Archives for November 2011

A Small Closet Gets A Makeover

A Small Closet Gets A Makeover

Expert Room Makeover and Interior Design tips from Christi Bond, the Home Staging Coach from St Paul/Minneapolis, MN  (vol.1)

Today’s Design A Room Topic: Reinventing a Space to Suit Your Needs

Interior ReDesign: (verb) Giving your home a low cost makeover by using the furniture and accessories you already own in a fresh new way.

You are in the right place if you are looking for tips and resources on how to transform your homes interior to reflect your personality and to function the way you need it to.  In today’s Room Makeover lesson I will show you how to convert a small bedroom closet into a perfect study space.

My daughter Kate is a 7th grader.  She is an uber smart and motivated student so this year we decided to send her to a private school. The school is know for its rigorous academics and we were hearing rumors of a heavy homework load.

Kate’s room is very small, an 8×10 room or 80 square feet.  That isn’t a lot of space when you consider that you definitely need a bed and plenty of space for a teen’s ever expanding wardrobe and book collection.  We needed to get creative to carve out a quiet, private, and convenient study space for her.

Since there was no way we could add a desk and chair into that small space we decided to take over her closet.  (I’ll show you what we did with her clothes and shoes in another post)

Here is a Six Step Outline of our Closet to Study Space Makeover:

closet converted to office

A Perfect Study Space

  1. We removed the closet door and the clothes rod
  2. We bought an inexpensive piece of plywood and stained it a dark espresso
  3. We painted the side walls with metallic paint so she could use magnets to post up assignments, favorite pictures, and that type of thing
  4. We painted it a bright green to energize her and it’s also a favorite color
  5. We hung an antique chandelier that was snagged at a thrift store some time ago and was waiting in the basement for the perfect home.
  6. We added a chair, a foot stool, and an extension cord with multiple plug-ins to accommodate iPod chargers, desk lamp, laptop, pencil sharpener and all things electronic.

Now Kate has a perfectly outfitted space in her room to do her homework.  It works great and it looks great.

This is a perfect example of breaking the rules a little bit and designing a space to function the way you need it to.  It was a one day redesign and done on a tight budget.  The whole project cost us about $25 for the plywood to create the work surface and the paints for the wall.

So Get Busy!  Great Function and Style is Only A Day Away.  Oh…also remember… be BRAVE. The great thing about Room ReDesign is if you are not thrilled with the results you can always move things back to the way they were.  All you have invested is a bit of your time, a little change, and lots of creative juices.

Are You Ready For a Room Makeover?

If you live in the Twin Cities
(Minneapolis/St. Paul), MN metro area and would like the help of a professional Interior Stylist to help you design a room or a whole house I’d be happy to help you with your project.  I can be reached at 651.587.5887 or contact me by email.

If you are looking for more room makeover or interior design ideas you will find lots of before and after pictures and articles on home staging and room makeovers on my website

Redesign, One Day ReDesign, Interior Styling, Room Redo, Designing Spaces, Home Decorating, Interior Décor, Room Makeovers….No matter how you say it the results are the same.  A great new space that reflects your style and personality.

 

To Sell Your Home Fast, Do This!

To Sell Your Home Fast, Do This!

Today’s Topic:  Home staging works best when the property is priced right and marketed by a professional.

When you saw the headline To Sell Your Home Fast, Do This!, I bet you thought I was going to say the most important thing you can do to sell your property fast  is STAGE IT!  Well, I am full of surprises.

Stage your home after doing these three important thingsReal estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.  I do believe that staging  is critical, but it will be meaningless unless you do a couple other things first.

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to the 3 most important things that you need to do before you call in the home stager.

  3 Things to do before you call in a professional Real Estate Stager

  1. Clean the whole house, and repair anything that is broken, missing, or in bad shape
  2. Hire a real estate professional that is an expert in your area and that can tell you with absolute assurance that he or she has a plan for marketing your property.  There are many great on-line resources available to educate you about how to select the real estate professional.
  3. Price the property right.  Listen to your real estate professional. The right price isn’t the price you WANT to get….it is the price that buyers are willing to spend for a property that is comparable to yours

So now you know how to sell your home FAST… You clean and repair it, you hire a professional to market it, you price it to reflect what a buyer will pay, and then You Stage it!

If you live in the St. Paul/Minneapolis (twin cities) area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

Is my Twin Cities, MN property too small to stage?

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.6)

Today’s Topic:  Is Staging Just for McMansions?

In today’s How–To-Sell-A-House Fast lesson we will talk about which properties will benefit from a small investment in Home Staging.  In my opinion whether a house is listed for $98,000 or $598,000 doesn’t matter.  It will benefit from staging.

I am biased. I admit it. As a professional home stager working in the Minnesota Twin Cities metro area I would love to see each and every home that hits the market get staged to sell.

Of course some of that is self interest.  I am a business woman, I sell staging services and my bottom line would greatly benefit from home staging becoming a norm and an expectation in the Twin Cities community.

But, it is also my deep felt belief that home buyers are customers, and they expect and deserve to be treated with high regard and respect.  As customers we are use to having things presented to us in the most satisfying way possible.   We are accustomed to being marketed to and we have come to expect it.

As you prepare your property for the market place keep in mind that you are out to attract customers. Then think about what your customer wants and needs.

3 Things Customers Want and Need

  1. To be drawn in.  Most buyers select the properties they want to tour from on-line listings.  Vacant rooms or messy/cluttered rooms don’t appeal. No problem, a click of the mouse will move the buyer on to the next property.  Tiny vacant homes are at an even greater disadvantage.
  2. Assurance. Buying a home is a huge commitment.  No one wants to end up with a lemon and a nicely maintained and thoughtfully presented home looks like a safer bet.
  3. Pizzazz. A home that reflects us and the lifestyle we aspire to.

Stage your home for your customers.Think about this for a second.  If you were selling your 8 year old Toyota would you spend a little time and a little money getting it cleaned up and polished before presenting it to prospective buyers.  I would.  If a cleaned up Toyota could net me a quick sale and a more attractive price than a similar Toyota that had fast food wrappers lining the floor of the back seat I’d invest a little time and effort into its presentation.  The point is, the asset doesn’t have to be the most expensive option in the marketplace to deserve a little TLC.

Another benefit of me investing a little time and money is that I know that buyers will automatically assume that my cleaned up Toyota was given better care over the course of its life than the messy Toyota my competitor is selling. Because it looks nice, buyers will assume that I had the oil changed regularly, that I invested time and money in its maintenance. People that come to see my car will feel much more confident making me an offer.

Some years ago it was assumed that only million dollar properties needed to be staged.  But times have changed.  Younger buyers are entering the market in droves right now to pick up value priced starter homes.  This generation has been exposed to slick marketing techniques since birth and put high value on first impression and how something reflects their desired lifestyle.  A vacant home will not talk to this audience.

Sometimes a really small homes
needs staging more than the McMansion does.
Without props a very small bedroom can be impossible for some buyers to visualize as large enough for their bed.

Consider staging it to meet your customer’s expectations and you will find that your property will sell fast and at the best possible price.

So now you know how to sell your small home FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Staging Your Vacant Property – Furniture Solutions

Staging Your Vacant Property – Furniture Solutions

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Home Stager (vol.5)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Vacant Property

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging your vacant property.

Sometimes selling and buying homes is as complicated as learning the tango.  Maybe you found your dream home and your sellers would not even consider allowing for a contingent on sale clause.  Or maybe you were relocated, or redeployed, and an address change was part of the package.

No matter how it happened you now have two homes and only enough furniture to completely furnish one property.  That makes staging your vacant home more of a challenge.

Furniture solutions for vacant home staging in St. Paul, MN

Here Are 5 Potential Solutions for Furnishing Your Vacant Property

You could move and take all your furniture and accessories to your new home. The issue is that vacant homes do not show well and can linger a long time on the market.  There is nothing to engage buyers and every single flaw seems to have a spotlight shining on it.

You could leave the furniture in your old place for staging and get by with just a couple things in your new home.  This could be an expensive option if you are moving out of the area, but possible if you are moving only a short distance away.  The issue of course is that you will sacrifice a lot of comfort while you wait for your old property to secure an offer.

Vacant Home Staging Furniture SolutionsYou could try moving part of your furniture to your new home and leave some behind.  If you have good space planning and design sense you can make this work. Truthfully, I have rarely seen this done well without the help of a professional home stager.  I ran across an article the other day about using outdoor furniture inside.  An interesting idea, but I am not sure most people could pull it off. 

You can rent furniture to stage your old home and go ahead and get yourself settled in your new place. You would still need to purchase art, rugs, and accessories to make the home feel inviting, so this could turn out to be an expensive option for you.

You could hire a professional home stager. Some professional Home Stagers will rent furniture for your home; others have a full inventory of furniture, accessories, art, lighting and everything else that is needed to stage a vacant property. I bet you think this is the most expensive option, but it is not. When you factor in the savings from not having to make multiple mortgage payments, and/or steeply reducing the selling price of the home because you left it vacant or badly decorated, the decision to hire a stager becomes pretty obvious.

So now you know how to sell your house FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the St.
Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.  I have a full line of furniture, art, accessories to perfectly stage your property. If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Kitchens Sell Homes…Or Not

Kitchens Sell Homes…Or Not

How To Sell A House Fast; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol. 4)

Today’s Topic:  7 Tips for Staging Your Kitchen

In today’s How To Sell A House Fast lesson we will turn our attention to staging the heart of the home, the hub of the home, the most expensive room in your house for a buyer to renovate…the kitchen. 

how to sell your house fast by staging the kitchenKitchens are super important and weigh heavily on a prospective buyers decision to put in an offer on a piece of real estate or to pass it up.  It is a room that is used constantly and home owners also know that a renovation can be very expensive.

Even if your kitchen isn’t ever going to make the cover of House Beautiful you need to spend time getting it in the very best shape that you can. You may be asking; why should I bother staging this old kitchen? Sometimes the goal of staging is to show prospective buyers that they can live with the kitchen for a couple years while they get themselves finally settled into their new home.

Follow These 7 Tips To Get Your Kitchen Ready To Sell    

  1. Clean it top to bottom. Clean everything, the light fixtures, the inside of the oven, the refrigerator inside and out.  This step is super affordable and non-negotiable. If your home will be vacant while it is on the market this step becomes even more important.
  2. If your cabinets are in good shape, but the hardware is dated, change out the knobs to get a fresh new look.
  3. Clear the counters of almost everything.  You can leave a few things out such as a set of knives, a coffee maker, or a beautiful cookbook, but mostly you want counter tops cleared off.  Buyers want to see lots of prep space and desire very organized kitchens.
  4. Purge the cabinets and pantry of out of date food that you will not use and you will not move.
  5. Critically evaluate the number of pots and pans you really need on hand.  If your cabinets are crowded, weeding out the extras in this category is always a good place to begin.
  6. Check for unpleasant odors.  One of the biggest offenders is the cabinet where the giant bag of dog food is stored. You might want to move Fido’s food to a sealed container in the garage while your property is on the market.
  7. Check on the adequacy of lighting.  Buyers want bright light in the kitchen

So now you know how to sell your home FAST…You Stage it!

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

Staging Your Laundry Room – Stand Out from the Competition

Staging Your Laundry Room – Stand Out from the Competition

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol.3)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Laundry Room

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the laundry room.

I bet you thought I made a mistake when I typed the title to this post. How can staging your laundry room help you stand out from the competition?  Stay with me.

I live in a neighborhood that went up in a hurry in the late 1950s to accommodate all the families that were quickly producing the baby boom generation.  Block… after block…after block…of the same home went up.  Well, I might be exaggerating a little.  They did put four different colors of siding on the properties! I am the third blue house on the right.

Ideas about organizing your laundry room from Woman's Day

Laundry Room Tips from Woman’s Day

When I moved into my home I had an itch to make a beautiful laundry room.  I envisioned a place where I would enjoy being while I washed, and folded and ironed my families mountains of dirty clothes; A place where I could catch a little of my favorite show on a small portable TV; a fabulous location for wrapping gifts.  All of this in eight by six foot room!

I worked hard on the space.  I added a table for wrapping gifts, hung wrapping paper and ribbons from dowels above the table.  I could find stain remover and wrapping tape with out a moment’s hesitation. My TV was mounted on the wall; a folding ironing board was installed. It was grand!

Shortly after finishing my laundry room project I had the neighbors over for a holiday open house. Without a doubt, the most talked about topic that night was the laundry room.  Why? Think about it. All my neighbors have the exact same house as I have…I stood out from the “competition” because I had the most amazing laundry room in a three block radius!  They all wanted my laundry lady lifestyle.

I wish I could show you a picture of it…but that was eight years ago and it isn’t so grand anymore.  BUT…if I was selling my house I would spend two hours and bring her back to her glory days.  Remember, how you live and how you present your property to sell are two different stories.

Think about how you can stage your property to stand out from the competition and you will sell your property fast and for the best possible price.

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

 

Staging Closets and Cabinets – Stage to Impress

Staging Closets and Cabinets – Stage to Impress

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol. 2)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Closets and Cabinets to Wow Buyers

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the storage areas in your property.

Stage your closets and cabinetsOne of the secrets to successfully staging your property for sale is getting into the mind of your buyer.  It will be helpful for you to keep in mind that many people are looking for a new property because they have outgrown their current home.  You want to do everything in your power to show off every storage area in your property to its maximum potential.

If you want to master the art of real estate staging start with your closets and cabinets. Here is your goal.  Make it look like your family has lived in the property for many years and you still haven’t been able to fill it up! Buyers love model homes and touring staged vacant homes because they see vast open storage areas and it makes them feel peaceful and happy.  If you must live in your home during the time it is on the market you won’t be able to have empty closets…but you can have organized closets and that is the next best thing.

Organizing closets is the second most affordable, high impact, home staging technique that you can implement…I’ll teach you the absolute highest impact, lowest cost strategy in a later post.

Here is the thing.  In St Paul, Minnesota we all have at least 4 coats.  If you are a family of 5, that is 20 coats! I didn’t say this would be easy…I just said that it is critical!

5 Tips for Organizing Closets and Cabinets

Here are five easy tips and tricks to make clearing out and organizing closets and cabinets a cinch.  I teach my Home Staging clients in St Paul and surrounding areas these tricks all the time and always get feedback on how fast and easy the job became.

  1. Set a timer.  It is easy to get bogged down in all the stuff.  If you set a timer and only give yourself say 45 minutes to tackle the job you will make quick decisions and you will work hard to exceed your own expectations and get the job done
  2. Start with the most important closets and cabinets and work your way down the list.  For example, a master closet would get higher priority than an office closet.
  3. Pack away anything that you won’t need while your property is on the market.  If you are selling in the spring you might be able to send 15 of the 20 coats and all the winter boots over to grandma’s house for awhile
  4. Get a storage locker if you can’t bear to part permanently with the excess
  5. If your home is short on storage…add some. This inexpensive storage unit is made from low cost IKEA staples and has incredible function and style.

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a
comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.

There are more articles about How to Sell a Vacant Home through Staging on Christi’s blog.

Staging Your Bathroom on a Budget

Staging Your Bathroom on a Budget

How To Sell A House; Musings from A St Paul, MN Professional Stager (vol.1)

Today’s Topic:  Staging Your Bathroom

Wondering how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar?  STAGE IT!  Real estate staging is all about teaching you how to sell a house in the shortest amount of time, and at the most attractive price.

Home Staging definition: (verb) The act of making a home look visually appealing to buyers. 

In today’s How To Sell A House lesson we will turn our attention to staging the bath.

Since buyers know that a bathroom remodel is both expensive and inconvenient, it is in your best interest to do everything you can, within your budget and time constraints, to stage your bath to appeal to the maximum number of buyers.

Bathrooms are very important to buyers.  At this stage of the game you probably can’t do anything about the number of bathrooms in your home, but the condition of the bathrooms you do have can be greatly improved with property staging.

Remodeling your bathroom for under $199.00If you need inspiration, or proof that a small investment of time and money can deliver amazing results you should check out Cathy’s  project where she details step-by-step how she completed a bathroom facelift in one weekend for under $199.  Fabulous!

Six Bathroom Staging Tips

I’m going to teach you how to sell a house one room at a time…today’s lesson is staging the bathroom

  1. Make sure that all the finishes in the bathroom match. If they don’t match you will want to replace the mismatched items.
  2. Put away personal items such as toothbrushes, brushes, makeup, razors.  Buyers don’t like to think about someone else using the bathroom.  You want them to be imaging themselves in the space, not you.
  3. Fresh towels and lots of them are always appealing.  If your shower curtain and rugs have seen better days replace them too.
  4. If your vanity is dated, or water has damaged the finish consider painting it.  A coat of paint and new knobs can completely transform the look of the room.
  5. Clean the bath until it sparkles.  I think Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are incredible.
  6. If the paint color is bold, dated or in bad condition take care of it.  The new neutrals aren’t cream and white.  You don’t have to go boring to go neutral.

If you live in the St. Paul area and would like the help of a professional home stager I’d be happy to help you with your project.   If you have questions relating to this post, please drop me a comment and I will do my best to respond quickly. You
may contact me by email or call me at 651.587.5887.