Home Staging, Home Selling

My #1 Home Staging Recommendation?

No doubt about it, my number one recommendation is; don’t put your property on the market until it has been prepared to sell! I know that once the decision to sell has been made, all you can think about is getting your property on the market – fast. While most home sellers and even their Realtors believe that the key to selling quickly is to get the property listed quickly, this isn’t always true. In fact, putting your property on the market before it has been prepared can actually hurt your chances of selling quickly and for the most money.

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Be honest, which version of this bedroom do you find more appealing?

When you take the time to prepare your property you have the opportunity to create the ideal property for your target market. What makes the property ideal ? I was hoping you would ask that……

Today’s home buyer is looking for a property that is  move in ready and if your property isn’t in that condition they might move on to a property that is. Take the time to prepare your property and spend you time and money wisely. A professional home stager can be asked to come into your property and determine what, if any, up-grades, repairs or deferred maintenance issues need to be addressed and will prioritize any suggestions to work within your preferred time frame and budget. Often a fresh coat of paint, de-cluttering and purposeful space planning is all that is needed to make your property appeal to your target buyer.

When potential buyers look at your property they are looking for space and the more spacious your property appears, the more appealing your property will be. Your stager will encourage you  to go through every cabinet, closet and cubby,go ahead and edit your belongings,pack what you don’t use regularly, plan a yard sale or sell items online and give things to charity. Editing your belongings and pre-packing some of your stuff sounds like a lot of work and it is, but why not get a head start?

keep toss

You can also create space by reducing the number of items in a room and by keeping corners of a room to create the sense of space in a room, if at all possible, create enough space so that three people can comfortably move throughout the space ( two potential buyers and a Realtor). Plan on storing your excess items off-site, family and friends may have some room and there are many convenient storage businesses in most areas. Your stager will be able to suggest workable floor plans to create both space and great traffic flow.

When a property is prepared prior to listing it photographs beautifully and since up to 98% of all buyers are introduced to a property online, fabulous listing photos make them stop and look at the details of your property rather than just clicking on the the next listing.

For most of us, our home represents the largest,single investment we ever make so it only makes sense to do everything you can to ensure that you make the greatest possible return on your investment. Most of us would clean out the car and maybe even get it detailed before we tried to sell it because we know if it looks good we’ll get more money, the same is true for our homes.



Stacie Chamberlin is a professional stager who works in the Ottawa area. Her company, Access Home Staging, is dedicated to helping home sellers move on to the next stage of their lives. She loves working with occupied listings and is currently developing a “zoomer” service package to meet the needs of our aging population. Access Home Staging is Ottawa’s real estate staging and transition solution.



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Living in the apst

A good friend recently gave me two banker boxes filled with décor and design magazines. These magazines cover a 20-year period from about 1985 and I thoroughly enjoyed my walk down memory lane with a lot of chuckling along the way.
Every wall seemed to be glazed and some sort of paint treatment applied. There was ragging, pouncing, using plastic wrap to create texture, making wall treatments using torn grocery bags and the art of the faux finish! Then there were the window treatments; yards and yards of fabric draped, ballooned, swagged and puddling. Country style decorating was popular but not the fresh, clean look we see today. Country meant primitive and grungy, over decorated using a gazillion collectables and, of course, baskets!
Although I had a great time flipping through the pages, I noticed that some of these dated looks could still be found in the properties I consult on. People love what they love and are often blind to how dated the look is and how negatively it can affect the sale of their property. Even worse, when asked to make changes, property owners can often be defensive and even hurt thinking that there is something wrong with their décor choices. This is when a professional stager, who has been trained in the art of the difficult conversation, can make a huge difference!
A trained professional is able to both re-assure the client that their design choices are not in question, that all the suggestions being made are so that the property will appeal to the buyer most likely to be interested in their property and explain that the buyer for their property is most likely going to be much younger and a lot more demanding. This buyer does not want to spend money or time up-dating; they want to sign the papers, move in and start their new life. A professional stager helps the home owner spend their time and money on the up-dates that will make the greatest impact and give them the best return on their investment. Home staging is one of the best marketing tools available to the home seller and if the Realtor isn’t working with one – ask why. Every home seller deserves the best marketing available.images

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Home staging defined; part two

In my last post I defined the first two steps of staging a home for sale; determining what needs to be done and then doing the work. Today’s blog is about the third step-creating a home that will appeal to your ideal buyer, the showcasing.

Showcasing a property can only happen once all the agreed-upon recommendations made by your stager have been completed. Using modern selling techniques your stager will help create spaces that allow potential buyers to emotionally connect with the property – and what, you may ask does that mean.

Imagine your favorite movie or TV program for a minute…the set designer will have used furniture, color, lighting and accessories to create a space lets the viewer understand what goes on in that space and who the users most likely are. The set designer will not create a family style kitchen if the script has been written for a single, professional male or female. The set design will be much different if the script is written for a single person living in a high-rise apartment in a major city then it would be if the script is written for a family of four who live in the suburbs.Your stager will use these same design principles to create the look and feel that your ideal buyer is looking for.

Working with your Realtor and local demographics, your stager creates a welcoming environment for the future owner of your property. Life-style selling techniques combined with a strong understanding of scale, proportion and flow help ensure that your property is one that will definitely get put on a potential buyer’s list of great possibilities! In fact, it is not uncommon for a buyer to make an instant connection and a quick offer on a well-staged property.

With the popularity of HGTV design shows the term “home staging” has become much more recognizable and novices often feel, after watching dozens of these addictive programs, that staging is simply about de-cluttering and renting a lot of new furniture. Successful staging is so much more than that and by consulting a professional stager you can avoid costly errors and generate a high return on any investment.

Home staging is still a relatively new profession and is entirely self-regulated. Most professional stagers have taken some sort of training in the design field and usually belong to a trade organization such as the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) where they follow a given code of ethics that helps make sure that a high level of professionalism and accountability are met.


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Home Staging Defined

While everyone with a T.V. has heard of home staging, many people seem to be really confused about what home staging is. Home staging is actually a three-step process that prepares a property to be sold quickly and for the most money possible.

In this first of two articles, I’ll cover “STEP ONE” which is  determining what condition the property is in and what work needs to be done to bring it to move-in condition and “STEP TWO” getting the work done.

Professionals know that today’s home buyer is more demanding and better educated than ever before.  They don’t want to re-paint nasty wall colours, replace any light bulbs, or up-date any lighting or hardware. They don’t want to have to do any work on a property, they just want to move in their furniture, make the beds and start their new life.

Your professional stager will go through your property giving you a detailed summary of what work needs to be accomplished before listing your home. This summary might include minor repairs such as filling holes in the wall, replacing broken tile or windows as well as minor up-dates like paint and new fixtures that will appeal to the target buyer for your home. Your stager is familiar with current trends and what today’s buyer is looking for in a property and will help you make sure that your listing appeals to the greatest number of target buyers.

“STEP TWO” is all about getting the work done. Your stager will be able to recommend trades should you need help and will help you make wise decisions on where to invest your time and money so that you will realize the highest return on your investment. Most of us live with far too much “stuff” in our homes so your stager will likely recommend purging and pre packing a lot of belongings to create more space for potential buyers to see and appreciate the space that your property has to offer. Once all the work has been completed the staging project moves forward to “STEP THREE” the showcasing!

STEP THREE will follow….

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Great Article I decided to Share

If you’re planning to list your home at the start of summer, you now have just 30 to 45 days to tackle all the necessary repairs. Why is it important to check these off your to-do list ahead of time? Money spent on improvements now will be far less than the cost of that first price reduction if your house sits on the market.

Even if your home doesn’t linger for long, you run the risk of a buyer asking for concessions and credits for items you didn’t fix, and the quotes from experts doing the work will almost certainly be higher than your own out-of-pocket cost.

Here are 10 reasons you’ll want to make repairs before you put your house on the market:

  1. Buyers are going to do an inspection, and the inspector will be able to identify all the issues and suggest needed repairs. So, really, there’s no avoiding it. You WILL have to fix any problems, credit money back to the buyer, or drop your price to compensate.
  2. So many of the most common repairs are easy to solve, usually inexpensive, and can be done – by you – in a weekend. They’re likely to be the things that were already on your own list of weekend projects for the past year, and if they bother you, they’ll also bother a buyer. Leaky faucets, ripped window screens, ceiling stains, cracks in the plaster: they may seem like minor issues, and each one by itself is, but when you’ve got a whole house full of problems like this, they add up to one big seller headache.
  3. Eliminating distracting drawbacks will allow buyers to have a positive experience as they tour your home. That means open house visitors will be able to focus on your home’s positive, not negative, features.
  4. Getting your home completely prepped and ready will increase its perceived value because you’re showing buyers that your property is well-maintained.
  5. You won’t have to do a price reduction to reflect the estimated (and often over-inflated) cost of repairs!
  6. Last minute repairs done on a tight timeline are almost always more costly since you don’t have time to shop around for a less expensive estimate. Plus, your time crunch begs for tradesman to charge higher rush fees for squeezing the work into their schedule.
  7. Your actual cost to fix items will always be less than a buyer’s estimate after their inspection.
  8. You’ll avoid credits back to the buyer for problems identified during the inspection and haggling that drags on and on over minor issues, possibly costing you the deal.  (You’d be surprised how ugly things can get when you’re down to the wire negotiating the added cost of repairs the cracks in the chimney.)
  9. Your real estate agent will love showing off an impeccable home and buyer’s agents will be dying to get their clients in the front door. That brings in more potential buyers – which equates to more chances of finding the right one willing to pay your sale price.
  10. You’ll sell faster. And for a higher price. Cha-ching.

SELLERS: Are you planning on tacking repairs before you sell?

ALL: You can get more information on my books here, follow me on Twitter@1MichaelCorbett and like me on Facebook!

Michael Corbett

Michael Corbett is Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert. He hosts NBC’s EXTRA’s Mansions and Millionaires. In additional to his regular segments on ABC’s The View and Fox News, he is a national best selling author with three critically acclaimed real estate books: Find It, Fix It, FLIP IT!; Ready, Set, SOLD! and Before You BUY!

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Four Reasons to hire a home stager.

1. Home staging has absolutely nothing to do with decorating or the seller’s personal taste. Home staging is about preparing a property for sale in a manner that will appeal to the ideal buyer. Your stager and Realtor determine who the most likely buyer for your property is and then your stager creates a look that strongly appeals to that buyer’s needs and lifestyle.

2. ANY property can benefit from some degree of home staging. It is important that sellers remember that they are earning themselves money with the time and energy they invest in their home. Preparing a home for sale and keeping it in top shape while on the market may be a bit of an inconvenience but the reward can be huge!

3. Professional home stagers do not make recommendations that do not have a high return on investment. For example, cleaning and decluttering are usually pretty high on seller’s “to-do” list. According to homegain.com, every $1 spent on cleaning and decluttering can give you a $4.03 return! Now that is wise investing.

4. Home stagers can save you both time and money. Staged home typically sell twice as fast as non-staged homes and that means real savings in typical carrying costs. Your stager works with you and your budget, always keeping the goal of selling quickly and for the most money! 



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