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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Winning Combinations

Realtors and Stagers are a winning combination!

There are huge benefits when Realtors add a professional stager to their team;

  1. Why not ensure that your listings are the best looking ones? When your listings look great, sell fast and for the most money, other agents and future clients will take notice.  Admit it; wouldn’t it be nice to be known as the Realtor whose listings ALWAYS look so great?
  2. Realtors who don’t offer staging as a part of their marketing plan will not stand out as a Realtor who uses every available marketing technique to sell their listing. Future clients may make their listing decision based upon value added services. Staging a property prior to selling used to be optional but times have changed and in today’s market it has become a necessity.
  3. You will spend less time, effort and money per listing and will increase your earnings by turning properties faster and without price reductions. It’s your name on the sign in the yard; wouldn’t you rather have it say “SOLD”?
  4. When you offer to provide a professional staging consultation you are demonstrating that you are willing to go “the extra mile” to successfully market a listing. Increased client satisfaction leads to a greater number of future clients.
  5. Using a professional stager allows you to focus on your business; the listing and negotiating the sale of the property. You may offer de-cluttering and décor suggestions but do you really go into the same detail as a professional stager would? Just as importantly, is that how you should be spending your time when you make your real money getting and turning listings? Your stager will prepare your listing for marketing photos and showings.
  6. A professional stager can have those difficult conversations with clients. You won’t have to risk the positive relationship with clients when it comes to issues like odor, dirt, outdated décor or unfinished projects. You know what a challenge it can be to have a “weak” listing, clients constantly on the phone asking for more open-houses or wanting to ask questions on why their property hasn’t sold yet – you know that no number of open-houses, flyers or adds are going to help the house just doesn’t show well. Let an independent third party have those needed conversations.
  7. A client may not be too happy about the suggestion of a price reduction. A professional stager is able to explain the benefits of staging their property instead of offering a price reduction – staging is always less expensive than the first price reduction.

Remember, just because you are recommending a staging consultation does not mean you have to pay for it. Free consultations often mean less to a homeowner than one that they have had to pay for; they see it as having no value and may just listen and not follow through with suggestions. Most professional stagers can offer you valuable discounts that you can pass on to your clients allowing you to give your clients a value-added service without costing you money.

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Interior Design Trends and Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home; Interior Design Trends

When preparing your home for sale it is important to make sure your home will appeal to your target buyer and that usually means you’ll need to do a little up-dating and refreshing and here are some of my most common recommendations.

FRESH PAINT. Nothing is more attractive to buyers than move-in-ready homes and neutral wall colours with freshly painted trim lets potential buyers see that they can move right in and not have to spend time and money painting. Your professional stager can recommend some great colour choices for you.

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN. I’m not saying that you must go out and buy/rent new furniture but it is important that your property feel more contemporary. Most of us have far too much furniture in our spaces and contemporary designs are very clean and uncluttered so, reduce the amount of furniture in your space and pre-pack most of the small items that clutter-up your space.  When selling your home; less is more.

UPDATE WINDOW COVERINGS. It’s official, gone are the days of heavy draperies and fancy valances. If privacy is not an issue, consider removing window coverings completely. Change out your window treatments to simple and contemporary grommet-top panels and consider using panels to add width and height to your windows. Your stager can recommend the best option for your home and target buyer.

ON-TREND COLOUR.  Adding a few accessories with pops of colour and trendy patterns can quickly and inexpensively up-date the look and feel of your home. When choosing accessories, look for one or two larger pieces rather than several small items, consider vases, cushions, candles or a throw to instantly up-date your space.

REPLACE FIXTURES. Nothing dates a bathroom more than vanity lighting and most can be easily changed out at very reasonable costs. Consider replacing dated ceiling fixtures with more modern looking flush-mounted ones

By investing a little time and money BEFORE listing your property you can save thousands in price reductions and carrying costs. Professional stagers can give you great design advice and recommend where to spend your time and money so that you get the best return on your investment.

 

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Vacant Listings Take Longer To Sell

Why Vacant Listings Take Up To 50% Longer To Sell.

  1. Vacant rooms aren’t really very appealing to prospective buyers. Listing photos that show only empty space just don’t spark the imagination of prospective buyers the same way that well-staged rooms do and without that spark of interest, potential buyers may not be inclined to have a closer look.
  2.  Vacant rooms don’t give potential buyers any reference points they can use to help them judge the size of a space, leaving them to wonder if the living room is large enough to fit their sofa or the second bedroom is too small for a double bed. Staging rooms increases buyer interest.
  3. Vacant rooms fail to tell potential buyers what purpose they have. Is this space with two windows the dining room or a bedroom? It’s always best to make it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in a space and having a dining room with a table, chairs and some art on the walls makes it much easier for them to do so.
  4. When a potential buyer tours a vacant home the only thing they can really focus on is the flaws! Every little mark on walls and floors stands out and out-dated fixtures become focal points.  It is very hard for buyers to make a positive emotional connection to a space that just feels empty and cold.

You may have to borrow furniture or even rent a few pieces but the cost of carrying a property for months on end is far more expensive than the cost of staging. Most stagers can give you a very detailed “do-it-yourself” staging plan that will help you get your property ready for listing so that it can sell quickly and for the most money possible.

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TOP 5 LIGHTING TIPS for staging your home to sell

February 17/13

It’s sunny here in the Ottawa area, a perfect day to be celebrating “Family Day”. As a result of this wonderful sunshine, I’ve decided to share some tips for adding light to your home when selling.

 

Top 5 Lighting Tips

  1. If you are showing your home during the day, be sure to open all curtains to let the maximum amount of natural light enter the home. Remember to turn on all interior lights when showing your home in both daytime and evenings. Realtors will turn on any lights operated by a wall switch but will not turn on table lamps so, turn them on before you leave for a showing.
  2. Wash the inside and outside of windows – nothing diminishes the quality of light more than dirty windows.
  3. Be sure all fixtures have the maximum wattage allowed AND that the fixtures are clean. This is particularly important for fixtures with glass panes or panels.
  4. Try to avoid dark areas in the house. If you have, them try adding a small table lamp and if that isn’t an option, consider adding a ceiling fixture. Often, if there is already a fixture you can change it out to one “track” light option. These have become very inexpensive and new designs will blend with most home styles can be found at any good hardware store.
  5. Keep all flat surfaces (table tops, counters and the like) clear of excess decorative items and polish surfaces to reflect light.

 

In my next post I’ll be covering some tips to stage individual rooms in the house. Enjoy.

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IS Curb Appeal Still Important?

Curb Appeal

Some sellers are wondering; “with up to 90% of potential buyers being introduced to a property on-line, is curb appeal still important?” The answer is YES!  Those people that found your property on-line will usually take at least one drive around the neighborhood to “get a feel” for the area and of course, they will attend either an open house event or a showing. Follow these tips to help ensure your property makes the best first impression possible;

  1. Look at your house from across the street; is it easy to see? Be sure to trim shrubs to provide a clear few and that your house numbers are clearly visible from the road.
  2. Is your pathway to the front door easy to find? Plant colourful planters or beds to draw the eye towards the front door.
  3. Trim all foundation planting to no higher than the base of the windows. Being able to see the windows helps the property seem more welcoming. Add a fresh layer of mulch to help clean-up and refresh the beds.
  4. Keep the walkway free of toys, snow, etc. and check the surface for chips, missing or un-level pavers (the last thing you want is to have a potential buyer trip!)
  5. If you have steps leading to your front door be sure they are in excellent shape, if not, repair or re-paint.
  6. Carefully check the condition of the front door, screen door and hardware. It should be clean and well kept (no ripped screens). If the door looks a little tired give it a coat of paint and try up-dating or replacing the hardware if it is not working properly or it’s very outdated.
  7. Replace all bulbs in outdoor fixtures with the highest wattage allowed and clean all glass so that the lights sparkle. If the fixtures are dated you can try giving them a coat of paint but if they are broken, replace. It is important that your outdoor fixtures match in style and colour. Be sure to clear away all cobwebs around the lights and front door.
  8. If you use blinds on your windows, get into the habit of having them all at the same height so that they look good from the outside.
  9. What do people see from the outside of your house looking in? Don’t keep lots of small plants or decorative items on your window sills as it just makes things look cluttered. Have your kids remove all stickers that they might have on their windows for the same reason. If you have curtains or drapes your stager might suggest you remove them, if there is a privacy issue, be sure your window coverings all show the same colour from the street (white linings).
  10. If you have an entry porch or landing at the front door, keep it free of toys and flyers. A new welcome mat is always a nice touch as is a planter of flowers(ONLY if you have enough room).

 

I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Look for a new blog entry every second week. 

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