prime destination for investors. When you have money sitting in the bank, then you are losing out on opportunities. Rather than going for a commercial property, it is better to invest in residential. People will always need a place to stay, and since you will always remain in business. We have many tips lined up for your so you can get home for rent questions lined up!

Coming to the next step …
How do you attract tenants for your property?

No doubt, this is the toughest question. If you feel completely stumped when you can not find anyakers then you simply have to modify the presentation of your home. There are a number of ways you can change the way people perceive your home.

Read the tips below to get more home for rent queries

Tip no.1 – Do repair work.

If you home has been sitting for a while, then find all the spots where the home needs fixing. Get everything ready, and get the leaky pipes changed. If you want to make good income then you have to spend a little.

Tip no.2 – Pest control.

In some unique cases, some homes are infected by rats and other small creatures if it has been left vacant. If you bring someone over to show the place then they will definitely run away. If I am a home seeker then I need a home that is ready to move in without me having to put effort into it. Just change your perspective, and look from the view of the seeker.

Tip no.3 – Fix up the kitchen.

If the kitchen is in a bad state, then people will reject the property instantly. Get is cleaned, and the cupboards fixed. This is the place where the whole family comes together to spend time together. Look from a family's perspective and ask yourself the same question. Do you want to have dinner here? If the answer is no then the place needs a big change. Do it now, make it happen.

Tip no.4 – Are the toilets working?

Double check the toilets. This is one place where people come back home and refresh themselves. If they see a dirty toilet then it will also a big reason for rejection. As mentioned before, you have to make every effort to keep the place ready for them. It may seem like a lot of work but it will pay off in the end.

Tip no.5 – Fully Furnished option.

You can charge a higher rent if you want to get a bit more out of your place. There are a number of people who do not make the effort nor want the responsibility for it. However, they are losing out on the income they can have for themselves. You do not need to buy new things for the place. You can hit the used items shops where you can find working material to get the home ready. Think like a businessman, and get your brain cells pumping. The tools are all around you, use it now!

Homes for Sale: Getting Property Ready for the Market

Preparing homes for sale is a hard task. Still, there are certain things you can do to make your residence more appealing. Other things can not be helped without paying an unreasonable amount to contractors. You need to be realistic as to what projects you can afford to tackle and which of them will actually…

Preparing homes for sale is a hard task. Still, there are certain things you can do to make your residence more appealing. Other things can not be helped without paying an unreasonable amount to contractors. You need to be realistic as to what projects you can afford to tackle and which of them will actually add value to the property.

Changes to the Inside

There are many ways to prepare homes for sale. Start by making your house as clean as possible. You'll want to mop hard floors and steam clean carpets. Dust all the ceiling fans, and if you have pets, make sure their area is spotless.

Bathrooms are big selling points. You want your porcelain gleaming, and you want to make sure things like shower curtains and rods look nice. If those kinds of smaller items are looking shabby, you may need to replace them. You may also consider replacing your toilet seat. Whenever possible, be sure that trash cans are empty before anyone comes to view the house.

Do not be afraid of a little paint. While your taste may run to darker, richer colors or bold, bright hues, these shades can actually turn off potential buyers. If you know that your color pallet is not to most people's loving, spend a little money and tone down the walls. It can actually help your property sell faster if buyers look at a room and do not immediately start thinking of all the money they've got to spend to cover up your personal touches.

Remove clutter. No one wants to walk into a house that is overflowing with junk. Remove some of your furniture if you have a lot. This will help to make the room look bigger. You also want to remove as many personal items as possible. It helps potential buyers imagine their things in the space.

When it comes to the garage, try to make sure that it is at least ordered. You may be walking things there during the selling process, and that's okay; just make sure they are neatly stacked and not haphazardly thrown in the room.

Preparing the Exterior

If there are any repairs you need to make to your home, have them done. This includes, but is not limited to, cracked windowpanes, broken tiles, and leaky faucets. If you have recently replaced the roof, hot water heater, or air conditioning unit, then have all your warranty paperwork handy for the real estate agent. Also, make sure that your house has been treated for pests before putting it on the market, especially if it has been a while.

If you have pets that spend a great deal of time outside, you should go out and police your yard for doggy waste before showing your property. If your dogs are diggers, make sure you fill in any holes prior to showing the property. People who are looking at homes for sale generally do not want to stumble into anything unpleasant.

7 Things A Home Staging Checklist Can’t Do That A Professional Home Stager Can

You're savvy. You've stalked all the decorating and home staging websites on the Internet. You've subscribed to some and collected an impressive amount of Home Staging checklists. You are over-the-top ready to stage your own home and get it on the market. You do not need a Professional Home Stager … you have your checkslists!…

You're savvy. You've stalked all the decorating and home staging websites on the Internet. You've subscribed to some and collected an impressive amount of Home Staging checklists. You are over-the-top ready to stage your own home and get it on the market. You do not need a Professional Home Stager … you have your checkslists!

Not so fast. I'll bet you have collected a ton of recipes too, but without some skills, those recipes will not produce divine cuisine. Home staging checkslists are a wonderful “start” and should be used, but they may not be enough to get you to the finish line. For less than that first sales price reduction, a Professional Home Stager can:

Be objective. Most people “think” that they can be objective, but in fact, very few can. We design and decorate our homes to surround ourselves with things that we love, right? Unfortunately, that does not mean that buyers will also love your beautiful décor. A Professional Home Stager will transform your personal style into a design that will appeal to more buyers.

Showcase your home's positive features. Clever use of design principles can highlight the good and detract from the bad or even the ugly. Negative aspects of a home are often overlooked by buyers when the positive features have been showcased with great staging techniques. Is this deceitful? No … unless you're trying to hide something that should have been repaired or replaced. Remember: you are selling your home, not your furnishings. You want the focal points of each room to be those that come with the house, not go with you when you leave.

Recommend color palette. Your home may be professionally decorated and looks gorgeous in person, but it may simply not photograph well. Since most buyers begin their home search online, you want to make sure that the photos of your home make those buyers want to come for a personal visit. Professional Home Stagers will often make color recommendations to assure cohesion through your home to create beautiful photos.

Rearrange your furniture. We all tend to put too much furniture in our rooms, usually in the form of storage pieces or extra seating. Professional Home Stagers know that typically less is more and will insure that your furniture arrangement provides the best traffic flow and balance in the room.

Shop for you. What? A personal shopper ?? Absolutely! Most Professional Home Stagers offer a shopping service. Of course, you can purchase any recommended items yourself, but the beauty of letting a Professional Home Stager shop for you is that they know where to shop and often get trade discounts that you would not ordinarily receive. Even with a shopping service fee, recommended purchases can cost less in the long run. The best part … your investment goes with you to your new home!

Rent accessories to you. Most Professional Home Stagers have an inventory of on-trend accessories that they are happy to rent to you while your home is on the market. If you really love the piece, you might even be able to convince your Home Stager to sell it to you.

Provide support. Selling a home can be stressful. A Professional Home Stager will walk you through what needs to be done, help you find the resources you need, and work with your real estate agent or even help you find one. Professional Home Stagers are proud of the work they do for you and will post links to your listing on their own websites and social media to reach even more potential buyers.

Checklists are a great way to get your home ready to sell, but the hands-on skills of a Professional Home Stager may be just what you need to put the finishing touches on your beautiful property. So, before you go it alone, enlist the expertise of a Professional Home Stager and you just might cause the first bidding war in your neighborhood.

Three Ways to Prepare Your House for Showing in a Parade of Homes

Selling a house can be an arduous process, but much of it brings down to your ability to present it properly to potential buyers. The Parade of Homes is one of the best ways to gain exposure, not only for your listing, but also for the look and feel of your property. If you're ready…

Selling a house can be an arduous process, but much of it brings down to your ability to present it properly to potential buyers. The Parade of Homes is one of the best ways to gain exposure, not only for your listing, but also for the look and feel of your property. If you're ready to become a part of this nationwide exhibition of beauty in architecture, here are a few steps to prepare your house for the coming event.

Inviting Atmosphere

As mentioned, the idea behind the Parade of Homes is to create a look and feel to your house that is welcoming, inviting, and relatable to viewers and potential buyers. Your first step will be to furnish your house with attractive pieces that create a cohesive theme. Matching decor styles throughout rooms and creating an easy-to-traverse pathway through the house is an essential part of the process. Similar to a traditional open house, you want viewers to be able to browse the living room and kitchen without bumping into furniture. If you're worried that you might have too much furniture to allow for comfortable yet numerous depths of people, consider moving some of it to storage. You'll also want to remove most of the wonderful features that could detract from showing off the spaces themselves, which leads us to our next step: removing clutter.

Removing Clutter and Making Repairs

You want to give your house a clean, new feeling that is universally welcoming. No viewers or buyers will be attracted to a property that is cluttered with large amounts of knick-knacks or unused materials. You'll probably want to take the time to remove most things but the essentials. This does not mean leaving everything bare, quite the contrary. Just make sure what you put on display accentuates the natural beauty that people want to see.

On the same note, if you've been putting off repairs, now is the time to catch up. Your house will not look its best if there are broken cabinet doors or holes in the vinyl flooring. Take the time to invest in both small and large repairs alike, even in appliances that might seem unnecessary. After all, potential buyers are not attracted to a property that requires additional investments; especially when there are plenty of near-flawless options just waiting around the corner.

Exterior Curb Appeal

Last, but certainly not least, you'll want to make sure your exterior face looks dazzling. Just like with the repairs, if you've been putting off landscaping efforts, now is the time to rejuvenate your lawn and surrounding features. Pay a professional cleaner to come out and spray off any cobwebs that might have built up in between your siding panels. At the same time, call a roofer to fix those few missing shinglees.

All of these efforts will convince buyers that your home is a truly superior option, and will keep it from sitting for months on a listing. If you're ready to sell, take this advice and start preparing your house for the Parade of Homes today.

How To Professionally Prepare Your House For Sale

What can you do to prepare your house for sale? Plenty – and it starts from the outside. Here are some tips to help spruce up your property and optimize its curb appeal. Start With The Lawn They say you should not judge a book by its cover. This may be true, but that rule…

What can you do to prepare your house for sale? Plenty – and it starts from the outside. Here are some tips to help spruce up your property and optimize its curb appeal.

Start With The Lawn

They say you should not judge a book by its cover. This may be true, but that rule can and should be overlooked when trying to sell your home. You can change the cover easily by first cutting the grass and then working from there. Tighten up your bushes with a trim, get rid of all yard clutter, and add fresh mulch to flowerbeds. If you do not mind spending the extra cash on hiring a landscaper, do it. A job costing you a few hundred bucks could actually add a few thousand dollars to your property's value because of the “curve appeal” phenomenon. The idea is this: if the outside looks good, the inside must look fantastic.

Walkways and Fencing

You can make your walkways look really sharp with a lawn trimmer. The technique is simple: flip the blade sideways to carefully trim the edging, crafting a tighter, more professional appearance. Plant some colorful flowers in areas that need brightening. Indeed, preparing your house for sale can be dirty work, but a few dollars worth of flowers also can add value to your property.

Clean up your fence with a fresh coat of paint. Be sure to spray it down first to remove any lingering dirt or dust, and make sure to paint only after the surface has dried.

Make sure your address is easy to see – consider purchasing new numbers if it would improve the look from the street. And speaking of addresses, you might consider buying a new mailbox too.

Finally, thoroughly clean your windows inside and out. They should be sparkling!

Let's Move Inside

Preparing your house for sale also requires some inside work. The entryway sets the stage for potential buyers. Install new light bulbs and clear out all cobwebs, dust, and dirt. If you have a doorbell, make sure it works. A broken doorbell, believe it or not, can break a deal way too early.

Make sure the door is in perfect working order: no squeaking, jamming, or sticky locks, and certainly no quirks requiring a physicist to figure out.

Once inside, make sure the entryway is clutter free: shoes, umbrellas, toys, and anything else that gets in the way. A nice coat rack and / or shoe rack can actually add appeal to an awkward boring setting.

Give your closets some space by removing any unnecessary items, including extra hats, coats, and clothing you should have donated to a shelter years ago.

Make Your Kitchen Shine

Now is a good time to throw those leftovers in the trash. Potential buyers are going to go through all the cabinets, and, yes, the refrigerator too. Having to eat out for a while will amount to peanuts compared to the value a tight-looking kitchen brings to your home. Clear away the counter tops. You want these, and your kitchen, to look as spacious as possible. For those of you with wooden floors, a quick waxing will do.

The idea is to add space and beauty, not only to the outside of your house for sale, but also to the inside. If you're not sure where to start, and you've hired a realtor, ask them for suggestions. They'll be more than happy to get your place ready for the market.

Staging a Vacant Home For Sale

Staging is an important aspect of any home sale and many sellers will find that the experts asking them to rearrange their furniture in an effort to make better use of the space afforded them in each room, or to ensure they get the most out of the lighting. However, if you are selling a…

Staging is an important aspect of any home sale and many sellers will find that the experts asking them to rearrange their furniture in an effort to make better use of the space afforded them in each room, or to ensure they get the most out of the lighting.

However, if you are selling a vacant property these tools are not going to be available to you. With no pre-existing furniture to arrange, you are going to have a much harder time of staging the home, which has the potential to negatively affect any buyers who happen to visit.

It's not impossible though, and there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you are getting the most out of the property. Here we take a look at a couple of things you can do to stage a vacant house.

Make A Video

If the house is going to be vacant because you are moving out before you are able to sell it, then you are in a better position than most as you can make a video of the property before everything is removed from it.

As such, you can stage the house using your existing furniture before making the video available to any potential buyers. This offers them the opportunity to get a better feel for the property and what it will look like when someone is actually living in it, which in turn allows them to visualise themselves there as well.

Differentiate Yourself

If you are able to properly stage the home, you need to make sure that you make the most out of what you have to differentiate yourself from all of the other vacant properties that are listed. After all, if a buyer just sees empty room after empty room they are going to find it much more difficult to care once they have seen a few.

Make sure to use your listing to tell people what makes your home different and why they should consider paying it a visit. If there is a great garden, make the most of it. Alternatively, if the rooms are huge you should include measurements with any pictures so that the buyer can get a proper sense of the scale of the property. Do not just take a few photos and expect the interest to come.

Focus On The Important Rooms

If you are going to bring in some rented furniture, be sure to place your focus on the most important rooms in the house, such as the sitting area, master bedroom and kitchen.

You will likely have a budget that you will want to stick to when staging the vacant property, so instead of trying to stretch that so far that rented furniture looks like it's just been thrown into an empty room, spend the money in one or two places to give a better feel for what those rooms look like when they are lived in. The buyer will then be able to imagine the rest for themselves.

How to Stage a House – 5 Reasons Why Every Room Needs a Clear Purpose

Every space in a home needs to be considered with “buyer's eyes” when staging a house for sale. It is critically important to make sure every room in your house has one clear purpose. Defining how to use a room is so incredibly important for buyers because it helps them connect to a home. Here…

Every space in a home needs to be considered with “buyer's eyes” when staging a house for sale. It is critically important to make sure every room in your house has one clear purpose. Defining how to use a room is so incredibly important for buyers because it helps them connect to a home. Here are the top 5 reasons every room needs a clear purpose:

1. Buyers subconsciously feel lost if they do not know what to do with a room.

On a subconscious level no one wants to feel lost. They will wander in and out of a room very quickly if they can not easily tell what the room should be used for. The house will not feel comfortable – the house will not feel like home.

2. Buyers do not know how to place furniture in a room they can not define a use for

When buyers walk into a room they feel comfortable in they will start to picture their things where your things are now. This is great – so you have to make sure you get it right. If the room does not have a clear purpose, like this is a bedroom because there is a great big comfy bed here, then buyers will not know what to do with the space. Buyers do not know if they need new furniture for this room or if they have something perfect for it already, because they do not know what the room is for

3. Buyers assume they do not need a room they can not see the purpose of

If a buyer can not see what the purpose of a room is they go one of two ways. They either assume they do not need the space or they assume there is not a space they are looking for. Either way will cause them to want to pass on your house and go on to the next.

4. Buyers do not have time or energy to figure it out for themselves

There is so much competition for buyer dollars – even in a seller's market. Buyers have no time, energy, or need to “figure out” a house. They can simply go visit the next one or go visit the new home builder they've been seeing advertising for. You can bet the builder will show them exactly what every space is for and tell them why they need it.

5. Buyers can not emotionally connect to rooms they can not see themselves using

You want to picture their sofa in your living room so they can start seeing themselves living in your house. This is when they really connect with a house and decide they have to have it as their own home. This connection brings you the best offer possible.

Many homes today have a “great room” that contains many spaces to be used as individual rooms. This is what the term “open concept living” refers to and it is highly desired by today's buyers. If this is your house then clearly define spaces within the great room to serve only one purpose. For instance, define a family room space and a dining space separately so that buyers know how to use the room.

One clear purpose for every room is key to successfully staging a house for sale. Mixed purpose rooms can be a catastrophe for your buyer because it screams “… this house is too little!”. Do not let your house scream at your buyers – you want your house to soothe your buyers so that they will want to make it their own.

Staging your house for sale is a lot of work. It is not easy and it can be very stressful. As difficult as it can be do not skip the staging. Take the time. Make the effort. Visit me at www.HomeStagingOfHouston.com for more staging tips.

Choosing Paint Colors to Stage Your Home for Sale

Staging your home can often be one of the most difficult things that you have to do when you are trying to make a sale. After all, it not only involves rearranging some of your rooms so that they offer a viewer something that appears more attractive, often losing the comfort as a result, but…

Staging your home can often be one of the most difficult things that you have to do when you are trying to make a sale. After all, it not only involves rearranging some of your rooms so that they offer a viewer something that appears more attractive, often losing the comfort as a result, but it also means that you are going to have to spend a little bit of time working on the house to make sure that it is up to scratch.

One of the best ways to do this is by giving the property a fresh lick of paint. This allows you to cover up any cracked or chipped paintwork, while also making the house look fresher and more vibrant when a viewer approaches it. Here we will take a look at how to choose the right paint colors for staging your home.

Keep The Rest Of The Neighborhood in Mind

What do you think a potential buyer is going to think if they pull up outside your property, after driving past a row of green and browns, only to see that your house is pink and looks completely garish when set against the rest of the properties in the neighborhood?

What we are trying to say is that you should consider your surroundings when you are picking out shades for the exterior of your property. If you live in an area that has a lot of trees and woodland, then make sure to pick colors that complete that. Alternately, if you have a lot of space and few neighbors you can feel a little bit freer to experiment. Just try to consider the surroundings and the tastes of the people you are showcasing the house to.

Neutral Colors

While many people find neutral colors a little bit boring when they are living in a house that uses them, there are few better options for helping a buyer to visualize what they want to do with the property, they should end up buying it themselves.

After all, it is important to remember that one of your tasks as a seller is to take your personality away from the property and create a situation where the potential buyer can place their own mental stamp on it. A neutral color scheme goes a long way to helping with this, as it looks attractive enough to not considered lazy, while also allowing people to paint their own mental canvas on the walls.

Lighter Colors

If you find that some of your rooms feel a little claustrophobic, or simply do not offer the amount of space that you think they need to in order to attract a buyer, then it is a good idea to take advantage of lighter colors.

Combine whites and creams with smart use of any mirrors or windows that the room has and you can create an illusion of space that is much more appealing than a dank and dark room that nobody is ever going to want to spend time in.

Home Staging – Tips For Decorating a Small Apartment

You might have gotten a small apartment because you could only afford a tiny place, or because it was the most conveniently located, or for some other reason. Now you are faced with decorating it. You do not have to think small, though. Here are some fun tips you can use to decorate your small…

You might have gotten a small apartment because you could only afford a tiny place, or because it was the most conveniently located, or for some other reason. Now you are faced with decorating it. You do not have to think small, though. Here are some fun tips you can use to decorate your small space and love it.

1. You do not have to sacrifice looks for features. When you are dealing with a small space you should definitely make sure that you are buying things that will be useful, but you can still make sure they are fun and match your style.

2. To create the appearance of multiple rooms in a studio apartment, you can buy a screen or set up an open set of shelving between the areas. Between the kitchen and the dining area, you can roll in a rolling island or buffet. The item you choose will not block off the view of the rest of the room, but it does present a mental barricade so you feel that they are unique rooms with distinct purposes. Plus, the divider means you can take advantage of a practical item to increase storage space. You may even find that your productivity improves thanks to separate “rooms”.

3. Multipurpose furniture can help, too. Ottomans that are hollow inside allow you to store things. Tables with leaves allow you to expand the dining area when guests come over, but fold down to give you space the rest of the time. Even a window sill can double as a shelf when you need it. You can also tuck storage into blank areas on the wall or try a corner unit that will not intrude into the room but still give you that extra space you really need in a small apartment. This also lets you go up with your space when you can not go out into the room.

4. Think about using a Murphy bed. These fun beds fold up into the wall and out of the way during the day. Your apartment can shift from home office to peaceful reply in a jiffy. And, unlike cartoons of yore, you can not actually get folded up into it spontaneously.

5. Curvy furniture is great for small spaces, too, because it allows the eye to travel along and break up the cube space of the small apartment. They can lead to three-dimensional layers that add size when there is not any. Things like shadow boxes and plush throw rugs over wood floors create a lot of depth.

6. Light colors are bright and make a small space feel bigger. Using mirrors reflect light back into the room and it also allows for the space to feel larger thanks to the images repeating in the mirrors. Bright colors can still be used, but save them for the furniture or accessories so they do not end up looking like they completely took over the space.

7. Because of the small size, it is very important to keep clutter to a minimum. It does not have as many places to live and so it is much more prevalent. Take the time every few months to clear out the clutter.
There you have it! Several fun ways to decorate your small apartment and have it look great – and remember these are just launching points. The sky is the limit!

Organization Is the Backbone – Staging a House for Sale

A good organization system is invaluable in any household – but you can live without it in your day to day life if you choose to. However, when your house is listed for sale you absolutely must organize every space in the home. If you skip this step in staging your house for sale it…

A good organization system is invaluable in any household – but you can live without it in your day to day life if you choose to. However, when your house is listed for sale you absolutely must organize every space in the home. If you skip this step in staging your house for sale it could cost you money at closing with a lower offer or cause buyers to pass on your house alike.

Organization can be elusive. People have the best intentions of getting and staying organized. They go out and buy boxes and baskets and promise themselves that they are going to use them from here on out. And sometimes they do – but more often than not – it does not work out that way. Most commonly these people end up with boxes and baskets full of stuff – and more stuff everywhere else. This is fine for everyday life, but when the house is listed for sale it just will not do.

One of many reasons it is so difficult to live in a house while it is listed for sale: All areas of your home simply must be well organized while the house is listed. Why? Because buyers are curious (nosy) and rightfully so.

When a potential buyer decides to visit your house in person there are so many obstacles to access to even get them through the door. Do the online photos look great? Is the house priced right? Is the curve appealing great? Does anything smell funky from the front walk?

When you actually get them into the house you are solidly in the game. You have overcome all the initial obstacles to selling your house to these particular people. These just might be your buyers so do not blow it with “behind the scenes” chaos.

Behind the scenes chaos occurs when a house looks good on the surface, but underneath the clean windows, great furniture arrangement, and strategically placed lighting there is disorganized space. Cabinets, drawers, built-ins, and closets have a huge impact on the buying decision. If buyers can not easily see how their things will work in the space they will emotionally disconnect from the house. You do not want this disconnect to happen. It is the buyer's emotional connection to a house that brings the best offer. Chaos disconnect causes them to want to leave the house – not buy a home.

Buyers are a nosy bunch – and rightfully so. They want to inspect every space they are considering for purchase. Would not you? Buying a home is most often the largest purchase people make in their life time. They need to feel confident in making an offer. They need to feel connected to a home to be willing to pay for it.

They need to see every single inch of space the house has to offer. This includes every built in drawer, cabinet, and closet in the house. Every. One. Of. Them. It is reasonable to think buyers will not be opening drawers and cabinets in furniture pieces that will not be included in the sale of a house – but do not count on it. No realtor can be in every room at every time. Drawers will be opened, inspected, and judged . Keep this in mind.

Even the most beautiful staging in every room of a house is blown by closets or cabinets crammed full of disaster. If you have stuff just thrown about in any space, large or small, it tells a buyer there is not enough storage space in this house to live in peace. Buyers do not necessarily hear the chaos clearly or in those words, but they will consistently feel the discord in the space. They will “feel” a reason to pass on the property or to make a low offer because they do not feel there is enough storage space. They may move on to the next house because they believe their things will never fit in this one.

Your de-cluttering process should have helped you pare down to only those things that bring you joy or that you really need. The next step is to organize the things that stay in the best way possible so that it brings you and, more importantly, your buyers a sense of peace.

Buyers are willing to pay for spaces that they can envision living calm and peaceful lives in. They want to think that if they lived in your beautiful organized house they would have the calm and peaceful life they aspire to. They believe they will be able to find their car keys, sunglasses, and cell phone at all times.

Organized spaces are the “bones” that hold up the quality seen in a stationary home. Without organization even the best staged room does not hold up to a buyer's inspection.

When staging your house to sell make sure you organize every space as part of your process because you know buyers are going to look everywhere! You will be glad you took the time on closing day with cash in the bank!

Low Cost, High-Impact Staging Ideas That Work

Are you looking for affordable ways to spruce up your home to sell fast? The right home staging can make your home 'pop' with potential buyers and bring top offers. Here are some small things that will make a big difference when staging your home. FIRST IMPRESSIONS – Curb Appeal • Light the way to…

Are you looking for affordable ways to spruce up your home to sell fast?

The right home staging can make your home 'pop' with potential buyers and bring top offers.

Here are some small things that will make a big difference when staging your home.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS – Curb Appeal

• Light the way to fast sales! If your porch light looks dated, replace it. Be sure that the bulbs are replaced; often this is the first thing Buyers see when they pull up the driveway of your home.

• Crank up the curve appeal. Take a look at your front door, a new layer of paint can give it wow appeal. Trim the bushes; brighten up your landscaping bricks with a power washer; add fresh pots with flowers on the doorstep; and finally crown with an eye-catching welcome mat.

BIGGER OFFERS ARE AN INSIDE JOB

• Neutralize. The first impulse when buying a home is to personalize a space. You want to do the opposite to sell your home; look around and try to neutralize the space. Remove family photos; take the kid's pictures off of the refrigerator; paint over those marks on the door showing how tall your kids are. You want the buyer to envision that it's move-in ready and they fit right in.

• Clean up the clutter. Buyers want a feeling of space. Visually do an inspection of your home. Clear off countertops; tidy up the inside of the cabinets; clean out the closets; put extra items in storage, donate, sell or toss them.

• Pour on the elbow grease. Now's the time to really make your home shine. Scrub baseboards; polish stainless steel; clean, scrub, shine, and make everything sparkle like new.

• Cash in by dressing up cabinetry. A budget-friendly way to instantly brighten up your kitchen is to paint wood cabinets and add knobs and handles. A new coat of paint can make worn, tired kitchen cabinets look new again.

• Beautify your bathroom. If your tub or toilet is dingy looking, you'll turn off buyers fast. An inexpensive way to fix this is with an acrylic tub surrounding and liner. Clean the grout between tiles and remove debris in drains. This will give a fresh, clean look to the bathroom. Also, if you have bathroom carpet, remove it and replace with new vinyl or ceramic tiles.

• Light it up. Set the mood with lighting. Make sure there is enough light flowing through the home. This does not mean turning on every light in the home. Instead use floor and table lamps and open curtains to create a soft, warm ambiance.

• Odors STINK when it comes to selling your home. The largest culprits include stale air, food, pets, mildew, and smoking. Open windows to air out your home and use air filters to break up and neutralize odors in the air. Products like Febreeze can freshen up curtains or furniture. Then remember to light a softly spotted candle on the day of showing. Be cautious about this though, sometimes strong scents can be as big a turn off as bad odors; you might want to consider using an “air sponge” which will neutralize the offensive odor.

• Add eye candy. When your home is ready, adding little touches like bowls of fresh fruit, a vase of flowers or plants can add warm and color to any room.

Finally, consulting with a home stager can provide a wealth of ideas. A home stager can recommend more effective furniture arrangements, paint colors, and tips / tricks to make your home visually appealing.

Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to selling your home fast!