Cost-Effective Home Staging Strategies

When it comes to making a good impression on prospective home buyers, small details can make a big difference! Not only do you want prospects to see your home as being clean, neat, and well organized, but it should also leave them with a good overall feeling.

Even though it can be a bit of a hassle to continually prepare your bathrooms for house showings, there’s no bigger turnoff to prospective buyers than a grungy bathroom! Generally speaking, if people cringe at any aspect of your home (especially the bathrooms or kitchen), then they’re probably not going to make an offer on your property.

In addition to making all fixtures and surfaces sparklingly clean, winning over potential buyers also involves making your home look inviting.

One thing many home sellers overlook is the condition of their bathroom towels and washcloths. If they’re wet, bedraggled, or ragged looking, then that’s going to send the wrong message to buyers. There are a variety of ways to overcome that, including putting out brand new, colorful towels that have never been used before (Just make sure to take off the store tags before putting them on display!).

If they’re neatly folded and strategically placed, then they’ll convey an impression of freshness, cleanliness, and neatness. Those are among the key qualities people want to see when they’re considering buying your home. By making sure your house is well organized, uncluttered, and tastefully decorated, you’re also giving the impression that you and your family take pride in the appearance and upkeep of your home. This is sure to score many Brownie points with potential buyers!

Besides ragged-looking towels, another subtle, but powerful turnoff for buyers is old-looking curtains. Although you may be so accustomed to your old curtains that you don’t even notice or see them any more, there’s a good chance they’ll stand out like a sore thumb to other people! If the appearance of your curtains degrade the rest of the room, then that one aspect could literally be a deal killer. As the expression goes, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” People may not know exactly why they weren’t favorably impressed with your home — even though it met all their basic requirements –but it could be something as simple as grungy, faded, tattered-looking curtains, rugs, or towels. It’s often an easy, relatively inexpensive fix, but you have to be aware of the problem before you can take corrective action.

Working with a real estate agent to help you present your home in its best light can make the process go much more smoothly and result in a faster sale. Experienced agents will also provide you with valuable advice, guidance, and marketing assistance that can favorably affect the actual selling price and the length of time your home remains on the market.

Safely Staging Your Home


In the hustle and bustle of prepping a home to be sold, many people overlook one very important detail; home safety. And while you’d like to think that prospective buyers visiting your home are upstanding citizens, the simple truth remains that selling your home opens your door wide open to complete strangers…Strangers who are going to be encouraged as potential buyers to explore every detail of your home. Luckily, by taking a few small steps, you can rest a little easier.

1. Hide you valuables – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to put away common valuables like jewelery, high-value collectables, expensive perfumes, and high-end designer accessories like handbags and money clips. Be sure to go from room to room, keeping an eye out for anything that may hold appeal for a potential thief, and tuck away anything you think might draw a thief’s attention. Do a follow-up walk of your house the next day, just in case you may have missed something.

2. Firearms – If you are a homeowner who is also a gun and/or weapon owner, then you are probably already taking the necessary precautions in regard to gun safety. However, for some collectors, prominent display is one of the things that a gun owner may take pride in. Just because your guns are in a locked, secured display case doesn’t mean that they still don’t hold risk to you or your loves ones. In a private setting, a locked display case is just fine…But in a situation where you are selling your home, complete strangers will have the ability to see that you are a gun owner, how many guns you have, and the precise location of your collection. Considering the value of a gun collection can run into the thousands, they should be treated just like any other valuable in your home; locked away and out of sight.

3. Personal mail – Things like bill invoices, credit card statements, and social security information should be put out of sight. Identity theft is on the rise, and by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

4.Prescription medication – Be sure to remove medications from your medicine cabinet that carry the potential for abuse.

5. Parental safety – If you are a parent, you’ll obviously want to take precautions to keep your children safe. Remember…You are allowing complete strangers full access to your home. For peace of mind, consider removing family photos, personalized items such as prominently displayed school jerseys and embroidered pillows, and that A+ math test on the refrigerator. Many people feel this step is either unimportant or unnecessary. If you feel fine with displaying these items, then feel completely free to.  The odds of a person wanting to do your family harm are fairly low.  But if you are a “better safe than sorry” kind of person, then consider this step.

As long as a few precautions are met, you have no reason to feel uneasy about your home being shown. The vast majority of the people who are going to be looking at your house are responsible members of society, looking for a home to either start or grow their own families. That being said….Better safe than sorry.

Prepare Your Home to Sell

When it is time to sell your home you may have much work to do before the sign is placed on the front lawn. If you would like to sell your home for more money or in less time you will need to prepare your home to sell.

One way to sell your home for more money in less time is to stage your home. Statistics show that home staging is credited with selling 95 percent of homes within 35 days or less.

Here are some tips to get your home ready for the market:

Prepare your home to sell to the most likely buyer. The average buyer nationally is 32, while the average seller is 57.  Remove items in the home that may be out dated and add in more modern items that appeal to a younger buyer.

Start at the front door. The front door is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so make a good impression. Spruce up the landscaping, wash the front door and clean up the trim around the door. Make the entry neat and welcoming.

Clear out the clutter. A good rule of thumb is to remove about one third of your belongings. Pay special attention to removing extra pieces of furniture, like ottomans, bookcases, and decorative pieces.

Depersonalize the home by removing all photos, memorabilia and other personal items.  This will help the buyer envision the home as their own, picturing their personal items around the house rather than yours.

Clean the home very thoroughly. Dust under the furniture, clean the grout and all the other places that may not receive everyday upkeep. “

Freshen up the paint and neutralize your wall colors. It is best to stick with white, cream or pale earth tones.

Scentmosphere; what is it?

Independent studies have confirmed that deploying particular scents in a home for sale can dramatically increase the home’s appeal to a potential buyer.  With that being said, what is the best way to go about changing your home’s “scentmosphere”?

1. – The Friend Test – Often times, we get used to particular scents in our home, so much so that we don’t even notice that they’re there.  Litter boxes, old couches, bathrooms, and bedrooms can all breed their own “scentmosphere”, and some can be more noticeable and offensive than others.  Have a friend come over and, well…..Smell your home.    Your friend doesn’t live in your home.  They can pick up on things that you may not be able to, like the smell of dirty laundry, a musty-smelling finished basement, or a well-lived-in bedroom.  These “other person” smells can turn off a buyer in a heartbeat.  If you are a smoker, then stop smoking inside while your house is on the market.  Keep children’s rooms tidy and clean-smelling.

2. – Kitchen Comfort – There are many scents that can be utilized in the kitchen to make it more appealing.  Candles, lemon wedges chopped up into a garbage disposal, cinnamon sticks in the oven, and fresh-cut flowers can be utilized for this purpose. Some people swear by citrus scents, others by baked goods, but it really boils down to personal preference.  Lavender has been shown to produce a calming effect, and fruit scents like apples and peaches can carry classier undertones.

3. – Subtlety is key.  You want a noticeable “scentmosphere”, but not one that is overpowering.  Pick your scents accordingly.  If you overdo it, people may think you’re trying too hard to cover something up.  Remember that because we breathe, we smell things constantly.  Each individual smell shouldn’t be strong enough to cover multiple rooms in your house.  You don’t want your entire downstairs to smell like the cinnamon you have in the kitchen.  Likewise, a fresh lemon scent all over the entire house can make it seem like there are smells that will creep into the “scentmosphere” once the lemon scents wear off.  Less is more.

 

Furniture Arrangement Tips

Where you place your furniture can make a big difference. It sets the mood and tone for that room.

Most homes are filled with furniture-arranging challenges. Follow these simple tips to turn your design dilemmas into successful arrangements.

1. Take Measurements

The first step in arranging a space is to know the size. Determine the dimensions by measuring with a tape measure. You will want to know the dimensions before shopping for any furniture. If the room is not square you may want to also do a drawing to bring shopping with you.

Make sure to also measure the doorways, dimensions of the hallways, and stairs that lead into the space. You will want to make sure any purchases you make will be able to fit into the room.

2. Mix It Up

Choose furniture of different volumes; each piece of furniture has a height, depth and width mix up the pieces to create an interesting look. If you want a modern or peaceful feel keep the volumes of the pieces similar.

3. Remember Scale

The size of pieces should be relative to the space. If you are furnishing an older home with smaller rooms adding large overstuffed furniture makes the room feel crowded and out of place. Alternatively, if the room is large having small pieces seems odd.

4. Create Relationships

Furniture and accessories have relationships with other items in the space. You will want to create balance; it could be symmetrical or asymmetrical balance. Asymmetry is an imbalance. For example, place two similar accessories of slightly different sizes next to each other. Symmetry would be two accessories that are the same next to each other.

5. Split it Up

All furniture arrangements take on a certain form or totality. For example, if you have a large rectangular spaces it can be split into separate forms or spaces. Think of creating zones within a room; one zone could be for the media area and another for conversation.

Get Your Home Sold Now

1. Stage your home. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell on average 78% faster than the competition. Staging is more about creating a mood than moving furniture around. Staging makes a house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, more inviting and best of all makes buyers want to buy it.

2. Don’t forget the outside.
Stage the exterior of your home too. Fresh paint, updated landscaping and welcoming lawn furniture will help will a quick sale. Buyers often look for an outdoor space that they can enjoy with friends and family.

3. Make your home available.
Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. Try to accommodate as many appointments to view your home as possible. In today’s market, there are many vacant properties that can be shown anytime. Restrictive time frames, appointments that have to be set far advance will usually result in a buyer crossing your place off the list.

4. Get real about pricing.
Try to be the best deal on the market. Homes that are priced correctly will sell quicker and get a higher sale price than those that have sat on the market. Today’s educated buyers are familiar with comparable sales in the area. They will flock to a home that looks like a great deal. Competitively priced homes get the most traffic and at times even receive multiple offers.

5. Pay attention to the competition.
Look at the price that homes that are similar in style, condition and location have sold for. Attend some open houses and honestly size up your competition. Try to look at your competition from the Buyers point of view removing all emotion you may have tied to your home. Keep constantly updated on changes in the market and try to stay ahead of the curve.

Can You Make a Room Look Bigger?

If you are selling your home or just looking to redecorate, one thing you may want to do is make the rooms look bigger. Here are some tips on how to make the rooms in your home appear larger:

Use an oversize mirror to enhance the effect of light. Mirrors reflect both natural and artificial light making a room bigger and brighter.

Glass-topped tables and see-through furniture can create an illusion that enhances the room with a more open flow.

Clear the clutter. There’s nothing that makes a small space feel even more cramped than having too much stuff. Rooms with everything in place have a certain flow to them. A room without clutter has a more streamline look and a larger appearance.

Light colored walls will also make your rooms appear bigger. Colors such as cream, beige, light grayish-blue and lavender will reflect and multiply the light giving the room an airy feel.

Use dual-purpose furniture. Furniture that doubles as storage increases the function of each space.  Pieces like an entryway bench with storage space or a flip-top ottoman are great ways to combine furniture and function.

Use vertical space to create storage and maximize those out-of-the-way areas in your home.

Utilize those out-of-the-way nooks like the area under a flight of stairs.