Archives for February 2012

5 Things You Should Know Before Scheduling A Home Staging Consultation

5 Things You Should Know Before Scheduling A Home Staging Consultation

Are you getting ready to put your home up for sale? If so you may be wondering about the value and feasibility of hiring a professional home stager  to do a staging consultation .  I run a successful home staging business in St Paul, Minnesota and I’ve helped hundreds of homeowners get their properties ready for the market.  Here are some things to consider as you make the decision about whether a home staging consultation would be a wise investment for you.

 5 Things You May Not Know About Staging Consultations

  1.  It’s Not Always a Major Renovation.  The HGTV and TLC channels are full of home staging shows that are wonderfully creative and entertaining. If you haven’t had the chance to watch Get It Sold, or Designed To Sell I would recommend that you tune in for inspiration.  These programs can produce jaw dropping results, but they can be a little misleading. The shows always take on a major renovation. It makes for good TV! Walls are always painted, sometimes they are torn down. New furniture is often brought in, and sometimes whole kitchens are remodeled.  Watching the shows may scare you away from scheduling a home staging consultation.  Don’t be deterred. Most properties do not require major work to see a major improvement. Don’t let the fear of a laundry list of expensive home improvements keep you from hiring a stager.
  2. Your Home Does Not Have to Be Uncomfortable to Appeal To Buyers.  Sometimes home owners are reluctant to bring in a homestager because they are afraid that the home will be so pared down that it will no longer be comfortable for them to live in.  While there are often some compromises to be made when you are trying to appeal to the broadest spectrum of buyers a skilled home stager will help you hit the perfect balance of comfort and visual appeal
  3. Staging Will Get You On The Market Faster.  Maybe you’re concerned that having a staging plan developed for your property will result in a laundry list of tasks and will slow your progress getting the property on the market.  Actually the opposite is true.  A professional house stager will be able to separate the must-haves from the nice-to-dos.  You will know what projects are worth your effort and which might be nice to have but are not critical.  You will also be given advice on which projects must be done before the listing goes on the market, and which can be handled while the property is listed.  Additionally, if your budget allows, hiring a stager to do some of the hands-on work for you can get you on the market in lightening speed.
  4. A Staged Home Is Easier to Keep in Show Condition.  Part of the process of stagmessy desk and counter toping will be getting the property decluttered and streamlined.  It just makes sense that it is faster to wipe down a counter top that is free of clutter, and easier to pick up at the end of the day when the drawers and closets are not filled to capacity.  It is also nice to have a checklist on hand to remind you about the things that should be done everyday to keep the house ready to show.  A little effort everyday is much easier to handle than crisis clean-up.
  5. Home Staging Is Very Affordable and Provides Excellent Return on Investment.  Of course, staging costs will vary by region and by stager.  In the Midwest, where I practice, a home staging consultation generally costs $100 – $200 dollars.  In a recent study, home staging was shown to provide around a 300% return on investment.  Hard to argue with that!

For more information about getting your property ready for the market you can download my free home staging e-book, or check out the many staging articles available on my blog.

Take A Quiz: Are You A Good Candidate For a Room Makeover?

Take A Quiz: Are You A Good Candidate For a Room Makeover?

I live in St Paul, Minnesota.  Most northerners like me spend a lot of time indoors in the winter and that can lead to a bit of cabin fever. If you like home design the way I do, you might find that giving a room in your house a room makeover will help chase those blues away.

When doing a room makeover (sometimes called room redesign) we will use the furniture, accessories, art, and lighting that you already own and rearrange them to create a brand new look and a room that provides the function or functions that you desire for the space.

Room Makeover (One Day Redesign)  is very different from interior design. Interior design usually starts with a blank slate. An interior designer will design a room from the ground up. The interior designer and the client then go out and purchase the furniture and accessories that are needed to create the room.  Interior design is a lengthy and expensive process.On the other hand,room makeovers are usually completed in less than a day and  are very affordable. The only cost is the redesigner’s fee and maybe a few new accessories to complete the look.

I am a professional home stager and room makeover specialist.  Here are some questions that I ask prospective clients to see if a room makeover would be a good idea for them.

Is It Time for A Room Makeover?   Test Your Readiness

If you find that you are a good candidate for doing a room makeover and if you live in the Twin Cities metro area please give me a call at 651.587.5887 to schedule a makeover appointment today. You can also reach me by email.

Staging an Occupied Home – Before and After Photos

Staging an Occupied Home – Before and After Photos

Staging is not always starting with an empty room or a vacant house. When staging the home you are living in, managing clutter becomes a challenge. It is also important to be objective and try to see your home through the eyes of a perspective buyer. Clear clutter and arrange furniture for a positive first impression.

Home staging tips for an occupied home.

Home staging an occupied home can start with organizing the cupboards.

Home staging an occupied home.

 Choose what furniture and accessories you need to create a positive first impression.

Home staging tips for an occupied home.

Ready to show!

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

I Have A Real Estate Agent; Do I Still Need a Home Stager?

Let me just say upfront, home staging is not rocket science, but by the same token not everyone has the skill to do it well.  I’ve heard staging skeptics make remarks such as, “Hey, if you want to pay me $150 to come over and tell you to turn the lights on for showings I will be right over.”

I will admit that some staging advice would fall into the category of common sense.  For example, a professional home stager will probably remind you to:

  • Take out the trash everyday so odors don’t build up in the property
  • Open the drapes (or remove them if out of style) to let in the light
  • Don’t let horizontal surfaces fill up with clutter
  • Turn on lights for showings

On my website I have a complete checklist of common sense things that a seller should do each and everyday to enable them to say yes to a showing at a moments notice.  I know it may seem like common sense to make your bed before leaving the house, but a gentle reminder in the form of a checklist can help make those new habits stick.

But what a good professional home stager will also do is look at your space objectively. He or she will be able to quickly identify the best feature in the room and determine if it is the first thing that catches a buyer’s attention when they walk into the room.  If it isn’t she will know what to do to remedy the situation.

She will have the ability to read the room quickly.  If there is too much furniture in the room she can quickly identify the pieces that should stay and what needs to go into storage.

A good home stager also keeps alerts to trends and design innovations.  Sometimes when you have been in a home for awhile you become numb to the décor.  I follow the trends so I know what will appeal to today’s buyers and what will turn them off.

Some Real Estate Agents have a very good idea of what needs to be done to make a property appeal to buyers.  The problem is that they want to keep you happy and keep your listing.  They might make a couple of recommendations, but then they stop.  Why? Because, you prefer to hear about what they like about your property rather than what they don’t like.

The Real Estate Agent wants to be your friend, and show their appreciation for your business.  They want to play the good cop. They call me in to be the bad cop!

Home staging is also referred to as real estate staging and property staging, and house staging.  No matter what you call it, it is a very good investment for anyone preparing their home for the market and it is a win, win, win scenario.

  •  You win by managing your time well. If you invest in home staging you will get specific advice about what changes will have the most impact on the saleability of your property. This will enable you to focus your limited time on the right things.
  •  The real estate agent wins because he or she has a quality product to take to the market,
  •  I win because I make a living doing work that I am passionate about and excel at.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area please give me a call at 651.587.5887 to schedule a staging consultation today. You can also reach me by email.