Free Home Staging E-Book

Free Home Staging E-Book

Straight Forward Advice from a seasoned Home Staging Professional can be found in the FREE e-book, Lighting the Way to a Fast and Profitable Sale.

Down load your free copy today!

Attention Real Estate Professionals.  If you would like to add this ebook to your personal website please contact me for an easy to install link.

Let me know if you have questions or challenges that I can help you out with.  If you are in the twin cities metro area please contact me to schedule a consultation.

Christi Bond
Professional Home Staging and Redesign Services
The Home Staging Coaches
651.587.5887
Contact Me by Email

 

6 Reasons This Professional Home Stager says She Loves Her Job!

6 Reasons This Professional Home Stager says She Loves Her Job!

The first half of 2012 has been an amazing time to be a Professional Home Stager in the St Paul  Minneapolis (twin cities) metro area.

For the first time since the Great Recession hit everyone in the real estate cycle seems pretty happy again.

  • Real Estate professionals are happy that homes are selling faster and the market isn’t inundated with foreclosed properties
  • Home Buyers are happy because interest rates are at a record low
  • Sellers are happy because inventory is in short supply in the twin cities (MN) so home prices are on the rise and homes that have been priced right and staged to sell are moving fast
  • Professional Home Stager’s are happy because the stories of quick sales and multiple offers are like love songs to our ears.

Late winter and early spring was a particularly busy time for me this year.  Maybe it was our mild winter, maybe the improving economy, maybe my good reputation is getting around, or maybe it was just fate, but I was much busier than usual the first quarter and the second quarter of 2012 than I had previously experienced in my many years of professional home staging.

I love many things about the home staging business, but I have to admit, nothing feels better than a pat on the back from a satisfied customer.

Here are six reasosn that I love my job as a professional home stager:

  1. Just wanted to say thanks again for your great work on staging my house. It’s now listed and looking great!  It would not look as good as it does without your help and I really enjoyed working with you.Thank you!  Kim H.  (May, 2012)
  2. The house went on the market on the evening of Friday, April 20th, and PA was signed on Thursday, May 3, 2012! Thanks,  Matt K     (May, 2012)
  3. “Christi has staged a couple of vacant homes for me in the past year as well as helped think through things when listing my personal home. She has been very easy to work with and up-front about what to expect. Numerous comments from buyers that the house looks better than other staged ones!”
  4. Hi Christi, it seems your staging had the magic touch.  My house sold!  Thanks for your great work. We were on the market 1 week before multiple offers came in.  And I do think the way you made the place look really helped.  Maybe you can help me stage my new apartment!   Steve P.    (May, 2012)
  5. We have GREAT news!  After 5 days on the market, we have accepted an offer on our home.At this point, we wanted to just let you know.  We know things can change between now and the closing date, but we know that with your help, we’ve hopefully sold our home fast!  Thanks again!    Sherry     (May 2012)
  6. “It was great working with you yesterday.  Your ideas were fantastic, and the results really speak for themselves.  I’ll be sure to follow through on the remaining details, and if we need to consult again I won’t hesitate to call you.  Many thanks for working with us — it was not only productive, it was fun!  Mary  (March 2012)

I am proud to own one of the top home staging businesses in the Twin Cities area. Please let me know if there are any questions or challenges I can help you sort out.

Christi Bond
Professional Home Staging and Redesign Services
The Home Staging Coaches
651.587.5887
Contact Me by Email

Home Staging: Did Your  Realtor Bring Up The Topic?

Home Staging: Did Your Realtor Bring Up The Topic?

Selecting the Right Real Estate Professional

The decision you make about who will help you to market your property is a critical one.   You need to know that you can trust the professional that is handling this important emotional, financial and legal transaction for you. You are looking for a professional that:

  • Presents you with a comprehensive marketing plan
  • Understands your neighborhood/market area
  • Responds to your inquiries quickly and completely
  • Tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear
  • Stays current and understands emerging trends such as the importance of staging your property for sale.

If your real estate professional has talked to you about the importance of  preparing your property for the market, that is a clear sign that he or she is in touch with a major trendthe importance of staging your property for the marketplace.

Setting the Right Price

From conversations I have had with many real estate professionals over the years I have learned that pricing the property correctly is the number one factor in getting a property sold quickly. You can stage a property to perfection…but if it isn’t priced correctly it will not sell. It is absolutely critical that you price the house appropriately for the market right from the start.  Why?  There are a couple reasons:

  1. Your property will draw the most attention in the first weeks of listing. If the property is priced too high you will not get as many requests for showings as you would have received if the property was priced correctly.
  2. Once a property is on the market for awhile, buyers will think you are anxious to sell, and their offer price will reflect that.

It is important that you select a real estate professional that you have trust in, and that you trust his or her recommendation for selling price.  Even if your home is staged perfectly and in excellent repair if you go in with a price higher than the market will support, you are likely to have your property linger for a long time.

I work with many excellent Real Estate Professionals that are very aware of the importance of staging a property to sell.  If you need a referral I am happy to help.

Christi Bond
Professional Home Staging and Redesign Services
The Home Staging Coaches
651.587.5887
Contact Me by Email

Lighting Your Way to a Quick Sale

Lighting Your Way to a Quick Sale

After nearly seven years as a professional home stager in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, I have seen more than my share of out-of-date lighting fixtures.   I am no spring chicken either…so I likely grew up in homes that had some of the fixtures that I now see in clients homes. I am grateful that I have blocked out those memories.  No use taking up valuable real estate in my brain with visions like that!

The double swag light fixture is my least favorite of all of the styles that came in to vogue between 1960 – 2000.  It is so distracting to potential buyers that I beg my staging clients to remove it. (By the way, I found this one on ebay and  the bidding price  is currently at $99. Bonus,  you can pull it down, replace it with something that most  buyers will like and maybe even come out ahead!)

Here is what I have learned..  My staging clients don’t like the swag fixture either.  So why haven’t they changed it before now? They don’t know what to replace it with. This is where investing in the services of a professional home stager pays off.  It is easy to tell people to get rid of something… it takes a bit more expertise to be able to tell them what to replace it with.

I am a big believer in the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Often after I leave a staging consultation I sit down at my computer the minute I get home, open up a link to one of the big box stores, copy a picture of a light fixture that will appeal to buyers, and email it to my clients.

I find that clients are very happy to do the work and spend the money if I can get them on the right track.  Here is what I would recommend as a replacement for the swag fixture. 

In this case, we can see from the picture above that the walls have been painted a nice neutral sage green.  I am not able to see what the finish of the other fixtures in the room are, so I am going to make the assumption that they are chrome.  I also see that the energy source is on the wall (some are on the ceiling and that makes a big difference).

This light fixture  would be perfect.  It is affordable ($110 at Lowe’s), it matches the other hardware in the bathroom (chrome), it will give off great light (home buyers love bright spaces), and it is nondescript enough that it will appeal to almost everyone.

If I were asked to provide a list of what a home seller with a tight budget should invest their money in I would list the following:

  • Hire a professional house stager.  He or she will help you make the most of what is already available at the property and to help you most effectively spend your limited budget  on things that will bring the biggest payback.  A home staging consultation is very affordable.  I charge my twin cities clients $150 for the consultation
  • Replace dated light fixtures, paying special attention to the fixture on the porch, the foyer, the dining room and the bathrooms.  If you shop the big box stores and pay attention to sales you can get a lot of light fixtures for just a couple hundred dollars.
  • Clean and de-clutter the rooms of the house and wash the windows.
  • Paint any room that is either to0 taste specific or too banged up for a prospective buyer to get past.  If you are able to do the painting yourself the investment is really pretty small, and the payback can be pretty big.

If you would like more information about getting your property ready to sell you can download my free home staging e-book.  It is filled with good information about selecting the right real estate agent, high impact/low cost updates for your home, and guidance on pricing the property correctly from the get-go.

If you live in the Twin Cities and would like help with your property you can call me at 651.587.5887.

Property Goes From Staged to Sold in 7 Days!

Property Goes From Staged to Sold in 7 Days!

The real estate market is hot in St Paul, Minnesota! Smart sellers are taking advantage of this long anticipated market improvement…they are preparing their property for the market, not leaving things to chance.

Here are 7 important steps to take to get your property SOLD fast

  1. Hire an experienced real estate agent that is familiar with your neighborhood
  2. Make all necessary repairs
  3. Clear out items that will distract buyers attention (in this case dated furniture)
  4. Clean the property thoroughly
  5. Price the property competitively
  6. Say yes to every showing request
  7. Stage the property to appeal to your target buyer

If you would like more information about any of these steps you should download my FREE HOME STAGING E-BOOK.

A couple of weeks ago I worked with a really nice couple that were about to put their property on the market.  They had been in the property for many, many years and would be the first to admit that home decorating was not high on their priority list.

The location, size, and selling price of this property made it perfect for young families. Some of their furniture was Early American style, and would not appeal to the young families.

I know, at this point many of you are thinking, well they aren’t buying the house furnished so why should it matter?  I can’t tell you for certain why it matters…but I can tell you emphatically that it does.  Home buying is not just a rational decision, it is an emotional decision.  Most of us have fond memories of our grandparents homes and the homes we were raised in.  But that doesn’t mean we want a house that looks like them; We want a house that reflects us.

Since getting the home sold fast was on their priority list they took their real estate agents advice and called me.

We toured the property together and talked about the changes that would make the property appeal to a young couple with children…their target buyer.  On the positive side, the home was solid, clean and uncluttered. On the negative side we had some strong colors in some of the bedrooms, some rooms that were not clearly defined, and some dated furniture that would distract buyers.

We used some of their furniture and accessories and some of the furniture and accessories that I had in my staging inventory. We were able to give the property a comfortable contemporary feel without replacing everything.

One thing that I would like to draw your attention to is the sofa.  Staging is NOT about drawing attention to the furnishings, it is about drawing positive attention to the space.  None of the furniture that is used in the room is expensive.  It is the layout and the simplicity that give the room staged appeal.

Lighting  is another inexpensive and quick fix that can make an incredible difference in the way a property presents. The light fixtures in the house were dated.  The home owners replaced several fixtures…the transformation that occurred in the bathroom by just changing the light fixture was amazing.  I could kick myself for not getting a before  and after picture.

I am thrilled to tell you that all of their hard work and their  investment in home  staging paid off.  This Stilllwater, Minnesota property went from STAGED  to SOLD in one week.

 

St Paul MN Property Goes From Staged To CLOSED in less than 5 weeks!

St Paul MN Property Goes From Staged To CLOSED in less than 5 weeks!

The real estate market in the St Paul/Minneapolis metroarea is heating up and this staged home took advantage of that uptick in buyer activity.  This house  sold just days after I staged it and it is going to CLOSE tomorrow.  From staged to closed in under 5 weeks!

Imagine…no more mortgage payment, no more utilities to pay, no more property tax, no more costly vacant property insurance.  The very reasonable staging cost was more than made up with the quick close.

Homeowners sometimes forget to factor in the cost of doing nothing when they look at staging costs.  Staging this house  saved these homeowners thousands of dollars and gave priceless peace of mind.

Loft space after homestaging photo.

Oh, now I see how to use the space..Love it!

This property has some spaces that would be hard for buyers to visualize if left un-staged.  For example, the 2nd floor loft is very long, and has sloping ceilings.  It also has dormers and a staircase that breakup the floor plan. Left un-staged buyers would likely have figured it was too choppy to be very useful.

 

Stage Homed sold in less than five weeks

Awkward spaces benefit greatly from home staging.

Look what staging did for the space! Buyers can easily see how a queen size bed and two night tables fit easily under the low sloped ceiling. They can visualize a nice comfortable seating area at the end of the space, and the area that is separated from the rest of the room due to the staircase makes a nice office space.   It must have worked.  Selling properties in Minnesota in February is not the easiest thing to accomplish…but we did it!

If your property has rooms that might baffle a buyer, consider having it staged.  Staging is remarkably affordable, and can be done in a matter of days.  If you live in the Twin Cities metro area I encourage you to give me call at 651.587.5887 to discuss your project or contact me by email

Staging: Small Changes with Big Results

Staging: Small Changes with Big Results

Have you ever wondered, “Why Should I Stage My Property?”  You are not alone.  In my years as a professional Home Stager in St Paul,  I have met with  clients that were less than sold on the idea of homestaging, but went along with it because their Real Estate agent suggested that they do it.

When clients ask me the question; “Why Should I Stage My Property?”, I tell them to do it because some buyers are kind of lazy; if you make them work too hard, they will abandon you!

The bottom line is that many buyers do not have the patience or the skill to really appreciate a property that is not decorated well, or empty.  If they pull up a picture on the MLS of a property that looks  chaotic, dirty, dated or boring…they just move on to the next property.  CLICK!

I stage lots of vacant properties. Why? Because empty homes are not very interesting or informative to look at online.  Once they are staged, they are visually inviting and buyers can better understand the size of the room when they see it with furniture in it.

Take a look at these before and after photos to see what I mean.

An empty living room before staging.

 Before staging this living room looked tiny and difficult to arrange

 

Now buyers can imagine how they would use the space

Now buyers can imagine how they would use the space.

After home staging buyers can imagine how they would use the space.

Here is the same living room from a different angle. 

I bet you would never have guessed that the room was this large when you looked at the picture of it empty.  If your home is not showing well in pictures, consider having it staged.  Staging is remarkably affordable, and can be done in a matter of days.  If you live in the Twin Cities metro area I encourage you to give me call at 651.587.5887 to discuss your project or contact me by email 

Staging a Bonus Room: Before and After Pictures

Staging a Bonus Room: Before and After Pictures

A Day in the Life of a St Paul Minnesota Professional Home Stager

One of the things I like best about being a professional home stager in St Paul, MN is helping people deal with a difficult transition.  I moved 15 times by the time I was 30 years old.  I know how hard a move is on a family, but I also appreciate that good things often come from exposure to new environments.   I can add calm to the situation by having genuine empathy for what the family is dealing with as they embark on a move.

This family  had a very busy life: two professionals and two teenagers.  They were relocated across the country with very little notice.  They only had time to sort and pull what was essential for short term living in their new location; they did not have time to restore order. They called me in for that.

Home Staging Coaches St Paul, MN

In the flurry to move, everything in the bonus room was rearranged into disorganization.

The pictures tell the story of staging using only the furniture and accessories that were available in the home.

Home Staging Coaches St. Paul, MN

Using just what was available in the room, we created an amazing transformation.

One of the reasons that I am really good at my job is that I am passionate about taking something that looks like it is beyond repair, and making it new again. Check out my lamp transformation video when you have a second.

Staging is a very creative and rewarding occupation that requires lots of different skills.  You need to be able to work well with people, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, and you have to have good business skills to keep your small business on track.  If that sounds like you…I recommend staging as a career without hesitation.

If you have a property that could use a stager’s expertise call me at 651.587.5887 on contact me using my contact form.

Offer the Free Home Staging eBook on your Website

Adding a download link for Christi Bond’s Home Stage eBook is easy.

The easiest way to add a link is simply add a direct link anywhere on your site. The direct link is:
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How I Became A Home Stager

How I Became A Home Stager

I’ve been operating a home staging business in St Paul, Minnesota since 2005.  

I was one of those people that even in adulthood always had to answer the question:  “What do you want to be when you grow up?  ”With, “I don’t  know yet, I’ll fill you in once I figure it out.”

I now know why I couldn’t answer the question until I was nearly 40 years old…what I wanted to be…a Home Stager, didn’t even exist when I was a kid.

I went to college and graduate school and had a long and successful career in Corporate America.  I didn’t dislike my job, but I never felt like I was doing something that fed my spirit.  It was an ok fit, but not a great fit.

Then one day I had just arrived at my office, following a really dreadful morning commute, when I got a call that my sister passed away in her sleep.  She was just a few years older than me and her death shook me to my very core.  The message, life is short, became clear and loud…and unrelenting.

The Bond Family Now

I was a newly single, middle aged woman with a teenager and a 3 year old.  I was trying to balance work, and commuting, and a toddler and a teen.  I was keeping things together, but worried that if I suffered the same demise as my sister my toddler would only remember me as the woman who sometimes cooed, sometimes screamed,…”hurry up honey, we are going to be late.”  Something needed to change, and I decided to fulfill my dream of being self-employed.

As it turned out, my midlife crisis happened at just the right time. HGTV had recently launched a new show called Designed To Sell.  It was a show about homestaging. The show focused on helping homeowners  prepare their properties for the market.  It was a new concept for a Midwesterner like me, and from the first time I saw the program I was hooked.

I thank Lisa LaPorta and Clive (the original cast of Designed to Sell) for helping me finally answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I wanted to be a Home Stager.

It was the right decision for me.  I love what I do, and my clients tell me that it shows.

Follow your passion, you won’t regret it.

Kindly,

Christi

www.homestagingcoaches.com

651.587.5887